Photographer Ben Moon fell in love with a pit bull-husky mix he soon named Denali. ©From the video “‪Denali,‬” Moon‬‬house, 2015‬‬‬‬

Sometimes it takes our four-footed best friends to remind us what adventures are all about and what being outdoors can do for us—mentally, physically and spiritually.

In 1999, Portland, Oregon-based photographer and cinematographer Ben Moon walked into an animal shelter and met a pit bull-husky mix he later named Denali. For the next decade and a half, Ben and Denali rarely left each other’s sides, whether it was climbing mountains or camping in many of our national parks.

For 16 years, Ben and Denali were inseparable. ©From the video “‪Denali,‬” Moon‬‬house, 2015

In his 16th year, however, Denali developed cancer. Knowing that his dog’s last days were upon him, Ben took Denali on a road trip one last time to film a tribute to his canine companion. That short film is below.

In an interview for National Geographic’s adventure blog, Beyond the Edge, writer Mary Anne Potts asked Ben Moon what Denali had taught him. Ben replied that Denali always reminded him of the importance of being out in nature. His dog, he said, was never that stoked on being in the city but would truly come to life and be full of joy when they were hiking into a crag or playing on the beach.

Sometimes, our four-footed best friends are the ones that remind us that life is about adventures. ©From the video “‪Denali,‬” Moon‬‬house, 2015

Watch the seven-minute film. If it doesn’t make you want to jump up and get out to explore the world with your best friend—two- or four-footed—nothing will.

Here’s to finding your true places and natural habitats,


Denali walks on a beach during his last road trip. ©From the video “‪Denali,‬” Moon‬‬house, 2015