I truly can’t imagine what my life would be like without my trusty sidekick, Bear. He’s an 11-year-old husky/lab cross, who I picked up for free while getting groceries one day in Fort Nelson. I had no idea, that sunny April day, just how much of a connection we would have. He’s my motivation to see new things, knowing he’s got my back and he’s there to howl at me when needed. As Bear ages, I try to give him new experiences as a small thank you for all the years of loyalty he has committed to me.

It’s hard to narrow down one story that sums up our life together. We have been hunting, fishing, hiking, jet boating, camping and he’s even been fortunate enough to be able to come to work with me on more than one jobsite. He has hiked the Chilkoot Trail from Skagway, Alaska to Bennett Lake, B.C. and got to ride the White Pass back to Skagway. He’s been fishing in Haines Alaska, camping and hiking along the Dempster Highway. He got to come to school with me and stay at my mom’s place in Edmonton, Alberta. He has ran on the prairies in Saskatchewan, walked along the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, peed on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, laid in the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick, swam in too many ponds to name in Newfoundland, as well as enjoyed some sunny days swimming in the Atlantic Ocean. Our adventure across Canada was an interesting experience filled with more good days than bad, more sun than cloud, and the chance to meet some amazing people along the way who left a lasting impression.

We left the Yukon at the end of July, stopping to visit my parents along the way and to celebrate my 30th birthday before setting out on the open road, with a map, some belongings, my tenting gear and a sense of adventure to see this beautiful country we live in. When you are single, just turning 30 and have a great companion like Bear, what else do you do?! To every one of these places we have travelled to – and countless others – he has brought one of his “famous” rubber chickens. In 11 years, I have purchased 79 of these rubber chickens, basically I just go to work to support his chicken habit.

Of course, we have lost some over the years in rivers, lakes, being left behind, to wild animals, and to a dog named Kobi who is the ninja chicken thief when we go to visit my dad in Fort Nelson. Kobi loves stealing them as much as Bear loves getting them, I think.

For Bear, there is nothing better than to grab that rubber chicken and head outside, knowing that he can make new friends to throw his toy. I mean who wouldn’t want to be friends with a husky that is running around with a rubber chicken in his mouth!?