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In search of ponies: Degrees matter to pets

The meager degree here and degree there is almost indistinguishable to us humans.

Still warm enough for summer clothes, swimming and cookouts.

However, if one rises early enough in the morning or ventures out after dark, the cooler temperatures can be felt easily enough.

And though a drop from the mid 90s to the high 80s doesn’t feel like a huge difference, it is a difference nonetheless — in fact it is enough of a difference to spur something of a zombie apocalypse.

link Sharna Johnson

Their dead-summer eyes will soon spark to life and if they haven’t already, in short order, they will begin to rise from back porches and yards everywhere.

Yep, those lazy piles of fur that one might mistaken for carcasses — were it not for periodic twitches in response to the flies that likely thought them dead too — will reanimate.

But they won’t just slowly crawl and sway as they go, to the contrary, they will more likely bound to their feet well rested and ready to make up for lost time.

It won’t be all-inclusive at first and the critters can be expected to collapse for many hot afternoon naps in the interim between summer and fall, seasons that have little in the way of an easing in transition when it comes to the southwest.

Heat can be downright oppressive, especially when it is backed by overwhelming and pervasive, inescapable rays of sun that cook the ground, evaporate all moisture, shrivel plants and even cause masonry and plastics to dry and crack — that kind of environment can make even the spunkiest pup flop belly-up panting and snoring at the same time.

A little cloud cover, some gentle breezes and a marginal temperature drop, however, go a long way toward easing the oppression and giving back a little of what the heat took away.

Like a second wind, things are about to come to life even if it is just long enough to go kicking and screaming into an equally oppressive winter. Just as we humans lose motivation to do anything requiring exertion during the scorching days of summer, the pets too have been procrastinating, putting off all their playful and, yes, trouble making animal ways.

But that will change now that we are entering the time of year when the critters start acting on all those devious thoughts they had in recent weeks while lying around semi-comatose.

In the next couple months, they will be spotted frolicking, squabbling, chewing, digging and generally being downright impish.

Soon to follow will be the waking stomachs with their increased appetites turning finicky snoozers into ravenous wolves as a precursor to a more round, stocky appearance, their insulating fluff appearing out of nowhere as their sleek looks prepare to go dormant for a bit.

It can be a bit startling to pet people who have grown accustomed to tripping over the lazy fur rugs that bore slight resemblance to the energetic critters that disappeared sometime around the end of spring. Frustrating even, for those critters who reawaken filled with exuberance and bent on testing the limits of patience.

Rest assured, however, it is temporary.

The extra chow will eventually take a toll and just about the time the cold, brutal winds of winter arrive to batter the eastern plains, they will slow and again become fur rugs, this time joining their couch-bound people as all wait for the sun to return.

Sharna Johnson is a writer who is always searching for ponies. You can reach her at:

[email protected].