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Description: The Fall 2017 Issue of The Sled Dogger Magazine. A smaller, more compact issue that will load and download quickly. Still contains many photos, features, interviews and information!

Spotlights On Meredith Mapes Becki Tucker Jaguar s Second Life Training - Women and Mushing Urban Mushing - Husky Helpline Dog Message Care By William Shade 1 2 All Eyes are Upon Us By Lindy Howe I recently heard a teaching (for people) that is so often displayed by our sled dog friends. In fact in most cases dogs may do this much better than people- oh surprise. The teaching was about how some of us are the shining lights of the world. And some of us remain in the shadows. There is a place for us all. We can t all be shining lights and we cannot all be in the shadows. There is a balance of each. How we react in our roles is what either makes us filled with joy or filled with ego or depression. This lesson came to real life when a new dog was brought home to the kennel. Enter Mocha. (Name has been changed to protect her privacy) Mocha has an amazing background for a two-year-old. Her parents are both prominent leaders on competitive distance teams. Her lines go back to some amazing dogs. Her breeding was from a combination of two excellent mushers. Her birthplace was in a highly competitive kennel. This dog has had the sledding world handed to her on a silver platter. At two years old Mocha is a Can Am 250 finisher. She even led some parts of it to help the team finish an extremely challenging trail. She is naturally smart athletic and full of the beautiful energy. Mocha was no doubt a shining light from the moment she was born. When Mocha was first introduced to Boomer and Lightening she was filled with joy to have two new friends. She didn t judge them. She didn t think she was better than they were. She didn t look down on them because they hadn t been in harness yet. She didn t boast or brag. She looked them in the eye wagged her tail- gave a bow and it was game on She embraced her role as the shining light with great dignity. They could tell there was something about her. There was a gentle confidence in the air. Her positive energy sent a high vibration through the whole kennel and everyone loves her. Now the boys due to circumstances beyond their control were young for their age. They didn t have the experiences or the credentials of Mocha. They were a bit immature and had been babied a tad. They hadn t been in harness and they hadn t tried pulling. Their parents were both very good sled dogs from reputable kennels but they had been sheltered as yearlings and didn t have that same light to shine. They were a bit in the shadows of Mocha s light and that was OK with them. They didn t feel insecure they didn t feel that they needed to prove themselves or make them look like something they were not. They were not envious or jealous. They were happy just the way they were. Mocha took on her role as shining light with no ego and brought Boomer and Lightening into her energy with love and joy. The boys took on their role in her shadow with acceptance and living in the now. To see these dogs accept and bond with no judgement no ego no envy no bragging is a great lesson for all of us. As mushers as handlers as tour companies as racers as race organizers as sponsors and spectators some of us are the shining lights and some of us are in the shadows. There is always a balance of each. How we handle our roles makes the difference of the energy we carry. Do we play our roles with dignity and gently share the light with others Do we keep our vibrations high even if we happen to be in the shadows True joy comes from that very moment of looking each other in the eye- wagging our tails and giving a bow. Game on [END] 3 Vol. 4 - No. 3 The SLED DOGG In this issue Feature Stories Meredith Mapes Profile Becki Tucker Profile S.H.A.R.P. Story Laura Allaway Interview Pg Pg Pg Pg 10 18 40 48 regulrs All Eyes On Us From The Publisher Pg Pg 3 5 Jr Mushers Jr Musher sraff Stories interviews Dog Massage Care Feature By William Shade pg 89 Columns Women and Mushing Urban Mushing Training Husky Help Line Pg Pg Pg Pg 68 80 60 77 Jaguar s Second Life The Story Of A Retired Iditarod Sled Dog Pg 26 SPECIAL FEATURE COVER INFO Rider - Cherry Fairley Dog - Scandinavian Hound Harry at Rothes in Morayshire Scotland Photo taken - Winter 2016-17 race season. Photo By Tom Salway Studio57north.com Forres Morayshire. 