Dog Stories

WayCoolDogs Frozen Holidays

WayCoolDogs frozen holidays is how we spent Christmas and New Years Day. Spending the holidays without electricity, with minus degree weather, and with high winds is not fun. It’s even less fun with two old ladies and a rescue center for elderly dogs who feel the cold more than usual due to their age. Was I talking about the dogs? Oh, well. Anyway, it was bitterly cold and nasty.

We had three dogs in the outside run, which we had previously loaded their kennels with extra layers of prairie hay. One old girl, a Shiba we called Ronnie, required a heat lamp plugged into her igloo dog house as she felt the cold more than the other dogs with double-layered coats of fur. She was snug as a bug and very seldom left the warmth of her comfy home.

My youngest son, Lee, had bought us a generator, which kept one room with one heater fairly decent. Before that, we spent power outages in the dark for days on end. We had one heat lamp over the kitchen table, which allowed us to layer it with thick coats for our four tiniest dogs. The others snuggled together around the heater on their dog beds. This old home is impossible to heat even in the best of times!

Family help winterizing the old farm house

As cold as it was, it would have been a lot colder if my son, Monty,  and his daughter, Cassie Leigh, had not come out and put plastic on our windows for the winter right before the winter storm. His middle daughter, Amber, had volunteered the week before but we were putting on the plastic inside and had every intention of doing the outside also. It just never happened. Being close to 70 sometimes makes you flexible in the wrong way!

The house is over 150 years old, and the landlord just died at the age of 98. He had left it in his will that we could stay here as long as we wanted to. He was a dog lover and enjoyed spending time with the girls. His nephews have honored his will, but they refuse to put money into the old house. We rent for $200 a month, so we can hardly argue. We rely on our family to keep us going out here, as the house slowly goes down around our ears. Generators and plastic windows are just a small part of it.

Keeping warm in the WayCoolDogs frozen holidays

The electric stove keeps us warm, as we fill the generator with gas every couple of hours. We kept blowing fuses in the generator, so we posted our problems on our son’s Facebook, telling them what was going on. All three boys called, and we got it fixed. We were running only one electric cord off it, with all the appliances plugged into that one cord. Meanwhile, we found out we should put one item into one of the four plug-ins on the generator!

WayCoolDogs frozen holidays
WayCoolDogs frozen holidays #2 – My grandson, Levi, keeping little Gigi warm in his beard.

Family helps in many ways when you run a shelter. Between the tornadoes, snow storms, and power outages, life is never boring.  My son brought a large wooden dog bed out, plus a large easy-chair with a huge hassock! Every dog has its spot. Some like to lie under the chair; some like to lie in it; others like to lie on its back. One thing for sure, they are all happy.

WayCoolDogs frozen holidays
WayCoolDogs frozen holidays #3 – Liza Doolittle and me sharing a quilt our neighbor, Wanda, has brought us.

In our house, we try to never run short of blankets or quilts. We use them in our beds, to keep the cold out during the winters, and to stay warm. Our neighbor, through the goodness of her heart, is always on the lookout for us at thrift shops and rummage sales. I am not sure what we would do without her!

WayCoolDogs frozen holidays
WayCoolDogs frozen holidays #4 – We found this cat in the dump, purring and loving us all the way. His name is now Amos, and he loves everyone, especially the Gizmo, our cockapoo. A happy cat, he goes into and out of the kitchen door, driving us absolutely crazy. I think he is so happy to have a home that his in and out of our house provides him with some sense of security.


WayCoolDogs frozen holidays

WayCoolDogs frozen holidays #5 – Winter removes barriers between birds, cats, and dogs …. as you can see in this picture. We have a blanket wrapped around Maxie, our red-tailed parrot who is a professional at calling the cats and dogs! Next is our 10-year-old cream Shiba Inu, JJ or Joyful Jasmine. The fuzzy 12-year-old cockapoo, Gizmo, is buried between the couch pillows. Next is tiny little Mya Rosa, keeping an eye on our Himalayan cat, Lilly, we brought home from my brother’s home. All in all, they enjoy each other’s company.


waycooldogs frozen holidays

WayCoolDogs frozen holidays #6 – Heat lamps and electric heaters have kept us going for 20 years worth of winters. During any cold weather, Lilly can be found lying beneath one. Right now she is resting on the back of a large easy-chair Monty and Levi brought out for us. Did I say us? I meant our animals. LOL


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