Riley, who has short, thin hair (or "skinny fur," as he likes to call it), shivers after not too long. His walk today was cut short.
But Boscoe went the full distance, which, these days, is often just around the block. He used to do his business almost immediately upon leaving the house, but quite recently he has changed his habits. And I think I know why.
On Saturday night I took the Boyz for a stroll, and when we got to Jimmy's house one street over there was, as usual, a crowd of people standing around a bonfire in the back yard, talking and drinking by Jimmy's ManCave of a garage.
Jimmy's dog, Eddie, is an unfixed terrier who, for some reason, hates our dogs. They hate him back, with passion. Often, Jimmy leaves Eddie untethered and has him under fairly reliable verbal control. On Saturday night, though, as the gang laughed around the bonfire, Eddie slipped away, sneaked through the snow, and then headed for the Boyz and me like a rocket. He's a small dog, but young and feisty, and there was tremendous barking and flashing of teeth and Jimmy yelling, ineffectively, "EDDIE! GET OVER HERE!" and Eddie ignoring him, and me trying to pull the Boyz away, but Boscoe had fallen, his back legs collapsed under him, and Eddie was dashing in and out at his throat.
No actual bites landed, of course. This was all for show. But I was furious anyway. Boscoe, sweet Boscoe, should not suffer such indignities at his advanced age, or ever.
Within moments, all was resolved--Eddie trotted back to the bonfire, Boscoe quivered to his feet, Riley leaped at my face, which he does when he's agitated, and the walk continued.
Since then, however, Boscoe has made a slight change in his morning habits. We leave the house, we turn left, we trot down the block, we turn the corner, we turn the next corner, we trot toward home. Only when we reach Eddie's house does Boscoe squat to do his business. Squarely in front of Eddie's front sidewalk, in the very spot where Eddie took him down, Boscoe completes his morning ablutions. He always looks disappointed when I clean it up.
In the time it has taken me to write this post, the temperature has risen to ten below zero. Like I said, it's warming up.