How are your dogs dealing with the ice?

Mike Lewis

If I ever complain about cold again, someone slap me. The worst conditions for a family with dogs are occurring right now -- glare ice on the roads and trails and periodic rain.

How are you managing it? Do your dogs struggle with walking on the ice? What are you doing to burn off their excess energy?

My biggest problem is with Lucy, my Chessie. She's 11 but lives for her two-a-day walks. I felt so bad for her last night that I drove her to the park instead of requiring her to walk the few hundred yards on the glare-ice roads. But even then, she took one look at the road and refused -- probably wisely -- to jump out of my SUV like she normally does. I picked her up and set her down.

Once on the park trails, she instinctively stayed off the groomed part of the trail because that was a sheet of ice. She walked along the side of the trail, in the thick punchy snow. She kept running into puddles and stepped gingerly through them, occasionally looking up at me as if to say, "Are you serious?" I cut the walk short, and she happily obliged.

The Yorkies are less of a problem. I've been taking them to Petco for walks, and it's enough to at least occupy their brains. I haven't tried Lucy at Petco yet, but I may give it a try.

Beyond that, I'm trying to play more games around the house. The Yorkies play fetch games, do tricks. Lucy gets more chew toys. All of these things get us through the day, but I'm hoping these conditions don't last for long.

How about you? Are you still trying to go for walks? Any novel places to walk them where the ice isn't as much of a problem?