Making A Difference: @trailsandbears

In this new series, we want to introduce you to some of the EzyDog ambassadors and share a little bit about who they are, what makes their tails wag, and how they are helping to make a difference in the lives of others. Meet Rachael Rodgers and her two adventuring pups, Beans and Denali. Many know them through Instagram @trailsandbears and follow their kayaking adventures, whether it’s sun or snow, around places such as Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada. Rachael is impacting the lives of shelter dogs in her community in a unique and adventurous way.


Rachel, please share how you became the owner of Beans and Denali and how long have you been together.

I’ve been with Beans and Denali for four years – since I met their human dad who is now my partner. He got Beans from a farmer when Beans was 4 months old and Denali was adopted from the Cochrane Humane Society a couple months later when she was 6 months old. Both are now almost 13 years old.

How did you come up with their names, and do they have any specific significance?

I wasn’t part of their naming, but Beans’ actual name is Liebherr (yes, after the cranes) and it got shortened and mangled into Beans (long story). Denali is named after the truck. (Nope, just kidding this time thankfully. She’s named after the mountain.)

Beans leads the way.

What is your favorite thing to do together? 

MY favorite thing to do together is kiss and hug and snuggle. THEIR favorite thing to do together is have me drive them places where we can walk and kayak and picnic (I always have food) and swim and bike and eat sticks.

Where is your favorite place to adventure?

We have so many favorites! They know all the turns we take driving to different faves and they show excitement everytime we get closer to one.

Who loves the kayak more? Or do they both enjoy it?

Beans definitely loves the kayak more. Denali is a fair weather sailor. She doesn’t like all the conditions that I continue to kayak through, but Beans loves it all! He also has a strong FOMO (fear of missing out). When we get to a lake or river and start unloading (canoe or kayak) Beans starts barking with excitement. It’s always hilarious watching Beans bite the water as I paddle and fish sticks (or anything that floats :/ ) out of the water.

Do Beans and Denali have any tricks?

Denali does my taxes. I’m still trying to teach Beans to brew a good cup of coffee, but he isn’t passionate about it.

Denali (Left) and Beans (right) loving the outdoors in their Element Jackets.

Let’s have some fun! What is the naughtiest thing Beans has ever done? 

Beans is a good boy! I can’t think of a naughty thing he has ever done…

What is the funniest memory you have with Denali?

Every single time she hears a food bag crumple from another room.

If you could share just three words to describe each of them what would they be?

Beans: social, comedian, affectionate

Denali: independent, hungry, introvert

We know you have a love for dogs and helping those in need. Can you please share about your partnership and what sparked the desire to work with the Cochrane Humane? You put an amazing twist on volunteering and spending time with the shelter dogs, can you share what a day with a shelter dog looks like?

Helping dogs who need it is a very important part of my life. I wanted to help dogs at the shelter, but I wasn’t sure exactly what I could do to make a real difference in their lives. I thought I should take them out for walks (dogs LOVE walks!). It brings them so much joy to get outside and socialize with a volunteer! But I realized I could offer something different; I could have their photo pop up in front of thousands of local dog lovers!  My instagram account grew with a pile of people who seemed to love dogs, what a great group to introduce these wonderful dogs to! So I venture in weekly and see who I meet.

I don’t take many things in life seriously, that can’t be said for volunteer day. My mission is to have each dog seen by the most perfect potential human, and for this, they deserve my full effort. They can’t control anything about their lives; I am their voice and advocate.

I get up early and pack a couple bags for the day. A camera bag with two cameras and all my lenses so I’ll be ready for anything. Provisions bag including lunch, dog treats, water for dog, dog coat, and extra warm clothes. It’s an hour drive to the shelter where I say hi to all the fuzzbutts and ask if there’s any pup in particular that I should take. I get acquainted with my new buddy until they are comfortable enough to get in the car (this takes no time for some, and doesn’t ever happen for others). I imagine it’s a little confusing for the dog and I always wonder where they think we are going. We drive a hour back into the mountains for a few little hikes and photo shoots. This is usually followed by a shared picnic (hiking is hard work). By this time the dog has warmed up to me as a food, drive, and hike provider rather than just an over enthusiastic strange lady. We head back to the shelter, both with an exhausted sense of accomplishment. I take a couple more pups outside for short frolics before leaving the shelter.

Since I want to get my photos out to the world ASAP, I usually compose a “my story” for instagram to publish immediately. Then it’s home to edit photos and create a write-up for the next morning’s post. I try to time their post perfectly in the morning so lots of people will see and I always make myself available to reply to anyone interested right away either with additional photos or more information.

This is my favorite part of the process! No one needs talked into getting a dog. The right ones just know they need to go meet this cute pupper! So many happy endings!
Dogs are finding their soul mates online these days, too!

Keep up with Rachel, Beans & Denali! Follow @trailsandbears on Instagram!

Now Go And Play!