Maya The Nature Dog

Maya The Nature Dog – 2002 to 2017

In 2003, we adopted a one year old female Labrador Retriever from the local dog pound. She was found running the rural roads with a black lab and when we went to see her she didn’t even look like she was yellow. After visiting the vet we found out that she was pretty sick with ear infections and nonviable puppies. We got her all fixed up, bathed her three or four times and found this beautiful, light, yellow Labrador underneath and life hasn’t been the same since.

We immediately started training her and taking her on long daily walks in the neighborhood and local parks, usually twice a day. She was very submissive and had obviously been quite traumatized by either her time as a stray or with her initial upbringing. She needed to be leash trained and taught most commands, although she learned very quickly and was (and is) very food driven. We took her swimming and camping, which she seemed to thoroughly enjoy, and so did we. We made adjustments to our lives, habits and goals.

We made her a big part of our lives & she stole our hearts.

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Over the past  years we have noticed how much more she motivates us to get outside, to be active and to find the time to be part of nature. Obviously dogs need to be walked and exercised on a daily basis in order to work their bodies and their minds. Exercise keeps dogs fit but it also keeps them calmer and decreases boredom which can lead to excessive barking and destructive behavior. Brian Kilcommons, and Cesar Milan will tell you that a tired dog is a happy and well-behaved dog.

Luckily for us, and for Maya, we love the outdoors. Almost all of our day trips and camping trips revolve around Maya’s needs and nature. She loves exploring new places, traveling down new trails, dipping her paws in any stream, river, lake or ocean she comes across – she is an amazing swimmer. Before she started losing her sight and hearing she would often spot wildlife for us to see and photograph.

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We find a lot of joy in watching her experience nature and enjoying our travels. We have always captured moments during our trips and decided to start an Instagram account specifically to show you how wonderful and entertaining a pet is. The account is written from ‘her perspective’ (as we see it, of course).

This project will document her love of nature and the journeys she has had and will have in the future. We hope it will inspire you to enjoy the great outdoors with your family and pet.

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We will also blog about traveling, camping and living with a dog and some of the compromises that have to be made. Posts will also include specific concerns with an aging pet and steps you can take to make them comfortable while still enjoying all that life still has to offer.


Early 2017, Maya left us for the Big Playground in the Sky. She was an amazing dog whose memories we will cherish for the rest of our lives. She was an amazing companion whose presence we miss profoundly everyday. We were so blessed to have such a wonderful spirit in our lives for 14 years. She taught us so much about living in the moment and we hope that her posts have inspired some of our readers to enjoy their time with their pets more and to spend time with them outdoors.

There is still so much of her life and experiences to document and share that we will be continuing to add posts about Maya and her life.


Follow Maya’s adventures on our blog.

We’d love to hear about your experiences, trips and tips. Also, if you have any questions or suggestions, please drop her a line at


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