Dogs in Rain

Winter is coming early to our Washington island, and everybody’s grumbling.  As clouds gather and rains dampen the woods, the world seems to quiet, birds fly south, and conversations on the ferry become serious and muffled.

Especially affected by the weather change are my beloved dogs:  Logan, a German shepherd, and Phoebe, a beagle.  On our newly cold mornings, the dogs lounge around on their beds later and with more conviction than they do in the summer, and they seem to want to eat more and store up fat for winter.  They also resist going out into the rain.  When I call them to the door, you’d think I was trying to coax them to their execution.  I become the vicious ogre whom they wish they could ignore.

Logan straightens up to his most regal height and gives me an imperious look.  If you force me out into that inclement weather, you are insensitive and vile, his noble bearing says.  The least you could do is provide a valet with an umbrella.

Phoebe scrunches down as if she is trying to disappear.  She digs her nails into the limestone pavers on the porch, and her sad brown eyes implore, Oh, please.  I don’t want to get wet.  Can’t you put out some other beagle besides me?

“You’re the only beagle we’ve got,” I say.

Jeeez. Phoebe’s tail droops, and her demeanor darkens.

I, the brute, push her little rump and force her out into the rain.  As she blinks against the drops, her forehead furrows into troubled lines.  Raising her paws extra high, she steps onto the soggy grass as if it were hot coals.  On her return to the back door, she walks next to the house so the overhanging eaves will keep rain from falling on her.

The dogs begrudgingly endure my bath towel drying their paws, and they pout for about four seconds.  But then they nuzzle me and press against my legs to show their love again.  You’d think I’d never forced them out into the dreaded cold and rain.  If only we humans could be so forgiving.

4 Responses to “Dogs in Rain”

  1. 1 Mike December 6, 2010 at 9:57 PM

    Our little terrier mix, Higgins, does not love the rain. Rather than drag him along, we’ve developed a routine. I carry him across the street and put him in a wood chip covered flower bed of an office building that is protected from the wind driven rain. He sniffs, does his business in the dry place, then walks happily back home, ready to be toweled off on our front porch. Have I told you that Ben has him trained to stop at curbs? He looks up at us, and waits to be told “okay” – our signal for him to cross the street when traffic allows. He jets across, and bounces up and down on the other side while he waits for us to catch up with him.

  2. 2 Lisa Di Nicola` December 6, 2010 at 4:52 PM

    So funny! My Admiral a Blue Tick Beagle LOVES any water.Rain, ponds, bathtubs, he even sleeps in the communal water bowl at this daycare center.. Never met or had a hound that liked water of any kind.

    Must be the name!

  3. 4 Elsa Watson October 20, 2010 at 11:10 AM

    Kristin, this is so great — I can just HEAR Logie and Phoebe saying those things!

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