As you’ve probably guessed by the name of this column, I love the outdoors. I love seeing new places, doing new things, getting lots of fresh air and sunshine and meeting new people. There are so many new experiences out there that we have no idea about, and how better to learn than to talk to people about their world? Luckily, we have Ginger, our golden retriever. She is the perfect ice-breaker.

My wife Terry and I have escaped the Canadian prairie winter to enjoy some outdoor time on the West Coast of British Columbia. It is so refreshing to take long walks along the shore with Ginger. We explore trails and observe seals and sea lions. Eagles soar overhead and watch us from trees. Inevitably we meet other dog owners and let the dogs run. One of Ginger’s favorites is Rose, a chocolate lab that loves to play. The two run and jump and growl like they’re real tough. It gives us time to get to know Dave, Rose’s owner. We chat about hunting and fishing, and where the best seafood is found.