Pot Roast hates cold. He also hates rain. And because he is an intensely muscled dog, he overheats at the drop of a hat and needs constant monitoring in the summer. And while there are lots of dogs that don’t agree with chilly weather, we seem to have acquired quite the diva in the pooch department.

“He’s a moderate climate dog,” I say to people when they see me heaving him up the street in 23-degree weather. “But he looks so tired!” They call out. Usually, we’ve been walking for all of five minutes.

“He’s a moderate climate dog,” I reiterate when he drags miserably through the snow.

In Pot Roast’s ideal universe, we exist in a permanent state of 15-20 degrees. No more, no less. If it’s hotter than that, he’s keen to lounge in the sun but refuses to move. In the winter, he acts like falling rain is akin to falling acid, and snow—he’d sooner see it dissipate like a mirage than admit that he has to sully his white feet in the slush.

So what do you do with a dog that has two weeks a year of enjoyable Canadian weather? For us, we’ve chosen to buy him boots, a cooling necktie, a raincoat, a winter coat, and I’ve even taken to making my own palm balm to protect his feet from the ice and salt on the roads. While these steps don’t make him any keener to go out for walks on gloomy days, they do actually keep him moving when his delicate sensibilities call to the comfort of the couch instead.

Some people see us on the streets and laugh that such a tough-looking guy could ever need all the getups that we put him in. But we look at it like this—we’d rather be safe than sorry. And Roast is always interested to get out and about, so if he isn’t, there’s usually a reason (cold feet, cold body, dehydration…the list goes on!). Our dogs can’t talk to us, so all we can do is try to listen to their body language.

So the next time I try to drag Roast through the rain, I’ll try to keep in mind that he likes being cold and wet about as much as I do. So maybe that’s a day we stay inside and drink a cup of tea (or chew a bone!), snuggled in a blanket like the little furry family that we are.

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