Jack’s Walk

©voyager, all rights reserved

©voyager, all rights reserved

We had freezing rain all day yesterday, and it’s left our world coated in ice and a perilous place for walking. Jack and I set out early yesterday morning, just as the ice was starting, because I thought it might be the only window of opportunity for the whole day and I was right, The ice began to coat everything quickly, and a minute or two after leaving the house it was already slick walking. We went once around the big block, very slowly and cautiously. Mostly I walked on the grass, but Jack preferred the sidewalk because the grass was sharp with ice, and he was wearing vaseline boots that don’t have a decent protective tread* like mine. Jack did fine until we reached the places where the sidewalk slopes. Even four-footed Jack struggled once or twice with his balance on the sloped driveways. Poor Bubba found himself sliding sideways toward the street a few times, and in trying to correct himself, he had one or another of his back legs slip out. Then I’d see him freeze and dig his toenails into the ice and look up to me, asking what to do next. I encouraged him to use the grass a few times, but he said it hurt his feet and that made sense, so then I encouraged him to walk on the street, but Jack’s been raised to stay away from the road, and it’s so ingrained that he doesn’t like to do it. By the time we got home, the ice was already building up a thick coating on everything, and we both felt lucky to reach the house upright and undamaged. We didn’t leave the house again for the rest of the day.

©voyager, all rights reserved

©voyager, all rights reserved

We may not leave the house today, either. Today, we’re getting snow on top of the ice, making things even slipperier and more dangerous. No one has yet put down any salt, and it’s treacherous out there. Jack says he can use the backyard if he needs the toilet, and I thanked him very much for his consideration. Jack has seen me go Boom!, on the ice a few times in his life, and it always upsets him. When it’s slippery, Jack automatically slows down, and as he walks, he keeps looking over his shoulder to see how I’m doing. He’s such a good boy. Maybe I should try to take him out – just around the small block. What do you think – Should I stay or should I go?


  • I tried a set of real dog boots for Jack a few years back, and he wanted no part of them!






  1. Jazzlet says

    Stay! If it’s slippery enough for four-legged Jack to be having problems in places it’s way too slippery for a wobbly two-legged human.

  2. lumipuna says

    Yikes. Be careful.

    It’s been almost exactly one year since my slipping injury. Last Friday was rainy and very Black, just like the preceding two weeks had largely been. In the evening, as the rain band separating warm and cold air masses passed over, temperature dropped about 5 C almost instantly, there was a brief fall of snow that melted on the already wet pavement, and then freeze. Not quite the same effect as in freezing rain, but pretty close.

    Now, it’s been a few beautiful days, with mostly sunny, frosty weather, and with some snow on grassy areas. Thankfully, there hasn’t been any new snowfall on the frozen puddles. I’ve been walking on cleats, and it feels quite bothersome. Tomorrow, it’s going to thaw, and then around Sunday, we’ll likely get another freeze after damp weather.

  3. voyager says

    I can’t wear cleats. I’m too clumsy in them. We go slowly and I walk on the grass or the street. It’s the sidewalks that are dangerous. A few people have put out salt and their part of the sidewalk is dry and clear, but the next house likely hasn’t, so I pay close attention to where I put my feet.
    I’m hoping we’ll get a bit of a melt, too. I’d hate to think it will be like this until spring!

  4. lumipuna says

    Yesterday afternoon the ice was gone almost everywhere, so I took the liberty of leaving the cleats home and walking around easily, mostly carelessly like an able-bodied young person I am. Of course I nearly slipped in one place, but at least didn’t fall.

    Maintenance crews have been spreading grit during the cold spell, and it was helpful, also during last evening when there was a quick temporary freeze of the wet pavement. I just hate walking on gritty streets when there are long ice-free periods in early winter and early spring (and increasingly, through winter).

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