I’ve been told stories of dogs with big furry coats that love the snow and chilly air. Dogs that romp around in the first snowfall like a child who’s never seen snow before. These are the dogs, I hear, that love to snuggle into a nice deep snowbank as if it’s a cotton-filled bed.
I know one thing for sure, I do not have one of those dogs.
Like many short-haired breeds, my dog doesn’t grow much hair on his stomach and armpits, or his “private” areas (which, ironically, aren’t private at all since he doesn’t even have fur to hide them away).
His skin is a soft whitish-tone in the winter, and I remember how scared I was the first summer my dog learned to love the sun.
That first summer was when my dog became quite partial to the way the sun heated his undercarriage. He’d lay on the deck, alternating from one side to another with his belly exposed.
The black fur on the rest of his body would feel hot to the touch. His tongue would be rolled out on the deck, panting as though he’d just got done running 20 laps around the backyard. I’d literally have to pull on his collar to get him up and into the house because I thought he'd get heat stroke. And he would just go and sit by the door, wanting out again.
One day I noticed the skin on his belly was turning black. Some patches in the armpit were still white. Like a new mother, I panicked and rushed him to the vet.
“He’s just tan,” they told me.
The blood rushed to my face. I felt like an idiot. Of course he was tan, he was sunbathing at every opportunity he got!
That’s my dog’s heaven; the deck on a hot summer day. He also enjoys laying in sunspots on the floor, cuddling up to campfires as close as he can, and he even chooses bricks over carpet if it means being closer to the wood stove. And blankets, oh blankets. That’s a topic worth a whole entry on its own.
So how does he like the winter?
Well, he doesn’t.
His avoidance of snow and all things cold has given my husband and I a lot of good laughs. Stay tuned and I'll share some of his cold-weather antics in my next blog.