4 GER MAGAZINE Fall 2017 The SLED DOGGER Magazine Vol. 4 - No. 3 - Fall 2017 FROM THE PUBLISHER The Sled Dogger Magazine is making some changes to help us survive. Although our readership is growing as a free publication run by volunteers it is very hard to get enough reliable people on the staff. Without these people we don t have enough content to bring to our readership. So we are adding a few people bringing back the Product Reviews Column and working on getting more people onboard that we can count on. Editor Publisher Bob Donovan STRUGGLING ON Design Layout & Website SledWebs.com Writers Bob Donovan Ashton Horn Ayanna Cavera Dylan Kilby Jason Rupp Jessica Richter Paula Whitworth Richard Meldrum Stacy Spencer Kristie Lent Columnists Gina Hinter Christine Grabowski Meredith Mapes Siobhan Burrell Kristi Benson Contributing Staff Della Severtson Kaitlyn Tidewell Purple Haze Michelle Jackson Staff Photographers Kaitlynn Tidewell And A Special Thanks To Alaska Bob R.I.P. ALASKA BOB Jr Staff Julia Cross William Shade If you or anyone you know is knowledgeable and or involved with Mushing (Dryland Snow Bikejor Skijor etc) and you honestly feel you have the time to take assignments and complete them 4 times a year Please drop us a line Jobs TheSledDogger.com In the meantime as a Free Publication WE NEED YOUE DONATIONS to keep going Please donate what you can - CLICK TO DONATE Here s to the Future of Mushing and the Future of The Sled Dogger Until Next Time... Bob Donovan Editor Publisher Please Feel Free To Drop Me A Line LOVE to hear from our readers Feedback TheSledDogger.com The Sled Dogger and TheSledDogger.com is (c) 2014 2015 2016 2017 by Maine Busy Bee Publishing. All Rights Reserved except where otherwise stated. All commentary reporting and content within the publication is the responcinility of the writer. Content may or may not agree with the thoughts feelings and ideas of the publisher and Maine Busy Bee Publishing. Writers are liable for thier submissions. 5 Lisbet Norris 3-time finisher of the 1000 mile Iditarod Originally from Willow Alaska Lisbet grew up in a dog mushing family. She & her partner Nils operate the Fairbanks branch of Alaskan Kennels the oldest Siberian Husky kennel in the world Alaskan Kennels - home of the Anadyr Siberian Husky. The heart of our operation - our beautiful sled dogs - are all AKC registered Siberians. Lisbet has a strong love for the North. She feels at home in the boreal forest of Interior Alaska and loves sharing the northern landscape with others. Lisbet is a 3-time finisher of the 1000 mile Iditarod the world s longest sled dog race. She holds a degree in Northern Studies and History from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Prior to starting Arctic Dog Adventure Co. she worked as a musher and expedition guide for outfitters in Alaska and Arctic Norway and has over a decade of experience guiding dog sled tours and expeditions. Lisbet also teaches dog mushing at the college level at the University of Alaska Anchorage. She is known for her leadership qualities under adverse circumstances and through sound preparation and experience she makes the most unique and challenging adventures possible for her clients Lisbet met Nils while on a mushing training trip in Fairbanks. In August of 2016 they bought the Hattie Creek Homestead with the intention of pursuing a nature-based off-grid sustainable lifestyle with their sled dogs and Karelian Bear Dogs. ( CONTINUED NEXT PAGE) 6 CLICK ANYWHERE ON THESE 2 PAGES FOR INFO JAYE FOUCHER About Jaye Jaye began faring in 2003 after mov- ing to New Hampshire with her three Siberian Huskues. She has finished the Can-Am 250 four times along with many other mid-distance races since then. Last season she completed the 400 mile John Beargrease Marathon in doing so was the only one of 2 mushers and the first woman from the Northeast to have finished that race. Jaye has a kennel of approximately 35 Siberian and Alaskan Huskies in central New Hampshire. As a breeder her line of Siberian Huskies that she developed over the years are sought for their drive and athleticism. (END) 7 (Continued From Previous Pages) Alaskan Kennels was established in 1947 by Lisbet s grandparents Earl & Natalie Norris. For over sixty years preserving the original function and appearance of the Siberian Husky has been the primary focus of our kennel. Alaskan Kennels has come to be known as the preeminent breeder of working Siberian Huskies producing dogs that compete successfully in both sprint and distance races an accomplishment few kennels can claim. The main branch of the kennel is located in Willow AK and operated by Lisbet s parents J.P. and Kari. The Norris are committed to maintaining the workability of the Siberian Husky. They maintain that participating in sled dog races is the best way to benchmark the breed. Lisbet has devoted the last 5 years to distance racing. She completed the Iditarod Alaska s