The Frozen Picardy

Frodo here blog readers. Reporting from the moderately frigid Great White North. I say moderately – as I am well aware that other parts of Canada and the US are experiencing truly frigid temperatures. We have not had it terribly cold, although yesterday morning it was -11 Celsius. That’s about 12 Fahrenheit for my American friends. But the average for the next few days appears to be around -3C (26F) – with temperatures possibly breaking the freezing point next week. But don’t hold me to that forecast. I’m no groundhog.

Speaking of which, the overgrown chipmunk’s forecast here in Nova Scotia for an early Spring was promptly followed by our snowstorm. I will say no more about rodent forecasts….

The cold temperatures resulted in an interesting phenomenon yesterday which I refer to as the Frozen Picardy. It almost sounds like some kind of special chilled dessert. Or a cocktail. But no – it isn’t. It is when the Beatnik goes outside in particularly chilly weather, and he becomes frozen and somewhat paralyzed in place. Now I’m not talking about him being outside for any extreme length of time. I am talking 1-2 minutes. And he suddenly is unable to use all four legs. First one leg is held high. Then after a few moments of suspended animation, another leg is held up. I should note there are always three on the ground, although he does attempt to balance on two – unsuccessfully. And the attempt to poop is particularly challenging. I would record it, but Her Highness will not allow me to.

Yesterday, at one point, the Beatnik and the imp were in the backyard. It was a crisp, sunny day and they literally had been out for about 5 minutes. The temperature was about -6C (21F). Her Highness looked out the door and saw a rather odd sight. The Beatnik was suspended on 3 legs near the lower deck door. He was not moving. Meanwhile, the imp was perched on the ledge above him (which is about 18” off the ground) and he was in a prone position looking as if he was a leopard lying in wait for some zebra to wander by. Neither were moving. Her Highness called to them and still no one moved. She thought she might have to get her boots on to go out and see if she could solve the problem. She shouted again to the imp. Who was watching his helpless frozen victim. Finally, when Her Highness headed toward the deck steps, the frozen animation came back to life. It was like a movie that was taken off pause. The imp ran to Her Highness and the Beatnik hobbled across the frozen snowy wasteland of the backyard, and attempted to poop. The balancing problem was notable, but I think he had been “holding things in” while he was suspended – so he managed to go very quickly – using 2-3 legs. Afterward he immediately raced back to the house.

Now I am well aware that when it is very cold out, any of us dogs may exhibit the frozen foot shuffle. But the Frozen Picardy does seem a BIT different. Her Highness actually consulted at least one other Picard owner, and let’s just say, the Beatnik is NOT unique when it comes to his frozen stance. Interesting. Very very interesting…

I had a rally Masters class last night, and sometimes I think I should advertise for a new handler. I can easily read and understand the signs. Her Highness- not so much. On several occasions she nearly crashed into me because her ability to walk a straight line is challenged enough – let alone her ability to do spirals or figure eights. And heaven forbid she need to remember the sequence in a sign – like sit-stand-down. Anything beyond one action is asking a lot of her. And she doesn’t even need to do them! She just needs to remember them and to tell them to me! In order to ever get this title, I have a lot of training to do. With her. We are in practice match on Monday. It should be extremely entertaining. And not only will my run be interesting- but – this is almost to ridiculous to even mention – she entered the imp in rally novice! The lad has never even SEEN a rally sign, let alone run a course. I think I should sell tickets for THAT performance.

Well, it is time for our morning constitutional. Yours truly gets to walk with the Frozen Picardy. I’m thinking Viktor’s idea about having a GoPro camera could be wildly entertaining…..

Have a good one. Peace and paws up. Stay safe.

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