Sunday, August 29, 2010

Domingos de Dulcinea: Keeping the Fur-Child Warm

It is no secret that we have had quite a cold winter this year. There were two weeks in July that were just frigid if you ask me. Now, while the temperatures may not reach Colorado-winter levels and maybe there isn't any snow in Santiago, the fact that the majority of houses don't have central heating makes a HUGE difference in just how cold a winter feels. I find winters to be much more colder here than in Colorado. In fact, growing up I hated to drink hot tea. Any time I was sick my mom would tell me to drink hot tea and I refused. I seriously despised it. But when I came to study abroad, my breakfast and afternoon snack always included tea and since I was always freezing, I drank it right up. That year taught me to love tea. Now I do quite enjoy a cup of tea, my preference being the berry or fruit flavored herbal teas.

One of my biggest worries last year when we got Dulcinea was how to keep her warm during the last bit of winter and in the spring. Luckily she came to us at the end of August so spring was right around the corner and since she slept with us in bed, we didn't have many issues. This winter was much more of an issue since it has been much colder. We have come up with several different ways to help our little one stay warm because despite all of her hair, she gets cold really easily.

Stay Warm #1: Doggie Sweaters

I started putting clothes on Dulcinea when she was a puppy so that she would get used to them and not try and chew them off. My parents' dog Dunkun will not wear any type of clothing to save his life and I wanted to be able to dress Dulcinea up. Yes, that was my original reason for putting clothes on her from an early age, but it has been very useful when it comes to the sweaters in the winter because they really do help keep her warm. Her first sweater was the pink and white one in the middle that her gringo grandparents gave her for Christmas. She was wearing that sweater during the earthquake too which greatly helped keep her warm when we were in the car for hours waiting for things to calm down. The two stripped sweaters are from Jumbo and fit her perfectly and the World Cup red on was a gift from my friend & coworker Gaby for Dulcinea's birthday. The red & white sweater on the left and the purple & white sweater on the left were made by Dulcinea's Chilean grandmother. My suegra knitted both of these sweaters for Dulci, using the pink & white one as a pattern. She did an awesome job and these sweaters definitely keep Dulci warm.

Stay Warm #2: Sleeping Under the Covers

Dulcinea loves to get under the covers when sleeping in bed with us. She always likes to be touching us when she curls up, whether it is by our legs or our side. Sometimes she takes turns sleeping with Christian or with me, and sometime she sleeps in the middle of us. When she gets hot, she will climb above our heads and sleep on our pillows for a while.

Stay Warm #3: Heated Rice Packs & Blankets

I made Dulcinea's first rice pack last year before we had got her. I thought it would be a helpful way to keep her warm and she loves her rice packs. My mom made Chris a rice pack for Christmas and with the freezing weather we have had, he decided one rice pack wasn't enough for Dulci and gave her his rick pack too. We pop them in the microwave for 4 minutes on high and then put them on the bottom of her bed before we leave for work. We also reheat them during lunch so she stays warm in the afternoon too. She loves them! When she hears the microwave beep she goes running and starts to bark to let you know to take them out and put them in her bed. We also cover her bed with two blankets made out of the polar fabric. She loves to get under the blankets and lay directly on top of the rice packs.

Stay Warm #4: Keeping Warm By the Fire

We have a gas estufa in our living room that is built into the wall. When we are in the living room, we light it to help warm up the area and Dulcinea loves curling up underneath the fire. I was worried at first that she would get too close and burn herself, but she is really good about staying a certain difference. Plus we scold her if she gets too close so that she knows not to do that. Sometimes if we are in the living room and we don't have the estufa lit, she will curl up under it as if to tell us that she is cold and wants us to light it. Yes, she tells us when to turn on the heater! Hahaha....

And that is how we get Dulcinea through the winter in Chile!


Amanda said...

This is such an adorable post. Simon also gets cold in winter, but luckily things were warm enough in TX that he was always fine. In PA for xmas, though, we had to get him a coat and bundle him up, his little belly is too bare to be exposed to the cold on its own. He also sleeps under the covers. I've never tried rice packs -- how do you make them?

Andrea said...

I get so angry with Chile (what else is new) because they only make cute doggy clothes for small dogs like Dulcinea. My bulldog got bronchitis in winter because he's just as fragile as the smaller pooches and somehow Chile doesn't GET THAT!! Also, just because one happens to have a bigger dog DOES NOT mean, dear Chile (not you, Tyfannie) that one isn't fashionably inclined and doesn't want to dress their dog up in the best duds ever. So annoying.
Anyhoosers, yes, Chilean winters are super cold and the central heat bit doesn't help. We had similar tactics with Obi: clothes (purchased abroad), personal little heater, a doggy house for winter with two mattresses and two blankets. All to avoid pneumonia, which was a far bigger threat than little guy shivering.
PS - love Dulci's wide array of clothes! So cute!

Anonymous said...

I love the photo of her tucked into bed. Adorable. I'm a sucker for a dog in a sweater and it looks like you have enough so she doesn't have to repeat a day :)

Disclaimer—La Chilengüita is a blog created upon my personal experiences and which expresses my personal opinion that in no way represents the views my employer, family or friends.