I suppose my story with Loki in the woods started out of necessity.
During a blizzard in 2012, I brought Loki home. Loki is a husky/arctic wolf/malamute mix. Growing up in a family that took dog ownership very seriously, I had my fair share of experiences with large dogs. Loki was different though. Instead of him entering into my world, I felt that I had to listen closely and enter into his world, if this was going to work out.
At that time, I decided I would do everything possible not to leave him behind at the house. We started backcountry snowboarding together when he was four months old, and before his third birthday, he had seen most of the western U.S. Today, Loki is a quiet, gentle dog, but he really lights up when we get out into nature. A dog like Loki needs the space and time to roam free. If I wasn’t going to make time for that, he was going to take it by escaping from the backyard.
I’ve always been the type to spend a lot of time outside. I grew up playing in the woods, I’ve had plenty of outdoor hobbies and passions, and I’m now the Outdoor Recreation Coordinator for the City of Denver.
Loki though, has made getting out and exploring the wild around us an even deeper part of who I am.
I believe most dogs need that time, maybe not to the extent of a wolfdog like Loki, but nonetheless, I know that dogs weren’t built to live out their days behind a fence or in a house. I hate seeing that. By sharing my adventures with Loki, I hope that we are inspiring people to get out, explore their world, and make memories with their pups.
Being a guy who often finds it difficult to express myself with words, I’ve found it flows a bit easier with a camera as the pen. I don’t consider myself a good photographer — I barely know how to shoot a camera on manual. I am learning through necessity as I go, but it isn’t my focus.
I take pictures as a way to capture Loki’s spirit, keep a journal, and to challenge my own creativity in telling the story from new angles.
I love a good challenge, pushing myself out of my comfort zone and into “adventure,” new experiences and new places. Loki challenges me in this way, and I like to think that I challenge him, by bringing a bit of structure into his life. In a way, it has brought balance to both our lives.
We’ve made a lot of great memories on mountains, beside rivers, in woods, watching sunsets and scenery, and one might think that Loki is always by my side looking for a scratch on the side and a pat on the head, but that isn’t the case at all. Loki rarely looks for affection.
Most people receive love from their dogs in that way, but more often than not, I won’t find that with Loki. He is far too independent and captivated with the world around him.
I receive love from Loki by watching him and listening closely as he explores and fills his nose and eyes with the world around him. I just need to give him the opportunity.