You’ve probably owned one, grown up with one, or met one sprinting by you on the trail. They are a rare and precious species, the chosen companion of many in the outdoor community. They are Adventure Dogs. In honor of #nationalcampingwithdogsday last weekend, we pay tribute to the best adventure buddies there are.
They come in all shapes, sizes, colors, nationalities, breeds, upbringings, and personalities. In many ways, they are all the same. Their coats are muddy and a little matted. Their paws are tough, claws filed down from sprinting down rocky trails. They’ve tangled with cockleburs, faced off with skunks, shown squirrels who’s boss, and retrieved sticks from the farthest of throws.
If you’ve been blessed with an Adventure Dog or two in your life, you’ve likely been infected with their excitement for the outdoors. They’re always the first in the lake, they smell every trailside plant, they run with a sense of pure freedom only animals can experience. The Adventure Dog knows which shoes mean you’re going on a trip, and if they’re coming along before you even grab the leash.
Adventure Dogs never show up to the trailhead late. They never forget to bring an extra pair of socks or matches for the stove. They don’t complain, don’t ask to turn around, and never leave you behind (well, they come back for you at least). They are patient, trusting, and protective, and they won’t judge you if you take a wrong turn or trip over a rock.
Adventure Dog is all smiles, endless energy, companionship without asking for anything in return (but they won’t say no to a belly rub). With a little encouragement, they scale boulders, brave river crossings, bound through snow drifts, and keep up with your back tire on the downhill.
The Adventure Dog is the ultimate outdoor role model. They teach us to take on each day with enthusiasm. We learn to never turn down an adventure, even if it’s just a ride in the truck. They show us not to be afraid of getting our feet wet, to always stop and smell the flowers, and the healing powers of a good roll in the grass. Adventure Dogs prove you’re never too old or too tired to get off the couch and head outside.
Sure, they aren’t much help putting up the tent or fixing flats. Their presence usually means you have to pack more water and some dog food too. And taking an Adventure Dog along can limit the trails you’re able to trek (looking at you, national parks). But one look at your pup’s grin as they jump in the car, their tongue hanging carelessly out of the side of their mouth as they bound up the trail, makes it all worth it.
Give your Adventure Dog an extra hug today. Then go take them on an adventure.