I am a middle-aged grandmother now …. not a fearless fifteen year old willing to wait for the school bus wearing micro mini skirts in February! Does that mean that I am an old lady? Hardly!
However, it does mean that I mind the cold more in my middle years! After a couple of hours spent blowing out the lane, in spite of being well dressed for the weather, I was more than ready to come back inside! To be perfectly honest, I did not really feel like I had warmed up until I had a good hot bowl of soup under my belt!
Really … between snowblowing and shovelling paths and just plain being out in the play yard with my good dogs, it would be fair to say that all told I was outside for at least four or five hours! Would I have wanted to stay out longer? Not on your life!
Snow removal is not rocket science! Really .. it is the kind of repetitive chore that begs for a bit of wool gathering, eh? Do you know what I was thinking about yesterday? Everytime the snow blew back into my face .. everytime that lazy wind tried to go right through my snow pants …. I could not HELP but dwell on that whole twelve-hour limit on tethering that Minister Colwell is proposing!
Twelve hours is a long, long time! They say time flies when one is having fun! How much fun is a chained dog having? Hmmmm!
Just HOW cozy and snug is it in a dog house? Ironically … any movement to insist on bigger dog houses ( ie room enough to stand and turn around in ) will actually create a colder dog house 😦
How about if the dog house is insulated I wondered? How much of a difference would that make? Hmmm!!!
More importantly … what sort of proof could be provided without actually subjecting one’s own dearly beloved dogs to any hardship?
At nine thirty this morning, I decided to start a little science project! I put a crock with four liters of room temperature water out on my front step.
As you can see …. groundhogs notwithstanding …. it is an ordinary February day. Cold … at minus 12 Celsius at 0930 … but not extreme and without a breath of wind. Blue sky and sunshine even!
Fifteen minutes later, I took my trusty cook’s thermometer out to check! What did I find? See for yourself! That water went from 70 degrees down to 50 degrees! And THAT was 4 L in a big heavy pot …. not a smaller amount in a plastic or metal water bowl!
At the same time .. just for fun … I took my trusty greenhouse thermometer out to test the temperature in my car! It rapidly plummeted from seventy degrees in the house to twelve degrees F after fifteen short minutes in the car! Full disclosure … my little hatchback is the closest comparison I could find to an insulated dog house!
Half an hour later, what did I find? Not surprisingly … the water temp had dropped again! In spirit of fair play, I had put out a big stable container! What would happen with a smaller dish? A metal one typical of the ones we see overturned in so many pictures?
Now … just after twelve .. look at what is happening! That nice big heavy container has a skiff of ice on it! When I broke the ice for a reading … it was clear the temperature has dropped down below forty! How about the smaller dish? Well it has a quarter of an inch of ice on it already! Bear in mind that THIS dish was only put outside at eleven!
What time is it? It is time for The Water Bowl Project! The Rules? Simple! Sometime this weekend, put a water bowl outside. Note the time and take a picture. You do not need to monitor it every hour! You do not need to hover! Check back … sometime BEFORE twelve hours! Take another picture of the frozen water dish and note the time! Send the two pictures in an email to Minister Colwell!
What time is it? The Minister has publicly stated he is a dog lover! He has chosen to ignore all advice from animal advocates about setting unenforcable time limits! It is time for a simple little peaceful and practical demonstration!
“One proposal we’re looking at is tethering for no longer than 12 hours and there are some breaks and some other issues around that. We’d also tie in weather conditions to ensure an animal’s not in distress.” Keith Colwell, fr Herald interview on Jan 16th, 2014
PS .. if the fellow in the header looks familiar … that is Noah who was one of the first chained dogs rescued by Shelly Hipson and whom I blogged about five years ago