Dogs...some of the best adventure companions one can find. They are unmatched in their loyalty, always eager to be outside regardless of the weather, generally agreeable with their owner's sense of direction, and they can provide an additional level of safety in the outdoors. What more can you ask for in an outdoor adventure pal?
In honor of the canine companions that complete our lives and in collaboration with Tito's Handmade Vodka, we're thrilled to release our second episode of Outdoor Adventure Dogs. This five-part video series features a unique group of active adventure dogs, their relationships with their owners, and the lives they live together oriented around the outdoors.
Beyond their association as dogs deeply connected to the outdoors, all of the dogs in the series share another important attribute: They are all rescued animals that come from either a shelter or from some other less-than-ideal prior situation. Whether it's a look at a photographer's trusty canine sidekick providing creative inspiration, working ski patrol avalanche rescue dogs, or "wilderness therapy dogs" that help introduce newcomers to outdoor activities outside of their comfort zone, Outdoor Adventure Dogs is a fun and touching window into the lives of rescued dogs that end up doing some rescuing of their own.
Outdoor Adventure Dogs continues here with Episode 2, featuring Juneau and his owner, Rodrigo Trevino, a professional outdoor photographer based out of Southern California. You can learn more about Juneau's story in the interview with Rodrigo below.
Rodrigo: I wasn't looking for any specific breed. I simply just read his story and instantly knew that I wanted to be part of his life.
Rodrigo: Yeah, about a year ago, I was planning this trip with Rango. This trip was meant to just spend more time outdoors with my dog. He was sick at the time. We didn't know what it was until one day the doctor told us that he had cancer, and he only had eight months to live if we kept him on chemotherapy. I made the decision to make that trip more about Rango, spending time with him, and showing him a good last trip before he passed away. We made it to the Arctic Circle, all the way to Alaska, which was our main goal.
He passed away two days later, which kind of told me that he was waiting for that moment. After he passed away, I was traveling mostly on my own. It didn't feel right. It wasn't the same. I knew that I was missing something. Rango was a big part of my family, a big part of who I was. So I decided to adopt another dog. After a month and half I felt like I was ready. I went to the pound in Idaho; I was just passing through. I met Juneau and instantly fell in love with him. I knew that I had to take him with me that same day.
Rodrigo: They are both very different, although they both love being outside as much as I do.
Rodrigo: Active and very goofy.
Rodrigo: He does that by howling in different tones. As a Coonhound, Juneau is very vocal. He has different ways of telling me what he needs. He has his own language. I can understand when he's, hungry, or when he wants to go outside, or even when he misses me.
Rodrigo: He's four years old now. He was three when I rescued him.
Rodrigo: I was told he was found roaming the streets, roaming around Idaho. It was about 7 F outside, around that temperature. I knew he was struggling. He was very skinny, hungry. He needed somebody to take care of him. I am unsure of what he went through before we met since he was a stray. I kind of prefer not knowing because I'm sure it wasn't a happy experience.
Rodrigo: After being on the road, we decided to call San Diego our home base, but we are happier on the road.
Rodrigo: I am a photographer. I often have to go on long road trips, and he is there to keep me company while creating a great story.
Rodrigo: Not fully, but photos of him are my favorite.
Rodrigo: We like to go to the beach and the dog park, and I ride my motorcycle while he follows along on the trail.
Rodrigo: Juneau loves the wide open space, and the mountain backdrop is for me to photograph. There's a bit for both of us in the Eastern Sierra.
Rodrigo: My ultimate goal is to build my van and go back to living on the road. Perhaps drive down to South America.
Rodrigo: Having a dog has taught me responsibility. I think I've became a better person since owning a dog because they rely on you, and you have to be there for them everyday.
Rodrigo: He came into my life at a very low point. A point where I didn't enjoy traveling as I used to when Rango was around. Juneau came in, and I noticed him enjoying the outdoors the same way Rango used to. That gave the trip another purpose: to make Juneau happy and give him a better life.
Rodrigo: There are many dogs in need of homes and families to love them. No only are you rescuing an animal, but you are saving a life. There isn't enough room in the shelters, and if dogs can't get adopted, they are simply euthanized in order to make room for the next dog that comes into the shelter.
Rodrigo: Make sure the dog is right you and your family. My dog suits my lifestyle because he requires a lot of exercise and I'm there to take him on hikes and long days at the park.
Rodrigo: Anyone looking for an adventure companion needs a bigger dog who is full of energy.
Rodrigo: One of our best memories was during the winter in the Grand Tetons, Wyoming. We camped out during brutal -7 F degree weather while waiting for the sun to come out and provide some warmth. We cuddled all night until the morning came. We went outside and experienced one of the best sunrises of our trip: snow covered trees and white mountains as the sun lit up the mountain range.
Follow along at Outdoor Project this summer, and again in November and December, for more inspiring stories about the roles our furry friends take on as beloved adventure companions. Watch the other available episodes and learn more about the dogs in the Outdoor Adventure Dogs series here: