By Kim Campbell Thornton
December 23, 2010
It has been pouring here in Southern CaliforniaÂ for several days now, and I am starting to wonder if our inflatable guest bed will float. As much as I love a rainy day, or five, toweling off three dogs half a dozen or more times a day is getting old. The only good thing is that none of them hesitate about going out into the most torrential of downpours. They mosey along as if it were a sunny day at the beach. Savanna the Greyhound was the same way. Even though it means I’m standing out in it, too, I’m grateful for their attitude. So often I hear about dogs who flat-out refuse to set paw outdoors when it’s raining or there’s snow on the ground.
I have a theory about that. Those dogs have learned that there’s an option. Mine have never known any alternative. Since we don’t have a yard, they must be walked outdoors. When they go out, we have to go out with them. That, of course, is the classic training technique for teaching dogs to potty outside, but in my experience it works for weatherproofing, too. Dogs will follow where we go, even if they secretly think we’re crazy to walk out into the rain or snow.
We were meeting with a new pet sitter the other day who is going to stay with the girls for a couple of days while we visit friends in Las Vegas. With all the rain we’ve been having, she very sensibly asked how the girls were about going out in it. I assured her that it wouldn’t be a problem. She says a lot of times people tell her that their dogs won’t go out in the rain, but when she takes them, they’re perfectly willing. It’s all in your attitude, I think.
Dogs are not delicate flowers. Not even Cavaliers or other toy breeds. They won’t melt if they get wet. You won’t either.Â There’s a reason we have raincoats and umbrellas.
Now that I’ve had my little rant, I remember that not everyone works at home and can put this plan into practice. So if your dogs are weather-tough, how did they get that way? Is it their breed, your attitude, having company when they go out, some combination of those, or something completely different? Inquiring minds want to know.