there are few companions in this world i enjoy taking to the mountains more than my pups. everyone knows that dogs are (wo)man’s best friend; but did you know that dogs are (wo)man’s best hiking companion? let me give you a few reasons why.
a dog’s enthusiasm is contagious.
from the moment we start prepping our hiking gear at home, my dogs can sense that fantastic adventure lies ahead. containing their excitement is an impossibility. emotion comes pouring out of their little fur bodies, in the form of grunts, barks, fast movements, whines, jumps, and more. my dogs live for today, everyday.
if i wasn’t on top of the world previously about my hiking plans, i most certainly will be by the time we load up in the jeep and their heads are hanging out the windows. their enthusiasm brings my enthusiasm to the next level.
a dog allows you to enjoy the peace and quite of the surrounding nature.
one challenge in hiking with other humans is finding the balance in conversation vs soaking in the surroundings. most who are outdoor enthusiasts would agree that there is something inexplicably rewarding that comes from soaking in the silence. to sit. to stare. to listen. i love conversation but i also love not having it at times. a dog will allow you to have these moments.
“silence is not the absence of something, but the presence of everything.”
a dog will inspire you to clear your mind of the clutter and be more carefree.
dogs are carefree spirits, and therefore endlessly entertaining. i often watch my dogs while we are hiking and wish that i could live my life with that kind of reckless abandon. run straight for that icy water, you’ll run yourself warm after. roll around in that mud hole, being clean is over-rated. nothing is going to hold them back from maximizing their adventure.
contrarily, i occasionally can be guilty of not turning my brain off when in the outdoors. i may be present physically, but not mentally. when i find myself in this state, all it takes to pull me out of my head is one glance at my pups having the time of their lives. they make me laugh and bring me back to present.
a dog will warn and/or protect you against unwanted guests.
it is astounding that dogs can be so carefree, but also so in tune with their surroundings. it is as if they can sense danger in the air. whether it be an animal or a human, they typically know long before i do that there could be a threat in the surroundings. their warnings give me time to evaluate the situation and prepare for whatever they may be sensing.
a dog will encourage you to hike further and faster.
during a day out on the trails, i am confident that my vizsla covers 3+ miles of ground to my 1. as i watch him i find myself wanting to take off in a full sprint. if he can do it, so can i. i have no doubts that he encourages me to cover more ground and move faster. with him i raise my heart rate higher, and i adventure into places i may not have otherwise wandered.
a dog is excited to share the outdoor experience with you, but will also be very independent.
dogs are intended to be outdoor animals. so the moment you let them loose outside, they require zero instruction. i don’t have to tell them where to go or what to do. before i could even think about doing so, they are off and at it! they will chase after whatever they see that interests them and do so with 200% of their being. but they won’t ever leave me behind. they will run. they will adventure. they will be independent. but they will always keep an eye out for their momma and make sure we are conquering this hike together.
my pups are life-enhancers, some of life’s best friends, and the ultimate hiking companions.