This year, however, I decided that I was going to dispense with shedding season altogether and perform a preemptive full-body shave, something I've never before attempted with a dog. I chose Monday as S-day, a warm, sunny, windless day that would be perfect for shaving a large, hairy, recalcitrant canine. Then, on Monday, as I was about to do battle with millions of hair follicles, I got the forecast for Tuesday. Plunging temperatures. Snow. Freezing rain. Sleet. Single-digit windchills. So here I sit Wednesday morning with a quarter-inch of ice coating every outdoor surface, fruit trees with dead, frozen, useless blooms, and one very happy, very hairy old dog who gets to enjoy her winter wardrobe for one more week. I guess the moral of this story is twofold: One, someone needs to shoot that damnable groundhog, and two, make sure warm weather is here to stay before breaking out the clippers.