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January 3, 2015 – For day three of our four days off, we have two clients to see. ๐Ÿ™‚ (I mentioned how we happened to have clients during our off-time in an earlier post.) One of the visits was this morning and one is this evening. Both visits are with two big dogs.

The only difficulty we might have is the weather. It started out gray…went to blowing snow this afternoon, and we expect freezing rain about an hour before our visit tonight. This should turn into regular rain a couple of hours later. Yesterday we talked about contingency plans, and hereย is a good example of having one in place.

The first step was to find out when our clients are leaving and getting back home again. If we need to shift the time for safety, do we try to get there before or after the freezing rain? It turns out an earlier visit won’t work in favor of the dogs at all, which puts us right in the path of the freezing rain. The dogs should be fine until the regular rain begins, but with 4 mm (not quite a quarter inch) of ice stuck to everything, and being mid-evening, we can’t expect much of it to melt – at least not before bedtime ourselves! That can be pretty slick when coated to a hard-packed layer of snow on the road and sidewalks already…and doors, and fences, and cars, and trees.

With this in mind, the plan is to arrive at the earliest time we can within our window…and make sure we don’t leave a full bowl of water for the dogs when we leave. They need some, but they’re heading off to bed so a lot isn’t necessary anyway. Let them have a drink after the walk…give them their treats far away from the water dish, and get them to settle on their mats. Most dogs will curl up and be asleep in a few minutes after that. What we don’t want are two bouncy excited dogs working up a thirst…so we keep the walk low key (slick roads will do that anyway!) And we keep our voices lower and slower. Bedtime voices.

The final option is to call the client to let them know we can’t get over, if the roads are just too icy. We’ll try to avoid this, but for this client both partners are First Responders and if one happens to have a call in the area through the night, they might be able to slip home for a few minutes.

I’ll let you know how it went in tomorrow’s post.

Until then, have fun out there…and stay safe!

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Late note: It’s almost 9:30 p.m. and we’re back from the visit. The freezing rain held off until we were nearly home and the pups had a great walk, plenty of treats, and a few hugs. I’ve texted their “mom” and she can now carry on with her job through the night without worry.