Much like the U.S. Postal Service, Kicker isn’t deterred by the weather.
Sand, snow, sun — this 2-year-old golden retriever loves it all. So it’s no surprise that Kicker is also known as the World’s Most Adventurous Dog.
The Utah-based pooch loves to take part in everything his nature-packed home state has to offer, but Kicker often gets the itch to travel, too.
Luckily his owner Andrew Muse has the web series Tiny Home Adventure, a show all about hitting the road in a traveling tiny house in search of natural beauty and thrills.
The show follows the pair as they tried snowboarding, paragliding, kite boarding and more together, hand in paw.
To learn more about Kicker and how you fit a dog with such a big personality in a tiny home, we talked to the person who knows him best, Muse!
How did Kicker come into your life?
I was in a life-shattering car accident on my way home from filming season one of Tiny Home Adventure. Unfortunately, I lost my best friend and soulmate, Booter (my first Golden Retriever) in the accident. A firefighter on the scene named Paul was the only person who seemed to understand what I was going through and I wanted to show him how special Booter was so we stayed in touch. He reached out after a few months of communication and told me his family actually breeds Goldens and they would love to give me a puppy when I was ready. And that’s when Kicker entered my life!
How old is he?
He will be 3 in October!
What is his personality like?
He is such an amazing dog. He has a passion for being outside and doing all activities with me, especially when there is snow involved. The way his eyes light up when we are on an adventure reminds me so much of myself. He also is incredibly compassionate. If you’re having a bad day he is right there trying to comfort you and bring you all the dirty clothes and toys he can fit into his mouth.
What kind of adventures do you and Kicker go on?
Season two of Tiny Home Adventure showcases our adventures. From the moment Kicker came into my life we lived in a van and traveled to Alaska. We rode big Alaskan lines, went paragliding, kite boarding, snowmobiling, kayaking and more. Pretty much he comes on all my adventures and we adventure a lot!
What are his favorite adventures?
I would have to say snowboarding is his favorite! Kicker absolutely charges through the snow and I can see it in his eyes and the way his tail wags that he is having the best time.
How did you get Kicker comfortable with activities like rafting and kiteboarding?
It’s important to start introducing dogs to adventures often and early keeping them safe and happy along the way. As far as kiteboarding goes, Kicker would run along the water’s edge. As I would rig the kite he would stand on my board so one day I got a large board he could stand on and a life jacket and like nothing we were kiting together!
What adventures do you have planned next?
We are currently preparing for season three of Tiny Home Adventure. The plan is to travel down through Central America in the epic expedition vehicle I am building. We hope to spend time kiting, surfing, hiking and exploring new countries.
What reactions does Kicker get from people who see him out in the world?
When people see him kiting with me or hiking slot canyons they always think he is the coolest dog and ask how I get him to do it. The answer is he just loves being outdoors and following my lead. They also comment on how well-behaved he is. Dogs are happiest knowing what you expect from them so the training with Kicker is always ongoing. I can leave him sitting outside a restaurant in the shade and come back an hour later and he will still be there waiting for me.
What tips do you have for those who want to start traveling/camping with their dog?
I am partnering with Nature’s Recipe premium dog food to offer tips on taking road trips with your dog and how their food helps fuel those adventures. Some key tips are to make sure you are going places that allow dogs, always have access to food and water, keep them comfortable (pack a sleeping bag or blanket for camping and make sure to have shade or a water source for them to cool off in if it’s hot) and don’t put them in a situation where they have to stay in a hot car.
What are your tips for get dog photos?
Kicker honestly is to the point where he automatically starts posing once he sees the camera come out, it’s crazy! But I would say make sure to take a lot of photos. With how much they move I typically just keep pressing the shutter or use burst mode on a GoPro to make sure to get the perfect shot.
You also want their ‘come, sit, stay’ commands to be down and give them praise when you’re done to keep it fun for them. Photo shoots have become something Kicker really enjoys because I always reward him with praise and they are typically associated with going on a fun adventure.
How does Kicker change your adventures?
Adventuring with Kicker I make sure I am operating well within my comfort zone. I always have to keep his safety and comfort in mind and make sure where we are going is dog-friendly. This sometimes means passing up on really cool spots because leaving Kicker behind isn’t an option for me most of the time.
Most National Parks aren’t very dog-friendly, but I prefer less trafficked spots anyway so it just means we get to go to places that are off the beaten path. Honestly though, having Kicker along on my adventures only makes them more enjoyable and memorable for me and helps Kicker live his biggest life. The shared experiences, joy and connection of man’s best friend is well worth any of the challenges.