Spending as much time as you can outdoors isn't a hobby. It is a lifestyle. Somethings fit into this lifestyle better. For instance, a part time job. It provides just enough income to do the things you love, while allowing for copious amounts of free time to actually do those things. Or for instance how easily a gear purchase can be rationalized, but annual visits to the doctor are just too much money. After all you already have all the answers (thanks Google). One other things just fits right into an adventurous lifestyle, a dog.
- Dogs are free entertainment after long hikes. Pulling the pack off your dog evokes an immediate response that involves lots of on back air kicks. Grunts, groans, and rolls. All of that has the effect of stopping everyone's actions as they stare in amusement.
- Dogs love drinking and swimming in backcountry streams/lakes. Unlike you, your dog has no quarrels about dunking into that delicious mud puddle, surrounded by cow patties. The dirtier the better! Don't worry, I am sure your dog will be clean by the time you bunk together in the tight one person tent.
- Dogs prefer variety in their chosen sleeping environments. No bed? No problem. Bed of rocks? Thats ok. Your bed? Even better. Crash pads, your sleeping mattress, or your neighbors are all fair game. After all your dog didn't choose to come out here, you did.
- Dogs provide adequate security for your Sprinter van full of gear; or even the sandwich you left within reach. Ok so they may not be guarding your stuff exactly how you envisioned, but a dogs got to eat.
- Dogs are the best defenders of territory from woodland creatures. No matter the size your dog is ready to take them on; from the comfort of your sleeping bag of course. Squirrels don't stand a chance getting to your food bag. Backdown chipmunk.
- Dogs are your best shot at seducing a two legged adventure partner. There is no wingman (or wingwomen) in the world that is better then a dog. Forget the epic stories of heroic endeavors, just let the dog do the talking.
- Dogs are always ready for a run, hike, bike, or recovery day. Your training partners will come and go but the K9 is there for you. In fact they come pre-trained with motivation techniques like early morning kisses. These are sure to motivate you and get you on the move.
- Dogs can be your excuse for anything. Rolling down the road can stir things up on long road trips to crags. No worries though, you can just blame the dog. Your dog will shamelessly take the blame for every gas station burrito fart you blame on them. No questions asked. Plus they will be loved the same after a short five minute period, no repercussions with that cuteness.
- Dogs don't mind the ridiculous gear you buy them. Sure your dog needs somethings. Backcountry bowls, a leash inspired by climbing, and a jacket are all necessary items. Oh but don't forget the light so you can find them in camp. Plus you should probably bring their rain jacket just in case.
- Dogs love like nothing else in the world. Unconditional love can easily be found with a short drive to your local animal shelter. If there is a more forgiving creature on the planet, I have not seen it.
Regardless of your unsuccessful send up the route, your four legged partner is there. They don't ask much of you, but shelter, food, and occasional attention. Some more then others. [looking at you Rocco] But they provided hours of entertainment around camp. And then follow that up by being a mobile space heater for your sleeping bag. The only thing better then a dog as an adventure partner, would be a cat. But they are few and far between.
This ones for you Rocco.
This ones for you Rocco.