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My Senior Snow Dog


Winter finally kicked in a few weeks ago with more than two feet of snow in one day. I think the Great Snow Planner in the Sky was trying to make all subsequent snowstorms seem puny, so we’d feel shamed into going out, even in eight inches of snow.


The big snow!

For some reason, this year, Butterfly loves the snow. In the past she’s been uncomfortable with the snow swirling in her face, and the ice crunching and sliding under her feet, and she could never understand Cricket’s fascination with climbing to the top of Snow Mountain to poop. But this year, with the snow piled up over her head, she changed her mind.


“What is this fluffy stuff?”

This is a dog who does not try to climb up on the couch, and hesitates each time she sees a stairway looming, but she saw a two foot wall of snow and decided not only to try to climb it, but to pull herself up and over, and walk along the iced over top. She went out onto the tundra of the backyard, like a lone explorer, sniffing for squirrels and birds and cat poop. (It didn’t hurt that one of our neighbors had tossed huge chunks of French bread out into the snow for the birds to choke on, again.)


“I think I can, I think I can…”

Butterfly came home three and a half years ago as an eight year old dog, with a long puppy mill history and a heart problem. She had to learn how to poop outside, and climb stairs, and bark at strangers, and generally be a dog, and we figured, at a certain point, that she was finished catching up. She was running and barking and begging for food, just like Cricket, and really, who expects an eleven year old senior citizen to learn new tricks? But here she is, learning to love the snow. She loves when the snow hardens and she can walk on top of it, she loves sticking her toes into the rain-softened snow and trying to keep her balance as her legs fall out from under her. She loves the way the snow keeps smells fresh for days and days, and she can revisit an old message twenty more times. She even managed to pass the scary corner of the building, because the snow made her forget her fear of the outside world, for a little while.


“Whoo hoo!”

Cricket has always loved the snow. In the snow, even Cricket can go leash-less, for a moment, and run and play like a puppy. I throw snowballs for her to catch and she buries her head in the snow to find them. She would stay outside for hours, except that snowballs accumulate on her fur and she starts to look like a Yeti who can’t move very well. She tried to chew off the snowballs herself one day, but, since she needed a bath anyway, I tossed her into the tub and melted off the snowballs with the shower attachment. She was not a fan of this experience.


Cricket, headless.

Cricket in snow 2

Grandma’s magic camera captured Cricket in action.

cricket snow 11


Butterfly didn’t get quite as covered as Cricket, because she’s still a newbie with this snow business. She likes how the snow feels on her toes, and maybe up to her ankles, but once it reaches her chest she starts to shiver. Her favorite thing is to run in the light powdery snow and leave a trail of paw prints in her wake.

cricket & Butterfly


About rachelmankowitz

I am a fiction writer, a writing coach, and an obsessive chronicler of my dogs' lives.

185 responses »

  1. These pics are so adorable! And the first pic is just wow!

  2. It looks like they’re having a wonderful time! I’ve never seen snow. I don’t know for sure about Chicki since her first year is unknown to me…
    Great pictures!

    • You’ve never seen snow?!!! If you ever get a chance, choose the soft version over the icy version. It’s much more comfortable when you inevitably fall into it.

      • travelfeverstories2017

        We have a lot of snow in Finland 😊! Your pics were funny , my oldie still moves so fast my pics never turn out good, plus a black dog is less photogenic, you don’t see his eyes

      • There should be a camera setting for fast moving black-haired dogs! Anti-puppy prejudice!

  3. I loved the picture of Cricket with all the snowballs! This was a great post!

  4. Absolutely delightful, Rachel. Tweeted and shared on Facebook.

  5. This post brings joy into the world Rach – I am a bit of a ‘Senior Snow Dog’ and about to embark on yet another career change and am heading back to college when I get back to the UK from France at the end of the month…..x

  6. Wonderful story and I love the action shots of those two, cuties.
    We had snow a few years ago & my dogs are short a mini dachound and our Scotty. They did not like the snow so when they went out to potty right after it snowed , they forged a little potty path, a round trench in a circle around our patio . You could barely see them above the snow when they circled around the potty trench looking for their selected potty spot. Out Scotty Rosie has a little beard and heavier coat of hair ( 2 coats actually , an undercoat) and sometimes lingered a bit longer, than our boy, circling around the trench a few more times then she’d trot back inside with an icicle beard. I wish I’d taken photos.