famous 1000-mile sled dog race in 2014 2015 and 2016 finishing as the 1 Siberian Husky team in 2015 and 2016 each time finishing a day faster than the year before. Lisbet s father JP is a sprint musher whose race season culminates each year at the Fur Rendezvous Open Class Sled Dog Race in Anchorage. Lisbet s mother Kari a 2-time veteran of the Iditarod also devotes her spare time to sprint racing. The main branch of Alaskan Kennels is located in Willow AK and is operated by JP and Kari. Puppies young race dogs and retirees live there. The young dogs train for the Fur Rendezvous and the retirees teach the puppies how to be good sled dogs. The Fairbanks branch of Alaskan Kennels -- the Arctic Dog Adventure Co. crew -- is composed of a mix of older dogs Iditarod veterans Iditarod hopefuls and retirees all happy to live the good life socializing with visitors and training for winter expeditions and trips. Lisbet Norris ABOUT THE TRADE FAIR PARKING IS FREE VENDORS CAN START SETTING UP AFTER 3 P.M. ON FRIDAY. All Vendors need to be set up by 8 30 a.m. on Saturday. WE NEED VOLUNTEERS Get your admission paid for by volunteering to help set up on Friday or helping with the Rig Race and clean up on Sunday. Please contact Amy Dugan at 207-695-3754 or email Amy front of the vendor building. The drivers meeting is scheduled for 8 10 and the race is scheduled for 8 30. The classes are 1 Dog Bike Scooter 2 Dog Bike Scooter 4 Dog Rig 6 Dog Rig and Canicross. Rig Race - Entry Fee 10.00. Registration is scheduled to start at 7 30 a.m. on Sunday morning at the 8 Raffle Tickets on sale 1.00 each or 6 for 5.00. Tickets will be sold throughout the day on Saturday for some great prizes. Vendors have donated some cool stuff for the raffles. Check out the prizes in the front of the vendor building Drawing will be held Saturday afternoon potluck POTLUCK BBQ - WHATS ON THE MENU Join us for our annual potluck & social on Saturday evening at the Hopkinton Fairgrounds Games and prizes start at 5 pm followed by dinner. Please email Amy or post what you plan to bring on Facebook so everyone has an idea of what s needed. Hope to see a lot of you there this year DIRECTIONS TO THE FAIRGROUNDS Hopkinton Fairgrounds in Contoocook N.H. is Located right off I-89 45 minutes from Manchester and just west of Concord. From the east take I-93 to I-89 then exit 7 take a right at the end of the ramp on Rt. 103 then take your first right (it is very close to the right off of the ramp) on Old Warner Rd. follow to the Fairgrounds on the left hand side Green Gate Entrance. From the west take I-89 to exit 7 take a left at end of ramp go under highway and take the first right. GO TO GREEN GATE ONLY. FURTHER INFORMATION Please Note While dogs are welcome at the fair they MUST be leashed at all times and please come prepared to pick up after your dog. Campers must be pre-registered. Go to our lodging page for more information. The Northern New England Sled Dog Trade Fair & Seminars is only a month away WANTED -- Volunteers - Admission is free for workers Contact Amy 866-364-2668 or info mtnridge.com JOBS -- set up tables and chairs Friday afternoon sell raffle tickets break down tables and chairs Sunday afternoon and help set up rig race Sunday morning break down rig race Sunday after race and register racers Sunday morning. Anyone CAMPING on Friday night MUST PRE-REGISTER DEADLINE TO RECEIVE YOUR CHECK IS SEPTEMBER 27TH if your plans change your money will be refunded Go to lodging page for more information or contact info mtnridge.com Vendors don t forget to send in your applications to confirm your space Thanks Download a free mobile app here. iPhone users Android users 9 10 11 Profile Meredith Mapes By Richard Meldrum In this edition of the Sled Dogger we profile Meredith Mapes a musher based in Alaska. Meredith is someone who has been around dogs her entire life and who has been mushing since she was a child. I caught up with Meredith over the summer and asked her about her background and how she got into mushing and sled dogs. She told me that she is 23 years old and that she was born in Texas. She moved to Alaska as an infant and grew up in Palmer Alaska. She moved to Wasilla with her parents when she got more serious about running dogs and wanted a bigger kennel but then moved back to Palmer when she briefly retired from mushing to start college. She attended college at Eastern Oregon University California State University Northridge and University of Alaska Anchorage where she finally received her bachelor of arts in Theatre with an emphasis on dance. She currently spends her summers working as a tour guide at Seavey s ididaRide Sled Dog Tours in Seward AK and her winters running dogs and