It may not surprise you that I think every person should go on an adventure with her dog.
But just what is an adventure anyway? And can every person take one?
Adventuring With Dogs
Everything is better with dogs.
Okay maybe there are one or two things better without dogs.
But dogs do bring an awful lot of fun to ordinary activities. So why not do something extra-ordinary with your dog?
Kurgo, the dog gear company, will be sponsoring four dog/human adventure teams. And you should see what cool adventures the fifteen finalists are planning. There are a few hikers, some bikers, and even one guy planning to explore American waterways (including a short sailing trip).
Watch the finalist’s videos and maybe you’ll be inspired to take a long hike or try mountain biking with your dog.
But what if you have a job? School? Kids to raise? What if the thought of sleeping on the ground gives you hives? And what if your idea of whitewater is a hot bath loaded with bubbles?
Can you still have an adventure with your dog?
Adventures For Homebodies
The short answer to whether homebodies can have adventures with their dogs? Hell yeah!
You just need to think smarter about what having an adventure means.
Recognize that the definition of adventure means doing something unusual, or exploring unknown territory. If your usual is watching the Kardashians, then that leaves a lot of room for finding adventure.
So what are some adventures for homebodies to have with their dogs?
Look closely at a place you think you know well.
How many times do we walk by things and never really see them?
Why not take your dog to the back corner of your yard or a favorite park? Get down on his level. Sniff the ground where he does. Sit still and look for movement—birds, bugs, rodents. Viewing the familiar at a dog’s eye view will open worlds to you. And your dog will love having you exploring by his side.
Explore somewhere new.
I’m astonished by how many of my neighbors have never visited some of the semi-wild areas in my small city.
There’s the footpath behind the old movie theater. The many creeks that travel through on their way to the lake. And yes, I’ve even met someone who has only viewed the Ithaca falls from the road?!
Where are the fringy areas of your neighborhood? Water’s edges? Old, neglected cemeteries? Vacant lots? These places attract all kinds of interesting critters. And your prey-driven dog will love you for giving her an excuse to clear those pesky squirrels.
Discover a new sense.
When it’s too yucky to enjoy being outdoors, nose work games are a fabulous adventure to have with your dog.
She’ll have a blast hunting for stinky treats. And you’ll learn all kinds of new things about your dog (I discovered that Honey needed to learn to lift her head to find higher scents; for a long time, she was stuck only exploring the ground).
While you’re at it, tuck a stinky treat on a table. See how close you have to get before you smell it yourself. Then enjoy the amazement of what your dog can do so much better than you.
Train a new trick.
Is there any better adventure than exploring the mind?
I’m not a great trainer. And I never saw the point of teaching dogs tricks. But then I discovered how much fun Honey found it to learn new things. And that became fun for me.
I taught Honey to push doors closed with her nose to make her less scared of sudden noises (it worked!). But she loves “high-five” so much that she’ll do it spontaneously to ask us to play.
Working together with your dog on learning a new skill is a fabulous adventure. And if you teach him how to sort the laundry, it could bring you a whole new working relationship.
Visit a new pet-friendly place.
I love taking Honey out to eat. But since we live in the un-pet friendly U.S. instead of Paris, it doesn’t happen very often.
It’s spring. That means ice cream stands are opening up. Coffee shops are setting up outdoor tables.
If your dog has the temperament to sit quietly around strangers and food, take him out for drinks or lunch.
I can’t guarantee you won’t see a bug or two. But it’s a pretty sophisticated adventure compared to scrambling up rocks or canoeing through the wilderness, eh?
Relationships Need Adventures
All relationships need something new every now and again.
Our relationships with our dogs are no different.
Spring has arrived in the northern hemisphere (despite the snow some of us got recently). So why not let the new life appearing around you inspire you go on an adventure?
Your dog will love you for it, whether your idea of an adventure is scaling your state’s highest peaks or taking a drive to a new park.
Your Turn: What do you think of when you hear the word “adventure.” And what kind of adventures do you like to take with your pups?