Adventures are in the eye of the beholder.
Whether it is caring for your puppy through the night, learning how to DIY raw feed your dog, or hitting the backroads of places unknown to you, adventures are adventures, big or small.
Walking your dog from the front door to the car can be a big adventure if you have just the right kind of neighbors.
A trip to a local trail-head, down a washboard road might be all the adventure you want, and your suspension system wants, for a good long while.
Hunting as a means of wild meat for you and your dog, and then learning how to butcher in your garage is days of adventure, and hopefully comes with a great music playlist!
Whatever it is that you want to be doing with your dog, if it is safe, and it is mutual, do it. In my life with my dogs, it is our adventures that bring us closer together, a shared special experience, a newness, a getting to know each other in a different way.
Our time with our dogs on this earth is limited, finite, this is a fact my friends. Waiting for lightening to strike to prompt an adventure is a waste of time. Just like one foot in front of the other and you realize you are walking, so is an adventure.
I can mark the decades of my life, the mountain ranges I have passed through, and the seemingly endless dirt roads I have walked on, with every single one of my dogs. When I am old and the grass is tall, may these be the memories that fill my day, because truth be told, they are pretty awesome to me.
Here are some tips, in general, when doing something with your dog out of the ordinary from your daily routine –
- When you have a puppy, train for everything all of the time. You aren’t going to know what the next seventeen years has in store for you, so prepare, this opens up so many possibilities, and your puppy deserves your efforts.
- Start whatever it is you want to do in small chunks within your dogs skill level, and build from there. There will not be any great adventure memories if you try to push your dog into a situation clearly over their skill/social level. Remember, just like training is something you do with your dog not too your dog, so are adventures.
- Safe and mutual.
- Correct gear on both ends of the leash.
- And what a great segue for the leash, always have a leash on your dog, or in your hand if you are outdoors on an adventure, period. If the leash is off you are telling the entire world that your dog is under 100% voice control. If you do not have that level of communication yet, it is your responsibility to work towards that and use a leash until you and your dog are ready.
- Food, nourishing and bioavailable food. Adventures usually involve some level of energy output, a little or a lot. What you offer to your dog counts. If you are a canned beans and tortilla kind of budget traveler, that’s your choice, but your dog needs a more nourishing and balanced diet all of the time.
- Understanding your dog as your adventure partner also includes knowing their body language signals, their movement, and their comfort or discomfort.
- You have three brains – your head/logic brain, your heart/emotion brain, and your gut/instinct brain. Adventuring with your dog will require you to rely on your gut feeling, your instincts. Why? Because it is never wrong. But this is going to take some practice, so learn to understand this side of yourself a bit better.
Here is to adventures and time well spent – Nancy