- They encourage you to get out and be active
One of the most important things when owning a dog, especially a large breed, is finding the time to exercise them in your busy life. Having a yard is great, but if your dog is anything like mine, she needs true adventure to fulfill that call of the wild. Weekly hikes and walks in the woods are a must for Kya and that time outdoors does wonders for my own health and stress levels as well! There’s many times when Kya being rambunctious inspired a hike that made my day better.
2. They provide a sense of security
To me, one if the scariest things when I’m alone in the woods is other humans with bad intentions. That fear subsides in the presence of my 60 pound Siberian husky who has a quite intimidating mask. Growing up with dogs, I have become accustomed to the home security system their barks provide. While my husky is a sweet, loving girl, she knows we’re a pack and would protect me if need be.
3. They carry their own weight
Have you ever had a pal ask you to stuff an extra pair of socks or a water bottle in your pack because theirs is too full or because they don’t want to take one on a day hike? That doesn't happen with a pup. Weather it’s a weekend long backpacking expedition or a walk around the neighborhood, Kya wears her doggy backpack filled with poop bags, treats, a collapsible water bowl, a light-up dog tag, and a tie-up. On longer adventures she carries her own food too! With a strong, athletic breed, I never have to worry about extra gear in my bag with her as my hiking buddy.
4. They’re good listeners
Admit it, we all talk to our dogs. The adorable head tilt when I say “wanna go for a walk?!” will always make me smile. Additionally, the sound of my voice often triggers intense eye contact from my pooch as if she’s listening and maybe understands. The best part, she never judges or talks back and will end every vent session with a kiss!
5. They’re always happy to be there
Too cold? No such thing. Sore feet? NEVER. There’s nothing but a wagging tail and perked ears when we’re out and about. Even our regular neighborhood walk is constantly filled with new smells making every outing a treat for Kya.
6. You never have to adventure alone
Having a dog as your best adventure buddy means never having to depend on others to have a clear schedule when you’re in the mood for a hike! Additionally, having a dog is a great excuse to get out and go for a stroll when there’s nothing better to do.
7. They help you make new friends
Hikers are notorious for being friendly. It’s rare to encounter someone on the trail who doesn’t greet you. If you’re anything like me, you’re not great with small talk and walking in sync with strangers on the trail can get a little awkward. That doesn't happen with a dog in the pack. Fellow hikers always want to know her name, breed, how old she is and how she likes whatever trail were on. From there I can fill the air with stories about our past adventures, training her, and that time we got lost backpacking when Kya was only 7 months old, but was a total trooper.
8. They warm up a tent
Speaking of being lost backpacking, when it’s 40 degrees and you have to pitch emergency shelter, a fluffy husky is not a bad addition to the tent. Her ability to retain heat has acted as my toe warmers many nights out in the woods. While Kya isn’t the most physically affectionate of dogs, (she likes her personal space), when we’re crammed in a 2 person backpacking tent or when she senses that I’m cold, she’s down to cuddle.
9. They spot visitors before you do
In addition to being a home security system, having a dog on the trail can provide some extra security against critters big and small. Alert ears and a focused stare into the trees can warn us about approaching wildlife before we notice with our weak human senses. In some cases, we get a head start when we need to keep moving. In other cases, we get to experience something beautiful we wouldn’t have noticed without the dog pointing it out.
10. They’re always down for ice cream on the way home
The dog will never say that they're “on a diet” or “cutting out dairy” no matter how hot or cold it is. The dog is ALWAYS interested in a peanut butter frozen yogurt, especially when there is a dog treat on top!