10 Times Nym was the Best Adventure Dog Ever
In a previous life, I was a regular couch potato. I loved marathoning shows on Netflix and staying in on weekends. What changed? It's simple, I decided to get a border collie, Nym. Little did I know that she would make the next four years of my life an adrenaline-packed adventure. If I even think about staying home on the weekends, one look at her expectant face convinces me otherwise. She keeps me going when all I want to do is veg out and sleep. She doesn't care about the weather or the length of the drive, she craves adventure and loves life outdoors in the Pacific Northwest. Without further ado, here are 10 times Nym was the best adventure dog ever.
#1 - Leading the Way Through the Darkness
When my headlamp unexpectedly died atop Navaho Peak, Nym fearlessly led me down the trail back to our campsite that was over two miles away. She was my eyes and never led me astray.
#2 – Being There When I Was Scared And Alone
After packing my bags and moving across the country from Florida to Seattle, I spent my birthday alone in the mountains with Nym. We hiked up to High Rock Lookout and then on our way back to camp a car smashed into us, sending us into a ditch. I was frantic that she would be hurt, but she came out of it like a champ. This was the moment that I realized how far from home I truly was. Having her to curl up with as I recovered from the shock in a local fire station made it a misadventure and not a traumatic experience.
#3 – Never Asking “Are We There Yet”
When it’s time for an adventure, Nym jumps into the car, curls up, and sleeps until we arrive at our destination. She’s driven across the country three times and never once been annoying or complained. As long as there is the occasional game of fetch, she’s one happy camper.
#4 - Running Circles Around Me
I’ve hiked close to 400 miles in the last year but each hike is just as tiring as the last. I’m slow. Nym literally runs circles around me and somehow finds the energy to play fetch and hike simultaneously. While I'm at 400 miles, she's probably closing in on 1500. What a champ.
#5 – Becoming A Trail Dog in One Ride
Training a dog to run a trail or stay behind you when you’re mountain biking can be a struggle. For Nym, it was a “Nym, let’s go!” and suddenly she was an expert and never under foot or tire. She always passes on the same side and knows when to fall behind and when to lead.
#6 – The First One At My Side When I Fall Off a Mountain
A couple years ago, I had my first real close call with death by mountain. After I slid off a steep snow-covered mountain and fell 30 feet, Nym was at my side in an instant. It’s hard to cry when a dog’s tongue is licking you straight in the eyeballs. She takes “Kiss it and make it all better” VERY literally.
#7 – Keeping Me Company On Another Birthday Alone
Two years ago, I drove to Banff and Jasper National Parks in Alberta, Canada for my 26th birthday. I wasn’t expecting it to snow in September but apparently, Canada didn’t get the memo that winter isn’t until December. Nym crawled inside my sleeping bag as we studied our Lonely Planet guidebook and looked uber cute watching the snowflakes fall on her nose at Moraine Lake.
#8 – Being a Good Sport, Even in the Rain
There are occasions when you arrive at a trailhead and suddenly the rain hits. You have to make a choice, to hike or not to hike. One glance at Nym’s eager face in the backseat makes you realize that the weather doesn’t make a lick of difference and off you go! This was her at Chain Lakes. And yes, she got to sleep inside my sleeping bag in this condition.
#9 – No Longer Being Afraid of the Dark
As a kid, I was terrified of the dark. My imagination was overactive and I snuck into my parent’s bed almost every night until I was 14. Yep, 14. In February of 2015, I did my first solo backcountry camping trip to Blanca Lake. There was snow everywhere and I had to stomp it down enough to set my tent up. There was no one else around and it got dark at 5 o’clock and wasn’t daylight again until 8 AM. With her at my side, I didn’t spend a moment thinking about the scary things that were sure to be haunting the darkness just outside my tent. Okay, maybe a moment, but that’s it! When the sun broke over our tent, I was so proud of our accomplishment that I camped every weekend of that summer.
#10 – Overcoming Her Fear of Loud Noises and Swimming
You might be thinking that everyone in the world loves waterfalls, but before a couple years ago, Nym was absolutely terrified of them. It felt like animal abuse every time I took her on a hike that crossed the path of a waterfall. I decided that if she could help me get over my fear of the dark, I could help her not cower in fear at the sound of a waterfall. A thousand rounds of fetch-by-a-waterfall later and she doesn’t even flinch when we approach one. Instead, she jumps right in and swims. Did I mention she used to hate swimming too? What a beast.
There you have it, the 10 times Nym was the best adventure dog ever. I'd love to hear stories of your dog being the perfect hiking companion as well. Happy National Love Your Pet Day!