working part time at a boarding kennel in the Palmer Wasilla area (Alaska TLC Kennels). I asked Meredith about her history of owing dogs. She replied that her family has owned dogs since she was born. Her first dogs were ones that the family had when she was about 3 years old. She told me that if she remembers correctly they were husky mixes of some kind. She always wanted them to be sled dogs and kept putting them in harness but they were never interested. They only pulled if 12 treats were put in front of them. She got her first sled dogs when she was 12 years old a gift from a co-worker of her mother who was getting out of mushing. They were two lead dogs from Mitch Seavey and they were two of the best dogs she s ever had. They taught her a lot about mushing and made a big impression on her younger self. She told me that she ran her first race at the very tender age of six the Willow Winter Carnival 1-dog race. She won this by a 1 5 of a second. Obviously there was no turning back after that When she got her first sled dogs she dabbled a bit in sprint but quickly decided that she really wanted to do distance. She started training for the Junior Iditarod and eventually ran it four times. She has now qualified to run the Iditarod and plans to continue doing mid and distance races with her kennel as long as it remains fun for them all. She also enjoys dabbling in skijoring and dryland events occasionally. She s also done canicross cart and bikejor. Bikejor is definitely her favourite but she has fun doing any type of dog racing. I asked Meredith about her recent activities. She told me that she has been rebuilding her kennel since she started nearing the end of college. Currently she has about 24 racing dogs (and a couple litters of newborn pups) and 3 pets (a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel a German Shepherd Dog and a 3-legged sled dog) as well as a cat whose primary job is to catch mice around the kennel. She really enjoys having fun with her dogs so she tries to keep training fun. She has almost all her 13 14 dogs trained to walk on a leash and she is working with two dogs on basic obedience with the hope to possibly dabble in agility in the future. She is also constantly training the race dogs to keep them in shape. The dogs do tours with her all summer and as soon as tours are over in September they start training for the next race season slowly building miles until they re able to do 50-60 mile runs. She also does lots of camping trips to get them used to sleeping on the trail and resting when it s time. She loves being able to train right out of her own yard in Knik Alaska but sometimes she has to chase the snow to Willow or even Cantwell to run on the Denali Highway. It was a great opportunity to be able to speak to Meredith about her history and future plans. More information is available on her website at www.funontherunkennel.com. She can also be found on Facebook and at our website listed above. She is currently seeking dog sponsors for the coming season (see details under the sponsors tab on her website). [END] 15 16 17 18 19 Death Determination Devotion and Dogs Becki Tucker of Outlaw Ridge By Lindy Howe Becki Tucker is a role model and inspiration to other mushers who have faced physical health challenges that have interfered with meeting their individual mushing goals. Many of us have earned bumps and bruises breaks and other bummers that have put us out for a season or two. For Becki these challenges started with a fall from her ATV that left her unconscious and in a puddle of blood. For four days this musher was on life support living only by machine. The doctors tried after the four days to take her off but she quickly failed and they returned her to the state of artificial living. Her prognosis was bad. Loved ones were told to be prepared for the worst. If she made it at all she would never be the same. She might never be the same young lady that had the goals that she had worked for that year. She might never be the strong woman carrying buckets out to care for her beloved sled dogs. She might never be the same tough musher training a competitive race team. The lifetime of dreams and hopes were all but over. For Becki Tucker of Outlaw Ridge this was just the beginning. Determination drive and the passion for her dogs gave Becki the inspiration and energies she needed to get out of that hospital and back on the sled. Doctors were speechless at her progressing recovery. As much as a physical rehabilitation was taking place in Becki s life an emotional one was as well. It would have been so easy to look back at the past and wish for its return. It would have been too easy to look back and feel sorry about not