When we think of Independence Day, many of us think of hot dogs, burgers, watermelon, fireworks, parades, patriotism, red, white and blue, and the start of summer. But when we think of independence, perhaps a broader meaning of freedom comes to mind. Freedom to pursue our dreams, to play outside, to explore, to love, to be ourselves, and to share our creativity and passion with those around us. In a sense, you could say that by exploring the outdoors and chasing our dreams, we are celebrating freedom – and Independence Day  – each and every day of the year.

And what better counterparts to share in our freedom-seeking adventures than our dogs? Always up for the task, whatever it may be, our dogs are constant reminders to explore, listen, observe, play, and almost always say, “Yes!” They inspire us to get outside, see what’s around the next bend, stop and take a closer look, push on when we’re tired, and to celebrate the moment we’re in right now.

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Riley leaps from the paddleboard. Photo: Maria Schultz

We’re not saying you should forgo the hot dog or skip the fireworks. But, we invite you to look for fireworks beyond those lighting up the sky on the night of the 4th – say, perhaps along a trail exploding with wildflowers, upon a star shooting across the night sky, in the flash of lightning during a thunderstorm, in the turbulent white water of your favorite river, among the sparks of your crackling campfire, or in the brilliant display of a summer sunset. And, if you catch some fireworks out there in the great outdoors, don’t forget to share the moment with your best four-legged friend, who we’re pretty sure is celebrating independence and freedom from the moment those paws hit the trail.

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Kicker celebrating longer spring days in Alaska. Photo: Ruffwear Ambassador Andrew Muse
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Ahhh, pure refreshment! Photo: Elena Pressprich
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Rio and Riggins exploring Iron Mountain in Oregon. Photo: Allison Miles

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Ruffwear Ambassadors, Andrew Muse and Kicker. Photo: Andrew Muse
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Ruffwear Ambassadors Maria Schultz and Riley testing the Grip Trex Boots in Acadia National Park. Photo: Maria Schultz

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Dive in! Photo: Austin Allen
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Nico and Sol explore the Arizona desert. Photo: Rachel Schneider
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Maria Schultz and Kona enjoy a sunset paddle on Curtis Lake. Photo: John Schultz

 

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Riley & Kona chasing snowballs at the Ellicott Creek Island Park in Amherst, NY. Photo: Maria Schultz

 

 

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