Broke my heart

Broke my heart

My heart broke a little this morning.

We have quite a few inches of snow on the ground, which is beautiful. There’s just something peaceful about the grass blanketed with snow. A layer of white covering everything in sight. A certain kind of quietness takes hold as you become mesmerized by the tiny to large snowflakes falling in front of you.

This beauty, however, has been hard . . .

I’ve never experienced having a dog during the winter where there’s snow.

Lucy walking in the snow for the first time Monday, Feb. 16.

Lucy walking in the snow for the first time Monday, Feb. 16.

At first Lucy, our 13-month old puppy, loved playing in the snow before it accumulated and made a few inch layer over the grass. I have video of her running in circles picking up small pieces and tossing it in the air before eating little pieces.

One of the challenges I have found is Lucy finding somewhere to go to the bathroom. There are certain areas of the backyard where she will go, which are all off to the side of the property.

The first day we had snow she walked me over to her typical spot. When she couldn’t find the grass and leaves, she became confused and took me to another corner of the property.

As we walked, her little paws sunk into the snow, which made her balance shake a little. On our way back to the house, she found my foot prints and started using those to walk on. That’s one smart pup. Although this helped, at one point she stopped and began climbing up my leg, so I picked her up and carried her back to the house. I knew by that point, she could not handle the cold anymore.

You hear all the time that animals are affected by the cold weather too. That they too should be taken out of the elements.

I know how cold the temperatures are to me. I could only imagine how cold it is for Lucy. My feet are covered, as well as my entire body with layer upon layer. A dog has it’s fur, which I’m sure isn’t nearly as thick and warm as it needs to be to protect them from the cold.

As of this morning I have a full understanding of just how cold the elements are for my puppy.

We went outside, so she could go to the bathroom. We walked down the sidewalk around the side of the house. There’s an open space under our house that has some vegetation that hasn’t been touched by the snow. This is the only area I have found where she will go to the bathroom.

My little pokey puppy, however, had to check out the snow and sniff along the fence that runs alongside our property for a while all while sinking further into the snow turning her belly white. There is a beautiful German Shepherd that lives next door that runs along that fence. Lucy was smelling her scent.

I finally was able to talk her into walking back under the house when she finally did her business. After telling her what a good girl she was we started walking through the snow to reach the sidewalk to the front door.

As soon as I opened the door, Lucy walked inside.

This is when the tears almost took hold . . .

When I closed the door Lucy collapsed after taking a few steps. As soon as her hind legs gave out, she started whimpering and looked up at me with the saddest eyes. The whimpering went right through me . . .

I quickly scooped her up and walked into my office where the little space heater was running. I wiped off her paws with a towel and sat in front of the heater with her in my lap until she stopped shaking.

Now I know just how cold and unpleasant it is for this poor little puppy to be outdoors.

When she was comfortable, I sat down and clicked on Facebook because it was showing I had a message. As I was scrolling through the feed I saw an article about keeping animals safe during this kind of weather.

The article said that dogs and cats have good heat exchange through their feet and pads, which means it doesn’t take much time for them to get cold. Dogs, according to the article, can get frost bite too.

I sure hope that’s not what Lucy just experienced.

My heart goes out to the dogs that are left outside during this kind of weather. Animals should have some kind of safe haven they can go to during extreme temperatures and weather conditions.

I know my puppy does. She is spoiled beyond belief . . . blankets, space heaters and even a little sweater to keep her warm.

I just hope that pet owners are smart and give their animals the correct care during snow storms and cold fronts that are expected to dip down into the negatives over the next few days.

 

Cold, but surprisingly good run

It has been way too many days since Lucy and I went for a run. Unfortunately those days added up because of either making up excuses of not wanting to go for one reason or another, or the weather was extremely cold and rainy.

Yesterday was definitely out of the question, which was unfortunate because the desire was finally back to hit the Greenbelt.

Saturday morning when Lucy and I went outside for the first time after waking up, I  noticed snow on Bays Mountain.

IMG_2610Although the first snow storm of the season graced NE Tennessee Nov. 1, we did not have any snow in our yard.

It was really cold with overcast skies and on and off rain. Jason and I had talked about going for a hike at Laurel Run Park, since it was his first day off in a long time, but with those weather conditions we stayed home.

Jason ended up spoiling me with homemade chili, banana bread and chocolate chip cookies. Yep, after indulging in that goodness, I needed to run today.

So, after cleaning the house and doing a load of laundry, it was time to lace up those running shoes once again. I put on three layers of long sleeve shirts, since it was in the 40s, before we left. The crazy thing was, all three of those layers stayed on our entire run.

I learned a few things today during our run.

Forty degree weather is the coldest I have run in to-date and it was really hard. At times my lungs were burning asking me to stop, but somehow we kept on going. I’m hoping it will get easier.

Yes, I learned that I need to invest in some winter running attire to stay warm.

I want to continue running as much as I can throughout the winter months because my gym membership expired yesterday. I decided not to renew it because after running outdoors I don’t know if I can go back to exercising within four walls again.

