Dog tails of winter
Muse #373 - it's a brutally cold January
The last two weeks have brought brutally cold winter weather that is not letting up and relentlessly holding on. The nighttime and daytime temperatures have hovered in the -19 to -10 degrees centigrade range with the windchill making it feel like -30 degrees centrigrade.
A week ago, my dog Kobe and I went out for our customary evening walk in -15 degree centigrade plus windchill weather. My dog enjoyed the walk-in in spite of the cold and we ended up being there for around 15-20 minutes. When we came back home, my dog started curling up near the fireplace and wouldn’t move. Later on, when he walked around his tail was down. And after observing we found that he was unable to raise his tail. His muscles were affected by what is called a limber-tail syndrome.
We had never realized that this would happen. Our dog often has two layers of jackets over him while he walks, but his legs, face, and tail are still exposed. Thankfully, a couple of days of rest led to recovery and we have reduced the exposure to shorter stints outside. In fact, this morning his walk ended in all of two minutes, as initially his back paws and later his front paws got extremely cold in the snow and he could no longer walk and needed to be carried back home (an advantage in a 15-pound dog over larger dogs).
The cold is doing its bit of damage and more to humans as well. Recent heartbreaking news of an Indian family of four trying to cross over to the US illegally from Canada in Manitoba leading them to get lost in the snow in -35 degree centigrade weather and all members including a small child perishing due to the conditions was indeed disheartening. One does not mess with winter and it needs to be given the due respect that mother nature deserves. We engage with the environment within the constraints of who we are. And we like our animals are infinitely fallible.
Infant among four bodies found near US-Canada border — https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-60062835