Both of my pups are from Georgia. This summer Schmoop and I had the very great temerity to relocate them to my hometown of Pittsburgh which, if you have a television, you are probably aware is in the throes of COLDPOCALYPSE!!!! (TM) 2014. And my puplets–specifically Calvin–have apparently left their dignity in the southland.
Karman is a fairly hearty beast–she’s fluffy, double coated, and has grown a curly, lamb-like blanket of belly fluff this winter. I didn’t even know she could do that. She loves the snow, happily shoving her nose in as far as it will go, and scooting it across the lawn like a pointy, ineffective snow plow.
Cal, on the other hand, is scrawny, with naked armpits and approximately 1/126 Karmann’s allotment of fur. He’s also, as I may have mentioned, terrified of life. Nevertheless, he has comported himself reasonably well in the snow and cold so far, by which I mean he will mimic Karmann with the nose-scooting for approximately 23 seconds, after which he will do one of two things: stand stock still and shiver pitifully, or suddenly realize that the stuff he has been playing in has infiltrated the extreme sanctity of his toes and ohmygoditiscoldanditwontcomeoutandnowNONEOFTHEFEETWORK.
Usually, the latter is indicated by a reluctance to move, a mournful squeal, and the awkward elevation of the most afflicted foot while maintaining a look of confused victimization as I remind him that he made an unholy fuss when I tried to put the Musher’s Secret between his toes and that would have helped but no. And usually, Karmann couldn’t be bothered to care less, continuing the frantic nose plowing and dragging me and a semi-crippled hound behind her.
But usually, it isn’t 11 below zero, such as it is today under the icy grip of the APOLARVORTEXCALYPSE!!!! (TM) 2014.
So this morning, on our potty break, everything went well for about two minutes. Long enough for Cal to poop and Karmann to pee. At which point, y’all, the cold broke my dogs. Karmann started running toward the back door, crying loudly when she reached the full five feet of leash payout, while Calvin, well . . .
It’s hard to put into words–and I wasn’t taking pictures on account of my fingers having turned black and fallen off roughly 30 seconds after stepping outside–but if you’ve ever seen a dog do the snow-in-toes freak out dance, make it 6,000 times sadder, and then apply it to all four feetsies and you would approach the spectacle on which I feasted in horrified amusement.
It started with one paw, as previously mentioned. Sad little tripod. Poor, poor beagle-ish. When I told him he still needed to pee it progressed to a handstand up against my leg, while I frantically tried to extricate myself from what I felt was surely an onslaught of pee soon tobe direct injected into my snow boots.
This caused him to fall over. I am not proud.
Karmann, in the meantime, was still frantically tugging toward the house while crying, causing me to trip over Cal, who was sort of . . . kneeling awkwardly in the snow on his front . . . Knees?
So I got him up and told him he had to pee and he squealed and then kind of half flopped into the ivy whereupon he used his . . . Knees? . . . To sort of push his now (apparently) invertebrate body around in circles, sniffing as though he were preparing to pee while in wormlike motion, on his side. This lasted for many pathetic, hilarious seconds as I vacillated between maniacal laughter and legitimate concern that he was dying or having a seizure or a stroke or attempting a flailing suicide-by-frostbite. The word “apoplectic?” It reached its zenith this morning in the hapless thrashing of my Very Sad Puppy.
And then finally! At the last possible second before certain death/pee all over his adorable polar fleece coat, he mustered the salvo to prop himself up on three crouched legs, barely holding his belly off the ground as he forlornly held up a lame foreleg, and peed with some modicum of dignity greater than he would have had in the side-pee scenario.
And then I took my whimpering fluffy pup and my alternating tripod hound inside where they spent half an eternity shaking off and zooming around, suffused with the warmth of life nearly too-soon ended in the backyard of DOOMTEMPCALYPSE!!! (TM) 2014.
So close, puppies! So close!
And then they had chicken soup for breakfast because yesterday I made my critters chicken soup. Shut up. It’s cold out there.