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We've had snow this week, which has brought fun and problems. Working from home, and home schooling too meant no snow days, but we managed to get out and have some fun. The dogs were so excited by this sudden covering of strange white stuff, and ran around exploring it. We have learned from experience not to let Star go out in the snow for too long. We learned this late one Sunday evening when we were so excited ourselves about an unexpected snowfall that we were all out in the garden at ten o'clock in the evening. Because it was dark, we didn't realise until we went back into the house, that Star had amassed a huge amount of little balls of snow in her fluffy coat.

So half past ten at night saw us clustered round Star in the kitchen with towels and a hair dryer, thawing her out. Luckily she didn't mind all the attention, and before long she was defrosted. Since then we have kept her treks into the snow short and sweet. I noticed during this bout of snow the subject of dogs' coats gathering snowballs was raised on a number of websites. Suggested solutions included smearing the dog's coat with sunflower oil, or hair conditioner before going out in the snow. Apparently the former does have a tenancy to give the dog the aroma of a chip shop, but that could be quite pleasant I think.

Fortunately Star doesn't mind missing out on the odd walk, in fact she often prefers to stay at home if the weather isn't to her taste, so it's no great inconvenience for her. In the meantime Buddy with his drip-dry easy-care coat frolicked through the winter wonderland. We managed to fit a walk in for Star on Wednesday when the snow had melted somewhat, and although she did come home rather iced up, it wasn't too bad.

I didn't realise today quite how much snow had fallen over night, and took both dogs out for a walk. I was striding happily along, enjoying the chilly but very picturesque day, not paying much attention to what the dogs were doing. That isn't as remiss as it sounds - we were walking in an enclosed field on our own, so even they couldn't get up to too much mischief. Then Star presented herself for a treat, and I realised her coat was full of snowballs. You know how you can create a giant snowball by rolling a smaller one round? That seems to be what happens with a dog's coat, they just keep gathering more and more snow. Poor Star must have been carrying her own weight in snowballs, all around her legs and stomach.

You can see for yourself from the photos the state she was in. So out came the hairdryer again. Star lay back and enjoyed it, while Buddy lay nearby, clearly hoping for his turn. If anyone does know a foolproof way of stopping a dog's coat getting full of snowballs, please let me know.

Take care,

Julie x


263 - deaf blind dog and paragility Papillon

This podcast features amazing dogs - and their amazing owners. Deb Bauer is ensuring her deaf blind double merle dogs are living their best lives. She wants people to know they can - and should - comfort and support their dogs. Susannah Chalmers and her Papillon Arran are part of the UK Paragility Team, and are heading to the Netherlands to compete in the world Championships. Susannah remains positive despite battling arthritis.

189 - The Dog Healers and War Dogs Remembered

In this episode you can hear Mark Winik talk about his debut novel, The Dog Healers, and listen to Julia Robertson explain why she founded the charity War Dogs remembered. Plus there's the DogCast Radio News, and what Mischief the German Spitz puppy has been up to.

188 - Service Dogs UK and Roxie the Doxie Finds Her Forever Home

In this episode you can hear about Service Dogs UK, a fantastic charity which trains assistance dogs to support veterans of any service - military personnel, police, firefighters, paramedics and the coastguard - who develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to their job. Also, listen to Dr Jody A Dean, a clinical psychologist talk about how her book, Roxie the Doxie finds her Forever Home, is helping children understand and talk about adoption and other family issues. Plus the DogCast Radio News and some thoughts on the alpha dog myth.

187 - Muffins Halo and Chorley Fun Dog Show

In this episode you can hear about Muffin's Halo for Blind Dogs, and what motivates people to enter their dog in a fun dog show. In the DogCast Radio News, listen to stories about the latest dog related research. Plus there's a new member of the DogCast Radio team!

186 - Maxwell Muir on wolves

In this episode you can hear trainer, behaviourist, writer, broadcaster and wolf expert Maxwell Muir talk about what wolves mean to him personally, their plight in a modern world, and his hopes for their future. Plus we have the DogCast Radio News.