Just when you think you know what cold is, Alaska is ready to show you otherwise. It’s been a real learning curve as we try to figure out how to give Nellie what she needs for enrichment, activity, and safety.
Alaska Dog Days Showed us What “Cold” is All About
During the last two weeks, temperatures here reached close to minus 40 Fahrenheit at the coldest, and minus 10 at the warmest part of the day.
It was a good lesson to explore our tolerance for cold as a pack. We learned what Nellie’s limits are, and how much she is or is not willing to go outside to explore or just sniff around.
Over the last few weeks we’ve discovered just how much Ruffwear gear is helpful for weather like this.
See when winter began, we made up a rule that when the temperature drops below zero, Nellie doesn’t go outside without her Ruffwear Powder Hound jacket. We thought that was plenty of warmth, and it probably was. But when it got even colder than minus 20, we made up a new rule for our own peace of mind. We put her Climate Changer sweater on underneath it.
Then on the really cold days (lower than minus 20), we discovered something else about how Nellie handles extreme cold. She holds her paws up one at a time when she tries to walk on snow. Ouch! Thank dog for Ruffwear Polar Trex boots! No, they don’t keep her from sliding on super icy terrain. But they really protect her feet, and prevent snow from piling up inside the boots.
With all of her gear, she was comfortable enough, but none of us had so much fun we wanted to stay outside very long. Not even the toughest Alaska dogs are thrilled about cold like this.
What do you do when it’s too cold outside?
So when it was too miserable to do anything like walk more than 10 minutes, we spent some time with Nellie’s paint brushes.
She made two paintings that we donated to a local auction. One sold for $50! The other one did too. Our neighbor bought it, and we still don’t know how much she paid for it!
This week temperatures got “warm” again, back up into the low 20s.
I never thought I would believe that this is “warmer” weather. It’s preactically summer in these parts! But what a relief to get outside again, and spend more than a few minutes soaking up our vitamin D. Nellie appreciates the additional sunshine as much as we do.
And now that we are back to eight-plus hours of daylight, we have even more reason to get outside and see the sights. That’s Jim and Nellie behind our cabin, checking out Denali way out in the distance.
Things could be worse, for sure. We are so grateful that our Alaska dog is having as much fun as we are on warmer days like this one. Let’s hope there’s lots more ahead before the “breakup” happens and all the snow turns to mud.