This week, Ruffwear is donating 10% of all online sales at to The Conservation Alliance (4/19 – 4/26). As mentioned in an earlier blog post, Ruffwear is fortunate to be close with the staff at The Alliance. A few weeks ago, we were having a conversation with Serena, their Program Director, and we got on the topic of rescue dogs. Serena instantly lit up and started talking about how much of an impact rescuing her dog, Piper, has had on her life. We begged her to write a guest post for us, and she gladly sent us these words. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

25501_TopRopeCollar_Lifestyle05_ZoomFull of fire, light, and boundless energy; always thrashing about and absolutely adorable. She came to us as a foster; three years later, I am a changed person as a result of this little one. 

She came to us a foster pup, 6 ½ weeks old and a ball of pure fire. Pure vinegar, my husband says.

She was a recue from a short-term holding facility in Burns, Oregon. We volunteered to foster her for two weeks. Right from the start, this little unnamed puppy had a zest for life that was so infectious that she quickly became part of our pack. While fostering this pup, we decided to call her Piper. At this point, it was still our intention to hold onto her only long enough to find her a “forever home”. Within two days’ time, I was completely smitten and quickly realized she had already found her “home” right here, with us.

2580_CragCollar_Lifestyle04_ZoomI remember telling my husband that my plans for Piper had changed. I wanted to keep her and I was willing to accept the sacrifices that this was going to require; changing our active travel itineraries to accommodate having a dog, committing to multiple walks each day to make sure that Piper got the exercise she needed, and cleaning up after the active little one. After hours of discussion, Ben and I concluded that we were up to the task. We phoned our friend from the foster outfit and signed papers to make Piper’s adoption official. From that day, more than three years ago, my life has been so rich and full of love that I cannot imagine how much I would have missed out on if we had allowed for her to find another home.

Piper is a one-off in every way. She is 32 pounds of what we think is part whippet, part terrier and part border collie. When people ask what kind of dog she is, we answer “dwarf albino pig dog polar bear”, another name for white mutt with a short coat, pointy ears, and quavering muscles. Our little wonder dog has boundless energy and a need for exploration and discovery. Needless to say we get plenty of exercise trying to keep up with her, something that we look forward to every day!

Our little pup has taught us a lifetime of lessons. Chief among them; find excitement in what could be perceived as the mundane, never pass up an opportunity to celebrate, wag our tails whenever we see a friend, there is nothing wrong with jump in a lake in the middle of winter, and that greater happiness is found in the absence of stress and frustration. With Piper, we have visited places that require long walks; along rivers, up mountains, and through fields. Some of our most treasured moments have come from the unexpected path she has led us down. If Piper could speak human, I think these are a few pieces of advice she would share.

PLAY. Even if you are a little tired. You can sleep later.

PROTECT. The open space, the steep mountains and rolling hills and ice cold waters of a mountain lake. These places are our canvas, in it is upon them that we paint our experiences.

EAT. When you are hungry, stop when you are full. And when you get a treat, savor it.

REST. Hard, often, and whenever you get a chance. And be sure to dream.

LOVE. Absolutely, unconditionally, and visibly. Show the people you love that you love them. And say thank you for all the little things they do for you.

NO POUTING, ONLY SMILING. No thumbs, no problem. Look at someone longingly and they will help you out. That’s what friends are for.

USE YOU IMAGINATION. Can’t find your toy? Find a stick or a pine cone, or unbury a bone that you hid a few weeks prior. Turn off your device and go play in the dirt.


To anyone who has already found their fury soul mate, I suspect that you have drawn a lot of similarities from my story. To anyone who has yet to do so, what are you waiting for??? Life is at its richest when shared with your best friend.



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