I think a lot about my dogs and yours too. I’m partial to sled dogs but I’ve owned and bred many different breeds. GSD’s are probably my second choice to Huskies because I started with them and learned how to train them to be police dogs. But comfort dogs that spend their whole lives with humans are also not forgotten by me. They provide a service just as important as the working breeds. They all have jobs of one kind or another, for work and a purpose in life is important to all living things.
The GSD’s have that built in protection gene, the need to guard something or defend something. Sled dogs have the built-in genes to pull and run for adventures that lie around the next bend in the trail. Both are fearless when it comes to doing what they do. They don’t think about it, they do it. It’s what they are.
There are so many different breeds of dogs and that fits perfectly with so many types of humans. Finding your match is what it’s all about. Grandma doesn’t need a high powered sled dog any more than I need a Yorkshire terrier to boss me around the house.
But I will tell you that when you find that match to your own persona it makes dog ownership something really special. To say that dogs should run free is akin to stupidity. They would not survive without us. Thousands of years of this partnership has been ingrained into them, they have long lost the ability to survive on their own. We have changed them into what they now are, and it’s our responsibility to honor those changes.
We need them as much as they need us. That is not going to change now because some people think that is what is best for them. Dogs are animals, not humans, to humanize them is the wrong perspective. It is, in fact, detrimental to both the human and the dog.
Breeding dogs: The difference between responsible breeding and puppy mills is easy. Responsible breeders breed dogs that they believe in. It’s not about making money, you only hope to make enough to continue to produce the best puppies that represent the breed that you can.
The responsible breeder has hope, that the next litter will produce a Grand Champion, Iditarod winning Lead dog or a service dog that will lead the blind. When you see those puppies born they are the future of the breed. You have hopeful expectations that they will become what you dream for them. Just as if they are your own children you want them to have happy fulfilled lives.
Puppy mills are about money and only money. The dogs are property and only property. These people do the minimum of care and only if it will produce profits.
The puppies have expectations of us as well.
Will my human be a good owner, or starve and beat me? Will I go to dog college or be chained and forgotten. I’ve seen this look in puppies eyes before. The look of hope and trust that I will help them to become the best that they can be. Unless you have no soul you cannot ignore that look on the face of newborn life.
Bringing dogs into the world comes with a responsibility you must assume. You must do everything in your power to give them the best life you can. Expectations are high for both dogs and the responsible breeder.
Police dogs get killed doing what they were made for, and that is to save lives much like the officer’s that partner with them. Sled dogs die as well, doing a job that they love. Service dogs help and give life to others that have lost all hope.
This is what dogs give to us in just a few of the many ways. All they want in return is to have a good life doing what they were bred for. They have enough problems without activist making them worse.
If you want to humanize dogs then do it fairly. To stop a Greyhound from racing, or to stop a GSD from guarding, or to stop a sled dog from racing, or to stop a Lab from leading the blind is the same as denying your own child college, food and shelter, medical care, and stopping them from having a happy and fulfilled life that matters.
That is what is wrong with Animal rights activist. They choose to deny these animals what they want and need, in order to fulfill some void in their own miserable lives at the expense of others. Nothing matters to them but “Them.” They really don’t care about the dogs. Dogs are just the medium they chose to make them feel better, regardless if it actually does more damage to them.
This is the world we live in now. People are gunned down at random, so what chance do the animals have? Not much except for us, the ones who haven’t lost our minds to reality TV and Celebrity BS.
We are the real Animal Rights protectors. We are the protectors of the breeds we love so much.
My friends had a great time in Fort Kent, Maine this past weekend letting the dogs do what they love and were bred for. One of my own dogs and some I previously owned got to run the 30-mile race.
This is the level of ignorance we are dealing with. I’m sort of at a loss of words as how to combat this total lack of understanding. Apparently, the new craze is to find an issue to support even if you know nothing about it. This makes you look like a saint or something.
