Doggy Blog

Dogwalking 101: Raining Cats and...

Note: I couldn't bring myself to complete that pun in the title. I apologize for my lack of moral fortitude in this matter.

 Josh and Bernie, in WATERcolor. Get it?!

Josh and Bernie, in WATERcolor. Get it?!

Good morning everyone! If you live in Chicago, you know that it has been a rainy week so far. If you are a dog owner, you also know how much of a hassle this is when you're out walking your pup. Some dogs Greg Louganis themselves directly into the nearest (deepest) puddle. Some dogs go for a Warrior Dash through the nearest muddy patch of grass. Some dogs revel in the chaotic precipitation and throw their heads up to the heavens uttering exultant WOOFs and beckoning the gods for more sky tears.  Some dogs—and these are the smart ones—have ZERO time for the rain and get done with their business as quickly as possible to get back inside. No matter what type of dog you have, it's always gonna be a bit of a handful when it's raining. Here are some tips that we've found help out in the spring showers:

  • Umbrella. This is an absolute necessity for the walker, but with smaller dogs it can also shield a lot of the wet from them. Larger dogs often do not fit, or do not care to fit underneath the purview of the parapluie, but it can be worth a try. Also, an umbrella is just a weird looking object and I believe dogs are mystified by its workings. Use this to your advantage.
  • Raincoat. For sure for you, for the dog if possible. If you don't have a raincoat for your pup, it's a worthwhile investment. Not only is it practical, but it makes the dog look like a people. Dog lookin' like a people is always a fun. Note: This holds even if you have an umbrella. The rain will get through. It always gets through. Always.
  • Bring a towel (or paper towels if you hate the Earth). This is used to dry off the pups back, paws, back paws, head, belly, soul, etc. However, it is also useful to towel off your boots or shoes if your canine companion has done the patented "post #2 back paw shovel mud kick" and you were unfortunate enough to be in the way. Also, if you are a spectacled dogwalker like I am, you can use the towel to dry off your glasses. I know what your'e saying: "Won't that make your glasses smudgy?" Probably yes. But I tend to give up all hope in the rain, so I don't really mind. Also good if your dog wears glasses.
  • Walk at a reasonable pace and seek trees for cover. In my middle school days I recall having many discussions about whether you would get more wet if you stood still/walked slowly in a rainstorm or if you ran as fast as you could home. The thought being that if you walked slowly, your journey would be longer and thus you would collect rainwater on your person longer, but you could more easily seek shelter. If you ran, we theorized, your journey would be shorter but you would be essentially propelling yourself into more raindrops. I have no idea if that is proven out by physics, but it seemed to make sense. I was always a runner as a child, but now that I have joined the ranks of umbrellamen, I tend towards slow deliberate walks. This bears out when you have a dog. Don't try to rush through the walk, you'll get more wet, your 'brella will turn inside out, you will hit more puddles. It's a mess. Walk slow and seek trees my friends.
  • Pop your phone in a sandwich bag. This is a good tip for anytime it's raining, but GREAT for dogwalking. You can still use a touchscreen through a sandwich bag but the rain cannot use your phone to make it a useless hunk of worthless glass and aluminium. And if you're clever you can peek your headphones out of the corner and listen to cool podcasts like I do Extra tip: only listen to music or podcasts with one headphone in so you can listen for other dogs/cars/belligerent strangers.
  • Bring a waterproof backpack. This is more of a luxury item, but a very valuable one. If you've walked with us before, you know that we leave little pastel notecards with witty aphorisms and walknotes on them. These dissolve in the rain. However, they stay dry as hot sand in my waterproof bike bag. Other things that stay dry in waterproof bags: extra sweatshirt, extra jacket, towel, lembas bread, etc.
  • An item to sacrifice to Nimbus, the pagan god of storms. This is a must-have. You should bring some sort of religious idol or artifact to sacrifice to Nimbus, the pagan god of storms, to beg of him to end the rain. This item should be completely burned to ash and then thrown into the Pool of Nimbus (any random puddle).

Well those are all the tips that we at Home Treat Home have for surviving these rainy days. Stay dry friends! All hail Nimbus!

Sean