In Response To Judgy Assholes

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I feel like for the most part I know the people who stop by here every day to read my ramblings. And I think you're good people. You're animals lovers, you can take a joke, and you're not crazy irrational internet readers. I genuinely like you.

So today's post is basically a self indulgent rant aimed at people who won't even read it. I'll make it quick, I promise.

We all have our triggers. Things that we care deeply about that might set us off, in one direction or the other.

Let's talk about Harlow. More specifically Harlow in his booties.


I've been judged online (and in person) for the fact Harlow wears snow boots. These are actually his fancy booties. Some times he just wears his purple rubbers.

A popular Vizsla Instagram page regrammed this photo of Harlow and I had to stop myself from getting into an internet fight with a man who criticized me for putting my dog in "shoes" and for also "raising a dog in Chicago."

He's the authority of where you can raise dogs and clearly I don't meet his expectations.

Internet fights are tempting, aren't they? Every single day I have to fight the angry troll inside of me who so badly wants to speak up and yell back at the ignorant comments I see floating around everywhere. But then I'm no better than they are, so I resist. Instead, I spend about five minutes in my head having a fake argument with these fake people. Sometimes I even write the response, think about it a little more, then always delete. It's not worth it.

And then I write a blog post...

So let me clear this up. I don't make Harlow wear boots because I think it's fun. It's the opposite actually. Getting these orange monsters on his feet is like putting a toddler in ski boots. I've never actually put a toddler in ski boots, but I imagine it's difficult.

And he doesn't wear boots because it's cute. Well let's admit it, he does look pretty stinkin cute, but that's not the reason.



Harlow wears boots and dog-rubbers on his feet because the salt that Chicago puts down in the winter burns his paw pads. It gets in the crevices and it's very painful for him. I know, because he's told me. When I'm being a bad/lazy dog mom and we go out when there's salt on the ground he'll either limp on three legs, alternating between which foot hurts the worst. Or he'll simply say screw it and he won't walk at all.

I've carried him home more than a few times and it's not easy. He is heavy AF. And maybe it's just a ploy on his part to be carried, he's such a diva baby I wouldn't put it past him.

I've met other dog owners who tell me the salt doesn't bother their dogs, so it's different for everyone. I'm quite sure Harlow has a very low pain tolerance since he's never known discomfort in his entire life. He takes after his dad... jk jk, Chris won't read this post for months so it's okay.


So in conclusion, to the man on the internet who is angry Harlow wears boots and lives in a city, please stop being such a judgmental dbag. Yes, I wish I could give Harlow a country life where he could run in open fields as long as he pleases, chasing deer and eating fish straight from a creek, but I can't. So instead I'll do the best I can here. And that means 4 walks a day, 3 dog park visits per day, and snow boots in the winter.

I think if you ask him he'll tell you he's got a pretty good life. But right now he's snoring next to me wrapped in his faux fur white blanket, so I'll have to get back to you.

Let's make an effort to be a little less judgy of each other. We're all just trying our best here.


87 comments:

  1. hello harlow its dennis the vizsla dog hay my late brother tucker the other vizsla wore boots all the time in winter in the mithikal land of upstayt noo york on akkownt of he wood git ice and snow stuck between his toes not to menshun his feet wood just git kold!!! and then of korse their wuz the rode salt wich noo york yoozes like mcdonalds yoozes salt on french fries!!! and wen he got older and trouble with his nails he had to ware booteez agin to protekt them frum infekshuns!!! ennyway harlow yoo just keep waring thoze feet protekshuns and do not wurry wot stoopid hyoomans hav to say abowt it they ar not the boss of yoo and they probly dont no ennything abowt us vizsla dogs eether!!! ok bye

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  2. Judging you for being a loving pet owner? Woof to that. Screw em.

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  3. Keep on doing what's best for Harlow! And he's the cutest dog I have ever seen on my iternets! IN HIS BOOTS!

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  4. Vizslas are drama queens :) Matilda is always on 3 paws, even when its not that cold, to make it clear that she is not impressed. We've tried the booties though and can't get them to stay on!

    Anyways, love Harlow in his booties and as entertaining as the internet fight might have been, you probably made the right choice. We get judged for having a vizsla in a tiny Minneapolis house all the time and I'm pretty sure Matilda and Harlow live pretty spoiled lives.

