Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cool Runnings

Since moving to Nova Scotia I've had to deal with the adjustment of much more humid weather than I or the dogs have ever dealt with. Humidity in the air makes it feel a lot warmer than the actual ambient temperature. Just as wind chill makes cold weather feel colder, the humidex rating tells you how hot it feels, rather than how hot it is. Sitting in the sun with a humidex over 30(as in it feels like 30 degrees Celcius) is brutal. I've never been one much for sun bathing because I've always had a hard time regulating my body temperature - always too hot or too cold. My perfect temperature is between 18 and 22 degrees and I think the dogs have the same preference.

Shortly after I arrived I thought Halo as having some sort of skin issue not previously noted. Turns out she was simply shedding out un-necessary undercoat and not going bald as I'd thought. She was the first, all the other dogs and cats ended up blowing a tonne of coat within the first month of being here. Some of it was due to the winter/spring transition but it was a lot more hair than I'd seen come out in previous years.
Doesn't Leeloo look like a supermodel?

The dogs don't like lying in the sun when the temperature creeps above 20 degrees on a clear day. Raimi especially seems to have a hard time keeping cool when he's outside in extreme heat. He doesn't look for shade, he is picky about what water he'll drink and he allows himself to get in heat distress when he does have other options to cool down. Despite this seemingly self destructive behaviour all the dogs have the same system for cooling down, the bulk of this is lying around stretched out on their sides fast asleep ... in the comforts of the cool house of course.
It goes without saying that heading out into the heat for a walk is a non-starter for me and for them. I just can't face dragging them out anywhere because 5 minutes after we arrive they are done. Early mornings here are not cool either, it's already 20 degrees by the time the sun comes up, it often doesn't drop to below 19 over night and with the humidity you're over heated before you've even started your day.

We stay in the house, nice and cool, for the majority of the day when it's this hot. The intention is to put up a screened back porch to sit on and to be able to shade it when necessary so the dogs can be outside but nice and cool. That might be a project for next summer but it is definitely something I want to do ... for everyone's comfort!

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