Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Cold

Every winter, whether we like it or not, the cold does come. We people have done clever things like invent clothing and build houses to deal with it, in addition to having harnessed the power of Fire in the first place.

Dogs? They have fur. Most dogs, in fact, have lots of fur, in multiple layers. The Doberman, sleek breed that it is, does not have an undercoat. Elka's fur in particular reminds me of eyelashes, and when I find one of her hairs on me, or when she's not around, I wonder if it is, in fact, an eyelash or not.

So, thin glossy hair plus winter? Cold Doberman. A lot of the time, this also means sleeping Doberman.

I'm not one of those people who dresses her dog up. Sure, there are a couple of pictures where Elka is wearing "fun" things, 3 to be exact: Sunglasses, birthday hat, and Santa hat. In each of these instances, I assure you, heavy bribery was involved. And the exhortations "leave it", "stop", and "stay still". But, when Elka is cold, we can't exactly wrap her in a blanket and expect her to stay there indefinitely. Well, mostly. The sleep of the Doberman is deep and innocent.

Ultimately, though, we decided on a hoodie. It would be functional, more or less lightweight, but still warm. Also, it wouldn't look freaking ridiculous.

Putting a dog into a hoodie is an interesting task. First, I gather it up onto itself, as though I'm preparing to put on stockings. Then, I typically have Elka sit, and ask for a paw. It goes in the first "arm" hole. Second paw, same deal. Then I pull it up over her head, and she shakes the hood off, which is typically too small anyway. She's an interesting size; the Extra Large is too tight across the chest, and the 2X Large hangs off of her like a muu muu, other than in the chest, which fits correctly.

Overall, though, Elka is happy in her hoodie, and is excited when I, say, ask "Do you want your hoodie?" Having her stand on the bed to put it on makes it pretty easy, and it's frequently upstairs in our bedroom, as I remove the hoodie for bedtime. I don't want her to overheat, as she does get under the blankets. Better than a hot water bottle, our Elka!

Despite all this, she loves the snow. Loves it. Frolics in it with tremendous bounds, like an antelope. If we play Frisbee in the snow (it's easier to find than tennis balls, as I quickly learned, she'll bound over to it, land with her front paws on it, and skid it under more snow so that she has to dig her head in to get it out. As a grumpy grownup who now has to do things like shovel and drive in snow, I find it a lot less enchanting than I did when I was little, when all snow meant was different play and possibly days off from school, but Elka helps me appreciate it again. 


  1. My pups used to live in AK but this Vegas winter is now too cold for them geez

    Stop on by for a visit

  2. We have the same issue with the Greyhounds. They have very thin coats and no body fat, so a coat is a necessity. You should check out Voyagers K9 Apparel. They make breed specific things for dogs, and I know Dobermans are on the list. You won't have to stick legs in leg holes, it just wraps around with velcro. I have been a very satisfied and happy customer with them.

    Elka could wear anything and make it look good! ;)

  3. I think I like the cold, but I'm not sure. Last year when it was cold, I was still a little puppy, and I just really liked being outside and running around. I'll have to see when it gets colder in January... then I may prefer to stay inside too! ;)

    Sorry I haven't been around!! Hope you are enjoying the holidays, and I hope you have a very happy New Year! :)

    Woofs & hugs, <3

    ~Bailey (Yep, I'm a girl!)

  4. Hi Jen,
    thanks for your comment about my special Christmas Eve.
    I am laughing about your "cold". Here it is 36deg and we are all trying to keep cool. Middi with his black coat suffers awfully with the heat, I have bought him a hydration coat which is like magic, he is cool all day in it. He always looks rediculous in his coats, with his long legs and skinny body nothing fits.
    Happy New Year to you all.
    Anne and Midnight.

  5. There's a beautiful Doberman who comes to the dog park. She deals with the cold by running like a wild thing until she's feeling warm again. I don't know if she has a hoodie, like Elka, at home.

  6. Would you believe that last year my min pin refused to wear his sweater outside? He did develop an incredible pelt though. I couldn't believe how he went sprinting away each time I tried to put it on him. I held him down one day anyhow and it was like dealing with an octopus.

  7. @Kari I've been hearing some things about your Vegas winter...though my winter has been pretty easy as well until this week!

    @Anne You're welcome! I love the summer, I don't know how I ended up in the frozen north ;)

    @Pamela Outside, Elka is typically fine sans hoodie, by using the method that you describe. It must be breed memory!

    @Livingwiththeseasons that's pretty funny! They do get squirmy when they don't want to deal with us, don't they?