By, Barclay Idsal
Mountain Biking: Some dogs see bikes as two-wheeled death machines, giving way to frenzied barking that doesn’t stop until the wheels do. Other dogs play chase and will shred single-track harder than you ever will. The problem is that your furry soul mate is not invincible and gets fatigued if you go too fast and don’t have enough water for the both of you animals. Snoopy can even experience heat stroke and degenerative hips. Bad call master.
Skiing: #paws4pow, #doggieshred, #dogshitonmyskins are all popular hashtags via the ski world’s most active social media platform: Instagram. But even though your dog looks #sick in all that #pow, you need to make sure your dog is ready for the deep stuff. Alaskan Malamutes, St. Bernards, Huskies, and Burnese Mountain Dogs are suited for this type of snowpack due to their genetics. Winter coats, bigger paws, and length in their front and hindquarters set them apart from their shorter canine friends. Smaller dogs tend to spring in and out of the snow, which as humans we can relate to but as dogs can hurt their hips, feet, and shoulders over time. That being said, springtime doggie shreds are a great opportunity to get Ol Yeller out on firm corn that is more doggie friendly than #blower.
Rafting: Right now a dog is riding on a raft watching his master and thinking, “This guy is the fucking man.” Ultimately, rafting may be a dog’s favorite pastime (as long as your dog can swim). Whether in or on the water, your hound will be as happy as Lassie with a pork chop in her mouth but most importantly your pup will be too tired too wake you up until 10AM the next day. Count your blessings and keep rowing with Rover.
Climbing: What’s the point in doing something that your best friend can’t participate in? Crags are for humans and mountain goats. That said, if you have a mountain goat as a pet you are a true believer in the backcountry spirit and I salute you.
Fly Fishing: No fisherman enjoys a dog ruining his or her favorite fishing hole. However, fly fisherman (generally speaking) tend to be a pretty particular bunch and that quality usually translates into their dogs. Mostly well trained, fishing dogs can stand at attention while their master casts in perfect rhythm for Cutthroat Trout on the edge of a river bank. However, this is not true for every fly fisherman. I’ve seen plenty of fishermen have their day ruined by their furry compadre jumping balls first into the above-mentioned fishing hole. Pretty touch and go with this one. Bottom line: keep your lines tight.
Backpacking: Getting up in the high alpine for an overnight with your pup is pretty cool. Dogs provide an extra 20°F+ of insulation and are crucial companions for solo adventures. They keep you sane, ward off bears, and even serve as hunters for small vermin if it gets all Chris McCandless out there (See Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer). As long as the approach to camp is reasonable, your dog will be happy and will even lick your Choco induced blisters at the end of the day. Score one for the backpacker. You deserve it bud.
Surfing: Same as rafting. Just ask “Surfice” dog Ricochet and don’t forget your Kleenex.
[photo credit: Shutterstock]