What sparked your passion for hiking and bringing your furry friend along?
When I had my first heart attack 10 years ago, it made me realize life is too short and tomorrow is never promised, so I began my first hike at Peak District with my first hiking partner, a spring spaniel called Lucy. After that, I realized the moment I started walking, my head was clear, and I felt more alive than ever. A dog's life is short, so every moment is precious; taking a dog on a hike with me meant we both lived to the fullest.
Share an unforgettable hiking experience with your canine companion.
My probably most unforgettable hiking experience is when we did Ben Nevis; it was a very difficult hike, and while I suffer with my heart, I have to take a lot of stop breaks so I don't pass out. Ruby is very observant, and from previous experiences, she learned when I need to have a break. The whole hike, she stopped and sat with me as close as possible, and nudging me to make sure I'm okay. If she was walking with my partner, she stopped every few steps and looked back, and waited for me to catch up to make sure I'm doing okay. She's like my first aider on legs. While it was a very long climb, she never left my side, and the fact we made it to the top was such an achievement for us both as that was the biggest climb me and Ruby ever done in one day.
Must-have gear and safety precautions for hiking with your pup?
● Ample Water Supply: Carry Lesotc Dog Water Bottle , ensuring your dog stays hydrated throughout the hike.
● Safety Whistle: A safety whistle serves as an essential tool for training your dog and summoning them back if they wander off.
● Waterproof Coats: Keep yourself and your canine companion warm and dry with waterproof coats, especially helpful during unpredictable weather changes.
● Food and Treats: Pack kibble, treats, and snacks to keep your dog energized during extended hikes or emergencies.
● First Aid Kit: A comprehensive first aid kit, including bandages, plaster, and wipes, is essential for addressing minor injuries.
● Doggy Boots: Protect your furry friend's sensitive paws with durable dog boots, preventing cuts and injuries on rough terrains.
Favorite hiking trails you explored with Ruby and what makes them special?
While I love waterfalls, and my favorite is Beacon 4 Waterfalls Walk, Ruby hates water and absolutely loves climbing. So far, our favorite one is the one we did yesterday, which is Scafell Pike, the first-highest mountain in England. It was a big scramble; Ruby absolutely loved the climb, and we saw a few waterfalls, but the views were incredible. Because we were at the highest point, you could see every lake, every town, and mountains from above. The feeling was on top of the world.
Advice for aspiring outdoor adventurers with four-legged companions?
Bond and training is the most important thing before anyone hikes with the dog. It's important to train them to stay with you in case the lead snaps. And building a bond will give them a companion that won't just go through hard moments of hiking but actually look out for them and be able to save them or protect them if anything ever happens. No matter how much you trust your dog, keeping the dog on a lead is important in places that are open space with no civilization, especially on a mountain. A dog might never leave your side, but sometimes something out of the blue can happen, and a lost dog in mountainous with no food or water is a dog that has a very little chance of survival. This is why Ruby has a bag of her own that she carries for any reason lead snapped, and she got lost. That bag contains food and water, and a hungry dog will easily open a bag if needs to. And most of all, do the hikes with your dog; they want to see the world as much as we do, not sleep and run around the garden.
All sizes can explore even small legs enjoy mountains and waterfalls.
Interested in learning more about Yana & Ruby? Follow their journey at @life_at_her_paw