The heat of the desert is famed for inducing wild hallucinations. When Jordan Kahana slowed his car to a crawl after spotting a “shadow” on the Arizona desert road towards the Grand Canyon, he assumed his eyes were playing tricks on him. But he was wrong.
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The events of that day in December of 2016 turned 30-year-old Kahana’s Christmas-to-New Year road trip from a quiet solo getaway into an awfully big adventure. As Kahana neared the “shadow,” it moved; as he stepped out of his car and walked up to it, its true form became clear.
The shadow was in fact two tiny puppies, no more than a few weeks old. They were unattended and quickly dehydrating under the hot sun. Kahana didn’t have to think twice; he quickly scooped them up and headed for the nearest veterinarian’s office.
“It was wild,” Kahana told Today, explaining that he knew in that instant that he’d be taking the tiny pair on his road trip with him. “If I couldn’t keep them after,” he added, “I would find them a loving home when I got back to L.A.”
He named the pups Zeus and Sedona (he was heading out of Sedona, Arizona, when he found them), and off they set for an extraordinary and unprecedented adventure as an awesome threesome. The Chicago native who already had a strong presence on social media used the platform to showcase his epic adventure.
Kahana has no idea how the puppies ended up in the desert, but the area is notorious for domestic animal abandonments. Kahana DNA tested his tiny pair and discovered that they are German shepherd and border collie cross breeds.
Besides lending them an ideal temperament for laid-back companionship and easy dog training, this also means that Zeus and Sedona are extremely photogenic. Just look at the evidence!
After the best Christmas gift ever, Kahana’s Christmas-to-New Year road trip with the puppies came to an end; luckily, Kahana’s attachment to the tiny creatures did not. He decided to keep them.
Dubbing themselves the “Adventure Squad,” Kahana kept his pups busy with day trips and numerous hikes around Southern California before building up to more ambitious adventures.
Kahana quit his job as a digital director in May of 2016 in favor of freelancing, freeing up time for more extended travel. Naturally, the dogs were part of the plan. With careful logistical organization, the squad tackled a West Coast national park loop that was so successful that they now travel (and blog) full-time. “It’s great to have companionship,” Kahana shared.
The Adventure Squad, practiced, prepped, and ready for the road, covered an impressive 30,000 miles and 35 states in just one year, and Kahana’s camera was there every step of the way to capture the best bits. Today, they’re still going. Fans the world over are able to live vicariously through Kahana’s “pupdates” on Instagram and YouTube, and they can watch the beautiful puppies growing into happy, healthy dogs.
“I’m grateful to be living out my wildest dreams,” Kahana continued, saying that the only obstacle he encountered was needing to switch into “dad mode” to cope with logistics or setbacks in doggy discipline. He once came home to find a pillowcase ripped to shreds and the room looking like the aftermath of a fox in a chicken coop, but it was a learning experience.
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Kahana saw the funny side. On the other hand, he’s been “forced to become a morning person,” he told Insider. “The pups, without fail, wake me up around 6:30/7 in the morning!”
Kahana described his dogs as “probably my favorite thing going for me right now. It’s super rewarding,” he shared, referring to his choice to adopt two little critters that came out of nowhere and changed his life. Early mornings aside, he’s never looked back.