Husband Bill (the Dogfather) and I (the Fairy Dogmother) celebrated the spring equinox yesterday in the best possible way … a walk in the driving snow with two dogs. As the Norwegians say, there’s no such thing as bad weather, only poor clothing choices. Or words to that effect.
Our dog Crystal is nearly always ready for a good long walk whatever the weather, although she’s not crazy about driving rain. But the second dog on yesterday’s expedition absolutely ADORES cold weather and snow, being a northern breed.
Yes, we “dognapped” my Norwegian elkhound godpuppy Whimsey for the afternoon. His family had other commitments all weekend, Bill and I were feeling puppy withdrawal symptoms from more than a week of no Whimsey sightings, and the puppy needed walking, so I arranged to get temporary custody of the puppy.
Our mission as assigned by Whimsey’s people-parents: to run his little legs off so he’d be ready to sleep that evening. They didn’t have the time to talk him for walks themselves that day so were thrilled that he’d get to walk with us—and (bonus!) another dog.
Walking in the snow means life is good when you’re a Norwegian elkhound!
Because Whimsey doesn’t have a DuPage County off-leash permit yet, we walked around Pratts Wayne Woods Forest Preserve with both dogs leashed rather than letting them run free in the off-leash area. Between the snow, new territory to explore and (for Whimsey) another dog to harass … um, I mean try to play with, the dogs enjoyed the outing immensely, snow and all. The Whimster has already learned that nothing tastes better than good fresh snow when you’ve been leaping around like a crazed cricket.
Actually, the trip to and from was at least as much of an adventure. I didn’t want to risk the puppy getting loose—and didn’t want him getting tangled in a leash—so I kept young mister Whimsical up front with me. He got a fairly steady stream of small treats as I encouraged him to “sit” … and not be so vocal. He wasn’t barking exactly, just talking. Somewhere between a whine and a bark, with hints of howl—but nothing offering a bit of dog biscuit couldn’t derail.
Whimsey made himself right at home when we arrived back at our house, too. He drank from Crystal’s water dish as well as his own—and even started eating from Crystal’s food, though I put it away before Crystal could notice and object. Being a good Fairy Dogmother, I also distracted Whimsey from harassing Crystal by teaching him to lie “down” (sort of), reviewing “sit” and reinforcing “stay.”
All in all, both people and dogs had a wonderful time. Well, Crystal probably would have been happy to see the puppy leave earlier, but I let her into the puppy-restricted side of the house so she could rest undisturbed and she was fine. And Whimsey’s people report that  he seemed like a very happy puppy last night and  he slept very well after all his running and playing.
Other notes from the Fairy Dogmother: I posted pictures of the new Norwegian elkhound puppy, told of the delays in getting this puppy from the breeder and gave a hint of the rising excitement involved in waiting for the puppy to arrive.