The second thing I learned today is I really don’t like squirrels. Okay, squirrels are fine if I’m not running with a puppy! They tend to make enough of an appearance to grab Lucy’s attention and then drive her bonkers.

I always have Lucy on a short leash while we are running because of the other foot traffic along the path.

Today a squirrel ran right in front of us at the absolute perfect time. Yes I’m saying this jokingly. Lucy took off with extreme speed towards the squirrel whimpering before instantly realizing she could not go too far even as she picked up my speed.

Yes, this happened on more than one occasion.

The third thing I learned today was Lucy runs even faster in colder temperatures. We really never have an issue with her running too far ahead of me, even on a short leash. Lucy’s usually running at my side or just a step or two in front of me. Well, today it was a different story. She was running, at times pulling me, as she maneuvered along the path. Lucy is barely nine pounds and she was pulling me!

She was on a mission. I think she too needed to be outdoors.

I had to fully stop her on more than one occasion to get her to listen to me, so we could enjoy the last leg of our run. I’ve never had that many issues with her.

With all of that said, it was still a gorgeous run, a much needed run outdoors.

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A lot of the trees were bare along the path of the Greenbelt today, which made this tree jump out that much more. I absolutely love the vibrancy of the orange.  20141102_143723

This is why I didn’t renew my gym membership. 20141102_143733

We ended up running 2.34 miles today. Although that is satisfying, I want to start doing at least 3 miles every time we are out. I know we can do it because we have accomplished that goal twice now.

Here are a few more pictures from the Greenbelt . . .

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White blanket

IMG_0923Repeatedly over the last few weeks, the meteorologist have said we would get snow. Yes, we would get a flurry here and there, but not enough to stick to the ground. It’s weird you kind of build up this excitement when you hear you may get an inch of snow, just for the pure beauty of that white blanket.

It also justifies the extremely cold weather. Right now it’s 24 degrees, with a forecasted low of 9 degrees tonight. Who would have thought NE Tennessee would get this cold? I sure didn’t.

The temperatures have been absolutely freezing lately, yes freezing for me. When you are used to the chilly Florida winter’s, 30, 20 and even the teens are way too cold. So, again, when you look out the window and see the snow falling, actually collecting, it makes the cold weather bearable if you will.

When I woke up I looked out the window and the snow was coming down, almost like a white rain. Every once in a while the snow falls sideways as the wind grabs a hold of the flakes.  So I put on Jason’s huge jacket, my hat and slippers with camera in hand to take a few pictures.

IMG_0924Since Jason’s car has a flat tire, his remains in the driveway today, instead of mine. He had to take my car because he is doing  a double at the restaurant today.

I walked out onto the fresh snow and left a few foot prints. So what did I do after I saw that initial footprint, walk in a circle, haha. It’s the simple things in life. Yes, this simple act left a smile on my face.IMG_0927 I had my little moment in the snow.

I hope we get that predicted amount of snow, so maybe we can build a small snowman. Or, just have a pretty blanket of white covering the ground. There is something magical about the snow, a pure beauty when falling, especially when there is enough to stick to the ground.

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I know it’s not a lot of snow . . . especially when seeing some of the snow in the northern states. But it’s enough to make me smile and of course admire from inside my warm, cozy townhouse.

I’m sure I will go out in the snow again as the day goes on to take more pictures as the snow collects on the trees, branches and the ground.

Warm deliciousness

I finally found a cure for my coldness, which had taken a hold as soon as I left the house this morning . . .

As I stepped outside to head to work, the crisp air sent me straight back into the house to dress a little warmer for the day ahead. Once I turned the car on it reveled that the temperature was 49 degrees, which instantly gave me the chills.

While I drove to work with heat filling the car, the thought of moving to a colder climate consumed my thoughts. How am I going to handle 20 and 30-degree weather if my body cannot handle the 40s? That thought was instantly answered with warmer clothes, lots of blankets and hopefully a newfound tolerance of cold weather, haha. Many of the apartments and homes we have been looking at include a fireplace, which will be nice to have, another way to keep me warm.

Those thoughts then were instantly erased with . . . I look forward to the colder months every year . . . what are you worried about?

The opportunity to witness seasons once again – winter included, even if that does include snow – is one of the main reasons I am looking forward to our move to Tennessee. It will be fun to experience a new climate.

Although the heat was already warming the office once I arrived, thanks to my thoughtful co-worker, my body and fingers remained cold making it hard to type. As the hours ticked by, the coldness never went away . . . which lead me to the perfect solution . . . soup.

As I took a bite of my first spoonful of warm homemade tomato basil soup from the deli, my body instantly thanked me as I warmed up. I’m always excited to see the soup grace the deli’s website every week because it is the best tomato basil soup in town.

What a wonderful cure, spoonfuls of pure deliciousness.

My cure of course gave me another solution … I will just have to keep the cabinets filled with soup and find recipes to make it from scratch as we go through our first winter in NE Tennessee.