A New Year…but the Same Old Rules


Dear Sam:

Happy New Year buddy. 2016 looks to hold even more promise than ever. For starters, you know I’ll be staying at home now, right? How cool will that be? You will no longer be a latch key fur-kid. You, me and dad will get to hang out and have such great adventures every day. While much of the country is experiencing uncommonly warmer temps, I thought it might be prudent to go over and reiterate the same old winter rules we’ve had since…forever about leash walking in Colorado.

  1. I know the cold temps make you extra frisky but please understand I don’t necessarily feel that exact same friskiness, especially when it’s still dark out on winter morning and night walks (though truth be told, with the lack of a work schedule in the very near future, I will no doubt adjust the time when we get started. Fingers crossed that I can be trained to not wake up before 5:00 AM in retirement.
  2. You may have 4 legs to help keep you reasonably balanced on icy sidewalks but alas I have only 2 and don’t possess quite the same navigational prowess that you possess. Please. walk. slowly.
  3. Zero to 60 in a nanosecond, especially at 5:30 AM make for a real challenge for this upright to stay…namely upright. See above rule about the number of legs necessary to reinforce that steady but slow pace. Not to mention icy sidewalks are dangerous for mommy, quick starts will also make her crabbish. And trust me when I say I don’t fancy looking like a new-born colt with legs splayed out in multiple directions, or worse, landing bottom side up. The fall down…go boom factor is definitely unwelcome.
  4. Please don’t suddenly stop behind me while we are moving at a steady pace making me have to yank on your leash and pull my shoulder out of its socket. My joints and bones are cold and stiff in winter weather (ha…who am I kidding…they are cold and stiff all the time!) and again sudden movements get mommy’s balance out of torque.
  5. Jack-rabbit loping is strictly forbidden. May I remind you that you are not competing in the Iditarod? You shouldn’t need to feel like mushing at break-neck speeds. Just saying.
  6. Finding the darkest, most inaccessible spot to take a dump is frowned upon, i.e. the deepest spot of snow that you can find. You should know by now that I hate fishing out little brown nuggets from deep snow. The little flashlight on your collar only allows others to see you, but not enough light for me to see your ‘presents.’ Carrying a hand torch is difficult since my fingers don’t seem to be able to hold on to anything while wearing thick winter gloves.
  7. When trying to see said poop to pick up, please don’t scamper around behind me and wrap your leash around my legs. This feeble attempt to ‘get out of the way’ falls flat on its face as will I once we resume our meanderings.
  8. Most mornings the temperatures are in the low-teens or single digits and we’re out for a walk…walk being the operative word. It isn’t known as “hey, we’re going for a sniff.” A moving pace assures a healthy walk for both of us. When you dally, it makes me crazy. Please remember… we’re out walking not sniffing or reading pee-mail and we’ll be golden and toasty warm without any aggravating delays.
  9. It is not necessary for you to develop Popeye-strength neck muscles each winter. See Rules 2 and 4 above for review and know that pulling makes mommy crabbish and we don’t want a crabbish mommy, now do we?
  10. Finally, it would be most appreciated if those early morning pee outings don’t go 3/4’s of the way down the alley. Remember, I’m not really dressed for the extreme cold temps when I let you out first thing in the morning or in the middle of the night and get totally irritated fret when you take off on one of your “I have to find the absolute perfect spot 87 blocks away to leave pee-mail.”

So here’s wishing my sweet, goofy fur-kid all the best 2016 can offer. Oh, and feel free to resume writing posts whenever your little pea brain desires-I think I’d like to sleep in later in retirement now. 😉
Love ya loads,

Live, Love, Bark! <3

26 thoughts on “A New Year…but the Same Old Rules

  1. Was a tad puzzled until realized that British/Australians (I’m Scottish – but we’ll let that pass) tend to use the word lead ( pronounced leed) which is what we attach to a dog’s harness and which allows the dog to take us where it wants us to go. Others tend to use the word Leash Now, I also realise that you probably know this :o) but I just thought I would mention it to have everything “Ship Shape and Bristol Fashion” :o)

    1. That expression (Edgar-shipshape and Bristol Fashion) made me smile so thanks for that. Stateside, people do say leash (i.e. leash laws, etc.).While I normally determine the route, Sam seems to think he can control the speed and focus on our walks. I think we each let the other one think whatever they want to keep everyone happy. BOL P.S. Have a wee bit of Scottish blood on my dad’s side for the record-no need to let that pass. 😉
      Happy New Year!