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  5. That's so maddening! Who is anyone to tell you what you are doing is wrong for your pet, especially if the pet is clearly not in distress and looks healthy and happy?? It doesn't get snowy or cold enough here in Texas to warrant snow booties for pups, but I wish I saw more people use shoes for their pets in the summer when the pavement is hot enough to fry an egg. Anyways, you're totally in the right and that internet troll is ridiculous.

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  6. I was gonna say, that's the point of booties! To protect the dog's paws from salt or deicer. So basically that guy knows absolutely nothing about dogs and shouldn't be able to raise a dog anywhere in the country/world.

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  7. You do you... Harlow too. People are assholes I tell ya.

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  8. You know, I've seen dog owners put booties on their dogs because they need to go on walks, but the snow/ice is too cold. They're not just for looks. They're practical! Besides, so long as you're not treating your dogs as Michael Vick did, I'd say you're doing pretty well.

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  9. Dog boots or not, judgy people are so...judgemental! And so often they're wrong in their assumptions. It's hard not to fight with people on the internet, especially, but it is pretty worth it to stay out of the fight, no?

    Besides, when did we become a society where every one every where has an opinion on what's really "right" for every one every where else??

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  10. I have to give it to you for not responding to him. I probably would have gone off and would still be gnawing on this idiot's ignorance. I guess my dog must look like a complete jerk when she wears her booties on asphalt that is over 160 degrees in the desert in summer. Wow, we are really bad dog moms for allowing them to look like divas all for the sake of keeping them healthy and comfortable.

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  11. Yes! I live in Boston and have 2 dogs, a Bernese mountain dog and a cavalier King Charles spaniel. The Berner doesn't need snow boots because he's an effing mountain dog (and is also impervious to water, but that's a discussion for another day), but the spaniel does. She hates her booties. But without them, she does the same thing that Harlowe does. Anyone who thinks it's spoiling their dog doesn't actually understand a) every breed is different and b) SALT IS AWFUL. Driving in New England on salted roads for 10 years rusted a hole through the gas tank of my car. If it can do that, we can put booties on our dog's feet if they need it.

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  12. Ughhhhhh I just can't. Was in VT with friends a few weeks ago and my friend's dad was all "i can't believe your dog is in a coat...whats next booties!?"...actually yeah that probably is next. Baxter constantly picks up his paws and will just stand there whenever they get salty...he'll start crying if it gets really bad. I can't pick him up because he's like 80 lbs and I'm weak AF. Is the coat necessary? Honestly, I'm not sure! But when it's -10F outside and he's satisfied with no-less than 6 miles of walking per day, I think it's pretty effing cold. If my face is burning off and my toes have gone numb, I have a feeling my non-arctic breed of dog needs a damn coat.

    Keep doing your thing girl. Screw the haters, you're a great dog mom!!

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  13. I see you out in the FREEZING cold walking/playing with Harlow every day on Snap. If anyone wins a dog mom award.. it's you. Screw the douche canoes.

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    1. Every. Single. Day. I loathe the dog park in the winter but damn it we go.

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    2. You sound like a great dog Mom to me, just trying to keep your dog healthy and comfortable. I'm in California where snow and salt aren't an issue, but temperatures in the summer can get really hot and I'm thinking of getting those booties so they don't burn their paws. They do look like a lot of trouble to get on the dogs, so I would say you're going out of your way to be a good dog parent! It seems to me that most Vizsla owners as a group tend to take excellent care of their dogs, so to criticize caring about your dogs comfort is totally in keeping with being the best of dog owners!

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  14. I'm sorry people are so judgmental and small minded. Yes, it stinks to live in an apartment and have a large, active dog, but there are plenty of parks and spaces for dogs to play in the city! I had a neighbor in my building who had two large dogs (can't remember what kind) and I don't think the dogs cared that they lived on the 10th floor. Some people say you shouldn't raise babies in Chicago too and you see kids in strollers on the CTA all. the. time!

    And good for you for putting those darn booties on Harlow. Clearly they're good for the dogs or the mushers wouldn't put them on their Iditarod dogs! Duh! I'm sure he appreciates not freezing his little paws off!

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  15. I was so embarrassed to be "that person" when I put booties on my dogs, but Chicago was brutal for them! Between the salt and the cold (particularly 2 winters ago), it was an absolute necessity. It is such a pain to put them on but makes them so happy - they PRANCE in the snow! It's wonderful. Now that I'm in TX I put them on sometimes in the summer so they don't burn their paws. And let's be real, I put them on my long-haired dog every once in awhile when it's raining so I don't have to work so hard to dry him off! Keep doing your thing.

