20 Oct How It Started
It’s been idea an idea that has been wandering through my mind for already quite some time. Whilst being on a hike or going for a long SUP ride I frequently get very excited when I get to stunning and most of the time unknown places that I feel a deep urge to share this with my friends or anyone whose interested in nature. It almost feels like a crime not share it and therefore I have been thinking of sharing my experiences so other people can enjoy them as well. Last week was the week I added action to my thoughts and made the website OneMoreHike.com. OneMoreHike isn’t only about hiking (although most of it will probably be about hiking) but also about Stand-up-Paddling and camping. The central theme is that it’s about being in the outdoors with my two buddies Duc and Raf.
I have been living on Ibiza now for over 3 years together with my girlfriend Corine and our two dogs. Although I have always been fanatic with sports and an admirer of nature its here that I truly picked up the habit of hiking, sup boarding and the outdoor life. Going further than having a few hobbies it became a lifestyle where I am exploring nature on almost a daily basis.
Where ever I go I’ll always bring my two dogs. Duc and Raf. Duc we have adopted from a local shelter just a few weeks after we moved to Ibiza. I’ve always been a true dog lover and my previous dog had died a few years before and my life in the Netherlands that time didn’t allow for a new four-legged friend. However, when moving to Ibiza, we knew things would be different and Corine encouraged me to go to a local shelter named Can Dog. When getting to Can Dog I was amazed by the amount of dogs there. Although I knew there are a lot of abandoned dogs and have been to these places before it still makes me very sad to see so many dogs left alone by their “owners”. I believe that you can judge a man by the way he treats an animal and I didn’t see a lot of good from humanity that day. While walking through the cages and looking through hundreds of dogs my eye fell on a small and black pointer-ish dog. I’m not sure what it was that caught my eye but I knew that from that moment this dog would by next dog. I walked to the fence and the small pointer tried to run to the fence as well. He wasn’t the only dog off course and as soon as he tried to approach the fence to get closer, the other dogs immediately attacked him and pushed him backwards. As little as he was he didn’t know how to fight so he stayed back and sat there watching me from a distance. We were both looking to each other from a distance and a strong connection emerged. After a few minutes I walked to the office of Can Dog and told the owner I knew which dog I wanted. I showed him the small pointer and he told me he had just been brought in the night before as they found him tied to a tree near Sant Josep. Excited as I was to take this little buddy out of the pen I was told that he needed to stay at least 3 weeks at the shelter according to Spanish Law as there may be a possibility his owner shows up. Considering he was found being tied to a tree I calculated the chance he had a caring owner very small yet we still needed to wait 3 weeks. When I left, the little pointer was looking at me from a distance and the next 3 weeks were probably the longest weeks of my life. Every few days I would call Can Dog to check if someone came for the little black pointer and every time I was relieved to hear he was still there. After three weeks I stood in front of the gate waiting for it to go open as I was more than half an hour too early that morning. A few hours later, the little black pointer was sitting in the back of the car with the enthusiasm of a little child. Our first stop was the beach and although its not recommended to release the lead of a dog you only knew for a few hours thats exactly what I did. I wanted to show him my trust and also figured he deserved a good and free run. Running he did! The moment we released the lead he was going absolutely crazy. It was amazing to see how much he enjoyed his time and it was a great start of all the adventures yet to come. In the mean time Corine and I where thinking of a name and we came up with Duc. Considering this was our first dog together we thought it would be nice to have a name with both our first letters. As my name is David, Duc was easily formed out of D and C. So there he was. Duc. Smiling on the rear seat of the car, full of sand after a good run on the beach. According to a dental check by the vet he was about 7 months old.
Raf joined our path about 6 months later. I was doing a lot of gardening work that winter at a friends house and off course I was always bringing Duc to the scene. After a while I was told he had a friend who had many Border Collies as one of his dogs had given birth to many puppies a while ago and he still needed a place for a few of them. Although I was bit reluctant to get a second dog straight away we figured it would be nice for Duc as well to have a buddy and if you have one dog, why not two? So that was it. The next week we went to the kennel with the Border Collies to ‘pick’ our dog. I never felt comfortable choosing a dog and I never will be. There are always many dogs looking for a good home and standing there to choose which one will join our pack and will go on a lot of adventures and which one not is not something I like. So there I was, in the middle of a kennel with around 7 puppies all aged around 7 months and extremely shy. None of them would approach us so I decided to do it the other way around. I would wait on my knees and the first one that came over would be our new dog. I want a dog to trust me and if a dog shows courage to come over when being scared then that shows a good foundation for our future bond. It took about 5 minutes before one dog slowly approached us. Very gently, very careful he started to explore us and after a few moments we could touch him as well. This would be him and at that moment the pack had expanded by one.
10 minutes later he was in the car and literally pissing himself because he never been outside the kennel let alone being in a moving car over a bumpy camino (dirt road in spain). I knew this would become a challenge. We didn’t have a name yet but my brother in law came up with Raf and that suited him.
Arriving home we had one very scared dog and one that – again – was going completely crazy. Duc was so excited that he kept running circles through the house and over the outside fields in front of our house. Raf wasn’t impressed and aggressive. He wanted to be left alone and so we did. Give him time, he’ll find his way. Working with a scared dog is challenging and can be very difficult but we found our way. Over the course of many hikes we gained the trust of Raf. Also, Duc and Raf have become inseparable. I’ve never witnessed a bond between dogs so strongly as between Duc and Raf. Together they form a perfect pack and I pride myself for having such wonderful dogs.
So that’s how the pack got formed. Over the course of many blogs I will get into their specific characters which are both very different but extremely wonderful in their own perspective.
When spending a lot of time with my dogs during hikes or on our supping adventures I experience a lot of valuable moments. Every adventure brings me something new. Be it an insight, a great story or just beautiful views. Also, spending that much time with my dogs while being in nature teaches me valuable things about the world we live in. A world, away from the city where everything is artificially created. A world where the environment is in its purest form while participating in a natural way. No calls, no emails, no appointments, but moreover, no goals, no targets, no career. Just being out there for the sake of being there.
On OneMoreHike.com I will share my adventures. I’m excited for the times ahead. While writing this I have Raf laying next to me and looking to me with a question in his eyes. Yes Raf, I get it. Its time for one more hike.