This site is no longer being updated. Read more on pet behavior and wellness at The Wildest.

Greetings While Skiing

Dogs make our outing more fun
By Karen B. London PhD, December 2010, Updated June 2021

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?

 

Photo courtesy the author

Karen B. London, Ph.D. is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Professional Dog Trainer who specializes in working with dogs with serious behavioral issues, including aggression. Karen writes the animal column for the Arizona Daily Sun and is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University. She is the author of six books about canine training and behavior, including her most recent, Treat Everyone Like a Dog: How a Dog Trainer’s World View Can Improve Your Life