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  16. Harlow looks so damn cute. You go girl for posting what you want its your little part of the internet. DO what you want.

    http://jessie-lou3.blogspot.co.uk/

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  17. That guy is an asshole, seriously!!!! You just keep being a good Mom to Harlow!!!

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  18. I love that there are people out there who not even take the time to notice, but then comment and judge. I've seen your dog a zillion times here and never once though, "oh, there are boots on that dog's feet." I had someone once take a post I wrote about something random and turned it into what a bad mom I was and how dare I neglect them to blog. Um, okay. Weirdo.

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  19. My 5 month old V wears booties when it's super cold outside, and I hate feeling like I have to explain why she's wearing them every time someone makes a comment about them. I can't help she's a diva that won't walk on the freezing concrete, and she has to walk at least 3 times a day or else she goes crazy!!

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  20. Ugh! Screw the judgey guy - totally support you Taylor. My dog also limps around when the city is heavily salted so I get it!

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  21. the world makes me livid sometimes. people who comment without knowing someone (even though this is PERFECTLY normal) have a special place in hell.

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  22. He is so stinkin adorable in those boots. But don't let the haters get ya down, you're doing the right thing it sounds like! I don't live in a city and my dog only gets walked once a day and my town doesn't even have a dog park. You're doing it right!!

    elainea
    toast the girl almighty

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  23. I get how some ass could misunderstand the boots, which thank God you have them so he can enjoy winter which he clearly does, but having a dog in the city? Ummm... how is that wrong? People need to mind their business. What a moron!

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  24. I just found your blog yesterday. I lived in Jackson Hole for a year and did some "professional" dog walking, and have my own dog. I absolutely put boots on my dog in the winter, and many other dogs I walked wore boots or paw wax to protect their paw pads. Like you mentioned, getting the boots on is pretty ridiculous, but once they're on, the dogs are much happier walking in snow and ice! People are crazy.

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  25. isn't it neat how the Internet makes everyone an expert? I like his little booties! Heaven forbid you watch out for his little feet! our dog won't go out in the rain if we don't put her raincoat on haha, so I know the diva dog well!

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  26. I would have lost my shit so kudos to you for remaining calm. What a dbag. Anyone who follows your blog, insta, snapchat, you name it knows how much you love and care for Harlow. I'm literally getting mad on your behalf right now. You keep on doing you.

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  27. People like that are the worst. You know which other big cities have dogs and dog owners? Every single one of them.

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  28. What is wrong with people? I have a senior rescue dog who has seizures and a bunch of other stuff wrong with him, and well ... truth be told, his meds make him really fat. He can't play very hard. In fact nobody ever taught him how to play so he doesn't understand throwing a ball or anything like that. He's just an old fella and he likes to go for slow walks and be near his mommy (me), never having ever had any mommy before. He lived alone 10 years or more (!) in a nasty muddy yard with no love before.

    Anyway, people can just barely keep themselves from letting loose a bag of whoop on me "why is he so fat?", "he looks miserable" (he's not) and other super judgy things. I really want to start yelling at them. Online I don't post pictures that will get that response because it makes me cry. What do they think? That I would torture him?

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    1. PS: my dog wears those rubber boots inside, so he won't slip!

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  29. Harlow looks extremely cute in his snow boots! Good for you. People always have something to say. BOO!

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  31. Ha....I have two dogs...one that seems to be able to run around all day err' day in the snow/salt, whatever, and it never bothers him. The other? Exactly like Harlow. I made the mistake of waiting too long to try to put the boots on him and he throws the most heinous, upside down tantrum attempting to chew them off his feet. Now we live in a home that has a gated yard, and don't put salt down. Problem solved-ish...because now the humans all run the risk of cracking skulls open on all the ice. But we do it for the kids, I mean DOGS, damnit!

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  32. I once wrote a blog post about how I killed one of my goldfish accidentally (by shaking him in a net to "liven him up" a bit but it did the opposite...) and replaced him with a "black ugly little mofo fish with bulgy eyes". And I got hate mail. Some persnickety little internet troll condemned me for fish cruelty, for calling my fish ugly when he was beautiful, and for knowing nothing about how to care for goldfish. She told me to "DO YOUR RESEARCH". I mean, I get it, fish are living beings, just as much as a dog or a cat or whatever, but... they are GOLDFISH. They die if you look at them the wrong way, right?!? Couldn't believe it!

