Winter weather – won’t walk!

Sunny walk

“These are the only conditions in which I will walk: sunshine, daisies and daffodils. Do you understand what I am saying to you?”

If Toffee could speak, “winter weather, won’t walk” were the words she would have uttered yesterday without even raising her head off my daughter’s bean bag. (She has appropriated this as her ‘day’ bed.) It was cold and wet. The day before she never moved from said bean bag ALL day, and I am talking 8.30am till 4pm. She managed to rouse herself just in time for tea. It’s a hard life.

Toffee does not do rain. Toffee does not do wind (apart, of course, when she provides her own). Toffee does not do cloud. Toffee does not do damp. Toffee does not do cold (unless there is snow, which is exciting). This is a significant problem when you live in Yorkshire, since these are the prevailing weather conditions even during the summer months.

When I first got Toffee, I imagined that a shrill “walkies” from the back door would result in my dog scampering from wherever she was with her tail wagging and a look of adoration on her face. “You’re gonna take me on a walk! Really! I am sooo excited! Show me the lead! Show me the poo bags and let’s rock and roll!” I think this is what a lot of dogs do – come rain or hail. Not mine. Even on a nice day, “walkies” merely results in a slow plod from the bean bag to the kitchen, with a sullen “if you must” look on her face. On a wintry day, you can forget it. I have tried everything, including:

  • “Let’s go see Auntie Sue!” Toffee’s special person from down the road. (To be fair this is mostly a lie, except on Mondays. Eventually even Toffee sussed this one.)
  • “Let’s go find Amber!” Toffee’s very well-behaved walking buddy, also from down the road. (Again, mostly a lie except on Wednesdays. Soon sussed.)
  • “Come and get a treat!” This is to lure Toffee to the kitchen. This used to work pretty well – treat given with one hand; lead attached with the other. A slick move that worked for a few weeks.
  • “Toffee, walkies!”, “Toffee, walkies!” “Toffee, walkies!” “TOFFEE GET DOWN HERE NOW!” This tactic has worked precisely 0% of the time.
  • My last option has been to pick her up from the bean bag, carry her downstairs and put her lead on. Her response is to plant her backside firmly on the kitchen mat. Toffee is not large, but if she ain’t going – she ain’t going.

Fortunately, today was sunny so we got a walk in, but a dog who only walks on a sunny day is not going to get many walks in Yorkshire. Any advice, greatly received!

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