It’s January and my brave little Munchkins have ever more difficulties to contend with. The evil wet grass that afflicts our back yard in the morning has become even more evil frozen grass, crunchy with frost. When the temperature is 20 or below, their tender little feet need booties for trips outside. Dasa goes into malfunction mode as soon as we apply booties to her feet for a trip to the back yard. She sits, her entire being radiates unhappiness, her ears are nearly parallel to the floor, and she sometimes hold up a foot and shakes it in an attempt to get me to stop torturing her. Fortunately, Dasa is very goal oriented about these back yard trips and scampers in and out very quickly. Although she forgoes booties in the back yard, she will wear booties on walks, however, she only walks past a couple of houses and then I carry her.
Ivan’s trips outside are not so straightforward. He gets distracted and has to check the rosemary bush, this part of the fence, that tree. He lifts his head to sniff the air. A car goes by, a dog barks somewhere in the neighborhood, and his concentration is broken. I have to follow Ivan around, periodically reminding him why we are out there, freezing. This is why booties are crucial. If his feet get cold, he starts holding up one foot then another. He won’t let me pick him up and his feet are too cold to do anything until I spur him into a race to the house with the magic poultry word, “Chicken!” This accomplishes nothing but cold tootsies and makes his mom worry. So, booties are the way to go, although he isn’t fond of them.
Ivan’s very good about wearing his Muttluks when we’re outside, but he still isn’t thrilled about the process of wriggling his feet into the booties. There’s a certain sequence that’s necessary for success: The coat and leash must be attached and we must be absolutely ready to sweep out the door as soon as the last bootie is fastened. Amidst much praise, first the back booties are applied, then the front booties, and then out the door before he has time to register a formal protest.
Once outside, Ivan trots along beautifully, but as soon as we are back inside, the booties must be immediately removed. First the front booties, then the back booties, again with profusive praise, followed by treats. Then I can remove all other layers and recover until we need to repeat the process.