Waypoints: Abby Chan, Kona & Mochi
Waypoints celebrate the places our dogs take us and the joy of returning to them together, time and time again. Whether it's a summit, a shoreline, or a certain spot on the trail where your dog just has to stop and sniff every time, it's the dog and the story that make it special.
We're sharing the Waypoint stories of some incredible dog and human teams who helped us out with some photoshoots this season. Read on to hear from Abby Chan about her dogs Kona and Mochi – and why they have a connection to this spot in Sedona.
Can you tell us a little bit about you and your dogs?
I am from Flagstaff, Arizona. As usual, as a child, I took my hometown for granted. I didn't realize that I lived in such a special place with amazing access to trails, mountains, and deserts. I never imagined I would move back after college, but here I am!
I have always loved dogs, and we always had dogs growing up. Prior to getting Kona, I had a dog named Schultz. I adopted him after my brother tragically passed away because I needed something to love, and needed to know that there was hope in the world.
Kona came into our lives through a family friend who ran a puppy adoption non-profit. Her previous family didn't have time for her and was frequently at the vet because she would chew sticks, logs, rocks... really anything. She is very anxious if she doesn't get enough exercise or have enough love. The vet offered to find her a new home. We were her new home!
What were those early adventures together like?
When she first came to us, we were going to "foster her" (yeah right, who fosters a golden and doesn't keep them?). She was very deconditioned and couldn't stand on a wood floor because she didn't have the muscle tone to keep her upright.
Our first walk was down our street, and she laid down on the corner and refused to move because this was likely the most exercise she had gotten in years.
We took things very slowly, we would walk together to work every day and she slowly got stronger. We had Kona and Schultz together for about two weeks until Schultz suddenly passed away from a brain tumor. I like to think that this was him passing the buck onto Kona because he knew she would take care of me.
Kona now enjoys mountain biking, trail running, backpacking (short distances), paddleboarding, backcountry skiing, and of course, snugging on the couch.
And then came Mochi?
Mochi was our pandemic puppy. We were instantly in love with this 5-pound fluffball.
She grew... a little bit in size (13 pounds now!), but a lot in personality. She is a FIRECRACKER.
I never knew how much I would love having a smaller dog until she came along. Watching the world through her eyes is truly a joy.
When she was smaller and before she could run long distances, I would pack her into my Osprey backpack and take her mountain biking. She quickly learned how to follow right behind our rear tires, corner, and huck herself off of rocks.
She will now run long distances and go in the backpack if we are on a busy road or near cars. She is small, but she is mighty!
Can you tell us a bit about the photoshoot location in Sedona?
We spend a lot of our weekends in Sedona because it is a quick 45 minutes away from our house and allows us to warm up during the winter months. There is also great access to creeks and streams to cool off during the warmer months.
Sedona is also the first place Kona mountain biked!
It was quite the learning curve for Mochi to learn that plants were pokey and could easily get stuck in her paws. She has since been on some of the most iconic mountain biking trails in Sedona and gets her shred on.
Why is this place a Waypoint for you, Kona, and Mochi?
My husband and I have very busy schedules. We own our own business together and are both healthcare professionals. Because of Sedona's close proximity to Flagstaff, it is the perfect weekend escape to be together and play.
I love being with the dogs in Sedona because Kona is the ULTIMATE puddle hunter and no matter the weather will find a puddle to lay in.
Mochi is really just excited to be included.... in everything. Kona on the other hand loves laying in hidden pools of water in the rocks, and she loves basking in the winter sunshine.