As I am writing this, the outdoor thermometer by my kitchen is reading a frosty -24 degrees. I know we live in Alaska, and I know it's winter, but I am looking forward to some above zero weather.
I'm not asking for the tropics, but a temperature that does not start with that little minus sign would be nice. Maybe by the time this column hits the paper, things will have warmed up. I can hope, can't I?
Speaking of the cold, weather like this is hard on us but it is also hard on our animal friends and pets.
I spoke to Nancy Wall, local ASPCA volunteer, and got some tips to help us care for our pets during extreme cold weather. Some of these things seem like common sense, but they can mean the difference between a healthy pet and one who is sick or injured.
Any animal that spends time outside in the cold will need extra food to help generate body heat. They also need access to fresh water.
"People must think that their dogs will just eat snow, but they would have to eat so much of it, and it would drop their temperature even further. Fresh water is essential. Either bring it to them several times a day or invest in a electric heated bucket or dish. Just make sure the cord is not in a place where the dog can chew on it," said Nancy.
According to Nancy, by law, animals that are left outside have to be provided with shelter. A long haired dog that is use to the cold will should not suffer the effect of cold weather if they are provided with plentiful, dry, warm bedding in an appropriate sized shelter.
"Some short haired breeds like pointers or boxers are just not suited to outdoor living. I don't care how much you try to acclimate them, they will not have thick enough coats to remain healthy in super cold weather. Breeds like Huskies do much better in the cold," said Nancy.
One thing Nancy mentioned that would not have occurred to me is that dogs should never ride in the back of a pickup during cold weather. The wind chill that is created by driving 50 miles per hour can cause fatal frostbite to a dog in just minutes in sub-zero weather.
Happy birthday wishes to Bob Jensen on Feb. 12; Mary Sanford, Carol Smith and Mary Ann Nicholson on Feb. 15; and Delbert Otter on Feb. 17.
Don't forget that this Saturday and Sunday the Sterling Senior Center will perform the musical "Alaska Gold or Yukon Depend On Me." The show Saturday will be combined with a dinner. The show Sunday will be accompanied by dessert only. Tickets will only be sold in advance at the front desk at the center.
Smith makes dean's list
Sterling resident William M. Smith was name to the dean's list at Northern Michigan University, Communications and Marketing Department.
To qualify students must have at least earned a 4.0 grade point average.
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