Meet Loki, the traveler dog, who inspires people to embrace wilderness and freedom

Did you ever stop to think that your pet pictures could fetch you a fortune? We bet you did not. But Denver-based Kelly Lund, 30, raked in a fortune with just the pictures of his pet. Kelly and his dog Loki are now a sensation on social media and their story is something that would inspire us to travel around the world.

In fact, Kelly quit his day job and became a full-time social media manager for Loki, his best friend, and wolf-dog. The friendship between Kelly and Loki started in 2012 when Kelly decided to adopt a wolf hybrid that could go on traveling adventures with him. Thus, came in Loki—a 'low-content' malamute and husky with Arctic Wolf ancestry line.

All experienced dog lovers would know that huskies and malamutes make really difficult pets. Trained to hunt and live in the wild with abundant energy and intelligence, these dogs are naughty, hungry for dominance and can be real trouble for their owners, unless the owners are thoroughly experienced in handling the breed.

But Kelly, who is an experienced dog trainer himself, couldn't find a better mate to travel with than Loki. "Loki's an animal that can tell what you're thinking and knows how you're feeling," explained Kelly in an interview with outsideonline. "You have to be able to do the same for him," he added.

This gave birth to Loki's social media rule as Kelly began posting pictures of his handsome dog on his special account. Started in 2013, @loki_the_wolfdog had more than 50,000 followers by the end of the first year itself. In no time, companies started knocking on their doors and soon, Loki had become a local advertising icon for dog food brands, accessories, and other products.

Things took an uphill turn in the summer of 2015 when one picture of Loki fetched more than 10k likes and suddenly the account grew by 500,000 followers.

When Kelly is asked about his mantra for success, he says that he doesn't know what 'success' actually means, but agrees that he is living the dream life that many can only imagine living. Kelly credits his success to the bond he has with Loki; which is palpable in the pictures on his Insta-page.

But Loki isn't just another pet dog who made it big on the Instagram feed. Kelly uses Loki's fame for charity purposes too. For example, Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co. called and set up a partnership with Kelly. He liked the company’s idea of funding pet adoptions, so later that year, he put together a Loki calendar and used the proceeds from the sale of these calendars to help a young girl adopt a service dog. At that point, Instagram was only making Kelly a little extra money, but it was certainly helping him enjoy a little more time outside with Loki than he could previously enjoy.

By the end of 2015, Loki's fandom had increased to more than a million people. It was then that Kelly got the suggestion from a friend to quit his full-time job and focus on Loki. Kelly had apprehensions about taking the drastic step, as his job as an Outdoor Recreational Co-ordinator brought in economic security that his new work could not guarantee. But last year in November, three days after his 30th birthday, he finally quit his job and became a full-time parent to his wolf-dog. 

Kelly and Loki's future is set to delve deeper into public mindset with Kelly working on a line of dog products that will be launched soon. He is also working on a dog-centric children's book and plans to write a dog guidebook for adults on how to deal with challenges and how to overcome them while living with dogs who are difficult to train.

After quitting his job,  Lund has put his new found freedom to good use by using all that time to improve his photography and videography skills. We have no doubts that he is enjoying all the time by spending it with his best friend Loki, who he loves the most. He said, “A while back, I saw a dog meme that said, ‘Do what you love and success will follow.’ The punch line was, ‘So, I sat on my couch, ate pizza, and took selfies with my dog…I’m still waiting for the money to roll in.’ Turned out, that actually worked for me.”

His mission to help people understand about letting dogs live as close to nature as possible, without a leash, is slowly gaining momentum. And slowly, but surely, the message is reaching out to the masses who are lapping up his Insta-feed and can't help but fall in love with the handsome dog.

Watch their story here:

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