What’s the Worst Weather You’ve Gone Out In with Your Dog?

Rain? Sleet? Heat? Wind? Share your tales of walks on the wild weather side!


It’s summertime, and around most of the country the temperatures have been in roast mode for more than a month. It’s pretty hard to want to go for walks with your dog when it’s 100 degrees (or more). Add some downpours at walky time, and you’ve got a hot soggy doggy on the other end of the leash. Fun!

Winter’s probably worse, right? Storms, ice, hail, ridiculous temps. And yet the intrepid head out with their dogs through it all, putting the postman credo to proud use.

Jake and I have it pretty good. Around San Francisco, it rarely gets too warm (summers average around 60 degrees), and it rarely does wintry things like snow or even freeze around here.

One thing it does do, though, is howl. It can get really windy, especially living close to the ocean as we do. When it’s like this, we avoid the beach, since getting sand in the eyes is the pits. We like to go inland a bit, to more protected parks, when it gets this windy.

But a couple of weeks ago, I had to bring Jake out to face the elements. A writer for a Japanese magazine was doing a story on us, and she and her photographer met us at Fort Funston — off-leash dog heaven, but its bluff-top locale means the wind really whips. When we faced away from the wind, we were fine. But this doesn’t make for such great photos (hair covering the face rarely does), so we had to face the music — and the body-moving gusts.

It turns out that wind in the face doesn’t make for such great photos either, especially for dogs. Here is a nice little sampling of the wind catching him off-guard as he tried his utmost to remain dignified. Er, me too…

I felt pretty bad when they sent me the pics. I had no idea Jake’s jowls were just about hitting his eyes. Mine were probably about to be next. But photographer Hale Davis and writer Tomomi Shirai were great sports, and quickly realized that the blufftop photo shoot was not in anyone’s best interests. So we moved to a calmer place about two miles away. What a difference that made. Hale took some phenomenal shots without jowls flapping in the breeze. (He’s a fantastic photographer, and if he had a website, I’d put it here. If anyone wants to connect with him, let me know via Dogster.)

It hasn’t been that windy since. But the other day when a friend from back east called and said she had to take her dog for a walk through a torrential downpour, it got me wondering how many of you bear the elements with your four-legged friends, and how bad it’s gotten for you. Let’s talk! Write your tale in a comment below.

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