Snow is frozen water. Ice is frozen water. Slush is somewhat frozen water. Sleet is freezing water. No matter what it’s form, it’s all water.
My dog, Neptune, is a golden retriever, a water dog, and he enjoys water in all of it’s forms, as do kids. Just like my kids, he can’t wait to get outside the minute the first snowflake falls. He wants to chase snowballs, dig in the snow, run in the snow, make snow angels and be buried in the snow. He is fascinated by ice and wants to taste it and see what happens when his paw goes sliding across his frozen water dish or a patch of ice on the driveway. He’s even happy with slush – as long as it’s some form of water he is in his element.
Unlike my kids, Neptune was born knowing how to swim, but just like my kids, that doesn’t mean he understands snow and ice, or even water completely, so it’s my job to keep him safe. I teach my kids about being safe around water year-round, regardless of the form. Asking which lakes or skating ponds are safely, solidly frozen. Being extra careful crossing the street or playing near the street when the plows have piled the snow high, limiting visibility, or when ice and compacted snow have made the streets slippery. Explaining why climbing in the hole in the snow fort with 8 feet of snow on top while the neighbor kids jump on top is not the best idea. And of course, don’t eat yellow snow.
But, just as we’re the first ones in the water when the weather is warm, I cancelled all of the afternoon’s activities in favor of sledding when we finally got our first serious snow storm last week, because water is fun, in all forms!