I have been waiting patiently for years to get a puppy that would turn into my adventure buddy. I had grown up with dogs my whole life. In Hawaii, I had two German Shepards that I grew up with on the beaches on the north shore. When I moved to the mainland our family got a golden retriever. All these dogs loved being outdoors around water and people. The opportunity finally came for me to get my puppy! I was so stoked that I got to bring home my little black lab named Dude!
Right away I wanted to get him acclimated to being around people, other dogs, and bodies of water. Starting dogs early is key for them to learn how to act and be well behaved in all these different situations. So that first week I took my little Dude down to a local swimming hole right next to my house. He is a lover and right away was stoked to meet new people and be in the water. He did an amazing job interacting and listening to my commands on his first outing. But right away I noticed a problem that had already been an issue but now had magnified as having a puppy around. And that was the absurd amount of trash littering this swimming hole and every swimming hole we have been to since. There always seem to be hundreds of cigarette butts, broken beer bottles, cups, straws, masks, and anything else you can think of.
You don’t realize how bad it is for the local environment and habitat until you see how a puppy sniffs, eats, and plays with the trash and anything and everything in its path. Now put that into the perspective of animals that have no idea and have no human guidance. How would they learn? How would they know what they can/cannot eat? And the answer is they won’t learn. So how can we go on these beautiful hikes and surreal swimming holes and waterfalls and leave them worse than how we found them. Causing harm and damage to the local circle of life. All this to say there must be a reckoning and awakening within each generation because each is playing its part. And it starts with the small steps. It’s the little things that matter. Because those add up and if everyone does the little things, those little things become massive steps that change the course we are headed on. What are those little steps? Limit the amount of waste you bring with you on your adventures. Pack in what you pack out. Always have extra trash bags to hand out or pick up the extra trash around you. Teach/Call out people that you see littering or harming the environment. How will they learn if they aren’t told? Lastly set an example. Everywhere you go lead by example by your actions. Because actions speak louder than words. Keep our favorite hikes, swimming holes, beaches, or whatever it may be clean for us, people to come, the environment, and our favorite adventure buddies. Let’s do those small steps. As always UHVenture on and act without hesitation!