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Why Hiking with Your Dog Is So Much More Enjoyable

My adventure partner, Riley

By: Kalli Hawkins + Save to a List

Sometimes I find myself just staring at him while I'm hiking. I've come to realize that as much joy as it brings me to look around and explore, to see the various shapes of the mountains, or the endless winding trail ahead of me, the majority of my happiness comes from watching Riley see all of that for the first time as well. Whether it be a squirrel, a pond of muddy water, or a new dog approaching us from down the trail he turns around with the biggest smile on his face and grins at me and I know that I feel the exact same way inside. I am just as happy as he is for exploring this new area and enjoying the wilderness around us.

I know every flick of the ear, every flinch of the nose or head, every body movement and what it means. I know if he is happy, excited, stressed out, anxious, scared, or having the time of his life, and in some ways I think he recognizes the same things about me. The bond between a person and their dog is in some ways indescribable, it only takes a glance to know what the other one is thinking. That might sound silly to some, or to none dog owners but it's the same way parents might feel towards their children. I have spent just about everyday with Riley attached at my side for the past four years, it's safe to say we know each other pretty well.

I couldn't imagine doing what I do now without him, he makes every adventure ten times better. I fully trust him and thoroughly enjoy exploring the outdoors and sharing a trail together. I know that we both feel the most alive when outdoors, and he will forever be my adventure partner.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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