Dog, man’s best friend as the saying goes, evokes scenes well healed work dogs chasing cattle, or retrieving birds in the early morning light, exchanging slobbery face licks for ear rubs and a job well done. Dogs have always been great adventure companions and a good one seems almost required in today’s media driven outdoor industry. Scroll through the Gram and you’ll find countless photos of dogs in canoes on majestic lakes, mid-air gap jumpers pursuing their two wheeled owner, and drift boat navigators on point to find the next honey-hole.

I have a canine companion whose given name is Luna, but I’ve taken to calling her Shadow. Less because she’s a black lab and more to the fact that she is always by my side…or in my lap, or my face. Luna like all dogs I’ve had (and will ever have) is a rescue, which means she comes with her own peccadillos. Perhaps a bit of separation anxiety, her little face can always be seen in the window when I jump in the truck and laying on the couch blanket, pillows, ect. when I get home. She will routinely try to follow me into the bathroom and if I let her outside she’s glued to the door looking in as soon as I turn to walk away. 

Now, if there were auditions for adventure dog, I’m not quite sure Luna would get the part- though I recently discovered she has her own Instagram account (@lunathelunaticdoggie). Sure she likes to run outside like most dogs, but her preferred place on the trail is directly behind me usually just close enough to catch a heel to the face about every fifth stride. Stopping for water or to check the map while backpacking? Not a chance. Luna will whine until you start up the trail again. At bit of a princess, Luna doesn’t like laying in the dirt. Put her in the tent or the truck and the whining starts again. Apparently there is a two foot separation rule I keep forgetting about. The other day I went to load the dogs in the truck and before the tailgate was even a quarter of the way down she took a leap, belly flopped against the tailgate, fell onto the bike rack and floundered back to the ground like a fish out of water. Sorry Luna, I don’t think we’re getting sponsored.

But for all her foibles Luna is a great companion. Always stoked to see the leash come out of the closet, she’ll spin circles around the front yard when I unlock the truck. You have to love her enthusiasm. Unlike Quincy (other dog) and his hardwired prey drive, I know Luna will always stay close on the trail and is quick to return after short excursions to satisfy her primordial canine hunting urges. Plus, who doesn’t love seeing a happy little face greeting you at the door when you return home. Sure we won’t be featured on Pinkbike anytime soon, but at the end of a day in the outdoors there’s nothing like a cold beer and tired pup right by your side.

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