Adjunct professor of child development Savonia Guy loves nature and understands the value of time outside for self-regulating and managing stress.

In addition to teaching at PLNU, Guy is a Kindergarten teacher at San Diego Cooperative Charter School, which uses a constructivist approach to education. At work, Guy loves to have her students spend time outdoors. There, they notice the details of what they feel, hear, see, and smell. Their nervous systems regulate, and they feel a sense of peace and calm. Quoting Childcare Exchange, she said, “Children need opportunities to slow down and pay attention to the world around them. Don’t we all?”

This is a lesson Guy’s miniature dachshund Sisu understands instinctively. Guy and her family decided to adopt Sisu as a new companion for their long-haired dachshund Woody after the family’s other two dogs both passed away from old age. Since Sisu joined the family in June 2020, during the stress of the pandemic, they chose to give her a Finnish name that can be translated to mean grit, determination, or resilience.

“We hike at 10,000-feet elevation, and she goes nonstop,” Guy said. “She’s a complete outdoor dog. For her size, she’s underestimated.”

They soon found that Sisu would live up to her name. She is a dog with a deep passion for adventure.

“We hike at 10,000-feet elevation, and she goes nonstop,” Guy said. “She’s a complete outdoor dog. For her size, she’s underestimated.”

One of Sisu’s favorite outdoor pastimes is paddleboarding, which she had done in many backcountry lakes and rivers with her family. About a year ago, Woody passed away, and now Sisu has a new puppy companion of her own — a little Chesapeake Bay retriever, who is sure to join the family on many new outdoor adventures soon.

Christine is the editor of the Viewpoint magazine at PLNU.