It has been a very cold week here with temperatures in the 20s and 30s (Farenheit) at night. It is in the 40s during the day. It has also been very windy so we have windchill. Brrrrr. I have been sleeping with socks on and an extra blanket on the bed. It is supposed to be really cold this weekend, so it is a good time to stay in and be cozy at the ol' cottage. I have some chores to do and have library books at the ready. By the way, if you love Philippa Gregory, her new book, "The Kingmaker's Daughter" is a total page turner. It is one of the books based on the War of the Roses and is one of her best in a while.
During the cold, winter months I do not groom Liesl like a typical schnauzer. Usually a schnauzer cut includes shaving most of their hair off their backs, top of the legs and tummies. However, I certain drama queen schnauzer will not wear a sweater without going into full theatrics worthy of Oscar contention. So she shivers really hard, which hurts my heart to watch. So I let her hair grow out. (Mini schnauzers have hair, not fur, so they do not shed fur or dander.) Right now she is getting curly and looks a bit different. I will make sure I get a photo to share when she gets to looking like a teddy bear.
I tend to get daily updates on Facebook from a magazine called Life and Dog. They are generally cute photos or quotations, which make me smile. Today, however, there was a great informational download on the health benefits of dog massage. I have been told by my vet that massage is really important for improving circulation and opening blood vessels. Generally in the evening, after Liesl has had her dinner, I will play with her for 20 to 30 minutes. Then when it is time for her to start settling in for the evening, I will massage her temples and her ears. I have always heard that it was important to rub a dog's ears. I have also been told that dogs carry their stress in their lower backs and hindquarters so it is important to massage there daily.
There is a chart that you can download here that details the pressure points and the reflexology associated with it. I like the idea of the additional health benefits. I was surprised to see that it is also important to rub each individual toe. I guess it is just like how everything is tied to the feet and toxins rest in the feet in humans. When I saw that I thought to myself that Liesl was not going to be okay with that. While she is pretty accommodating, she is not thrilled at having her feet touched. Tonight I rubbed her little feet and each toe on both her front and back feet and she totally loved it. She really enjoys her little daily 5-10 minute massage and I am hopeful that it will help to keep her healthy for many, many years.
One last thing: A couple of days ago Carol at http://stitchingdream.blogspot.com/ posted about a year of smalls that she had stitched as decorations in a bowl. It is total genius. The items that she stitched and finished are so adorable, so beautiful, that I just had to share. I would love to do something like this in the future.