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  33. Amen sister! Try not to let the trolls get you down because they're probably just really horrible people doing horrible people like saying mean things behind a computer screen all day. If humans have different skin types and some things irritate some peoples skin and not others, it's not too far of a stretch to think that it's the same for dogs. You're being a good dog mom by making Harlow wear his booties, plus he looks super cute in them! And I've seen your Snaps of you taking him to the dog park even when it's super cold outside! Harlow has a great life in the city and loves you, even when he tries to push you around ;)

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  34. I'm so in love with that Harlow guy. The critical jerk is one of the millions in America who wake up each day studying what can offend them at that moment. Tay, you are much more tolerant and kind than me; I do respond if it is a pure time when a "mind your own flippin' business" is due.

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  35. My sweet little dog, Lady, who passed away when I was 22 (moment of silence) - she got INCREDIBLY sick from licking ice melter off her paws. DAYS in the vet hospital. It was so bad. NOTHING WRONG with booties!!!

    I really hate the internet sometimes. It's good and bad. The age old yin and yang. It's the best. It's the worst. It's everything.

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  36. PREACH, GIRLFRIEND! People are such ignorant aholes. Hello, they sell dog booties for a reason - dogs paws/pads are so sensitive to the cold, snow, salt, etc. that us owners have to be so careful about that. Also, there are no rules against living in the city and having a dog - I'm pretty sure it's the complete opposite seeing as almost everybody I've ever seen/met in Chicago has a dog. You do you, girlfriend - looks to me like your pup is living a dream life.

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  37. How annoying! I'm sorry people are such butts. It's very obvious how much you love Harlow. Just following you on Instagram and Snapchat, I can easily see that Harlow gets the exercise he needs and plenty of love. I think the booties are cute, but I totally get how helpful they are. I'm sure they help keep his little feet warm in the snowy weather as well. I'm sure Harlow has a better life with you in Chicago than he would in a country environment with someone who doesn't give him the attention he craves.

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  38. If it means anything, I think you're a spectacular dog mom. :) It's so tempting to get into internet fights sometimes - especially with morons. I've had to hold my tongue (well, technically my fingers) SO many times!

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  39. "It gets in the crevices and it's very painful for him. I know, because he's told me."
    ^^^ cracking up

    We have a dog that's allergic to grass.. So I understand that Harlow's paws are indeed sensitive and boots are necessary. I also give you lots of props for all the exercise and attention you give him. There are lots of people who just lock their large dog up in a small apartment while they're at work all day long.. Maybe the dog gets a 20 minute walk a day.. I'd say Harlow is pretty well off!

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  40. So let me get this straight, he's judging you for having Harlow wear booties when it's cold(aka doing a smart thing) but he also wants to be judgmental about you having him in Chicago(which he thinks is stupid?). You can't have it both ways stupid internet troll man. Also, yes anyone who watches your snapchat knows Har(can I call him that ha!!) is very well taken care of and spoiled.

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  41. Plus, if the salt gets stuck in his paws and he goes inside, it will heat up, resulting in awful skin burns on his paw pads or worse! Those people can go to hell. Where is this man? I'm not above internet fighting about dogs...

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  42. I wish less people will judge you! You are such a great dog mom!
    Actually I either didn't reply to that man comment or told him to go for a walk barefoot for 3 hours in Chicago if he thinks it's comfortable!!

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  43. People are crazy. That is why I like dogs better :). Harlow is freaking adorable and boots are necessary for the salt and cold and even of they were not who cares!! We said we would never put a dog in a sweater (I never cared if anyone else did) but we have a pup who is very thin and needs a sweater!! And again, even if she did not she is my dog and if I want to put her in a sweater I will. And it totally is difficult to get them ready to go outside, lol.

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  44. People complaining about you putting boots on your dog is like people complaining about a parent putting mitts on their babies so they don't scratch up their little faces. So dumb.

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  45. You are an amazing dog mom. Most dogs get one walk a day or are stuck inside during work hours. Whenever I see your snapchat I think Harlow is damn lucky- he honestly has a better life than me. Haters gonna hate.

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  46. you do you. and make ole instagram grump walk around in the salt and have the cold get all up in his feet in the winter. see how he likes it.

