It's a big scary world out there. Particularly so for tiny dogs, who have to worry about things like getting snatched up by hawks and eaten by coyotes and sat on and squished by human butts. For them, the winter brings with it its own unique set of dangers, some of which can be easily guarded against—if it gets very, very cold, for instance, a chihuahua might simply don a Canada Pooch parka, or snuggle up with its owner in a nice warm bed. But in certain cases, it falls upon owners to protect our diminutive canine friends from Bad Winter's gravest threats. Which is to say: Please, please do not let your small dog blow away in the wind.
The prospect of such a thing actually happening may sound far-fetched (har-har-har), but it is not. As NBC reports, northern Ohio and northwestern Pennsylvania have been hit with up to 50 MPH winds this week, leading the National Weather Service to issue an alert for falling trees and power outages, along with a (possibly first-of-its-kind?) "small dog warning."
The hazardous weather conditions have officially escalated to "Very Windy," leaving those most adorable and slight and defenseless of dogs—the Pomeranians, the Bichon Frises, the Dachsunds, the Scottish Terriers—at risk of being swept up and carried away by a particularly powerful gust. As the NWS notes, it is your responsibility, small dog owners of the world, to "Hold on to your Pooch!"
Imagine, for a moment, the horror of taking your 12-pound Japanese Chin out for a romp in the backyard when a blistering squall comes along and whisks it into the air, over a fence, and into the clouds, your pup eventually becoming nothing but a dot in the air above you, and then nothing at all. Could there be a more terrible, avoidable fate for a dog to suffer? Could there be a greater pain for a dog owner to bear?
No. There couldn't. So, again: Please do not let your tiny little boy or girl blow away in the wind. Hold them close, tightly to your bosom, and thank the good folks at the Cleveland Branch of the National Weather Service for reminding you just how delicate your tiny, furry little friend's life really is.
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This article originally appeared on VICE US.