Koda's First Year // Forest Tourist
Dog,  Journal

Koda’s First Year

If you know me in real life then you know Koda, but if you don’t then consider this your formal introduction. Koda is my Australian Shepherd puppy with a huge intellect and a lot of energy.

Koda is a huge part of my life and I have been meaning to do a blog post about him for a while now. Today is the perfect day to finally do it; not only because it is Christmas day but because its Koda’s first birthday!

So here is a glimpse into Koda’s first year on Earth and everything you need to know about our journey together so far.

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Koda was so incredibly tiny and fluffy when I first got him. He didn’t even look like a dog, he looked like a baby bear cub.

I got Koda when he was a little under 2 months old, and I found out the hard way that raising a puppy is a lot of work. Personally, I wasn’t prepared for the struggles of being a dog mom and had no clue how to train such a young animal, so the first few months were really rough. When its all said and done though having a puppy was such a worthwhile experience and I don’t regret it at all. Hopefully I’ll have a puppy guide up soon to share my advice with anyone looking to get a puppy of their own, and spare anyone from making the same mistakes I did.

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Koda and Django at Sandrock

As an avid climber I knew that any pup of mine would have to be introduced to crag life at a young age. Koda has grown up to be the perfect camping and climbing dog, and I firmly believe that it all has to do with his early exposure to the lifestyle. I took Koda to Sandrock in Alabama for his first camping and climbing trip, and he absolutely loved it. Since then he’s been to Rocktown and Sandrock too many times to count!

Getting a dog to behave while at the crag is a lot of work but also a lot of luck, especially with a puppy. Koda is a herding dog by nature, so he had no trouble staying with the group when taken off of his leash. He also is super friendly and not really a barker. In addition to the puppy guide I also want to write a post about raising the perfect crag dog, so be on the lookout for that!

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At times I felt bad for keeping such a wild and energetic pup in a small Tallahassee apartment, but when I look at all of the adventures Koda has gone on during his first year of life I am reminded that he truly is a lucky dog.

Canoeing with Koda

I love being outside in nature, and I love it even more when my dog gets to experience it with me. So far Koda has been to sunny Florida beaches, mountains in Georgia and Alabama, and just about every park in Tallahassee. He’s paced around in a canoe, hiked along the Appalachian Trail, swam in natural springs, and played in waterfalls.

I’m excited to continue traveling and exploring in nature, and I can’t wait to take Koda along with me.

So now you’re all caught up on Koda’s many adventures! I hope that you are just as obsessed with him as I am (I mean, how can you not be? Just look at that face!) and are excited to see him on Forest Tourist more. I’m still learning so much about being a dog mom and I want to share my experiences with you, both the good and the bad.

With all that being said and done I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. Oh, and happy birthday Koda if you’re reading this 😉

Was this helpful? Have feedback for me? Let me know in the comments, or shoot me an email at indiaclaire.ft@gmail.com. Header photo by John Miller, all other photos were taken either by me, Adrian Thompson, Liz Van Eepoel, or Chelsea Berger.


I'm a climber, dog mom, and a hater of plastic. I like seeking wild adventures and sharing them with people.


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