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  47. I've been researching booties for my dog when it snows or when we go hiking (lots of cactus/stickers). Any favorite brands? My dog is spoiled rotten, too. I'm sure people judge us as well...

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  48. When we lived in a place that got snow, my Cobbie had booties. She wasn't in danger from the salt but the snow would ball up between the pads of her paws. In short order she would be limping & whining. I also used them when we were hiking to keep the kids & rocks out of her pads. I never apologized for it - it was best for her & that's all that that matters.

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  49. First, people are assholes. We tried boots with Peyton and it was a nightmare. This winter, I bought her Pawtector (Amazon) and it works just as well as the boots! It rubs on like a deodorant stick and is all natural so if she licks her paws, it's fine. I highly recommend it so that you don't have to wrestle Harlow every time he needs to go out.

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  50. First, people are assholes. We tried boots with Peyton and it was a nightmare. This winter, I bought her Pawtector (Amazon) and it works just as well as the boots! It rubs on like a deodorant stick and is all natural so if she licks her paws, it's fine. I highly recommend it so that you don't have to wrestle Harlow every time he needs to go out.

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  51. I'm sure you've answered this a million times, but what brand are Harlow's booties? My Lhasas also hate the salt/cold and carrying 2 dogs home is near impossible! I tried baby socks, but they just get soggy and cold 😂

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  52. Your dog is loved and well taken care of and that is what matters. Harlow goes for walks and is treated well, so why complain? I wish we had the opposite option in South Africa - our dog can't go for a walk when the asphalt is too hot for his paws

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  53. My great grandfather Fred Lewis was the inventor of dog boots and held the first patent from the early 50's. He was an avid bird hunter, and hated that his dogs got painful sand burs in their paws. He owned a tire shop and used that background to create a cast/mold for the first rubber dog boot! :)

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  54. um, booties™ is a trademark and must be removed. thank you.

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    1. LOL, I just got weird looks in my office for actually laughing out loud at this.

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  55. Ugh. They don't even deserve a response. Obviously he gets his jollies off of that criticism.

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  56. People always love to make negative comments - moreso on the internet it seems. It's unfortunate that he has nothing better to do with his time. Harlow looks so cute in booties!

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  57. Recently I've had to avoid Facebook all together because the "judgey a-holes" seem to be out in the full force.. it still shocks me that people have nothing better to do besides attack people on social media. I totally understand the booties! I feel bad for my border collie becayse I dont really take her for walks in the winter because of the salt on the streets/roads and even in the summer some days I avoid walks too because the pavement is too hot for her little feeties (yes.. I call her paws feeties..)

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  58. I put my dogs in coats when they go out. I skip the boots because they are in my backyard and I don't put salt down there.

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  59. First, Dennis the Vizsla's comment is the best! But seriously, you are one of the best dog parents ever! I cannot even believe someone would berate you for having Harlow wear booties! It's so ridiculous. You and I both know that there are really bad people out there who do horrendous things to dogs and you are definitely not one of them! So ridiculous!!!

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  60. I hate internet trolls!! It is soooo hard sometimes to just leave the page without starting an internet fight!

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  61. I love Harlow's lil boots & I know that I wouldn't want to be walking around with nothing on my paws if it was cold & there was salt out there that burned. Hell to the NO! So, I don't think that you're doing anything wrong. As for raising him in Chicago, there are TONS of other people that do it & that's why they have dog parks so the puppers can run & play. You are doing great & Harlow is a happy boy so screw what the Negative Nancys have to say!

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  62. Boots are a necessity. It's freaking winter and cold. Even without the salt ice and snow freezes those little (or big) paws. I don't always put them in my dog because yes it's a pain and I need to buy him a new pair because his are a little big and sometimes fall off which is annoying after all the work I did to get them on in the first place.

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  63. I really don't understand people like that. I don't know why they think it's helpful or necessary to put their opinions/comments on everything they see. You're probably one of he best dog moms I know and convict us/challenge us all to be better! Every snap of you and Har running around reminds me I should probably take my dog out more!

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  64. Totally had an appropriate comment and then read Dennis the dogs comment up there and laughed so hard. Best comment ever!

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  65. This makes me so mad for you. So mad. You are protecting your dog. You are giving him a great life. Would this guy rather even more dogs be in shelters and killed rather than having people in cities take care of them?? You obviously take great care of Harlow. He is loved, fed, exercised, taken out to play, etc. etc. etc. You keep being great. Ugh.

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