  2. What a fantastic letter, Monika! I loved it’s humour and more serious requests. I could possibly write one for each of our dogs. I don’t think you’ve read this post https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2015/12/31/sydney-fireworks-a-prelude-to-midnight/
    It shares our prelude to midnight on NYE. Lady freaked out with the local fireworks and was a real mess. Could have used you and Sam.
    Speaking of Lady, she could do with a bit of a talking to.I couldn’t find her last night and found her on the wrong side of the front door. Somehow she’d got out. She can move with quite a lot of stealth and being mostly black, can slip passed. Otherwise, there’s a hole somewhere and getting down low on four legs, especially as the kids are both away, doesn’t appeal.
    For me, reading about your walks in the snow sounds exciting but that’s the novelty.
    Does Sam play in the snow? Another blogger mentioned her German Shepherd loves playing in the snow. It’s hard for me to picture being so cold but then again we humans love snowball fights etc or at least the kids do.
    Congratulations on your retirement. Does this mean you and Sam won’t be doing the pet therapy thing anymore or was that something you did as well? Or, has Sam been retired?
    Anyway, Happy New Year to you all!
    Love and best wishes,
    PS Bilbo just returned back inside from being out in the rain so I’d definitely put ?No standing in the rain” in my letter to him.I am about to lock the door on him!!

    1. Sam enjoys the snow till he gets cold, then he’s all about “let’s get in the house ASAP.” I don’t mind as long as my hands and feet aren’t cold-then it’s pretty miserable. Some mornings, when it’s really, really cold but the sun is up, the light is blue. Very bizarre and strange and is a constant reminder of being chilled to the bone.

      As for fireworks, we had a some here as well though for the most part, they don’t seem to trouble Sam too much. Personally I hate them for what they do to poor dogs and cats. My last male sheepdog, a 100 lb. nut case who suffered from PTSD use to freaked out so badly from fireworks he would get himself wedged in between the bed and the wall. I was always afraid he’d bite me in his wigged out state when i’d ry to de-wedge him because he clearly was off the rails. Poor thing, totally freaked out with fireworks and thunder storms. it was a wonder that poor dog didn’t stroke out.

      Sam and i will go back to the pet therapy soon-when my mom suffered her gastric aneurysm, he was working 15-18 hours a day with her, the family, the staff, and anyone he came into contact with. After several days, it started to get to him so I asked for a leave of absence so he wouldn’t be broken. We were at the hospital a few weeks ago to check out his reaction and I think he’s all good now. I know he loved arriving in the lot and was happy to visit some of the hospital staff he knows.

      I’d love to read your open letters to the dogs-bet they’d be a hoot. They all have their own special ‘thing’ to push our buttons, don’t they? 🙂 Be well and keep smiling. <3

  3. hmph. So it’s a general poodle thing. #4,6,7 are very relate-able. I think he moves on so fast from poop because he carefully chose that spot, usually as close to a front door as possible, because he wants it left there. All that work for nothing…

  4. A wonderful letter, but I think that you were writing it for our Ray. Perhaps all dogs are that “playful”? The word “playful” used with considerable reservations)! 🙂

  5. Hey, buddy. I’m sure your mom is only kidding about those new rules. I have them, too, but they’re not real. Especially the one about where to poop. Of course we will go to the hilliest, slipperiest, snowiest spot with sticks sticking up and branches reaching down to poke Mom’s eyes out. That’s always the perfect spot. Aren’t mom’s funny?

    Love and licks,

  6. :o) All excellent but No.7 I can totally relate to . However, just because we don’t have snow does not mean that it does not get cold in winter – it does. At the moment we are in summer but No.7 still very much applies – and you could add “taking off at an impossible rate of knots (for me) when you spot a cat”:.

Feel free to bark your thoughts...but no growling please.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.