A Spring in Their Step

cats dogs horses spring weather wisdom of animals Mar 02, 2022

Springtime! Here in Colorado, February is often the longest month of the year. It can be brutally cold (just ask me or the animals about last week), and it seems like the sunrise crawls across the sky. And then the sunset comes way too soon.

But! Here we are in March, and the days are getting longer. At our place, which is at about 6800 feet, it will be at least 55 today, and in Denver (living a lot lower at 5,280 feet), it will be creeping up toward 70 - that’s what I’M talking about!

However, this time of year is pretty squirrelly too. Last week we were seriously below zero (nothing like Minnesota, but all things are relative), and this week zooming into the 60’s. Later this week we’ll be dipping back into the low teens at night, with maybe the 30’s daytime. Yes. We’re talking about the weather. Because it’s enough to make anyone crazy.

Inside the house, I opened the door yesterday to invite the cats out onto the deck. They looked at me like I had three heads. They have long memories - well, at least into last week, when every time they stuck their noses even close to the door it was immediately frosty. All the cats said “nix” to going outside, despite the sunshine and warm breezes. Cynics, they. 

The dogs happily spent almost all day outside. They don’t like being confined to the house, and the cold snap last week was hard on them. Our “puppies” (five years old, but it distinguishes them from “Niko”) even had accidents in the laundry room, where they sleep at night. During the cold snap, they went out, spent the minimum amount of time out there, and headed back in. Sometimes that minimum time didn’t include enough rooting around to feel like a poo. So they poo‘d in the laundry room. It’s tile. It’s cold. We understand.

The horses can have a really tough time. Even though they look big and strong (and can knock someone silly just by brushing by a little too fast), their digestive and other systems are actually quite fragile. Who designed this animal?? When it gets cold they forget to drink water (because man, it’s COLD), and then their guts can get messed up with too much hay sticking around for too long, and they colic, and, and, and… I’m knocking on wood here (my head) - we gave our equines a nice runny mash twice a day, lots of water and other goodies, kept them in waterproof sheets to keep out the wind, and kept their water tanks full. They also came into the barn at night. But they were able to move around 24/7 (even in the barn, which is actually a huge arena and has no stalls to speak of), which I personally think is important, and they did fine.

Just like us, our animals react to changes in the weather (which is why we’re talking about the weather). In spring, a young man’s fancy turns to love, and it doesn’t matter if that young man is a human or a horse, things change. The girls get all girly, the boys get all puffed up and look-at-me, and everybody gets the zoomies. Doesn’t matter if they’re neutered or spayed, that change between winter and summer is called Spring for a reason. Everything blooms, including our animals friends.

So cut them a little slack (but not so much that they’re dangerous or being spoiled), and smile at their antics. Our mare LiLi is in heaven this year. She’s the only girl, with three geldings to choose from, and she loves to play one against the other. It’s hilarious.

How do your animals react during Spring? Let me know! 

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