being the way it used to be. Even 20 though she knew deep down inside she was lucky to be alive it could have been tempting to glance at the past and think of the worst. Negativity was right around each corner at every step. Overwhelmed with medical bills and feeling like the weak- link Becki knew it was time to make a change. Flushing negative energy and vibrations from her life while she grasped at the positives bit by bit she was able to start regaining some of what she had. Some of the parts she wanted to keep. The parts that were not helping her anymore she decided to leave behind. Anything dear to her heart she kept close and worked tirelessly to hang onto. All mushers know how challenging it is to run a kennel and train a race team under regular circumstances. Bit by bit she sorted through all aspects of life embraced the physical and emotional rehabilitation and has become the Becki Tucker of Outlaw Ridge Racing Kennel that we know today. Becki has always been a self-starter. She never had a mentor or attended any formal mushing training. She figured it all out on her own. Just like the rescues she trained for her first dog sledding team they had no training either. Like a lot of rescues in the world Becki had the challenges of retraining aggression and fear in her team. This is where she learned to be the dog trainer that she is today. Working with misunderstood dogs that needed a job taught her many of the lessons that she needed to know to get to her first 100 mile race. The Irving Woodlands 100 race in Eagle Lake Maine was finally in the plans. But such as in all races one never knows what just might happen around the next corner. Just ten miles into this journey a cross country skier out for a nice leisurely jaunt happened to be coming down the hill in front of the race team. The skier dodged to the right and the dog team decided to follow. Flying around the unexpected turn Becki did what any musher would do to try and slow and stop her team. She set her snow hook in hopes to gain control of this situation. The snow hook sunk in the ground..... the second time.... only after bouncing out and catching her in the rear end. In the midst of all that going on Becki didn t realize the extent of the damage this sharp instrument 21 had done on her back side. Only when a snowmobiler came to see if they could help did the look on his face give her an indication of how bad it was. He looked like he was going to faint. Well Becki had no time for lightheaded snowmobilers she pulled her hook and off she went to continue this race she had worked so hard to accomplish. This tough musher made it to the check point and was greeted by the nurse recommending an emergency visit to the hospital. This was not part of Becki s plan for her first 100 mile race. Together they made a sugar wrap and combined with some Advil Becki was able to leave the checkpoint after the four-hour mandatory rest. It was tough to bend over and staying on the runners was a chore but she owed it to the team to do her best to finish. They had worked hard to get ready for this race and nothing nothing- not even a pain-in- the- butt snow hook was going to stop them from finishing So years of challenges and disappointments led Becki to find joy on the runners and spending time with her dogs. From the early days of retraining rescued huskies to be a sled dogs to a challenging first 100 mile race were only a few of the events that led Becki to the Can Am International Sled Dog Race. And in fact they were just a few of the events that that led her 2017 race team to a sixth-place finish. This 250-mile race held in Fort Kent Maine each year in March is known to be challenging in the best of years. As Outlaw Ridge Kennel headed to the start line this winter morning they had no idea what was in store. 22 Ten below zero temperatures with winds blowing the team off the trail was the first realization. Only second to miles of ice ridden trails making for dangerous sledding. Sure footed Siberians and Alaskan Huskies are bred for these conditions but humans view this as a bit more challenging. Knowing her dogs as well as she does Becki trusted that the upbeat and positive attitude displayed by her team was a good indication of their spirits. This in itself was reason enough to continue the race. Her close-knit relationship built on and off the trail allows them to know each other inside and out. Sharing this kind of bond allowed her to read them and listen to them. They continued out of the checkpoint and ventured to the finish. Each finish no matter how hard the challenges just make Becki more convicted in her goals. Some people reach their 40 s and start slowing down. Not Becki her goals keep