Igor and friends pause for a muddy photo at Hunger Mountain in Waterbury, Vermont. Photo: Zach Walbridge.

Igor the dog came into our lives in November of 2016 at about a year old. My husband and I adopted him as a stray from a shelter in Fort Worth, Texas. He was skinny and looked even skinnier with his HUGE head. Along with his short legs, the name “Igor” was a perfect fit.

With some research and communication with the shelter on his medium energy level, we knew he was the adventure dog we were looking for. We just didn’t know how we’d get there.

Most of my friends have dogs and I’ve been on several hikes and backpacking adventures with them. I had a pretty good idea of what to expect when you hike with a dog - not only the fun and reward, but the hard work and mishaps.

But nothing could prepare us for owning our first dog together. After Igor settled in, we started working with a professional dog trainer to get us where he needed to be for obedience and off-leash recall. It took a lot of time, patience, consistency, and hard work - and worth every penny.

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