Happy RAD-iversary! We can’t believe it’s already been one year since we partnered with Best Friends Animal Society and launched the RAD Adoption Program. Thanks to you, it’s been a busy year. Through the RAD Adoption Program, we’ve helped 29 active dogs find their forever homes with active, outdoor families. In addition, more than 1,000 dogs have gone to their new homes from the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary wearing Ruffwear leashes and collars. Pretty amazing, right?!
We recently checked in with a few of the RAD humans to see how things were going. Below, find stories from Sidney (human) and Kira (RAD dog), Anna (human) and Stretch (RAD dog), and Sarah & Randy (humans) and Tidy, Dizzy, & Slim (all rescue dogs, Slim is a RAD dog).
Thanks to everyone who has supported this incredible program! We look forward to what the next 12 months will bring.
Sidney & Kira
What have you and Kira been up to?! I have just finished school, so things are picking up now that it is summer and we are able to get out and do more. We hike or run almost everyday, our favorite spot is Neffs Canyon! She’s helping me train for a half marathon at the beginning of August so we have been running a lot more. We recently went to Moab and hiked in Negro Bills Canyon, it was beautiful and fun because there was water running the entire length of the hike that made the hot weather easy to be in. That was probably my favorite adventure so far because it was our first camping experience together, and it went really well! Soon, my boyfriend, Kira and I are camping down in Southern Utah again this weekend so more hiking and water tromping soon to come!
How has your life changed since Kira joined your family? Since Kira has joined the family, life has been more of a joy. It’s nice to always have her around, leaving me never alone. She’s my protection when I need it, my snuggle partner when we are sleeping, and her fun, jumpy self all other times. She adds a little spice in my life for the better. As a rescue, she’s still a fearful of specific situations but she has grown so much this past year and we are really working at moving on from her past fears that appear to still be with her. Now when I go to the store (and it’s cool outside) I have a partner to come with me, we go on many more walks and runs than imaginable, and I laugh a lot with her. She is so goofy, wild, and fun. She can be tough sometimes but her pros outweigh her cons by tons and I wouldn’t trade her for the world. She’s helped me want to do more and go see more, and has probably helped me more than I have helped her.
What is one of the things you love most about Kira’s personality? I love how different she is. I love how she isn’t a dog who just trusts everyone. She’s never mean, but I like how you have to earn her trust for her to open up to you. It says a lot about who she trusts and responds to. She’s incredibly energetic, protective, loving, and playful. I love how she always carries a ball with her, and is ready to play at any moment. She always greets you when you come home with a smile on her face as she jumps on you, almost pushing you back out the door. She keeps me on my toes, inspires me to do more, and keeps me smiling through it all.
Anna & Stretch
What have you and Stretch been up to?! Stretch and I have already had a busy summer. We moved from downtown Indianapolis where Stretch lived for 8 months to rural Cleveland to be closer to family. He’s loving the open yard and having another canine buddy around. We go to the dog park daily and go for day hikes some evenings and most weekends. He actually learned to swim just this past weekend. I was so excited! It was a little awkward and panicky at first but after a few tries, he looked like a pro. We went to Allegheny National Forest a couple weekends ago and Stretch and I did our first backpacking trip together. He did so great! It was pretty chilly at night and I don’t know how we both managed to fit in my one person sleeping bag, but we did and it was completely zipped up all night. Hah. He also carried his own pack (thank you Ruffwear) with food and navigated the trail for me and my friend.
How has your life changed since Stretch joined your family? I have been much more active since adopting Stretch. I have always loved to hike and always loved being outdoors but having a companion like Stretch has pushed me to do it so much more often. It’s been a blessing for myself.
What is one of the things you love most about Stretch’s personality? I honestly think Stretch has the perfect amount of spunk and snuggle. Haha. What I mean is, he’s super active and absolutely loves to sprint, hike, and race with other pups but when it comes time to relax, he has to be right next me, leaning on me, head on lap, under the covers, always has to be touching me. I feel honored to have him in life honestly and I’m so grateful for Ruffwear and Best Friends.
Sarah (and Randy, Tide, and Dizzy) & Slim
What have you and Slim been up to?! We have had Slim since August–so about 9 months or so. We have learned so much about this little guy since then–and he has certainly made his presence known in the neighborhood! He has completed two levels of obedience and one day, will complete his good canine citizenship!
How has your life changed since Slim joined your family? We have decided that Slim is a Black and Tan Coonhound mix–probably with a smaller herding dog we think–as he is about 50 pounds with silky fur, huge paws, and a docked tail. He is constantly on “squirrel watch” in the back yard, whining and moaning and groaning when they chitter at him from the branches above. If Slim could climb the tree, he most definitely would–and he has certainly tried. This obsession carries over into our walks. The first walk we took with Slim was frighteningly hilarious. A squirrel bolted across the path in front of us and he started to bellow and howl like a coonhound so much so that our neighbors came out of their homes thinking something was wrong or that someone’s dog had been hurt. All Randy and I could do was laugh and point at Slim. Since then, we have been working on his anxiety and panic at seeing the squirrels he cannot have nor chase…but his personality and his howl is one everyone has come to love. “Oh…there goes Slim again…” As soon as we let him outside, he patrols every corner of the yard, and then sits “on watch” ready to spring at the site of any bunny or squirrel who dares enter the back yard.
Slim is also learning how awesome snuggling can be and has moved his way onto our furniture, into our laps, and even on the bed (until we kick him out into his own kennel). He was found as a stray–a very skinny, whiny stray–and so who knows how long he was left out in the elements with no affection and food or comfort. So, he just soaks up the belly rubbing, the ear scratches, and time on the comforter. We have two other dogs, also rescues, and Slim either lays near them or on them, and is the first to instigate play. Dizzy, his 3 year old sister, loves to chase him around the back yard and tackle him at full speed. And Tide, his 6 year old brother loves to wrestle. Both Tide and Dizzy outweigh Slim by 20 pounds or so, but he most definitely holds his own.
What do you love most about Slim’s personality? Taking on a third dog was both an easy and difficult decision as we had to consider how we could give them all the attention and time they needed. Slim is such a goof as you can see by the picture attached (on our bed, no less)–and his personality has added another dimension to the household. Our life is more hectic–but our home is very dog-centered and we are so happy to be able to pamper and spoil Slim given the rough life he had before us. All I can do is look into his face and his eyes and wonder what his memories are…if he had a family…if he ran away or was abandoned. As with Tide and Dizzy, Slim is our “kid” who only enriches our environment…despite chewing up the toilet paper, the pillows on the sofa, or my socks (after a workout no less).
This summer, we will return to Best Friends for our 9th volunteer trip, taking all three dogs with us. Slim will be reunited with his caregivers there. He will return 13 pounds heavier…stockier, shinier, and more at ease. We are excited to see how he does on a cross country car ride, staying overnight in hotels, and then finally, how he “remembers” Utah and the people who saved him.
Slim is awesome and we are learning more about him every day.
To learn more about our partnership with Best Friends Animal Society and the RAD Adoption Program, visit our Facebook page and click the “RAD Adoption Program” tab. Do you have a shelter dog that you think is pretty RAD, too? Tell us about your adventures using the tag #mydogismy!