I read this text while casually looking over Caryn’s shoulder today:
C: Tashi is officially a recognized family member – he’s receiving mail along w us! Poor Dahlia got left out though…..Maybe I need to start a Dahlia blog…
M: what a great idea – a Dahlia blog!!
C: Noooooo! I was just kidding. She’ll have to be satisfied with cameos on Tashi’s blog! I don’t have time. I can’t believe how quickly a day goes by. (The pandemic will be history in a snap at this rate)….besides, it’s hard enough to translate dog
M: The time sure does fly by, amazingly in these times. Yeah, I didn’t think about the translator aspect 😄
C: yes, that’s hard work, translating dog. Of course, sometimes it’s easy…like “can we eat now?” :
Phew. For a minute I thought Dahlia was going to score big time. Her own blog too? She already gets to oversee the baking…
and when she gets into my chair there’s definitely no room for me
At least I’ve got a blog. I think that makes us even. And I get to go on adventures, which Dahlia could care less about. She just spends her day watching the bird feeders from the comfort of home.
Speaking of adventures, the past few days have been brilliant. Brilliantly white that is. That cold, wet, white stuff was on the ground again. Sometimes we wake up and the white stuff’s on the ground.
Caryn had some big theories about why dogs love the snow (as they call it) so much. Her idea: some magical property in the snow helps dogs understand aromas better, and gives us more information about what we’re smelling. (As if we need help with that. Hah!) Caryn decided to research it – there must be some reason for dog excitement about snow. It turns out she’s not the only one to ask this question. There’s gobs of opinions online about that.
In general, the consensus is that dogs love snow because….
IT’S FUN!! IT’S NEW!! IT’S DIFFERENT!!!
According to several dog specialists, dogs love snow because:
“… it’s new and different (predators love change, prey animals hate it), and it turns the world into one big play room for animals that love to play.” (Patricia McConnell)
“…dogs might be more like us than we’d expect: there is a pleasure in a changed landscape, a topography re-shaped by fallen snow.” (Alexandra Horowitz)
“…Snow changes everything: what a dog sees, smells, hears and feels as it runs/swims through the snow. Knee-deep snow is up to a dog’s chin.” (Stephen Zawistowski)
“Seasoned sled dogs rarely show the enthusiasm for fresh snow typical of novice players. This suggests that the value of novelty is critical. Just as they do for the dog visiting the beach for the first time, the joys of opportunity and exploration abound for the virgin snow dog. Fresh odors to sniff, novel tactile experiences to enjoy, unusual outlines to mask familiar objects and even the prospect of hiding within the very fabric on one’s surroundings. What’s not to love?” (Paul McGreevy)
I know. Big fancy information you didn’t know before. I could’ve told you all that. But these are famous animal and dog specialists, so they have to verify this stuff so you know I’m not just telling you some story. And here’s the cool thing: all these people have written books about dogs! Their names link to books they’ve written about yours truly. If you want to know more about your pet, these are fun reading.
To Caryn’s credit, she was also right about the smell thing….
According to Shelly Volsche, cold, wet air is heavy and settles close to the ground. The scent molecules in it are closer together in this kind of air, making it easier for dogs to detect and track scents.
Because of the snow, Caryn can see some of the things I can smell….
Of course, there are also dogs who hate snow. If you have a dog that is less than thrilled with snow, you can find out why that might be in this Scientific American article: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/dog-spies/why-some-dogs-hate-snow/
Maybe the best part of my snowy week was meeting up with Sitka, a gorgeous hunk of a dog and maybe the (canine) love of my life
Isn’t she beautiful? She’s even bigger than I am, and doesn’t hold back when it comes to playing
She loves the snow too. In fact she told me she can pull her humans around on a sled in the snow. She’s one tough cookie!
Well, it’s time to close up shop here, until next week. Take care, be well, and I’ll gather more stories for next time.