November came early this year. It wasn’t just a first freeze, which we expect around this time, but a hard freeze, and several days of it.
One significant responsibility is to our outdoor dog, Hawken the Irish Wolfhound. Though he wears a thick winter coat and is a hearty, robust animal, we hate the idea of him being uncomfortable.
Earlier this week as the cold rolled in, I collected what I could from the shed, mostly unused doors, and enclosed the area under the back deck where he lives. He has a dog house and a chicken pen, but from the day we got him as a puppy, he has made his home under the deck.
I also lit a propane heater under there, carefully placed so it wouldn’t be a fire hazard. Several times this week, I ducked under there with him to find it tolerably warm. In the mornings, I find him curled up right there, and he feels warm to the touch, so this scheme works well.
I’ve been looking forward to the first freeze. Though it marks the end of the garden, it also marks the beginning of the season during which I can walk Hawken on very long walks far back into the woods, since after the first freeze the ticks, chiggers, mosquitos, and poison ivy are gone. He and I have a great time on those long walks, exploring and escaping, and I look forward to every one of them.