National Dog Day: Gus Kenworthy chats about Autotrader calendar, dog rescue and more

Gus and Birdie. Credit Jen Rosenstein
Gus and Birdie. Credit Jen Rosenstein /
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Autotrader National Dog Day Media Asset. Credit Autotrader
Autotrader National Dog Day Media Asset. Credit Autotrader /

Olympic freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy chats with Dog O’Day about how he got into dog rescue, and specifically an Autotrader pet adoption calendar.

Dog O’Day – Were you already involved in the dog rescue efforts before Pyeongchang? How did that start?

Gus Kenworthy – I was, yeah. My first dog that I ever got was on my 11th birthday, and my dad took me to the pound to get a dog from the shelter, and that was my childhood dog. And then in 2014 when I was competing in the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, my ex-boyfriend and I actually brought home five stray dogs, and that’s when my work with the Humane Society International began, because they helped out a lot with that process and with clearing the red tape.

One of those dogs is my mom’s dog, and two of them live with my ex, and one went to a lady who worked for the Humane Society. But since then I’ve just continued to work with them, which is why they enlisted my help in 2018.

That’s really cool. And how did this partnership with Autotrader come about, with the calendar?

Well, I think because I’ve done a lot of work in the dog adoption field, and just been a strong proponent of animal adoption and rescue, it was a great fit for them, and it was certainly a great fit for me, because it’s so wonderful what they’re doing. The calendar that we got to be featured on the front of was such a cool opportunity, but it’s just so cool to me that there are adoptable pets featured in the calendar.

But moreso, it’s even cooler that Autotrader is using their technology to have a website, Dogtrader, where people can find adoptable pets in their area, and find the best cars for dogs, and car accessories that are dog-friendly, and really just helping a lot of animals find their forever homes., and live their best lives once they do.

That’s awesome. Does Birdie enjoy going on trips with you when she can, like car trips, things like that?

Of course! Anytime I’m traveling for training or getting ready to compete somewhere, she’s just always so bummed that she doesn’t get to go, because she just LOVES riding in the car. The two things that make her the most excited are saying “Do you want to go for a walk?” (And as soon as she hears the word “walk” she just goes crazy) and “Do you want to go in the car?” She loves going in the car, she loves car rides, and I just love being with her at all times, so it’s nice to be able to bring her along and have her be comfortable in the car.