Thursday, January 29, 2015

Daily Walk: The Seedy Underside of Dog Walking in City Snow

When we talk about the daily walks we take with our pups in the winter, the things people usually want to hear about are how we keep the pups warm and some of the ways we dress ourselves.
And we could talk about that forever!
But then there are some not so nice things that happen after the snowfall:

On Errant Rats
You might have picked up on my "errant rat" reference in our earlier post, but this has become one of my biggest issues this winter.
Sure, we know we have rats in the city.
I mainly think of them as having their own separate lives in the alley where I sometimes hear the echoes of their singing and have only seen them in mere glimpses and shadows.
But, it's only after the fresh snowfall that I realize how much we really do live together.
And I see how big their footprints really are.
Which means they are really big.
It's a bit unsettling to find these huge footprints with a long line following (yes, that would be the tail dragging behind) walking in the places where I have walk and have spent time.

On What Might be Hidden in the Snow
One of my other favorite references is the first winter I had Miss M and she plunged into a snowdrift and emerged with an entire gyro!
While the new-fallen snow does look so beautiful, we always forget that before the snow there was a lot of trash on the ground (yes, city living). And those chip packages, soda cans, and uncollected dog poo are still there. We just can't see them.
There was even an article about kids who came home covered in dog poo after they went sledding at a West Loop park frequented by off-leash dogs.
We also remember to be really careful when opening the trash cans to throw out the dog poo. The other week we found a used syringe on top of the trash can in the alley.
Should we be happy they at least tried to throw it away?

The Upside of Yellow Pee in the Snow
I know a lot of people lament that the fresh snow looks so beautiful until it's covered with yellow dog pee.
Which is true.
Though it has added a fun element to our walks.
It's almost like we can see what was formerly 'invisible ink' and now I understand why our pups are so interested in smelling and peeing in certain places.
And if I see the yellow pee, I can anticipate that they will want to go there.

Anyone else have interesting tidbits about your winter snowy walks?

These taboo habits of city dogs 
The unspoken world of city dog poo
Secrets of walking in the fall
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Two French Bulldogs said...

Happy to see how you dress your pups for the winter weather. Mom hated when people don't get it! We need to be warm too
Lily & Edward

dw said...

Riley and I have seen several rats on our walks, some scurrying about, some dead as a doornail! And last winter (you remember how bad last winter was, don't you?), after one particularly bad wind storm, the garbage bins from the Japanese restaurant on the corner were overflowing and much of the top blew out. Riley didn't quite understand why I kept pulling her away from the good smelling chicken bones in that open leftover container on the sidewalk. It was challenging! Stay warm and dry!!

Karen and Riley

The Daily Pip said...

Agree the snow melting and seeing what's beneath it is pretty gross.

I enjoy trying to identify the animal tracks in the snow. There's so much urban wildlife in Chicago and Evanstom. Can now identify possoms, skunks, feral cats, and coyotes and of course, rats though not sure they qualify as urban wildlife. I think the possoms freak me out as much as the rats

The Daily Pip said...

Oops, spelled possums incorrectly

OG said...

Love your point about the invisible ink! We don't see rats on our walks (although I do see them in the subway). I have to be vigilant after the snow melts. That's Petey finds all kinds of yummy treasures!

Rachel @ My Two Pitties said...

Interesting winter city observations! And great photos:) I spent a winter in Lake Tahoe one year that had a huge snowfall. We had about 10 feet in our back yard. When it finally melted there were about 10 completely pancaked tennis balls scattered about. I felt sad for them:(

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