Monday, January 10, 2011

Winter Walking

It's already been a long winter in the Midwest.  Snow on the ground since around Thanksgiving, and lots of it.  Scary to think that the worst of what Jack Frost can throw at us is yet to come!  Thankfully we recently had a little break in the weather - it got warm enough to melt most of the snow.  Before winter returned and put a new white blanket down, we had a few days of sunshine.  For the first time in over a month, the Frenchies and I headed out for a walk.

Did someone say "walk"!?!?!
Don't let fact that I mentioned was "warmer" fool you - it was still well below freezing.  The sunshine felt good, but we all needed to bundle up to fend off the cold.  The Frenchies wore the nifty "1Z Coats" we got from Pawz last winter (it's a sleek coat & harness in one, check out our "Spring Break" post from 2010).  I recently got some "HotHands-2" hand warmers to try out, and this seemed like the perfect day to give them a test.

Brutus & Carmen knew that donning the coats meant going for a long-awaited walk.  They waited impatiently as I got myself organized.

A little help here, mom.  Either that or Carmen is going to have to stand on my back so we can reach the doorknob!

I tossed a hand warmer in each pocket, not without pausing for a brief inspection by Brutus.

Don't I get some?  Paws get cold too, you know!
So out we went - the Frenchies looking stylish as usual, trucking along with purpose.  I love these coats - they might look a little like scuba gear, but they are streamlined and the perfect weight for exercising dogs.  Warm enough to fend of f the chill, but not too heavy as to get them overheated or extra bulk to get in the way.  They have a substantial built-in harness as well, a pretty nifty idea I must say (especially if you have a young, wild, little girl Frenchie at the other end of one of your leashes).

Take a look at the neat ice patterns we saw on some frozen puddles!

Here's a close-up, me trying to be artsy with the iPhone's little camera.

All the snow that melted recently had left quite a bit of water around, which was now re-frozen.  We had to change our usual route because the path disappeared under a pond of solid ice!  

Unfortunately Brutus & Carmen aren't much into ice skating, so this looked like the end of the trail for today.

Better put that tongue back in before it freezes to something!
I briefly entertained the notion of sliding the Frenchies across the ice like curling stones (they have the physique for it, after all), but thought better of it and turned back the way we had come.

Despite the cold, it really was a beautiful day to be out, and goodness knows we all needed the exercise!  If you've ever wanted to know what it's like to be on the other end of the leash from two Frenchies, here's a birds-eye video from my perspective:

It's a good thing we got in the walk while we could, because the snow and bitter cold have since returned!  We stayed toasty warm, but it still felt good to get home - a cup of hot tea & a little snuggling sure felt good!  With a few months to go before there is any end in sight, we'll be lucky to sneak in a few walks here & there.  The coats and HotHands warmers will be on standby, hopefully we can sneak in some more walks before too long!   

Here are the websites for the products we mentioned in this post.  We receive lots of offers for endorsements, but only post about things we truly find useful.  There aren't any kickbacks to us from these manufactures, we're just sharing the information with you because we think they're cool!

  1Z Coat (Pawz Dog Boots, LLC):
HotHands-2 hand warmers*:
*One quick note, just as a precaution.  In case you get the chance to try the HotHands - their contents contain iron powder, something we wouldn't want our furry friends to munch on.  The Frenchies didn't seem interested in the pouches, I don't think they fabric casing wouldn't hold up long against their overly inquisitive mouths!!   According to the packaging, the pouches are environmentally safe and don't need any special kind of disposal - so just tossing them in the trash when they cool off is all you need to do.

Hope you enjoyed coming along with us on our walk.  Happy (and toasty) trails, wherever you are!!


Lucy-Fur, as typed by Dr. Liz said...

I have a case of handwarmers for skiing; I actually am not a big fan of cold weather (which would explain why, at 9am, I am catching up on bloggies and not putting my ski boots on - it's 5 degrees out, and cloudy...), and use them almost every day that I ski... Anyhoo, looks like a great walk!! Although I REALLY would have like to have seen some Frenchie curling - that would be SO COOL! (I bet they do that in Canada...) Heehee. Our girls have coats too, that block the wind - they do okay with the cold, but the wind can be a bit much for them. Happy winter walking!

-Dr. Liz (the girls are sitting on the porch in the snow... bigger fans of cold weather than me, apparently! *grin*)

Corbin said...

Wow! You're brave... I refuse to walk in the cold. Jacket or no jacket... if we walk outside past the car, I put the breaks on and drag mom back in side! I'll go in the yard and play for a bit, but none of that long walk stuff! hehe

houndstooth said...

I loved how jauntily they both trot along! I just want to pick both of them up and squeeze them.

Finding a product that really works for you and that you feel comfortable with is a great thing! They look great in those coats!

Anonymous said...

We love the 1z coat as well. In fact we're giving one away next week. Your pups looked like they enjoyed their time outside. Hope it wasn't to cold.

♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥ said...

Awww, we see Carmen and Brutus do the same body slam and criss crossing walking that we do - have to keep the Momster on her toes:) We love your coats - very stylish. We have snow here today and we are loving it.

Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

Oskar said...

Those coats looks pawsome!

I'm glad you go out of the house for a nice walk.

Nubbin wiggles,

Frankie Furter and Ernie said...

NICE walkie.. my dad uses those hand thingys when he hunts... have you seen the HOT FEET??? He loves those!!!!

Two French Bulldogs said...

Finally a nice brisk and sunny day for a walk. You guys look so elegant in your coats. We will check out the website. We never saw those coats/ harness before. Stay toasty warm
Benny & Lily

Molly the Airedale said...

You guys keep up quite the pace! We love all of your cross overs, Brutus!

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

Sam said...

Those two don't look like they're much affected by the cold at all. Bet they prefer it to heat - brachycephalic dogs like Frenchies have trouble with the heat, don't they? (At least they have an excuse not to like it - Marge just plain hates it!)

The solid ice over the path is really something. You were smart to turn around - honestly, I might have been stupid enough to try to slide on my butt across is or something like that. I did that once when the ball field across the street from me froze up... and it did not end well!

BTW, yes, that was Marge's RL2! I'm entered again in 2 weeks and now just saw that there's an outdoor trial in April - dare I try Marge in Rally on GRASS?! Hm...

Oreo said...

great walk Brutus and Carmen. It warmed up here a bit too and there is suppose to be more snow coming!!
You look good in your coats, nice and comfy!!


Remington said...

Keep warm, my friends!

Anonymous said...

That was a super terrific walkie! Thank you for taking me along. Oh, and I LUV those coats. I'm gonna have to make sure mom looks at that website.

Wiggles & Wags,