So, here is a list of things needed to walk a dog in -15 degree weather here (most of which I purchased after arriving here):
4 dog booties, plus extras in case of loss.
1 flashy light for the dog, one for yourself *minimum*, in case you miss the 3 hour window of light and live near the 24 hour McDonalds like I do.
1 wool hat (for myself, not the dog)
1 pair of wool socks, plus two other sock layers
1 pair subzero-rated Sorel boots.
1 pair of spiky’s, the studs for your boots that the U gave me for *free*!
1 pair of double fleece mittens, (locally made) plus merino wool glove liners to keep your hands useable while you are stopping several times to retrieve and put back on the dog booties.
1 puffy snow jacket with hood, which needs to be put down while walking on the icy sidewalk with the spikys and crossing the McDonald’s entrance, which is always busy. This is why you need the separate wool hat – the hood obscures your traffic vision, which is a bad idea when you live on Geist Rd. Try staying out longer than 15 minutes *without* your head covered. Go on – I double dog dare ya. 😛
1 pair Carhartt flannel lined canvas pants. I’m not kidding here – I’ve walked the dog in these, and I’ve walked her in other kinds of jeans with no wool undies, and *with* wool undies, and these are my favorites. I wonder if they have the *women’s fit* with flannel lining? *That* would ROCK! 🙂 PLUS the wool undies. Mmmmmmm….
Even after all these preparations, here are the facts:
Number of times Snickers kicked off her booties and mom had to stop and take off her mittens and put one or more bootie back on: 3.
Number of times she *didn’t* stop to put the bootie back on, and just stuck it in her pocket: 2.
Number of times Snickers started limping 5 minutes after that: 2.
Number of minutes actually spent in sustained walking: probably 30, if lucky.
I’m thinking there’s something here I’m not getting. It can’t be that hard for everyone else. Mushers would never get the race *completed* if they had to stop as many times as I did; and they have 8 to 12 dogs! I’ve heard it takes an hour sometimes to bootie that many dogs and get them ready to go. No wonder!
Ah well, it’s all in figuring out what works for you here. What would work for *me* is an affordable dog bootie that stays on! OR tougher dog foot pads. Pictures coming. (When I went to take a picture of Snickers in her booties, I found the camera in my car – frozen.) Woops.