Dog days of January

The inversion and cold weather that I complained about two weeks ago hasn't subsided. Yes, we had a blizzard in the meantime, but the temperature dropped as soon as the snow stopped. Though the air quality in past inversions has been worse, January has seemed even longer than usual.

It's been really long for the dog.

Popcorn's hair is too short to keep her outside in temperatures below 15 for too long. But she's too big to wear a sweater. And she's got too much inherent energy to keep inside day after day.

I have managed to get her out for a few walks when the cold has been not so bitter. Even around the block is better than nothing, but I can tell she's cold (though excited to be outside). Furthermore, I don't want to take long walks amid all the trapped smog. When it's too cold, we take Popcorn outside, she does what she needs to do (and takes an extra few seconds to find a spot she likes -- more difficult when all the scents are frozen in the snow), then runs back to Lori or me, ready to go back inside.

Unfortunately, Popcorn's lack of exercise might be driving her a little crazy. She's overgrooming her lower torso (where she doesn't sport too much hair to begin with) to the point it's a little red and chafed. I can't tell if she's doing this out of boredom or to warm up her nether regions (which, in a vicious circle, will get colder if she has less hair down there). I'm a little worried and want to call the vet tomorrow to at least see what I can do to help with the chafing.

The inversion is supposed to end in the next couple days, and temperatures are supposed to return to at least normal (high 30s). I can't wait. I'm sure Popcorn can't wait either.


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