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Dogs have a way of teaching us a multitude of skills. My first dog, Addy, has been a great teacher in my life and has taught me how to venture out into the world. To explore and live life to its fullest potential. I think dogs have a talent in recognizing our authentic self and what we need in our life. Addy has taught me to explore what it means to be “me” so that I can not just life to its fullest, but also live the life that was made for me. She has been a copilot in my life that has helped to foster a thirst for exploration and created wonderful memories and experiences. Addy was the first person to push me to reach farther than I could anticipate while keeping me humble.

Addy came into my life while I was clarifying the foundation of my self-identity. She was a constant in my life during a time I was establishing myself as an independent person outside of my comforts from my family, friendships, and a relationship. I am blessed to have had Addy “choose” me years ago when I was “just looking”. Addy has been a tenacious presence during moments of uncertainty of rock-climbing expeditions, hiking unfamiliar trails, visiting new cities alone, and exploring any new areas that were sporadic trips. She has always been a faithful companion during the mountains and valleys I have experienced in life thus far.

She has not only been physically present for adventure, but also emotionally present for me. The gentleness and compassion she has shown me aided my own development of adventuring into “the unknown” of my inner world. Addy comforted me while I began my own self-growth process and taught me that adventure can also be found during creating personal insight if you allow yourself the opportunity to take risks and leaps of faith in yourself. Addy has taught me that adventure can look different throughout my life as circumstances change, and I continue to cultivate the life I want.

Addy continues to be a teacher for me as I have moved forward in my life, even more so as the newest addition to my family came sooner than I anticipated. She has reminded me that sometimes adventures come through others and new relationships, or risks taken during our outdoor activities, or the leaps of faith in bettering myself physically or mentally. I am stronger because of her. I am more at peace because of her. I am more authentic of who I am because of her. Addy has given me adventure.

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