Dawn began her Pokémon journey with an overconfident Piplup. She wasn't able to gain his trust at first, but after rescuing him from a group of Ariados, the two became friends. Unlike May, she knew from the beginning that she wanted to follow in her mother's footsteps and be a Coordinator. After meeting Ash and Brock, she decided to journey with them, as their experience would likely be helpful to her. Like Ash, she is lucky enough to have seen a legendary Pokémon at the start of her journey, the projected soul of Mesprit in Following A Maiden's Voyage!.
Dawn's debut appearance
When Dawn began her journey she took a bicycle, but like Misty's and May's bikes, Ash's Pikachu destroyed it with his Thunderbolt. However, she did not mention this to Ash until more than thirty episodes after it happened. Dawn also had planned to take a large suitcase full of clothing with her, but her mother made her leave it at home due to its impracticality. Instead, Dawn took a backpack her mother had prepared for her. Johanna also gave Dawn the first Ribbon she earned as a Coordinator as a good luck charm, an item that would recur throughout the series as a symbol of Dawn's determination.