If you want to be a saint tackle the homeless problem, the poor, the hungry, and the millions of pet owners who stick their token dog in the back yard and forget they exist. SMH
A great little article about the conditions these dogs and musher’s endured. This is what these dogs were bred for. This is what they accel at like no other beast that is a friend of man. Dogs are life to a musher, and vice versa. To think that you will mistreat the animals that can save your life is insane.
The animal rights activist say this is cruel to make these dogs do this. The funny thing is you can’t make a dog do this. You can’t push a rope up a mountain. If a dog doesn’t want to do this he won’t, plain and simple. They will lay down and refuse to move. The lack of understanding of these dogs will be the end of them. So my feeble attempts to educate will go on in hope that some come to their senses.
Ever since I took this video I have ‘debated’ about whether to post it or not – largely because of optics and people not understanding and thinking that the dogs were suffering which they absolutely were not. I have already read a lot about what happened on Eagle Summit and parts have already been exaggerated by people who were clearly not there so I understand how easy it is to misinterpret something. However, others have suggested that I should show the video just to demonstrate how well the dogs cope and are designed to cope.
As soon as I got into Mile 101 I asked for a full vet check on the entire team and they all passed with flying colors (the vets and volunteers in 101 were amazing); the team all also had good body condition scores throughout the race just so they can deal with situations such as this. I shot this as we were making the final climb over the steepest part of Eagle Summit. It was slow going because visibility was so poor and we weren’t prepared to move up until we could see the next trail marker.
This would involve climbing up the slope until you could just see your leaders, planting a ski pole at that point and then keep climbing until the ski pole was just going out of view (between 10 and 15 feet away). Then wait with your back to the wind until you could feel the gusts drop and would then face uphill and scan for the marker. Once the marker, align the ski pole to the marker and go back to the team and move them up to the new marker.
This would all take a while and the dogs would revert to their basic instincts and ball up against the wind. The moment we asked the teams to move they would jump up, shake themselves off and literally scream to get going (in fact Deke located us by following the noise of the dogs barking), always hauling to the next marker and then immediately curl up and wait. I was amazed by how the dogs coped and how they knew exactly what to do.
All the time Andy, Jason and then Deke were constantly monitoring the state of all four teams. We really struggled to locate the final marker, it turned out it was on the edge of the summit and so constantly in a whiteout from snow being blown over the edge by 40 mph winds. We had decided that if we didn’t find that marker in the next five minutes we were not exposing the teams any longer and we would make our way back into the tree line and scratch, fortunately the marker was located and we were able to get the teams up on top where we waited until all four teams were in a close line and then we began our very grateful descent.
This was a huge team effort, no individual heroics, we all worked closely together to get our teams off safely and the dogs were the biggest part of that team; I am so pleased that everyone reacted so strongly and so calmly but I truly am amazed at how fantastic all four teams of dogs were and are. I am now making this public but will remove the post if it is used inappropriately.
A video that portrays the excellence of the mushers and dogs doing what they were made for.
You can win a free copy of my latest book I co-authored.
Carved In Stone:
They run upon the frozen ground,
claws dig in, with scratchy sounds.
It doesn’t matter where they head,
they will get there or be dead.
The smell of newly fallen snow,
12 dogs just pulling in a row.
12 dogs those saints of snow,
tug at the lines, it’s time to go.
A musher steps aboard that sled,
wondering about the dangers ahead.
His team is full of life, not dread,
until they move, they only see red.
Quiet comes in the forest deep,
miles to go before they sleep.
Muscles work to keep that pace,
the musher yells it’s not a race.
His dogs don’t hear and keep that pace,
musher hangs on, frozen beard upon his face.
Riding behind his magnificent dozen,
48 legs pound in perfect percussion.
He may be dead weight upon the sled,
they work for him and earn their daily bread.
Those dogs will pull and see them home,
working together they are never alone.
A partnership that was carved in stone.
Leonhard Seppala was driving home.