While most of us were snuggled safely in our homes watching the blizzard outside on Saturday, December 11th, Dr. Hunter and her dog Ansel bundled up and headed to Macalester College.
You may wonder why they ventured out in this storm. Dr. Hunter, an alum of Macalester, is part of the group of Alumni who use their pets to help current students cope with the stress of college.
They visit the campus at the end of every semester to help the students take a break from the stress of preparing for finals. Spending time with playful pets give these students a taste of home that they would otherwise be without. This semester, Ansel was the only dog to make the event, but at past outings there have been as many as 15 dogs. Students were very grateful to Dr. Hunter and Ansel for providing them with this refreshing moment away from their studies.
Dr. Hunter views this activity as not only good for the students, but good for her and Ansel as well. Too often we view the winter as time to hibernate. But, our dogs need activity, even in the most extreme weather. When the weather gets cold and snowy, Dr. Hunter and Ansel both put on their jackets, scarves, hats, and boots and venture out into the winter wonderland to burn off some energy.
Dogs that don’t get the necessary amount of activity tend to find other, less appropriate outlets for their pent up energy. So, even if you don’t venture outdoors, make sure to spend plenty of time with your pets during the winter. It’s a great time to brush up on training at home or take some classes with your dog. If you do go outdoors, make sure to bundle your dog up, as they are just as suseptible to the elements as we are.
Our pets help us enjoy the long winter months of the midwest, make sure to spend time with them – winter can be fun if we share it with our pets!