During William's first year in Hudson, I decided, as winter approached, that he needed boots to protect his paws from the salt and deicer strewn on the streets and sidewalks. So I bought some from a dog fancier's mail-order catalog. They were black--the color chosen on purpose so they would not be conspicuous on a black dog.
The first time it snowed, I set out to put William's boots on for our morning walk--a task that turned out to be far more difficult than I imagined. By the time I got to the fourth boot, the first two were already off. After several frustrating revolutions, I finally managed to work fast enough and efficiently enough to get all four boots on before William got a single one off, and we were out the door.
But alas, at the bottom of the stoop, William cowered on the sidewalk, trying to hide all four paws at the same time. With stubborn humiliation, he refused to move. He looked at me pleadingly, as I probably looked at my mother when in elementary school I didn't want to wear my boots to school, but unlike her I relented. The boots came off, and we went on our way.
I may have tried putting the boots on again, but I never succeeded in getting William to wear them on a walk. Two years later, in the fall of 2001, we donated William's boots to the search and rescue dogs working in the rubble of the World Trade Center.