After a recent snowfall, we decided to take a long walk on the forest preserve trail. Since it was only 15 degrees outside, Will promised it was going to be a fairly short one. (It turned out to be 4 miles. Did I mention it was 15 degrees?) While absurdly confident that the humans would fare fine in the snow with our waterproof hiking boots, Will wasn’t sure that our dog Katie would be comfortable walking so long on fresh snowfall. If you have ever tried to take a walk with a dog in the snow, you know that snow gets matted in the fur between the toes of their paws and forces the dog to stop periodically to chew off the matted snow. So, out came her snow shoes!
We got these slip-on Velcro-closure booties one rainy spring season because we didn’t want Katie tracking in too much mud after our walks. Once we put them on her, the comedy show began. She lifted each paw, gingerly placing it down and wondering about the foreign feeling of plastic bootie not gripping the floor beneath. Then she tried walking in these, suddenly bow-legged and moving in a hysterical loungy motion, slipping and righting herself, then repeating the process several times in the time it took her to cross our living room floor. All the while, she saw her two human handlers just rolling around on the floor dying with uncontrollable laughter. We three go through the same routine each time she has to wear these again.
But sometimes, footwear is for more than hilarity. Quite soon after we picked her up from her shelter, Katie had an infection on her rear paw which had to be shaved, drained, and bandaged. Out vet told us that we needed to make sure that she did not chew off her bandage or get to licking at the ointment (which would be harmful for her to ingest). Yet, of course, she kept on trying to chew off the bandage. I found a great solution at a Baby Gap store: A pair of baby socks (on sale!). I put the sock on her over the bandage and secured it with a Velcro tie. She tried but could not get the sock off. And, of course, the bootie went over that sock when we went on walks.
Other clothing gear haven’t worked out quite so well. She looked adorable in her yellow rain jacket—she hates rain and will take forever to go when it’s raining outside—but it messed up her sense of motion. Less than two minutes into a walk, she would attempt to sit down on any surface, unsure of what was on her.
My brother and sister-in-law got Katie a warming jacket for Christmas one year. They had never actually seen Katie—only knew that she was a “medium”-sized terrier mix—so the “medium” jacket they got for her seemed a bit tight. She needs to lose some weight anyway, so maybe there is hope for this jacket still?
My sister and brother-in-law got us a hiking pack for her so that she could carry her own poop pouches, snacks, and water when we go hiking for long periods of time. I like the idea, but Katie is a little finicky with that jacket as well. Perhaps she just doesn’t do well with clothing.
For the first Christmas Eve brunch that we were hosting after we got Katie, we wanted her to look especially cute for our guests. Will ran out to Petco hoping to get a reindeer headband, but apparently those sell out way in advance. He came back with a Santa hat. She had it on her for all of a few minutes, but you can tell what she is thinking: “Woe, woe is me. Why do these people torture me so?”
Doesn’t matter though. I suspect we will just keep putting more stuff on her…