When I adopted Danny, he had all his energy and all his muscles from the day we met him. I knew I was going to be outside twice a day, every day, no matter the weather, with the dog.
A year and a half later, it’s more true than ever. As he got used to the the leash and the fact that there were other dogs in the world, our walks got longer. As spring and summer came around, we added 4- and 5-mile hikes in a local forest. As it turned cooler and rainier, we switched one of our daily outdoor experiences to 2- or 2.5-mile afternoon runs to maximize energy output while minimizing our time in 35-degree rain. We are not dumb.
So, when it was nearly 60 degrees with actual sunshine at our normal run time yesterday, we were on it like the kitten on his stuffed mouse. There were fair-weather runners and walkers clogging the sidewalks. Some were sweating like crazy and breathing like freight trains after they’d spent a winter snuggled in front of the Netflix queue. I nodded in polite encouragement.
But Coach Danny and I were grinning from ear to ear (larger ears requiring larger grins) as we ran a couple of 8-minute miles around the neighborhood. We’d been out in slush, rain, and sub-freezing temperatures for the past four months. I had layered and made Danny wear his waterproof coat. But this afternoon, not even I wore a jacket. Danny ran naked as an ancient Greek Olympian competitor.
We’re not actually in it to win it; some days I forget to even wear my watch when we’re out, so I have no idea how fast we’re running, walking, or hiking. But we’re out there every day — active dog, active person. We’re not just fair-weather friends; we’re worst-weather friends.