I take my mutt for a walk every day. I’ve had him for almost a year and we’ve gone for a walk every day except for a few days when we traveled and also during the two-week road trip I took without my mutt.

I live in Fargo, N.D. There is currently a windchill advisory predicting temperatures of -45 degrees. Officials are recommending no driving. When I walked my mutt this morning it was easily below 0. My point is, although I don’t think it’s safe to walk when it’s -45 degrees, I normally don’t use the cold as an excuse not to walk my mutt. In the summer we walked when it was 90 degrees and humid, and in the spring and fall we walked when it was windy and rainy. In the winter we walk no matter how cold it is.

Our walk is important to both of us. For my mutt, it’s a time to run and explore and let out excess energy. For me, it’s a time to relax and reflect on my day and week. It’s a much-needed mental break for me. When we don’t get our walk in, neither of us are very fun to be around. Just ask my boyfriend. Without his daily walk, my mutt is anxious, following us around and more likely to get into trouble. And if I don’t go for a walk, I am also anxious, worrying that I won’t get things done because I haven’t given myself time to relax and plan my day. I don’t buy my mutt many toys or spend enough time with him. He thinks I don’t feed him enough and that I’m pretty bossy. But, I always make sure he gets his daily walk.