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Signs of spring: Canines and their humans frolic outdoors as weather warms

Dakota, a husky mix, darts after a ball at the Tudek Dog Park on Sunday, March 8, 2015. Sunny skies and temperatures above freezing pleased many around Centre County.
Dakota, a husky mix, darts after a ball at the Tudek Dog Park on Sunday, March 8, 2015. Sunny skies and temperatures above freezing pleased many around Centre County. CDT photo

Twelve days before the official start of spring, Bernadette the English bulldog enjoyed the relatively balmy preview Sunday afternoon by sprinting around Tudek Dog Park.

Ashleigh Richards, of Bellefonte, said it was the first time Bernadette was able to run around outside in a while. The 1-year-old has been behaving herself indoors but had been getting a bit of cabin fever, her owner said.

“She’s good inside, but she likes to run free, so this is perfect,” she said.

It looks as if the dog days of winter will take a respite through the week, AccuWeather senior meteorologist Alan Reppert said. A high of 44 degrees is expected for Monday, with a low of 30 degrees expected through the night, he said. Further warmer temperatures can be expected through the week, with highs in the mid- to upper 40s, and lows around or slightly above freezing during the nights.

“It’s going to be a very welcome relief from temperatures we’ve seen so far this year,” he said.

Rain is in the forecast Tuesday, Reppert said. Snow or a possible ice storm that could complicate travel conditions is expected Friday into Saturday, as temperatures will cool by the weekend, he said. However, those will be more in line with what is normal this time of year, about freezing, and not the bitter cold the area has encountered so far, he said.

Other furry friends, like Loki the border collie and Dakota, a Siberian husky mix, enjoyed the sun and frolicked with Bernadette at the park Sunday.

Dakota and owner Rasha El-Beshti, of State College, moved to Centre County from North Carolina about a year ago. The cold weather didn’t faze the dog during her first Pennsylvania winter, El-Beshti said. Huskies are an Arctic breed, and the dog, who sports a thick, brown coat, lay on the snow after playing at the park Sunday. El-Beshti said the winter was more of a shock for her.

“This was so brutal,” she said. “There were days when it was so cold, I thought I would cry.”

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