Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Springtime in Oregon = wet dog walks

Liam the pug looking pathetic wile on a wet dog walk
Liam looking pathetic at this time last year.
Springtime in Oregon means one thing: rain. From mid-February until mid-April, it's rare to see a weather forecast that doesn't include at least the minor possibility that it will rain. Gardeners like me don't mind the rain so much, as we know that all of our little plants are drinking up the moisture and preparing to be spectacular when the sunshine actually arrives. But for dogs like Liam, the rainy season is pure torture.

As a pug, Liam is very low to the ground, so he flicks water onto his belly as he walks. He hates getting wet, but he also hates being cold, so this flickup is particularly uncomfortable. Driving rain in Portland can also be problematic as it gets in his eyes and ears, which must be awful.

To express his displeasure, Liam hangs back on the leash throughout an entire rainy walk. Where he will happily walk beside, or just in front, of me during a sunny day, when it rains, he drops back to the end of the leash and he hunches his back and digs in his toes. His ultimate goal is to make me stop walking altogether.

I can't figure out why he believes this is a good strategy. If I am not walking, the entire adventure takes longer and he spends significantly more time in the rain. If I were Liam, I'd be pulling and running, trying to hurry up the slacker owner so I could get back home again. But as much as I try to explain this to Liam, he doesn't seem to get the message. Oh well.

I try to compromise by allowing him to skip the evening walks when the rain is coming down. The morning walks are a must, but in the evenings, I can throw the ball indoors to help him burn off a little energy, instead of taking him on a dragging walk. I think we'd both prefer to avoid that at all costs.