In the bustling city of Sydney, amidst the beautiful beaches and coastal landscapes, lives Alma, a three-year-old Finnish Lapphund affectionately known as a Lappie. Alma’s love for exploration and the ocean has led her and her owner on numerous adventures across Australia. From discovering hidden beaches to embracing thunderstorms, Alma’s zest for life and her unique quirks make her a remarkable companion. Join us as we delve into Alma’s exciting journey and learn more about her fascinating experiences.
Alma became part of her owner’s life as an eight-week-old puppy. Initially unsure if a working dog would suit their lifestyle, Alma’s owner soon realized that Sydney’s stunning beaches and their shared love for hiking and travel made them the perfect duo for adventures. With this newfound enthusiasm, they embarked on a journey to explore the breathtaking beauty of Australia’s coastlines together.
Alma’s Love for the Ocean: Alma’s affinity for the ocean earned her the title of a “Salty Dog.” Beaches bring her immense joy, as she immerses herself in various activities like paddling, running, playing, swimming, and exploring. Her owner shares Alma’s enthusiasm and aims to make the most of her time on Earth by uncovering new beaches and showcasing their adventures to inspire others.
In 2021, Alma and her owner set out on a mission to explore 100 dog-friendly beaches in Australia. By the end of the year, they had surpassed their goal, discovering an impressive 125 beaches across five states. Their travels took them from New South Wales to Victoria, Tasmania, Queensland, and South Australia. Researching and venturing into lesser-known areas, they stumbled upon hidden gems, such as an unnamed beach on the Kiama Coast hike, where they relished in a rewarding 24-kilometer hike and discovered a vast rockpool to cool off in.
Another memorable adventure led them from Apollo Bay to Shelley Beach, encountering multiple pristine beaches along the way. Alma’s keen senses even enabled them to spot a koala, which she dutifully alerted her owner to. The duo’s determination to explore extended beyond the shores, as they also took to hiking and camping in picturesque coastal regions.
During their explorations, Alma’s owner’s dedication to training her paid off in an unexpected way. Caught in a thunderstorm during a hike at Addis Point in Victoria, their evacuation text came too late. With the storm approaching rapidly, they raced back to the beach, drenched in rain. Astonishingly, Alma embraced the situation with a beaming smile and fearlessly ran alongside her owner. Celebrating their resilience, they danced and played together in the rain, relishing their solitude on the beautiful beach.
With their love for coastal exploration, it was only natural for Alma and her owner to embark on paddleboarding adventures. Starting with training sessions in their living room, Alma became comfortable with the paddleboard and donning her life jacket. Today, they enjoy the tranquility of Belmont’s 4×4 beach, where they paddleboard and barbecue, enhancing Alma’s water confidence and providing her with unique experiences.
Throughout their escapades, Alma and her owner maintained a blog documenting their beach discoveries, hikes, and adventures. By sharing their experiences, they aimed to guide and inspire other dog owners to explore the beautiful beaches of Australia with their furry companions.
Alma and her owner have no plans to slow down their quest for exploration. Their current challenge involves hiking 920 kilometers, equivalent to the distance between Sydney and Melbourne. They meticulously document each hike, offering valuable insights and recommendations for dog-friendly trails. Moreover, they are gearing up for their most ambitious adventure yet—an extended road trip from Darwin to Margaret River, discovering more dog-friendly destinations along the way.
Beyond her adventurous spirit, Alma possesses some endearing quirks. A notorious pillow thief, she takes delight in stealing unattended pillows and curling up on them for a cozy nap. Additionally, Alma is an accomplished trick dog, diligently working towards her intermediate title, while also participating in agility, dancing, endurance, herding, and Rally obedience training.
All image credit to Emily Garnett, photos of Alma in her element.
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