Muddy paws are the sign of a successful hike.

More: Sienna was found wandering for many days in the remote woods of the Sierra National Forest in CA. My wildlife biologist friends brought her to safety before a snowstorm hit on Christmas Eve of 2014. I imagined when I adopted this young dog, I’d have my hands full with house-training, destructive chew behavior, and separation anxiety. To my surprise, I didn’t have to deal with any of that. Perhaps this is partly due to her mixed breed. She exudes the Saluki spirit, where high prey drives are punctuated with astounding speed and agility chases. Yet she also possesses a quiet demeanor and strong loyalty to her family unit. The mixing of collie genes explains her deep focus on retrieval skills, allowing for easy training and recall. But it also gives her a sweet and playful attitude, with a little bit of mischief thrown in. She’s ALWAYS ready for adventures outside, and we have logged thousands of hikes and many backpacking trips throughout the years. She’s an exceptionally unique dog, and I treasure every moment I have with Sienna. She will always be my best friend and outdoor companion.