Perhaps you've dreamt of taking your dog out on the road, in search of adventure and experience. Daniel Fischer is out there living it- pursuing a life of travel with the companionship of his beloved half-lab, half malamute, Rudy. He chronicles his travels on Instagram
, and chatted with Barkpost about his bond with Rudy, and how you can start your own journey. This is Dan in his own words.
ORIGINS: "Our story traces back to Montgomery, Vermont, a small town close to the Canadian border. My parents happened to stop in to the local grocery store and there he was, the last one remaining from a litter of 8. Rudy was the one no one seemed to want, yet turned out to be the greatest dog and friend I've ever known."
"I do believe that the fact that he was the runt and so young helped shape the incredible bond we developed. Early on he was dependent upon me. However, in the days and years that followed he became my rock, always by my side through all of life's challenging moments."
SOME OF HIS FAVORITES: "This picture reminds me of the bond we share. The comfort, understanding, and love that is often unexplainable. To be connected to an animal in the way that we are is something I feel extremely grateful to be able to experience. There is nothing quite like that in the world, when few words are spoken but a paw or a lean are all that it takes."
"This one's a more recent favorite, taken in Newport, RI at sunset. People often ask how I get him to go on all these adventures with me. If you look deep into his eyes in this picture you'll see very clearly that they have it backwards. He is the adventurous one who continuously pushes me to get out and see more of the world."
"There's a great quote by Ogden Nash who says "a door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of." Too often our loyal companions trade their desire to run free for the couch. Don't get me wrong, Rudy loves the couch but nothing perks up his tail like the moment that leash comes off and he is free to explore. Therefore, I try to get him on the other side of that door as often as I can."
A SAMPLING OF TRAVELS: "We try to find an adventure every weekend so there are easily 50+ trips a year. Trips can range from a few miles/hours to 1000s of miles over multiple days. Rudy gets excited to be doing anything adventurous but his favorite would be snowy ones. He's part malamute and certainly enjoys winter more than summer."
"Camping/Hiking: Mount Washington, NH; Mount Marcy, NY; Mount Greylock, MA; Long trail, VT; Adirondack Trail; Fire Island, NY."
Jay Peak, VT; Mount Washington, NH."
"Surfing/Swimming: Outer Banks, NC; Newport, RI; Montauk, NY; various spots in Maine; SUP around the Thimble Islands, CT."
"Chasing Waterfalls: Central Park, NY; Kent Falls, CT; Sam's Point Ice Caves, Quebec."
DAN'S TIPS FOR ADVENTURING WITH YOUR DOG: "It's important to understand how your pet responds in different conditions so as not to put too much pressure on their systems. In the summer time we migrate towards water activities to stay cool, choosing to hike more in the spring and fall when it can be more enjoyable for us both."
"Great places to start looking for pet-friendly locations in your area are the national parks and local beaches. They have plenty of online resources with lots of useful information to help you identify the best places to bring your dog."
"I've found accommodations to be the most challenging. Sometimes, we've been forced to sleep in the bed of our truck or on the beach, but to us that only adds to the adventure- and it is rare."
"For those who are a little less adventurous, I can't stress enough the importance of planning ahead. Many of the large hotel chains (Marriot, Howard Johnson) offer pet friendly rooms for a nominal charge. I've also had luck with Airbnb and HomeAway sites."
"Part of the motivation behind my Instagram is to show people that there is beauty everywhere, from the most exotic of islands to the busy streets of a major city. I find many people get trapped with the logistics of pet travel, especially in a big city like New York where getting into nature can often seem quite daunting."
"My best advice is to just go for it. Make it a priority as often as you can because no matter how long it takes or what obstacles you encounter, you and your dog will be rewarded for it."