Dog Boot Dilemma Solved

With a little help from my friend. Thank you.

Winter arrives with a vengeance, thanks to the Polar Vortex and the dogs are in a funk. Minus 21 degrees C (-6 F) is just too cold for for them and so we missed a couple of walks. Today it’s still -15 with a wind and some snow flurries but I couldn’t stand their soulful stares so it was time to try the new system. A friend told me her little guy (with cracked, sore feet) loved his baby socks held up by vet wrap. I purchased the wrap and the socks so now that the warm spell is over, it’s time to try them.

Scruffy’s socks after his walk.

First I put Scruffy’s socks on. He’s 10 lbs and has always let me put on his coat and boots. I pulled one sock up at a time and secured it with the vet wrap. It wraps around and sticks so it isn’t difficult. Taz, our Jack Russell, has never had anything on her feet although she’s good about getting her jacket on. When it was her turn, she sat on my knee and let me tighten the socks up. She didn’t like them but she was good.

Taz isn’t impressed by footwear but she totally enjoyed her walk.

With their feet protected, we were able to take a 20 minute walk. The dogs went from depression to delight in that short time. Now they are relaxed, Scruffy sleeping and Taz laying quietly. This is the best way I’ve found to prevent iced up toes and freezing feet. Neither dog could have walked without the socks. Persistence and a doggie discussion paid off for me. I’ve tried for years to find something that works. I guess my friend (a great dog person has, as well.) Thanks to her discovery, our dogs can enjoy walks in the snow and cold.

Scruff and his boots. He’s tired of having his picture taken.

Dog Boot Dilemma

My dogs are small (the little guy, only 10 pounds) but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t enjoy all the canine pursuits- sniffing, marking, and going on walks. Best of all are the walks and even though he’s small, he likes a nice long stroll. My other dog is a Jack Russell. She’s three years old and the her breed tells you all you need to know about her energy level.

The annual winter dilemma revolves around keeping them warm while we enjoy the walking trails in our small town. The dogs each have a warm coat so they are fairly tough. It’s their feet that create a problem so we have a rule- when the temperature is lower than -10 degrees Celsius (14 Fahrenheit) we stay home. If there’s no wind, we might manage a shorter walk when it’s colder.

Winter walk

The bigger issue is keeping Scruffy’s (the little guy’s) feet warm. In this picture, he’s wearing the pull-on rubber boots. They were awfully tight around his “ankles” but seemed to work. Then after a couple of walks, when I noticed a little blood on his paws when I took them off. He would lick and lick his front toes and legs. Obviously, the rubber wasn’t doing the job any more. I bought expensive boots from the pet store but they were stiff and I saw a little blood.

The solution wasn’t to leave him behind so that Taz, the Jack Russell would get enough exercise to keep her semi-sane. He cried pitifully, at high volume, and an ear-piercing pitch. I didn’t know what we could do. On warm days (and without new snow), he can forget the boots but there are times he needs them.

In the end, I used Google and found a crocheted pattern for small dog boots. Some old yarn and a little patience (not something I generally have an abundance of) resulted in sock-like boots that he can wear. They aren’t without their problems (yesterday he blew first one on his front paw and then one on a back paw) but once I get them on properly, he hardly notices them. He has one pair so now I have to make my furry friend a second set.

Taz isn’t immune to cold (or sidewalk de-icer) but she’s tougher. If it isn’t too cold, we can make winter work. The fresh air, sights like winter hoar frost, and people skating or sledding make the wait for spring tolerable.

Something Else to Worry About

I know that my blog is called the mild side and I meant to write mellow, worth-a-little chuckle pieces. But I can’t control my urges to occasionally rant- this is post 10 so I’m going to rant.

At a certain age, your body makes changes so it’s more comfortable; changes you might not be as comfortable with. I not talking about wrinkles, sagging boobs, loose bellies, fallen asses. I am talking, people, about feet. Yes, feet. Now women are putting themselves through nasty surgeries because when you get older, even your feet get too ugly for aesthetically sensitive people to be exposed to. What kind of disgusting conditions can be corrected with cosmetic surgery for the feet?

Feet get knobbly. Bunions need removal to slim feet, toes can be lengthened or shortened, lumps and bumps can be shaved, bulging veins stripped or scrawny feet plumped with filler.  Women might choose some of these procedures to lose a shoe size and get that more glamerous size 8.

Ah- the ideal. Is there any wonder women’s feet show their age?

All surgeries come with some risk. It’s ludicrous to think that women are made to feel so self-conscious about their feet that they won’t wear sandals or go swimming. Real physical problems that cause pain, make it impossible to find shoes, or interfere with mobility should be corrected; however surgery to have pretty feet is plain crazy and even worse is that another impossible “beauty” standard is being set.

What is next? What body part hasn’t been tweaked, modified or totally re-done? I thought when the Chinese women no longer had to bind their feet…what a liberation. And here we are in 2018 headed down the same senseless path.

And prepare yourselves- I’m including a horrifying picture, unretouched, of the feet of an old lady. They’re actually great feet. They let me walk miles if I want. They let me run (try to run- Ha) with my grandchildren; they let me walk my dogs for three kilometers a day, and dance the night away if my husband’s gimpy knee ever recovers. No cosmetic surgery for me.

The information for this rant came from The Edmonton Journal, Monday the September 10. The opinions, of course, are mine.

In their full glory. They spent the summer in that general purpose sport shoe, the flip-flop. Yikes! Bulging veins. Knobbly toes. Ugh – tendons visible.