Tuesday, January 25, 2011

William in Winter

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.    


  1. Thank you, Carole. My dog Lulu turned 11 on New Year's Eve (she's a millennium baby) and I wondered why, even with her sweater on, she keeps her walks Really Short. Probably the same circulation/foot thing. She would never wear booties. At a balmy 14 degrees this morning, we managed a short walk, and we'll continue that, waiting for milder days.

  2. Surely some enterprising designer has designed dog booties that would please Lulu, who, by the virtue of her name alone, sounds like a fashion plate. I see her in cerise booties with white fur trim. Likewise, I see William, the elderly gentleman that he is, in grey pinstripes. Perhaps the indignity of the bootie (the equivalent of the arctics we used to be forced into as kids) like so many things in life, can be overcome by good design. --Ellen

  3. the snow, ice and especially salt brutal to my dog as well. have you ever tried one of the many salve products for doggy paws?
    hear it works beautifully and supposedly not harmful to fabrics/floors, etc. went to dogs of hudson as they were selling a version....unfortunately, they closed today!

  4. Ellen, you've Lulu to a T, but as I understand it, dogs don't like booties because their feet are their business and a part of their sensory system: eyes, ears, nose, and footies.