Recognize the size of the mountain you’re climbing; screw what everyone else thinks.

Orion became a member of the trail running community when he was a puppy. Just a few weeks after we brought him home, Paul put on his first Off Road Pursuits event. On race day, we weren’t ready to leave a six-month-old puppy at home alone. So he came with us to the race.

He hung out in the car for most of the day. But when things quieted down, we brought him out so he could mingle with the runners. He fit right in.

Orion isn’t shy about showing that he’s a herding dog. He barks at skateboards, bikes, and ocean waves. He’s bossy, obsessed with food, and stubborn. He’s got short legs and big ears and loves being outside. He smiles with his whole body, especially on the trails. He fits right in with our little family.

He isn’t much of a runner, but he’s hiked throughout Southern California, Nevada, Utah, and now Colorado. He hiked his first 14er (Quandary Peak), but he topped out at about 13,000 feet. It was the rocks and his unprotected paws that made us turn back before reaching the summit. When we got home from that hike, he immediately dropped a ball at my feet to keep playing.

Every time we take Orion for a hike, I notice the way people look at him. I know he doesn’t look like a mountain dog, and we usually get lighthearted comments about his Corgi body.

Why are his ears longer than his legs?
Did you leave the rest of his legs back at the car?

He doesn’t understand what people say about him. But even if he did, he wouldn’t care. He’s too busy jumping over rocks and sniffing out the next best smell. As far as he’s concerned, he belongs in the mountains as much as anyone else.

Orion always does his thing. (Like right now he’s laying next to me…snoring.) He doesn’t care what he looks like. He wants to have fun. Running, jumping, sniffing, and crushing any downhill. He’s happy to be outside, playing in his own little world, and I’m so happy that he is a part of ours.