A Dog’s Ta(i)le

I got Sadey on November 11, 2012 in Roosevelt, Utah.  She is half brittany spaniel, half german shorthair pointer.

I was pretty naive in getting a dog.

I had very little money, worked two jobs nearly 80 hours a week and just wanted to travel.  Everything about my life pointed towards not getting a dog but no matter how I reasoned with myself or other people reasoned with me, I couldn’t break the urge.  I would spend hours in my cubicle at Backcountry.com pouring over craigslist posts.  I saw the post at work on Nov 10.  The guy was a purebred German Shorthair Pointer and purebred Brittany Spaniel breeder.  His post claimed that he had left for  a week vacation while his neighbors took care of his four dogs, which were normally paired male and male, female and female in kennels and released separately.  On accident the neighbor had somehow paired the male german shorthair pointer and the female brittany spaniel together in the same kennel.  What ensued has been the only constant in my ever changing, completely dynamic life.  Sadey was born on September 9, 2012.  The breeder was pissed that he had mixed breeds on his property.  The post stated simply that he needed to get rid of these dogs because they would ruin his reputation as a breeder.  He advertised the gorgeous puppies, which all showed no signs of brittany spaniel, as $75.  He wanted them gone by the end of the weekend or he was taking them to the ASPCA.

Up to that point I had just been talking about getting a dog when the conditions were right and when it seemed feasible but all of a sudden, the conditions were right.  Roosevelt was a two hour drive into the Uinta range, east of SLC.  We woke up the next morning to a heavy blizzard shrouding the Wasatch range from the valley.  All the subarus zoomed by clad with skis and boards, jam packed full of brimmed beanies and oakley frogskins.  Halfway up Parleys canyon the snow got so bad cars were struggling to make it up the pass.  The storm got worse as we continued up towards strawberry reservoir.  At times there was 4+” of snow and you couldn’t even see the road anymore, it was just a guessing game.  Suddenly just before Roosevelt the skies cleared and the snow was gone.  What should’ve taken two hours took over three but we made it.  There were only three females left.

The guy put all three of them down in the front yard.  Two of them were really sleepy.  I picked up a sleepy one and held her for a while while Ryan held the other sleepy one.  They were sweet and gorgeous pups, but I was so stoked on the third one who was running around the yard chasing leaves and tripping all over herself.  Why wouldn’t I want the most adventurous one?

Sadey the day I drove her home. Her first few hours of a long life in the truck.


Sadey has been with me through what I would consider some of the hardest times of my life.  Funny how right before I dropped into those times I found that post on craigslist that made the decision so easy.  After three more months of 80 hour weeks, juggling a crying puppy, little sleep, and still no money I sold my second car, put some money in the bank and quit both of my jobs.  I loaded Sadey up in the truck, packed up everything I owned in the world and donated whatever wouldn’t fit and took off.  I unloaded the truck at my parent’s farm in South Dakota down to the bare essentials including a crash pad for a bed and everything I would need to live out of it.  My truck has been packed that exact same way for 22 months now.  I have traveled all over the country, and Sadey has been at my side, well, in her case, somewhere around me, the entire time.


She’s climbed with me in the Poudre Canyon where she got cactus tines all over her paws.

She was there when my grandpa got sick and I thought I was going to lose him.

She climbed with me on my last climbing trip in Utah to Joes Valley.

She climbed with me all over the black hills of South Dakota for a month while I lived on my friend Bryce’s couch with no money.

She spent a month with me in my hometown while I spent my days in a rocking chair at my grandpas hospital bedside.

She’s been to Horseshoe Canyon, AR where we crawled a hundred yards into a low ceiling cave to see an an underground waterfall.

She spent every day with me at my Aunt Dawn’s house when I was so broke I couldn’t drive my truck to the dog park.  I spent a month there waiting for a tower job to start and hating myself for being in the position I was in.

She was there when a huge boulder got dropped on my finger in Boulder, CO.  I was there trying to scrounge up money by moving rocks for the producer of Extreme Makeover Home Edition.

She ate half of the only hot dog I had left (I gave it to her), it was the last meal I ate for two days, I gave her the rest of my food because I was too broke to buy her dog food or myself people food.

She traveled to dozens of cell phone towers all over Texas for five months while I tried my hand at real employment.  I even rented a house that I never stayed in.

She was with me when I walked into my robbed house and lost my guns and my computer full of memories.

