Outdoors Magazine

Ice Safety

By Hikingwithheather @HikingHeather
Now that winter is fully upon us, it's time to start thinking about ice safety again. I've blogged about this before, but it's worth repeating. I know there are times of the year when it's perfectly safe to be out on the ice and people do it all the time, but it really creeps me out. I just don't trust it no matter how cold it is or how deeply into winter we are. To me, you just never know where there might be thin spots or ice-fishing holes that are still open. Bottom line:  it's too risky. I prefer to have my feet on solid ground.
Recently, Charlie and I were at a nearby park where a thin layer of ice had just formed over the small lake. I wanted to keep Charlie away from the temptation of going near the now-frozen water, so we kept to the grassy field to play Chuck-it for a bit before starting our leashed walk.
Ice Safety
Charlie behaves better on-leash when she's had a chance to run and release some of her energy. I was admiring her thundering-quick run and the way she jumps up into the air to catch her ball... such grace and athleticism!
But on one catch, the ball bounced off the tip of her nose and went rolling toward the slope down to the water's edge. I ran after Charlie yelling at her to "STOP!" as I watched the ball slowly roll out onto the ice.
Ice Safety
Luckily I got to Charlie before she headed out after it. I quickly leashed her and stood there contemplating how to get the ball back. It was too far to reach with the Chuck-it stick and I didn't want to leave it there to tempt the next off-leash dog to go out after it.
I decided to walk along the path and see if I could find a longer stick. Charlie of course thought this was a new and even more fun game than Chuck-it!
Soon I found a small branch that was long enough. Keeping it away from Charlie was not easy though! Charlie loves her sticks and this one was the monster-of-all-sticks.
Ice Safety
You can probably imagine the hilarity of watching me trying to retrieve Charlie's ball off the ice while she's trying to steal my branch.
And perhaps you can imagine my chagrin when I finally retrieved the ball only to find that Charlie would now prefer to have the stick instead. So typical. Love this girl.
Ice Safety

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