"The sled runners crunched on the snow which glimmered in the strong sunshine. The sound of the dogs' panting and footfalls on the snow drifted back to me. Despite the temperature being below zero, we weren't cold.
A sharp turn loomed ahead.
"Taeka, gee! Gee girl," I said as I stepped slightly on the brake.
Taeka took the sharp turn like the professional she is, guiding the 6 other dogs and the sled neatly around the corner. We continued on our way, down the hill, through the woods, over the frozen stream, and into the wide open field once more. Despite the 12 miles we'd already gone, the dogs were still going strongly and swiftly."
I've always had this weird longing to own a sled dog. (Or two, or three, or four......) I was probably about 9 when I started hooking Sadie up to a wagon or trike and making her pull me around. I stopped after about six months when I found out the harness I was using was NOT a pulling harness and could wreck her back. Real pulling harnesses cost too much for me at the time. Then it moved to playing sled dog myself. We'd make harnesses out of twine, hook them up to the red-hand cart, and Luke, Marcus and I took turns pulling each other around-using all the musher lingo too. Two dogs and a driver. That went on for probably about two months before we got tired of it. Every now and again I thought about it but it wasn't like it used to be-and obsession.
Last year I got Rikka and moved on to herding. (I was old enough by then that I didn't and still don't round my brothers up though!) I was too proud to find a book on "How To Train Stockdogs" at the library-I could say, "Look at this well trained dog-and I never read a book to do it!" Because of that, and my procrastinating nature, Riika did not get trained.
Duke does not have the amount of herding instincts he needs to be trained so I'm thinking of agility for him. Another thing I tried doing with Sadie but lacked the knowledge, equipment and the knowledge to make that equipment. And procrastinated with Riika once more.
Anyway, back to the sled dogs. I've been helping out at the veterinary clinic on Monday's as most of you probably already know. Yesterday, some lady brought in a bunch of Alaskan Malamute puppies for their vaccines and check-ups. Turns out, she breeds and sells these dog-right in our little town of Goldendale!!! (I had to go look up her website as soon as I got home and here it is. http://oregonmalamutes.com/index.html If you click on the "Available Puppies" link you will see the pups that were brought in the other day.) So now I'm all fired up again. As these dogs are vocal, destructive, and as a rule not very good with small animals, (although I think we could raise them right and they'd be fine) among other things, I know I can't get one until I have my own place but I can't help longing for one. I've already found lots of breeders I really like, found all the equipment I need, watched videos, and now I have to wait. And work because it won't be very cheap. And wait and work some more. I wish I could win that Monopoly thing at McDonald's. *Mutter, grumble, groan.* So that is all I have to say for now I guess.
Wait! I wonder if Duke could pull me on a sled! Hmmm. That'll be something to think about....
The below pictures; his new found joy is a tennis ball.