5 Reasons Why Hiking with Your Rescue Dog is the Best Hiking

She's not the typical outdoor dog we see splashed all over social media like the beautiful Golden Retrievers or Yellow Labradors. She's actually a little bit weird looking, sort of a cross between a pug, a black lab and an alien emoji with her giant googly-eyes.

hiking with rescue dog

Yet, every time we head out on the trails, we have people literally following us around to come see her, pet her, talk to us about her. There's just something about her energy and spirit and downright adorableness that draws hoards of people into her sphere.

When the kids and I visited our local dog pound a few years ago, her little, wiggly self came up to the plexiglass window with a fuzzy, pink toy in her mouth, having faith that someday she'd find a great family to settle in with after a bumpy beginning to life. We were bowled over by her combo of sweetness and feistiness and fell in love at first sight. Done. Within seconds this rescue dog became the sixth member of our family.

We named her Aspen after the Colorado mountain-town we have a heart-connection with and she's now a best friend who we bring on almost every adventure we can.

With some amazing luck we found in her a dog who loves to hike and has more stamina than all of us, so she's always a first choice of companions to bring on the trails.

hiking with rescue dog

Why is hiking with your rescue dog so great?


1 - Contagious Joy


The sheer joy that Aspen exudes when she's out on the trail with us is 100% contagious. She makes us laugh constantly as she searches for squirrels, races with imaginary wolves, and digs for disgusting creatures to eat.

2 - Loyalty


Charmed strangers frequently approach me to say that they've been watching Aspen watch me. She tracks and follows my every move to be sure she won't be left behind as she so deeply wants to be a secure member of our family pack.

3 - Communicates Via Her Body Language


Who needs human words when I can tell by watching her body language what her needs are? It's a nice shift, honestly and with a wink, from the eternal verbal guidance that is necessary with hiking, especially with younger kids.

4 - No Drama


Lots of rescue dogs come to a new home with quirks. Yet rescue dogs also know when they've found their peace with a trusted guardian. After one month of getting used to her new home, Aspen settled right in and became a happy functioning member of our human pack. So when I'm out on the trail with her, she just fits right in.

5 - She Gives Back Constantly


We always laugh that although we "rescued" her; in truth, she really rescued us. Research now shows that having a dog can decrease our blood pressure, make us more physically active and reduce our feelings of loneliness and isolation. So while we hike and adventure together, she's giving us back so much more than we've ever given her.       

Some people say rescue dogs have a sixth sense for knowing how lucky they are to have been rescued and are uniquely grateful to their human families. We'll never know for sure until one of you invents a dog-language-translation app. But for now, we can sure be grateful right back to these dogs ourselves.

So grab your rescue dog and see you out on the trails!

Team Sierra blogger

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Annie Yearout
posted by
Annie Yearout
Blogger at Outdoorsy Mama
Annie Yearout is an outdoor and adventure travel writer and author of OutdoorsyMama.com, a blog motivating you, me and the kids to gear-up, get outside and explore. She partners with outdoor non-profits, is a member of sponsored adventure crews, and is always eager to throw a backpack on and hit the trails from her home in Northern California. (Team Sierra bloggers receive promotional consideration from Sierra Trading Post.)
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