PDX Metro Pack Walks brings dogs and their humans outside. What started as five people walking through Forest Park in Portland, OR has grown to nearly 600 members. Our monthly Pack Walk draws regular attendance of 20-30 humans, and even more dogs. I founded this group because I wanted to draw like-minded people together. At the time, there were hiking groups, and dog groups, but rarely did they include each other. PDX Metro Pack Walks filled that niche for dog owners who wanted to hike with their dogs.
It wasn’t until a friend came on a recent Pack Walk, and pointed it out to me, that I noticed how hard Darwin works during these Walks. As each dog joins the group from the parking lot he barks to alert me, and politely sniffs ‘hello.’ During the Walk, he knows to head up and down the line his ‘flock’ forms along the trail, checking that everyone is together, whining when we get too separated. His ears and head stay up and alert the whole time, and he prances with his nub of a tail pointed straight up, reminding me of the joy of hard work, and a job well done.
While I’ve always known how hard he works, and how seriously he takes his jobs, this was a reminder for me to do the same, rewarding him in his case, with scritches and a “good-boy”. Whenever I am training him, or he catches Frisbee in the park, he is focused, and committed to success.
My retail career provided enough challenges to keep me focused for a time, but I was faced with a desire to do more, and little opportunity to do it. I set new goals for myself, for the life I wanted with my dog, adventuring together. The challenges I’ve faced working and going back to school have made me excited to find a career in the athletic and outdoor industry, mixing my passions for outdoor activity with my strength, strategic thinking.
The accomplishment of earning a 4-year, double major degree with a certificate in the Athletic and Outdoor industry in only 2 ½ years, while working and volunteering, is a testament to working hard. Just like Darwin when he catches a soaring Frisbee, high in the air with a determined leap, I too, am a “good-boy.”