We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
My pup is uncomfortable with all of this global warming snow and cold. He lifts his leg, for instance, but cannot get it above the snow - much less get his peeing organ above the snow. He's not a small dog, medium-sized, big enough to grab cheese off the kitchen counter. Our snow is powdery, not crusty, and around 2' deep these days and 5' in the drifts.
As for poops, he seems uncomfortable because he feels he is just pooping against himself, without the satisfying drop of proper elimination.
We wonder what small dogs do, especially little ankle-biters when the snow is over their heads.
Do they tunnel like the famous Snow Mole of the Arctic? Or do they sneak into the basement like I just discovered, to my dismay, that our pup has been doing since all of the big snows?
Cap'n Tom learned many moons ago that snow blowing an area and walk way for the pups to get to that area was easier than taking them for a walk on the street and potentially getting mowed down by an out-of-control car.
I put a 10'X8' gravel pad out back (learned that from the Monks of New Skete) and made that their area. I was given an old 9' telephone pole, so I cut that up into three foot lengths to give the guys something to mark. Easy to clean, just hose it down once in a while, rake the solids up and that's that.
My Jack Russell, Toot the Wonderdog, runs back and forth four or five times in the same little circle in the Michigan snowpack and tramples down a patch and squats (girl dog). Then the next time, she picks fresh powder and does it all over again. Makes it easier to find to pick up the poop, too. Good dog.
Ditto rrhardin's solution. The first thing that gets shoveled is a path for my 27-pound spaniel. If the snow is more than about two inches deep, he'll just stand there in it. Also, he generally needs to walk to get him to poop, so getting him to a cleared space -- generally the street if the snow is considerable -- is the first order of things.
Sexist Pigs, think of the female dogs... Mine on the other hand simply likes to go out.(that's Period)... Damn the snow let me have some time to sniff away from the Cats she said. The cats on the other hand said good riddance....
Ditto here on snowblowing areas for the pooch to go. After each snowfall I cut some random paths out in the back yard for our 1 yo Boggle (Boston Terrier/Beagle) "Bugsy" to use. Been doing that for all my dogs my whole life. The things we do for our dogs!!
When we get more than 2 inches, my first task is to shovel out a path with a loop at the end plus several extensions radiating outward from the loop. My second task is to keep it shoveled until the weather clears. The loop lets my three French Bulldogs run around without bumping into one another and the extensions give them some privacy. The third task is to avoid stepping in something.
This is the worst thing about nasty snowstorms. Just awful. My dog, like many or most others, is VERY picky about where she takes care of her business. Especially when it comes to pooping.
She does not like to poop in our yard. Mind you, this is an 8+ year old dog. She wants her normal place which is largely her pick of a multi-hundred acre park. Pooping in her yard is torture to her and only occurs under the most desperate circumstances.
The most common desperate circumstance, rare as it may be, is a snowstorm. I shovel trails and cutouts and trails and cutouts off the trails and cutouts. It works, but barely. Heap two solid storms and cold onto the scene over the course of 3 or 4 weeks and it gets very difficult to manage.
My Chihuahua definitely did not like doing his business in the snow. But if I shoveled a little patch of ground for him, he was just fine. Sometimes---if I was thinking ahead of the storm---I would toss out a throw rug or a flattened box, which I could then pick up so he could have a clear spot.
Pee gets distributed around the bases of the six to twelve foot snowbanks that quickly pile up along the drive and parking area at our place in Minnesota - but the dogs love to climb to the highest points to poop.
It seems to function like a trophy wall with the place of pride lying closest to the top.
There's a lovely heartbreaker of a story on Neptunus Lex this morning about a black labrador battle dog in Afganistan, who died protecting his master from an exploding bomb. The title of the post is Good Dog, and the comments are very moving...