Ivan’s First run

138 days old and walking is not enough to keep this guy drained of energy. I hooked him up to wheels with my best leader Cooper. Less than a half-mile run but it was enough to get him drained. A good training run and this boy is a born runner. Sure, he looks around and gets distracted, but he is learning to be what he was meant to be. It will come together in time. He’s the progeny of two lead dogs in Maine. He shows great promise to continue that trait. I’ll take the pain now and reap the rewards later. That’s what it takes to have sled dogs you can be proud of. You put in the work first.

There is nothing that compares to being pulled down the road or on a sled by some of God’s most beautiful creatures. They are not forced, they love it as much as I do. Just being allowed to share in the glory of the run is a religious type experience. If you have the chance, go take a sled dog tour at some point in your life. It will change you. You will learn that Peta is all wrong about this activity.

Just think about this. You are in the middle of Alaska and the only thing you have for transportation are your dogs. Are you going to beat them and force them to run? I can tell you that is not possible. If they don’t want to run they won’t. They run because of the love they feel for their musher. The bond they form together with us is for a lifetime. From birth to death, he gives them everything he can. And the dogs give back everything they can. Why? Because it’s a partnership forged years ago in ice and snow. That is the essence of the Dogs of Winter. Man and dogs, needed each other to survive. That bond still exists today in the heart and soul of every Northern breed. Humans are the ones who don’t understand them.

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