I'm sure it does make a difference to be 200 million kilometers closer; we had beautiful brisk blue skies and plenty of sunshine yesterday, which looked quite appealing from the comfort of our heated home. But wind chills of -40 (the only temperature that is the same in either ºF or ºC) are no cat pee - that's Dutch for pretty darn serious. The warnings for frostbite of exposed skin were no cat pee either, but how does one deal with a hairless dog's pee in this weather? Although this seems like a recipe for an inevitable Ruba Crisis, the solution is twofold. Number one, these temperatures - as well as GABROEN's persistence - turn out to be sufficiently frigid to overcome Ruba's initial stubborn reluctance to do number 1 on a pad in our bathroom. Second, all dressed up in a slim fit thermal suit + fleece body suit + padded wind jacket + snow booties, but by default with private parts exposed, she needs 45 seconds tops to do number 2 and hurry back in. It still is a little challenging for a 16 year old with diminishing bladder control to go through the 5 minutes of dressing up, but GABROEN has the routine down by now and she takes it like a grumpy diva.
Albeit far from balmy, today was a little warmer: we got to +1ºF (-17ºC). The heaps of snow from clearing the entry way to our parking garage create a nice barrier for the frigid winds, at least at Ruba's height, so she spent a luxurious full minute out this afternoon. I still have to take Ms. Diva out once more tonight, and the forecast calls for snow and -6ºF (-21ºC) tomorrow, before warming up to just above freezing over the weekend. Wish her luck and expeditious bowels, and wish GABROEN expeditious dressing skills.