EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, N.J. – Christine Arsenis has this problem. It's her dogs.
When it's cold outside, her bichon frise and her two poodles refuse to use the backyard of her home when nature calls.
Instead, they do their business on her 20-by-20-foot outdoor porch.
"When it warms up, I'm going to have to power-wash my deck," said Arsenis, 50, of Egg Harbor Township, N.J.
With single-digit temperatures still plaguing the Northeast, pet owners, farmers and zoo operators are feeling the cold, too. And it is forcing extraordinary measures for what are ordinary issues.
At the Cape May County Zoo (search), in Cape May Court House, zookeepers are providing extra hay, keeping water bowls heated and building three-side enclosures out of former Christmas trees, to serve as wind breaks for some of the 500 animals.
Rocky, a 3-year-old Siberian tiger, likes the cold, but even he needs some relief.
"It's his kind of weather," said Dr. Hubert Paluch, the zoo's veterinarian. "He'll stay outside most of the day. He likes to run around. He'll get into areas where there's less wind, or go inside when he's cold."
All the animals have pens or enclosures to retreat to, but most tough it out.
Zookeepers use portable water-heating devices that, when left in water bowls, keep the temperature above freezing at all times.
"Most of them have heated houses that they're either locked into or have free choice to get in and out of. Some have heat lamps or gas heaters. We bed down extra, inside and out, giving them extra bedding of timothy hay, which gives them a chance to stay off the frozen ground but be in the sun," Paluch said.
Some animals just love the cold.
Kathy Watson, 38, of Northfield, has an 8-month-old chocolate Labrador (search) named Mochaka who is jumping into winter with both feet -- literally.
"It's his first snow, so he's very excited and very silly. He chases the snowflakes, he's barking at the snow, he sticks his nose in the snow piles and smells, he bites the ice," said Watson.
She has noticed he's eating more since the cold spell hit New Jersey this week. Watson uses a paper towel to wipe down Mochaka's paws when he comes in from the cold.
She walks the dog six times a day, and while he loves it, the cold is getting to Watson.
"I got sick taking him out, but he doesn't care," she said.