Hey there! My name is Andrew Muse and I’m a professional multi-sport athlete and content creator. Kicker is a 4 year old golden retriever who has been joining me on adventures since the day I brought him home as a puppy. One of his all time favorite adventures to join me on is something you probably wouldn’t think of - flying. Kicker came on his first flight with me when he was about 7 months old in Alaska and has been hooked ever since!
My web series “Tiny Home Adventure” focuses on my life on the road with my pup Kicker and girlfriend Ashley. We were filming Season 2 of Tiny Home Adventure out of our 4x4 van and in Episode 11 Kicker got to ride in a tandem paragliding harness with my friend John (a tandem certified pilot) while I flew alongside them. Know that Kicker was wearing a climbing grade dog harness that was clipped in to the tandem harness so there was no way for him to fall out!
Kicker quickly settled in and took to checking out the beautiful landscape below. Now that Kicker has gotten quite a bit bigger, he has taken to running alongside me as I speed fly and paraglide. The main difference between speed flying and paragliding is that a speed wing is smaller and meant for a fast ride closer to the ground, while a paraglider is a larger wing meant for longer and more relaxing flights in lighter wind. A speed wing lets you do tricks like barrel rolls and other acrobatic maneuvers as well.
We’re lucky that we’re based only 30 minutes from the world-class flying spot "Point of the Mountain" in Utah. This is Kicker’s favorite spot to tag along since we can make multiple speed wing flights from top to bottom in one day. As soon as he sees us pulling into the parking lot he starts shaking with anticipation, and his eyes just light up. When I pull out my wing he jumps around like crazy knowing the adventure he's about to go on! Honestly, flying is one of the only ways I can keep up with Kicker these days!
If you already fly, and are thinking 'Hey maybe I should take my pup too!' It’s important to make sure you’re 100% confident flying before letting your dog tag along so you don’t end up crashing into them. I’ve been flying for 5 years now and Kicker knows not to get too close when he’s chasing me. Also, whenever you’re flying with your dog it’s key to know their limits. Dogs are always so stoked to chase after us, they often don’t realize just how tired they are. Be sure to bring plenty of water for both you and your pup and take regular breaks to let them have a drink. Another important thing to think about before bringing your dog flying is the terrain you’ll be on, or should I say, flying over. Point of the Mountain is a perfect spot because it’s an open grassy hill so I can see him the whole time I’m in the air. Some of the other flights I go on cover terrain with cliffs, rocks, and trees, so these aren’t ideal areas to have your pup chasing after you alone. Sometimes on bigger flights Ashley and Kicker will run down after me, but she makes sure he’s safe and doesn’t get too far ahead.
We’re currently filming Season 3 of Tiny Home Adventure and I’ve had some of the best flights of my life recently! Mount Hough in California was a prime example of a time Kicker couldn’t chase after me, but it was what speed flying dreams are made of. I ran off a jagged cliff band and soared over the crystal blue water of Clear Lake before landing on the beach below. Kicker greeted me with slobbery kisses, thankful I had made it down safely, and we all went for a swim afterward. After that we headed to the Oregon Coast where Kicker was able to charge down the steep sand dunes after me as the waves crashed on the shore below.
I love being able to share special places with Kicker through our adventures. Seeing him light up with pure stoke every time I pull out a wing makes all the hard work worth it.
If you would like to learn how to speed fly or paraglide, lessons are a must. There are certified schools throughout the country that offer classes and instruction. Feel free to shoot me a message if you have any questions about getting started flying!