Some readers have mentioned that they haven't seen William and me out walking lately, so I decided to explain why we've departed from our usual routine. William is fine, but he's soon to celebrate his 13th birthday, and his circulation must not be what it used to be because his paws get very cold in the ice and snow. It breaks my heart to see him first limping, then trying to lift all four paws off the ground simultaneously, and finally lying down in an effort to get his paws out of the cold, so, since I can't scoop up a 75-pound dog and carry him home in my arms, we take shorter walks and more walks, never straying too far from the warmth and shelter of our house.
For the first winter we were together--1999-2000--I bought booties to protect William's feet from ice and salt, but he refused to wear them. After several attempts to put them on, and finding he'd tugged the first two booties off before I'd gotten the fourth one on, I gave up. In 2001, we donated the booties to the rescue dogs working in the rubble of the World Trade Center, who needed them to protect their feet from scrapes and cuts. Maybe it's time we tried booties again.