So here we are folks. It’s the second half of autumn in Michigan. I do like autumn, but truth be told, I find the first half more enjoyable. Halloween is over now, and this past week, we’ve had our first couple days of freezing weather and light snow. MOH is not happy about it, and neither are our dachshunds, Sunny and Midnight.
MOH quickly adapts. The furnace is cranking and his winter coat is hanging in the closet. I admit I’m excited to have seat warmers in my car this year for the first time. The dynamic duo take a little longer to adjust, still searching the living room floor for spots of sunshine to nap in, and wanting to go out on the sunny deck, only to discover it is too chilly and breezy for comfort. There are plenty of blankets on the couch or in the dog beds, but that’s a year round thing for doxies. (In case you’re not familiar with dachshunds, most like to burrow.)
Wednesday morning after breakfast, they burst out the backdoor to find a thin layer of snow and a freezing drizzle. They quickly did what they had to do and sprinted back inside. Following our usual routine, they danced around me while I finished getting dressed, in anticipation of the walk that we take each morning before I go to work. “It snowed you know,” I remind them. “It’s the same weather out front as it is out back.” Sunny raced to the door and wiggled her butt at me.
I grabbed a coat, harnessed the kids, and pushed the garage door opener. I was surprised to find the pavement was a little slippery, but my sure footed, four-footed friends surged down the driveway, so I followed.
Our morning walks aren’t long – we typically go down the sidewalk on our side of the street until the concrete ends – there are only five houses after ours. We then cross the street and walk back. The wind was kicking a bit this morning, so I decided we would cut it short. We passed two houses. “Okay, let’s go across.” Sunny knows what this means and bolted for the other side, but Midnight did not. I stood in the middle of the street with one leash stretched out in front of me and one behind me. I turned to look at the little lagger.
Midnight stared into my eyes and picked up a front foot. He put it down and picked up a back foot. “I know,” I said, giving the leash a gentle tug. “Let’s go.” He put down the back foot and lifted his other front foot. Sunny’s leash tugged in my right hand, but Midnight wasn’t budging.
I’m not unfamiliar with this doxie behavior, but it is usually reserved for January when the temperature dips into the single digits. The temperature this morning was 30 degrees and we had been outside for no more than five minutes. Still, I took pity on my aging quadruped, scooped him up and headed for home.
I had moved only about 20 feet forward when I realized I was now tugging the leash that had been tugging me. I turned around to find Sunny had stopped forward progress and was hunching herself to conserve body heat. “Are you kidding me right now?” I asked her. “Our house is right there,” I said pointing across the street. She was having none of my pep talk.
I waddled over to her, scooped her up under my other arm and scooted across the glazed road. I can only imagine the entertainment we were providing to our neighbors, watching from their cozy homes.
The next day it was chilly in the house and nobody did the let’s-go-for-a-walk dance while I finished getting dressed. Instead, I could hear Sunny and MOH having a serious discussion in the living room. Her growling, whining, yip indicated that his assistance was needed in some way, and the continuation and increase in intensity indicated he was either not understanding or not complying. Turns out it was the latter.
“No – I’m not turning on the fireplace,” MOH told her. “Nobody hates being cold more than I do. If you’re cold, burrow under a blanket.” She gave him the side eye and begrudgingly crawled into her bed.
Knowing it was only a matter of time before he gave in, I announced, “You folks are ridiculous.” I climbed into my car, turned on my seat warmer, and drove to work.