Luki's new bootees: a summer must!

Published in About Animals

Dog owners be warned! In Dalmatia's hot summers, dog paws may need protecting.

Luki modelling his new bootees. Photo: Ivica Drinković Luki modelling his new bootees. Photo: Ivica Drinković

Luki looks very fine in his smart bootees, although he has been embarrassed by the mirth they have caused among some of his many friends. He'll have the last laugh though, soon all careful owners will be fitting their canine charges with similar paw-wear.

Luki: "Must I wear these things?" Photo: Vivian Grisogono

Summers can be extremely hot on Hvar. Over the years more and more concrete has been laid for paths, with concrete and asphalt for the roads. In the sun, concrete and asphalt heat up to an unbearable degree, much more than the old stone which was the norm for paths in the past. Trees which would give shade have been mercilessly cut down. In Jelsa, for instance, the car parks in the two big supermarkets on the edge of the town are solidly concrete with not a tree for protection from the sun.

The baking road and walkway into Jelsa. Photo: Vivian Grisogono

On the ferries serving the Dalmatian islands, dogs are not allowed in the saloons, but are supposed to go up on the deck. On the older, smaller boats, there are awnings over much of the seating areas, and there are perforated plastic coverings over the metal flooring. However on some of the ferries, notably the 'Zadar' which plies between Split and Stari Grad on Hvar Island, there is precious little shade and an unprotected metal deck which heats up to unbearable temperatures under the sun. I have even seen large dogs being carried because the floor was too hot for their paws to bear!

Broiling unshaded metal deck on the 'Zadar'. Photo: Vivian Grisogono

Protecting dog paws when they have to walk for any length of time on scorching pavements or hot ferry decks makes good sense. At first Luki thought this was some fashionable fantasy dreamed up by his doting owner Ivica. He wasn't at all keen on having his four graceful paws trapped in such ungainly coverings. He didn't quite say "What do you think I am, Puss In Boots?", but his resigned resentment was plain to see during the first fittings. However, he has since adapted well to his new footwear, not least because he knows it means he's going for the longer seaside walk to get to his bathing spot. Much of the walk is on baking concrete, and as Luki is exceptionally astute, he has probably realised that the bootees are protecting his perfect paws from harm. Not just an idiotic fashion fad flight of fancy after all!

Luki enjoyed his swim, the boots are worth it! Photo: Ivica Drinković

There are numerous paw protection products on the market. The ones Luki is using are: AQH Dog Shoes, Pack of 4 Breathable Boots for Dogs with Reflective Straps, Microfibre Leather Rubber Rhombic Sole Dog Paw Protection.

The protective bootees. Photo: Vivian Grisogono

© Vivian Grisogono,July 2023, with thanks to Luki and Ivica



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