  7. Love the photos. It warms the heart to see dogs having fun in the snow.

  8. Great shots! Looks like Cricket had an absolute blast! 🙂

  9. It’s wonderful that Butterfly can enjoy her life so much after her sad past – a testament to your love and care, and to the dog’s amazing powers of recovery.
    Millie loves the snow and Pearl hates it. Millie sticks her long snout into it and throws it about, but Pearl prefers to stay indoors and avoid getting snow between her pads. Fortunately it doesn’t snow here that often.

  10. Well, of course, it never snows in this part of the world, which is a bit sad. It’s mid February and we are still waiting for summer to kick in. I do believe we might get a bit of sun this weekend, so that would be nice since it is still cool to cold in the early morning walks. Great past and Grandma certainly has a “Magic Camera” – terrific shots of both dogs/ Growing up in Scotland I loved the snow, so I kind of miss that.

  11. Sorry for past read post.

  12. I wish my pups liked the snow, but I think they pick up their Mommy’s vibe and hate it! Munchie doesn’t even like it to touch his feet, and he is really too little and would get buried under any accumulation! But your pups are so cute! That one photo of Cricket racing through the snow, ears flying, is fantastic!! Bravo, Grandma’s magic camera!

  13. Hi Rachel!

    I’ve nominated you for the Three Day Three Quote Challenge. Feel free to decline, but if you want to play:

  14. Lovely post and pics, especially the action shot of Crickey. I am so glad Butterfly ended up in such a loving home.

  15. Lovely photos, Rachel: we had a sprinkling of snow on Sunday – great fun!

  16. Hi Rachel these snow shots with those gorgeous girls are simply wonderful. Loved the one where she is galloping towards the camera.
    Enjoy your flurry of Snow quite a bit there. Phew!

  17. Great pictures and post Rachel! You captured the joy of your puppers! Instant smiles right here! 🙂

  18. Love the pics! My one dog gets the snowball clumps, too! We bust out the blow dryer for the poor guy.

  19. What fun! I could feel their joy when I looked at the pictures!

  20. Yay Butterfly! Learning to love the snow!

  21. Just now able to catch up – these pictures are absolutely fabulous!! Somebody is a “snow” photographer award-winner!! Our dogs so rarely see snow they are spooked by it when it happens! They’re like, whatever happened to the rain??

  22. Those photos are fabulous! I couldn’t decide which I liked better – the one of Butterfly running down the slope or Cricket in full flight or in Yeti mode 😉 It’s always so exciting when the environment changes – once over the fear of the new of course. I’m so glad the girls have your lovely home & company 🙂

  23. I love these photos. What an adorable pup. Really enjoyed this post.

  24. Awesome and very cute 🙂

  25. So cute — love this post.

  26. Great shots – fabulous seeing how much fun they were both having.

  27. thanks so much for liking The Web of Depression, These pphcotographs are extraordinary.

  28. A person who rescues an animal, especially a dog from a puppy mill deserves the highest of praise. You have two wonderful fur babies. Bless you Rachel.

  29. Hi Rachel, I love your action photos of the pups! They are having a good time for sure.

  30. Wonderful snow dog!

  31. Reminds me of my dogs when we lived in England. When it snowed they’d go nuts and barrel threw our back yard. They’d also bite snow flakes and chase snow balls as if they were regular ones.

  32. I hate winter.

    But seeing how happy snow makes my Cricket (and yours!) makes it so much more tolerable.

    Hail and freezing rain on the other hand……..

  33. I love grandma’s shot of cricket shooting up into the air like a rocket launching or perhaps a superhero taking off in flight!

    • My Scotty Rose ‘s first encounter with snow, she liked it, she is terribly curious about new things and scotty’s have two coats so she wasn’t cold and spent some time exploring this new “thing” in the yard, when she finally came back into the house her whole beard has frozen with icicle like formations on it, she was panting her happy pant and smiling. But after that winter she didn’t like it so much, the novelty has worn off.

  34. Wonderful post! My dogs love the snow and I love the cold season.:-)


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