IN THE BEGINNING... ...there was a girl and her dog. That's how this creation story begins. Of course, before that, there was a boy and his coyote. And before that, another boy and his coon dogs. And before that, probably more humans and canines. But the old black and white photos of my dad as a baby reaching out to touch a coyote in the yard at the edge of the woods, I think, perfectly express the wildness I have inherited, as well as a longstanding familial connection with canines. It's those two things that ultimately have led to the creation of Love Dogs on the Loose. That wildness led me to The Colorado Trail three years ago when, after having lived in West Texas for nine years, I was so insanely desperate to be near water and forests and elevation gain that I started driving eight hours one way to segment hike the CT on weekends and holidays. And that connection with canines has resulted in partnerships with several remarkable dogs in my forty-plus years. But what all of this is, for certain, I can't yet say, except to say that it is rooted in love and heartbreak and a longing to share something deeper with the world than just a few hundred thousand silent breaths and a deep bow. Love Dogs is the trail name of my pack. It's a rebirth of sorts, or maybe a homecoming, after leaving a reliable but unfulfilling job to refocus on being an artist. It's knowing that having a reliable but unfulfilling job and being an artist is a completely reasonable and responsible thing to do, but that choosing to do the least reasonable thing and be happy is also responsible. In my heart, it's also a conscious choice to live more fully than I ever have before, despite my circumstances. And whatever else it becomes, it will forever owe its creation to one special dog.

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