I have a fourteen-year-old miniature poodle named Oscar.
Oscar has been part of our family since he was just a puppy. As he’s grown older, he’s become hard of hearing, doesn’t see as well and has difficulty going up and down the stairs. The winter weather is especially problematic. He only weighs twelve-pounds and is a very tiny dog. Our local area gets around five to six feet of snow per year. The snow can accumulate by several feet in a single day. Unless I shovel a path for the dog, he can’t walk around outside. It’s sometimes necessary to shovel several times per day. I clear the snow from the front door and create an intricate walking path that winds through the trees. Because of the sub zero temperatures outside, Oscar usually wears a knitted sweater. He loves his sweaters and does not like to take them off. He tends to shiver, even inside the house. I set the thermostat a little higher for the sake of the dog’s comfort. We have a gas fireplace to supplement heat in the living room. I’ve placed Oscar’s bed directly in front of the fireplace. He likes to sleep on his little dog bed with the heat from the fireplace blasting on him. His fur becomes very warm to the touch. When he comes in from the outside with snow clinging to his paws and settles in front of the heater, the whole living room smells of wet dog. I am just happy that our dog is comfortable. The winter weather tends to last for more than half of the year and is downright brutal. Keeping a warm home is definitely a challenge.