Thursday, July 16, 2009

What is "too hot" for a walk?

Dogs need to go on walks, right? I hear that from pretty much every dog trainer I interact with. Everyone agrees: dogs need to walk. They need it for exercise, socialization, and training purposes.

So up until this ungodly summer, I was walking Star regularly. And it was going pretty well. Star walks great on a leash, and I've found her to be very reliable in worst-case scenarios (off-leash dogs charging us) as long as I keep my cool, say "leave it," and keep walking.

But now it's in the 100s every day. We have no sidewalks; you either walk on the asphalt or the grass. At these temperatures, asphalt is not an option for dog paws, and the grass isn't really grass, it's sticker burrs, fire ant mounds, broken glass, and automobile fluids.

I've been walking with Star at 10 PM for the last few nights, when the temperature drops into the 90s... but the asphalt still feels hot beneath my feet, and it's so dark that I can't see the broken glass, ant mounds, and all the rest. It's also too dark to see loose dogs and suspicious people; thank goodness the dog we ran into last night was a bit lost and frightened, but not really aggressive (Star and I helped it find its home after I made sure it was friendly). And because we're not walking on a sidewalk, it's not much distance between us and passing cars.

Walking in the morning might be a better option, because it's only in the 80s and the pavement is cooler. But I'm not a morning person...

And then there's Star. She's got no stamina at all. She's good on a walk for about five minutes, then she's just HOT. I swear she acts just like a two-year-old child, dragging her feet and mentally willing me to pick her up and carry her.

My final option is to build an enormous mirror and reflect all the heat back toward the sun, a la Futurama.


Martine said...

geez 100 degrees that's no fun!

cre8vekaos said...

Sometimes you just have to let them bake in the sun and wait for it to cool down. Here in Richmond, Hot and HUMID. Quizz gets all tired, draggy and pants like I ran him in a marathon. So we walk double in the morning.

The funny thing is that he loves to bake in the sun. All he need is a pop-up thermomter to tell me when he's done. On really sunny days I can only let him have 10 maybe 15 minute of sun worshiping before I bring him in. Otherwise I have a hotdog.


Princess said...

I'm trying to get better about going in the mornings, but it's very unsuccessful. I have the opposite with P though, she won't really tell me when she's HOT, yes she'll slow down, but nothing like what it sounds like Star does. P pushes herself and I have to make sure I can see the changes in her.

Janet, Gus, & Gracie said...

We have all but given up walking. Gracie doesn't function well in temps over 80 degrees. We were walking early in the mornings, but here lately it has been approaching 80 even then. But still we keep busy doing other things - frequently involving water (and squash)!

Woodrow, Sweetie, MJ Campanella said...

i walk my kids as long as they want to walk -but bullies arent hot weather dogs - now i know the sibe crew will say something about them almost being furless compared to those fluffy tails - but bullies just dont tolerate heat well, and can become very sick very quick.

So some days we just hang out in the yard - or play in the house - Star will tell you if she needs more exercise.

Woodrow Sweetie & MJ

daisydog said...

I would not be too concerned. Its hot for you its hot for her. I think they need the walks if they want them sounds like she is happy to stay inside these day s :), but the reinforcement of the commands can be done inside all the time. Just as long as she is listenieng to you. I have been missing my walks with Daisy since she is has been so limited in her activity. Hopefully after her surgery and recovery we can get back to our old routine.

Dennis the Vizsla said...

A giant mirror to reflect the sun? Can we do that?

happypitbull said...

@Dennis (James): We could do that... but per Futurama, the giant space mirror might get hit with a tiny space rock, thus turning the mirror and causing it to redirect the sun's rays onto the earth's surface. This would result in an ant-under-a-magnifying-glass type of effect and we would all go up in flames. I think scientists have not yet figured out how to get around the space rock problem, but other than that, I'm sure the plan is solid.

Raising Addie said...

I know right!! Stupid Texas heat. At least this weekend was a little better.

Our girls don't care for the heat either. Especially Lucie. The second the sun hits her once she is in the yard she runs for the door!

I have been running the girls in our yard as much as I can instead of so many walks.

Have you tried that indoor dog park that is in Dallas? It's too far for us to drive for it to be worth it for us.