This is shameful. Who leaves their little, elderly dog outside in the cold for hours?! This woman does.

I am so ashamed to admit that woman is me! I did not do it on purpose, but it was definitely one of those moments where I thought, "I cannot make that mistake ever again!!"

Here's what happened. I was in a rush. My little 13 year old Cairn Terrier whined to go out back. I let him out and then got distracted packing kids in the car to rush them off to basketball and art lessons. In telling the kids to grab this or that and packing up my own stuff I completely forgot that little Snuggles was outside.

This was 5:30 at night and the temperatures were dropping. We've been getting down to the low 20's and even teens at night.

I dropped my son off at basketball, headed to art lessons, did a little shopping, grabbed a treat with my daughter, picked my son up from basketball, and dropped the kids off with their Dad all while my little dog was outside in the freezing cold, wondering if he was ever going to be let back in.

Upon arriving home I heard crying outside and was horrified at what I had done. I let him inside immediately and I've never seen him so grateful and so traumatized. Physically I could tell he was o.k., but he cried for several minutes, and couldn't get enough of my loves and cuddles.

His ears seemed painfully cold and I just felt so bad that he had been sitting out there in the bone chilling cold for so long.

I know I can hardly stand to be outside for more than about 15 minutes and I know he's a dog, but we all really need to think before exposing our pets to the elements.

According to Pet MD there are several factors involved in deciding which dogs are ok outside and for how long including size, coat type, and age. In very general terms, most dogs are o.k. until temps dip below 45 degrees. Under 32 degrees small dogs can become distressed quite quickly and dogs in general should not be outside below 20 degrees without risking their health and frost bite.

When temperatures dip below freezing, you should probably bring even your big dog indoors.

Luckily, Snuggles has been very forgiving towards me and is o.k. but it was a huge wake-up call for me and I know I won't be leaving the house any time soon without double checking that he is indoors.