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Karen B. London
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Greetings While Skiing
Dogs make our outing more fun
My husband stops skiing to greet a cheerful Ruby.

A few days ago, we received the first really good snowfall of the season in Flagstaff, Ariz., and for my family, that means skiing. Since the downhill slopes are not yet open, we headed out on cross-country skis to enjoy the morning. Before the plows come, it’s good skiing in our neighborhood, starting right at our front door.

 
As we skied, we saw other hearty souls who love the snow and wanted to play in it. That means that fellow outdoorsy people smiled and shouted out greetings, and that many dogs came over to say hello. Our friends Denali, Ruby, Aspen, Annie, and many more ran up to us, pouncing in the snow and wagging their tails. There’s a certain sort of enthusiasm that only dogs can express about snow, especially early on in the season when there’s the excitement of its novelty.
 
I so enjoyed the friendliness of the neighborhood canines, perhaps because they convey, far better than any of the people, their feelings of joy about the snow that was making all of us so happy. In fact, it made me think that one of the best ways to explain dogs to an alien would be to say that they are “happiness multipliers.”
 
How do dogs add to your winter delight?

 

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Karen B. London, PhD, is a Bark columnist and a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of serious behavior problems in the domestic dog.

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Submitted by anonymous | December 2 2010 |

I live in Seattle. It doesn't snow here much. But when it does, like it did over Thanksgiving, everything shuts down. And for a few days its like the rules about off-leash dogs on the street are suspended. Humans and dogs are out romping and playing together. No one is bothered or hassled. It's like a glorious cone of snow-induced tolerance. I wish it happened every day.

Submitted by lydia | December 3 2010 |

We live in a little village in the french alps and in the past week we have had so much snow that most of us, humans, are already ready for spring. The snow is almost a meter high where we live at the moment but my pom and my shih tzu still pounce around in the fields oh so happy to play in the white powder. So when I dream of dryer weather I look at my playful dogs and agree that snow isn't so bad after all.

Submitted by Anonymous | December 3 2010 |

Watching my black lab play in the snow last year was hilarious! He would bury his head then eat the snow. Better than TV any day!

Submitted by J.C. | December 3 2010 |

We live in Prague, CR and have a foot of snow on the ground.
Sam loves sticking his head in snow banks and running up and down the sleding hill with the neighborhood kids. Snow turns him into a clown - as if a Golden Retiever needs any help in this department!

Submitted by KCR | December 5 2010 |

We live in Canada, and we live for snow! As soon as the weather turns, out come the skis, and we skijor. Getting out every two days, my dogs and I are in top shape all winter long, and the bond is even stronger by all the time spent together.

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