Adventuring with My Fur-Kids

I have been showing my three dogs, Ripp, Dash, and Flynn, in the sporting world of Flyball and Agility (yes, I am a dog “soccer mom”). They are pretty good at everything they do, and I am impressed with the working ethic my three beautiful boys have and the desire to achieve more and outperform my expectations.

However, all work and no play makes for bored dogs…

Ripp with his Ruffwear leash at Drift Creek Falls, OR

Enter: hiking, kayaking, and camping.

Taking three very crazy-happy, mostly well-behaved boys on a hiking trip through the Forest trails on the Central Coast of Oregon, camping in Yurts at State Parks in southern Oregon, and kayaking through the multiple streams, rivers, and lakes that Oregon has to offer, is quite the undertaking.

Kayaking and SUPing at Olalla Lake in Newport, Oregon with Flynn and Ptera
Kayaking and SUPing at Olalla Reservoir in Newport, Oregon with Flynn and our friend Ptera and her mom. Photo credit: Crystal Beck (SoFly Photography)

When we go outside to play we always think of safety first: I carry extra first-aid, both human and canine, extra water, food, warming gear, etc.… One would be amazed at how quickly the weather can turn ugly and more protection from the elements is needed. Therefore, we rely heavily on the Ruffwear products that AvidMax carries in their extensive arsenal of outdoor equipment for dogs to help protect my fur-kids.

I have backpacks, leashes, collars, and, most importantly, life vests from Ruffwear. The fit is fantastic, the products wear like iron but feel like silk, and the dogs do not even know that they are wearing the vests. I LOVE it! Some people may say, “Dogs and life vests? HA! They can swim better than humans.” Yes, that is mostly true. However, they get tired just like we do, and if you are in a current and capsize and you have a vest on, then shouldn’t they? My dogs rely on their vests, and are able to spend more time in the water swimming and playing than on shore resting!

Ripp, rockin’ his Ruff Wear Life vest on the Willamette River, Central Oregon Valley
Ripp rockin’ his Ruffwear Life vest on the Willamette River, Central Oregon Valley. Photo credit: SoFly Photography

I am very pleased that AvidMax has taken our canine companions into consideration when deciding on what products to offer. Not only can I find what I need as a human, but my fur-kids are also well thought of, which makes me want to come back to the company with all of us in mind.

Thank you, AvidMax!

Nicolina, Ripp (Border Collie), Dash (rescue herding dog from New Mexico), and Flynn (Papillion-X)
Flynn (Papillon-X), Ripp (Border Collie), and Dash (rescue herding dog from New Mexico) Photo credit: SoFly Photography


Ripp, my six-year-old Border Collie, is my “go-to-guy”. If I need anything done or need a steady, quiet partner, he will always come through.

Four-year-old Dash is my Superstar Athlete. He was a “street child” from a small village in New Mexico, wandering around as a lost little guy with a super forgiving attitude and quick to bond. Anything I show him in the way of sports or games he picks up instantly and is great at it right from the start.

Flynn is the baby. At only a year old he is super smart and extremely playful. He will find his place once the “baby” wears off!

Written by Nicolina Strand

Nicolina Strand is a wastewater laboratory Analyst II, making sure discharge water is safe for the environment. She actually gets paid for her passion! Her UN-paid position is a “dog soccer mom,” keeping the fur-kiddos busy with tournaments, trials, hiking, camping, and kayaking.


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