A winter walk in our neighborhood is just the perfect thing for winter blues. A slight chill, beautiful views and a happy dog plundering through what’s left of the last Colorado snowfall are just what I need to regain perspective.
But sometimes a winter walk can be hard with Stella: her paws can start to hurt, or she can’t resist the little “milk duds” that the elk and deer leave behind. Here are few thoughts that help improve our walks – maybe they will help yours too.
- Protect the Paws
I ran across a non-toxic paw protectant used to help keep sledding dogs’ paws in-check called Musher’s Secret. Originally developed in Canada, which is kind of a cold place, it is actually good for year-round use. It absorbs in quickly, and if Stella tries to lick it off I don’t have to worry about it being harmful.
- Ditch the Duds
“Milk Duds,” that is. Elk and deer have digestive systems that crank out poop inverse to their size, and they look like milk duds. Some dogs can’t resist them, which is why Leptosperosis shots were probably invented. Stella is one of those dogs. When we walk on a path or a trail that we know will be fully stocked in her favorite woodland treat, the best thing (and right thing) to do is to invoke the “Leave it!!” command. Don’t know “Leave it?” Learn more here. Stella was taught in Victoria Stilwell’s methods but her guardians (ahem, us) are not terribly consistent in reminding her, so we often need a refresher.
- It’s about the dog
Pause. Look. Listen. Be grateful. And play. There are thousand other places you could be. But lucky you: you’re on a walk today with one of the most joyful creatures on earth. That’s why you’re outside in the first place, isn’t it? Just breathe, be happy and experience the joy of your dog.
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