One could argue that ты is more appropriate, especially since you're speaking to a dog.
ты: you (singular, with someone you know/someone of less social status than you)
вы: you (plural like you all, or with person(s) you don't know/are of more status than you)
Think tu and vous in French or du and Sie in German.
Drinking vodka (or any strong alcohol) to keep yourself warm is actually a very bad idea. You only feel warmer, but you're not helping your organism coping with the cold, you're actually making it worse. Alcohol causes a blood rush to the surface vessels (vasodilation) which increases heat radiation. You're feeling warmer but you're getting colder.
The more you know...
This is still very early in the program, but I wouldn't recommend using ты until you are familiar enough with Russian to understand the difference. Hopefully they explain it later. Its similar to using sir and ma'am instead of you, but its more important that you get it right than in English. Usually someone will tell you when its ok to switch to ты.
In a face to face situation in a foreign land, deltaray3's advice is good to follow, but in this forum that duolingo provides, I think learners have some freedom to be bold with their learning approach. After all, some of the best ways to learn something is to make a mistake and have someone correct you. Whether done with respect or without, you tend to remember it. Nevertheless, let's all encourage respectful, constructive criticism, whether it be here at duolingo or elsewhere. And on that note, I'll close with one of my favorite Russian proverbs:
Не ошиба́ется тот, кто ничего́ не де́лает.
From the sound of your post, it just might be one of your favorites, too.
I think even in face to face situations, assuming that Russians are more or less like the rest of the world, and based on my experience of talking to them they are, most Russians would be delighted that you're even attempting to speak their language and inclined to be forgiving of mistakes.
I wrote "you are where?" and was given this message (and told I was wrong): The object(in this case you) should not be placed in front of the predicate and the subject in English.
Don't worry. They make up for it with the number of ways you can say a word like "my". http://masterrussian.com/vocabulary/moy_my_mine.htm
Here is very good dictionary with word forms too https://www.lingvolive.com/ru-ru/translate/ru-en/%D0%BC%D0%BE%D0%B9
You can use both "Где вы?" and "Вы где?". The difference between the sentences is so small that even native Russians often can't explain what's the difference! :D
Well, if somebody calls me while I'm walking with my dog, he/she will use "Где вы?" (or "Где ты?" if the person is my friend). And if I'm going to any meeting and am already late, the waiting person will call me with the question "Вы где?!" (or "Ты где?!"), so it's more emotional, more impatient.
In English I would say "Where are you?" if it is a casual question and "You're where?" if I just found out for example that my child has climbed half way up the outside of a skyscraper, or is in jail, or some other unexpected place which requires further explanation. Is it similar with "Где вы?" and "Вы где?"?
For Ы listen to the file https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%D0%BF%D0%BB%D1%8B%D1%82%D1%8C
Ы should sound a bit similar to И, but more rude and sad. Smile as wide as you can while saying И and then put down the corners of your mouth
Ь has NO sound. It only means that you should pronounce previous consonant softly.
The German course accepts "y'all" as a translation for "ihr", which is the German equivalent of вы (second person plural / first person singular formal), as it rightly should. "Y'all" may not be used in all dialects of English, but other Duolingo courses strive to accommodate all varieties of English use (or at least all the major ones). I think that this Russian course ought to follow suit with that.
And QuackSack is right. The usage of "you all" and "y'all" do not strictly have to be comitative (all-encompassing of all entities), they can also be used as a simple, generic, second person plural, and I daresay that this usage is the more common one.
But "Вы" doesn't mean "they". "They" is "Они".
Try this for a handy summary table! http://www.russianlessons.net/grammar/pronouns.php