Railway travellers in Britain will be familiar with the concept of 'the wrong kind of snow'.
Well let me tell you that a Westie's progress too is dependent on the cold white stuff being of the correct texture and consistency. Especially if that Westie is a older chap with sensitive paws.
Wet snow's just horrid and cold. Frozen wet snow forms ice crystals that feel like you're walking on broken glass. Well-trodden snow becomes all slippery, a challenge to stability, although low- slung dogs do fare better than poorly designed bipeds.
And have you ever come across the snowball problem? I think it only happens to us longer-haired breeds. Snow clings to the fur on your legs then melts and refreezes into hard little balls of ice, and eventually you grind to a halt, weighed down by what looks like a bunch of grapes hanging off each limb. If you're really unlucky, your owner will try to pull them off, which is painful. Far better to find a warm house or car and sit there slowly melting in comfort.
Soft fluffy snow is relatively gentle on the paws, and fun to roll in, but if there's more than about four or five inches, then normal walking becomes difficult and really I'd prefer to be carried.
Yes, on the whole, I think the trains have it easy.
Hamish, we know exactly what you mean by the wrong kind of snow! We only like pretty white fluffy snow too....and we don't often get that here either!
Keep your tootsies warm pal :D
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