For years Kat Abrams dreamed of getting a dog.
So when her Jackson housing situation finally allowed for one three years ago, she adopted a golden retriever puppy she named Summit.
Summit has a tendency to pant, which give the impression of a permanent smile plastered on his furry face. True to appearance, he’s also eager to meet new people and greet them with an outstretched tongue.
Abrams and Summit live together in a rustic log cabin in Wilson, where he gets to play all day in an expansive yard. He spends most of his time wandering outside, snoozing in the garage in the summer and in tall, cushy piles of snow in the winter.
Abrams didn’t plan to start an Instagram account for Summit — he is a dog, after all — but after she posted a picture of her carrying him as a 34-pound puppy in her pack during a hike in the Wind River Range, she realized his photogenic potential.
“We put him in a pack when he was a small puppy, and since then we’ve done any and everything between,” Abrams said. “He’s a good adventure buddy.”
All of Summit’s best angles can be found on his Instagram at @summitadventurepup.
The smiley dog’s photogenic adventures also won him 372 votes in the #JHPeakPets Instagram competition, making him the 2019 winner.
Since Abrams created it, the account has garnered far more attention than she could have imagined. Summit is even recognized in public when the two of them are hiking Snow King. His pet celebrity status scored him an invitation to a high school graduation, to which Abrams didn’t even get an invite.
Though Summit turned 3 this past St. Patrick’s Day and can’t really be said to be a puppy anymore, the golden retriever still commands the attention of any room he saunters into with shiny golden locks that would make any Pantene model jealous.
When Summit is not with Abrams he’s most likely with her boyfriend, Will Murphy, who lives near Snow King — a common haunt for the hikers.
“He’s probably hiked more in his three years than I have in my life,” Murphy said. “Every time we go hiking up and down the trail you’ll see him and he’s just hundreds of yards ahead of you. He loves the trails.”
This summer Abrams hopes to take Summit along with her on lengthier runs and hikes, especially in the Wind River Range. Having him has motivated her to get out of her outdoor comfort zone.
“Before I had him I spent really all my time in [Grand Teton National Park],” Abrams said. “And now with him it’s really cool to go explore new areas.”
With his affable personality, Summit makes for an easy travel companion.
“We don’t have to worry about him around other dogs or other people or kids,” Abrams said.
“He’s very friendly and affectionate.”
Sometimes too much so. Its’s not unusual for Summit to take an open car door as an invitation. He feels the same about ski lifts. Once, when Abrams was in Teton Village, she got a call from ski patrol: Summit was trying to board the gondola with an unsuspecting crowd.
He can’t help it. He’s born to be social.
“Everywhere we go he is way more social than we both are,” Abrams said.
The one thing Summit can’t resist is playing with water. He’s usually pretty obedient to Abrams’ instruction, except when it comes time to get him away from water. At the cabin, he likes to run down the road and lie down in a drainage ditch until Abrams convinces him to get out.
He also loves snow, even though it has weighed him down. Three winters ago, when Murphy was skiing on the pass on a day with heavy, wet snow, Summit became too loaded with snowballs to walk on his own. Murphy carried him in a skein in his arms as he skied down the mountain.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen him happier,” Murphy said. “He was just hanging out, skiing. He had the biggest smile, tongue out. When we stopped he was trying to get right back into my arms.”
At the end of the day Summit is a reliable companion for Abrams’ and Murphy’s adventures, wherever life takes them, which in their case includes over a dozen states and places outside the United States.
“As much as the country as I’ve seen, he’s seen just as much,” Abrams said. “He’s been to Canada, to the desert, to beaches. He’s been everywhere and seen more than maybe a lot of people would see in their lifetime. Which is really cool.” ￼