She ran full speed into a cactus near Amarillo, her neck swelled and she had to have a tine removed from her neck and go on antibiotics for a week.

She was there when I quit my tower job in Dallas, sold everything again, moved out of the house we spent no time in, and started working for myself as a general contractor.

She spent 40 days in Clarksville, TN with me where I once worked a 136 hour work week.  I worked every hour that I wasn’t asleep.

She traveled with me to Rocktoberfest at the Red River Gorge in Kentucky where I saw her jump off a six foot ledge.

She went with me when I moved in with a girl in Washington, DC.  The first time I had slowed down and done anything domestic since she was a pup.

She climbed four days a week with me for the two months I lived in Maryland.

She woke me up in the middle of the night growling out of the back of the truck.  We were staying in the mountains of PA and it was peak bear season.

She was on the drive when I left DC and everyone there and went back out traveling.

She was there for Christmas with my Mom and family where my grandpa announced he would be able to work again.

She traveled with me to the Black Hills, SD for a new years party.  She played in the snow and partied for three nights with 20 people in a cabin.

She sat on my girlfriends lap at that party, before she became my girlfriend.

She traveled with me again to SLC where we climbed Frary peak together and spent every day at the dog park.

She went to Joes Valley again with me.

She traveled back and forth between Sioux Falls and Brookings SD.  On the weekdays we worked in brookings where she came to the house/apartment I was remodeling and hung out all day.  On the weekends we drove to my parents where I spent the weekends with Jessie (the lap owner, still not my girlfriend at this time) and she played with her grandparents. We did that for four months of poverty waiting for work to start again in Texas.

She was there on the ground when I had my first near miss on a tower in May.

She got a deadly infection and I had to rush her into emergency surgery and thought I could lose her.

She was there every time this year our company has sat on the fringes of bankruptcy and my stress level is through the roof.

She was there when I asked Jessie if she wanted to be my girlfriend.

She climbed Harney peak with my entire family and trail ran all the way back down with me.

She swam across a lake to my kayak and crawled in and kayaked with me.

She chased me down split rock creek while I tubed, swimming when she had to and running when she didnt.

She chased my snowmobile around the mountains of Colorado.

She chased my dads 4 wheeler around our South Dakota farm.

She has traveled all over the south east with me the last few months.

She swam in Lewis and Clark Lake while I flipped a Hobie Cat sail boat in the rough waters off shore.

She swam in a mountain stream in Tennessee the first time Jessie visited me.

She chased me tubing down a river in Tennessee again.

She hiked six miles of the appalachian trail.

She went to Rocktown, GA with me where her face got covered in spider webs and she got attacked by hornets.

Shes been to tons of parties.

She hiked into Blodgett Canyon, MT and sat at the base of a 600 foot spire I climbed with two great friends.

She swam in the river that carved Kootenai Canyon, MT while I climbed the steep walls above her.

She got me in trouble in the Petzl building in Salt Lake City.

She woke me up growling at Elk out the back of the truck in Estes Park, CO.

And she’s here again while I make yet another major life transition towards another startup company and as I reconsider getting a masters degree.

Sadey has never cared how much money I have.  She has never cared how long it has been since I showered.  She has never cared about the weird places we sleep as long as she can curl up by my feet.  She has never complained on a hike.  She has seen me cry and didn’t even make fun of me. She has seen me at my lowest, after a break up, after yet another failed job, when I don’t know why I’m still traveling, when I don’t know why I’m not traveling, when I make no money; at my highest, when I make a lot of money, after a big climb, during a night with friends, after meeting new people, while I’m traveling, she’s always been the same Sadey.  I got a dog during a time I had no business getting a dog and somehow it has worked out.  She has been the best companion I could’ve ever asked for.  I never would’ve imagined that I would be able to sustain the life that I have with her.  We have reached yet another major turning point in our lives, I say “our” because to call us a package deal is an understatement.  Sadey turns two years old on September 9, 2014 and has been the brightest light of my life since I charged through a blizzard into the sunlight for her.

Here’s to the years to come, to the peaks we summit, to the trails we blaze, to the snuggles we share, to the cold nights alone, to the backcountry we explore, to the people we meet, to the jobs we take, here, is the to the places we will go. Keep chasing leaves my little adventurous puppy, I’m right behind you.


View the gallery below, click pictures for larger photos.



sadey MT