I Hate Extra Warm Days in Winter

I Hate Extra Warm Days in Winter

Enjoying the first warm hike of 2014!!  He's hunting field mice!

Enjoying the first warm hike of 2014!! He’s hunting field mice!

This past Friday and Saturday, Pittsburgh was gifted with a slight respite from the deep freeze also known as our winter.   Nearly everyone in Pittsburgh rejoiced as we hit the 45 degree mark–I won’t lie, I saw at least three girls in tank tops and plenty more in t-shirts (personally I think the tank tops were a bit extreme).  While you can be absolutely sure I enjoyed the temperatures (and that strange orange orb in the sky that warmed my skin), I was also dreading this day in some respects.  Of course I wouldn’t, in any serious fashion, complain about the break from winter, BUT there are indeed some serious drawbacks to the random warm days during winter or as spring starts to emerge.  I was reminded of all of the draw backs by 11 am on the first warm day!


1. Once weather gets warm, lots of the dogs that had been brought in for winter are put back out in their yards or on their chains.  During one walk with a client, we encountered 2 chained dogs that we hadn’t seen since December–both of which freaked out on their chains barking/lunging/growling at us.

2. Dogs who haven’t seen the light of day since November are out for their first walk in months and are wild and amped up!  Walking down the street with that same client we saw 10 dogs on our walk (for reference, we rarely ever see ONE while on walks!) and most of them were wildly zigging and zagging and pulling their owners around.

3.  Those way too amped dogs (who haven’t been out in months) are also prone to reactivity.  On our walk, of the 10 dogs we encountered, 7 were barking/lunging/growling/etc at us… (see number 4 for more on this topic).

4. Handlers of newly reactive dogs (or reactive dogs in general) have been cooped up all winter and are SERIOUSLY out of practice in proper handling.  One handler we encountered had me so shocked that I froze in my tracks with my jaw nearly on the ground.  The guy was walking down the middle of the road with his WILD min-pin on a leash.  As we approached the dog got more aroused and more wild and started vocalizing–what does the handler of this 10lb dog do?  He walks his dog directly towards us and then the dog went even more ape-crap crazy…. why would you change your direction drastically to walk directly towards another dog when your dog was already going bananas?

5.  DOGS ARE EVERYWHERE–dogs are coming out of every crack and crevice!  Want to go for a nice walk at a park where you have been walking in peace all winter?  Yeah, no.  Parking lot is jammed packed and you struggle to find your own little space bubble to walk your dog with out other dogs/handlers bursting your bubble.

6. All those aforementioned, amped up, overly reactive, not-socialized-for-the-last-3-months dogs somehow end up being taken to the dog park.  Really one of the worst ideas ever to bring a group of really amped up, over aroused, frustrated, and dogs suffering from cabin fever to one fenced in area to…ummm…play?  Not surprisingly there are lots of scuffles and the occasional serious fight during these warm days.

7. MUD!  That is all.

8.  Dog poop disguised as mud.  That is all, again.

9.  All the small furry critters emerge to do their mid-winter re-arranging of food stores.  For whatever reason, those small furry critters make the stupid choice to burry their snacks in the yard with two talented hunters.  They then barely escape the jaws of Rio and Shayne who take advantage of food-crazed critters not paying attention to their environment.

10.  TICKS!!!  One day of warm weather and those nasty buggers come out in full force and try to attach to any living critter and it’s just yucky!

11. POOP SCOOPING! After 2 months of solid snow and ice, let’s just say that first scoop in “spring” is a little rough…

Contrary to the snow, here's another picture of our first warm hike of 2014!

Contrary to the snow, here’s another picture of our first warm hike of 2014!


In all seriousness, these things DO annoy me, bother me, or make me concerned about the warm up, BUT I am so excited to no longer be living in a deep freezer!  I can’t wait for spring

  1. The part of nice weather that I dislike the most is the non-dog-people returning to my lovely empty parks. I feel as though you ought to have slogged through at least two rainy/miserable/windy/cold type days for every lovely/warm/sunny day you’re allowed in the park 😛 Also mud+long winter coat. When I’m not taking advantage of warm weather in the spring, I’ll be dog-washing, vacuuming and mopping

  2. I feel your pain! I live in Texas so while our winter is nowhere near as bad as that of Pittsburgh, we still suffer the sane fate down here when we get those sunny WEEKS in winter. 🙂 Since it does tend to be warmer longer down here, the dogs that come out aren’t as amped up but we will run into one or two on occasion. Like I said, trust me, I feel your pain

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