The furry long-haired Shih Tzu might be trying to tell me I’ve got the thermostat set too high.

Leonard has been staying out in the cold longer than the other dogs when I put the dogs out. At first I thought it was just because he was just waiting for the big dogs to get in, because they tend to trample him if he gets in the way. But he wouldn’t come in even when I called him in.

When it snowed on Saturday I caught him running through and rolling around in the 4-inch snow. He came in only after his fur was damp with and nearly fully encrusted with melting snow. And only then to sit on my lap because that’s apparently all I’m good for.

But there have other signs he’s hot.

I thought the boxer Val was kicking him out of bed at night and not letting him back in because she can be a bed hog. But when I found Leonard curled up in the cool spot by the west window and he growled when I tried to pick him up, I realized it was it was by choice.

He also prefers laying by the door in the living room instead of his usual spot on the couch. But that could be just because that spot on the couch is too close to a rambunctious teenager who likes to pick on him.

But I know he’s actually hot because occasionally he’ll spill the water bowl and lay in the puddle, he’s always the first one out and he’ll lay in the shower if he could get away with it.

We could help him stay cool by giving him a haircut, but he always bites me when I try to cut his hair, even if it’s just a little bit. He’ll bite even if he just sees me holding a pair of scissors.

The surest sign that the Shih Tzu really is hot is that he let my son throw him in the snow. Not only did Leonard not bite him, but he came back to him so that Isaac could throw him in the snow again.

I don’t think it’s better than getting a haircut, but I suppose it works.