As a person who hates mosquitoes, I crave winters cold enough to kill most overwintering bugs. As gardener and person who loves snow sports, I deplore Chicago’s more-than-10-month snow drought. But as foster mother to 3 two-month-old beagle mix puppies for Chicagoland Dog Rescue, this week’s balmy weather couldn’t be better timed.
After all, Sir Percival weighs a mere 7.5 pounds and the two smaller pups tip the scale at only about 4.5 pounds each. This doesn’t give them enough mass, nor their puppy fur enough insulation, to keep them from chilling down ridiculously fast if they go out in cold weather. But at 8 weeks old, they’re old enough to be introduced to the concept of widdling and pooping outside. For puppy outings, 40s and sunny offers just about perfect weather.
Mind you, the logistics of moving mama Pearl and her very active puppies from Puppy World (our kitchen, barricaded off from the rest of the house) down the hall and out the front entry takes some planning—and a bit of finesse. I’ve learned, for instance, that putting our shiba, Seiki, out on her tether in the yard first keeps her from interfering in the fascinating-to-her process. And having all three puppies on separate leashes is a recipe for disaster unless more than one person participates in the process.
The puppies don’t always (ever?) want to move the same direction, and don’t always understand that outside can be fun, but they’ve been very good about actually doing at least a pee every time I’ve taken them out. This doesn’t mean no more little surprises on the kitchen floor, but mostly because I’ve not watched consistently enough to take them out every time they wake from a nap. But the warmer weather means I don’t need to limit the time they can run around in the yard when I do take them out.
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