First I have to don my big puffy down parka and get it zipped up and the hood up and over my woolen Stormy Kromer cap. That gives me the dimensions of about five feet six in all directions, much to
Then I have to make sure both keys and treats are in my pockets, plus an adequate supply of poo bags.
Then comes his official Dogs for the Deaf orange leash (emblazoned "Hearing Dog") and martingale training collar.
But we're not yet ready. We have to apply Musher's Secret wax to his paw pads to protect him from salt on the sidewalk. (Our condo building's medical commercial tenant is very liberal with the ice melter so that its ailing patients don't arrive and depart ass over teakettle.)
In winter battledress I am too spherical to both hold Trooper on my lap and apply the wax myself, so Debby takes care of that job. Bless her.
Then it's down the elevator four flights to the garage and the west back door parking area, where the medical tenant hasn't salted. A few steps and we're at the grassy parkway, of course covered by snow and frozen slush.
Of course dogs don't just lift a leg right away, even if they have been holding it all night. They must select the absolute best spot. That takes time and careful deliberation while I gingerly avoid patches of ice underfoot.
The task finally accomplished, Trooper and I go home.
It takes almost as much time to get everything off as it did to put it on.
But nobody took the football away when I tried to kick it.