To say that this winter has been long does not even begin to describe just how tedious the cold and snow has been this year. Charles enjoys the snow, but it is really difficult to get him outside to do any substantial amounts of exercise in when there is salt on the pavement and sharp or slippery ice on the ground! It just isn’t safe for a little tripawd boy like Charles. In the following blog post, I would like to share with you what we have done this winter to pass our time indoors and prepare for the longer days and warmer weather!
1. The Chair
When Charles and I were planning our move back to Illinois and looking for a house to rent, I was left with the daunting task of filling said house with furniture. FURNITURE. As a thirty-year-old human, I have never had to worry about providing all of my own furniture before. Luckily, my family has always been great about hand-me-downs (especially since I was in school for so long). My Meema and Grandpa had upgraded their reclining chairs in their living room a little over one year ago, displacing their old recliners. Meema did not like the way these displaced recliners took up so much more space in her finished basement and asked if I would like them for our living room.
As you can see, I gladly accepted, and the chairs look great in the living room! “My chair” is my Grandpa’s old chair. I can tell by the grease/soil stains on the arm of the chair from years of hard work on the farm. Now, Charles loves this chair. The stinker helps himself up there (despite my best efforts for him to let me help him up). He usually lets me help him down. I think my Grandpa, who we lost last May, would be pretty happy that Charles loves his old chair so much.
2. The Snuggles
While this past winter has not been as extremely cold as the last one, Charles has still made this a cozy and snuggly winter. Not only has he spend a lot of time in and out of the human bed at night getting those snuggles in (an activity that is limited to cold weather), but he has also been more snuggly on the couch, as seen above. You can also see how he makes himself comfortable on the back of the couch to sleep.
And I had to treat Charles to a new bed for the living room. I think I got more than I bargained for with this bed. It is quite large, but that gives him plenty of room to sprawl out and still keep some toys and his blanket in the bed with him.
3. The Watcher of the Window
Also during the winter (and anytime he is inside), Charles can be seen as a regular fixture atop the back of the couch. This is the best place to lay to have an all-access perspective of the front yard, and thus, do a heckin’ protec. My partner gets home before I do in the evenings, and you can see here how Charles will just sit, watch, and wait for me to get home in the evenings. He is, indeed, my best friend.
4. Winter Training for that Summer Beach Bod
While getting exercise outside can be difficult for Charles in the winter, we did discover what activities work best for exercise indoors. SOCCER. More specifically, monkey-in-the-middle. Charles is not as keen to play good ole fashioned fetch anymore. He is more motivated by the constant chase. Above you can see he got two new soccer balls this winter for running indoors. And below you can see just how excited he is to be playing his favorite game.
The romping and running around the house playing soccer is so much fun. With the help of runners throughout the house, we do our best to make sure he has maximum fun while staying safe! Here is evidence as to just of effective this mode of exercise is for this short-legged tripawd boy:
5. Spring is in the Air
This past weekend, we got our first glimpse of the forthcoming spring season! We took Charles on his first substantial walk of the year and he was READY TO GO. The smile on this boy’s face said it all. He had SO MUCH FUN. We walked to a local park to try and play some soccer. Suffice to say that the walk to the park pooped him out and playing soccer did not really happen. We’ve got to get his paws conditioned for being outside more, too. His front paw had developed a little owie, which I will keep an eye on. But that did NOT slow him down. Dogs (especially Charles) never cease to amaze me.