growing. With sights on the UP 200 in northern Michigan and the famous 23 24 Beargrease in Minnesota Becki has had to make some big decisions. Some of those decisions involved making temporary and some permanent lifestyle changes to support her dreams. Working two jobs in the summer to be able to afford the higher entry fees and travel is just one of those changes. Some of the goals have been in the works for several years now. She even moved her entire kennel to an area in New England to have the advantages of a longer training season and longer trails. Moving alone is no easy task. Moving with 30 huskies is all that more of a job. But to Becki it has all been worth it. Struggles and hardships are no strangers to Becki. But running the dogs is what has brought her the most joy pride and love imaginable. She came close to death and was even gone for those days but came back to continue that joy she had found. Becki describes her dogs as her foundation and that they keep her grounded. They are part of every decision and choice that she makes. Those decisions and choices are always what is best for the dogs. Entering races like the Can Am is just one example of how they express their bonding their loyalty and to show how well they do together. When asked about racing Becki answered Racing is not about the race . It is about the journey of how you and the team get there. It is about the work that goes into helping them become a welloiled machine that will be beaming at the finish line. The many hours of training and early mornings is what puts all the pieces together to make that fully functioning kick- a team. It is about knowing your dogs being at one with each of them and loving doing what they are made to do. That is what life is all about .... for me. Please visit www.outlawridgesleddogs.com and find them on Facebook Outlaw Ridge . Becki is always looking to talk with people about her experiences and sharing what she has learned as well as listening to others. Good luck Becki on your next season. We will be cheering for you and your team. [END] 25 26 27 Jaguar s Second Life By Lori Windows - All Photos Submitted By Lori Early winter 2016 Pre-dawn chores but something is wrong. Only three dogs greet me at the kennel gate and they are not their usual goofy selves. I had heard them howling most of the night communicating with our friends and neighbors the coyotes I figured. But where was Redi I soon found him in his favorite doghouse dead. A few days later we spread his ashes on our frozen canal next to the house Hobo Jim s words ringing in my head Every musher cried on the night he died and every husky howled his name. Redington had a good run sixteen years. I looked at what was left of my recreational team. Hawkeye the offspring of a feral pitbull and God knows what sixty pounds of ADD insanity. Granite the trailer park product of a cross between Paddington Bear and a Pomeranian. And Zirkle the shy fleet-footed beauty all under two years of age. Although Redi no longer went in harness he still led the pups as they pulled my cart on the rural blacktops or mushed my Risdon Rig down my beloved Hennepin Canal towpath in Central Illinois. Now they were without leader and the rest of my mushing season was a miserable mishap. I grew up in Canada in the 50 s with tales of Sgt. Preston of the Yukon and his wonder dog King designing my life. My career as a veterinary technician took me to zoo work interactions with wolves and coyotes and more encounters with domestic canines than I ever imagined. Working dogs particularly sled dogs were always my first love. Long before 800 numbers nationwide cell service and personal computers my phone bill in March was always epic. I check in on the progress of the Iditarod several times a day. In 1999 I volunteered to help vet the race. While in Anchorage I social- 28 COME TAKE PART IN THE DRYLAND MUSHING EVOLUTION Your opportunity to get the best know how and gear for the best price. https igg.me at THEGuidetoDrylandMushing 29 ized with people I had only dreamed of meeting. Those connections led me to a turn of the century adventure in Grand Marais spending a week mushing and sleeping in a Yurt where I had to boil water to melt my toothpaste A few years later I spend Christmas mushing the frozen Boundary Waters. In 2002 I volunteered at Iditarod again this time in Nome. I got to see Martin Buser break the nine-day winning record. I got to cuddle and cajole and dole out TLC to dropped dogs as they waited for their team mates to join them. And I got to shop for and bring home X-backed harnesses for my own four dogs. We were going to mush Over the next dozen years I advanced my Central Illinois recreational mushing with my own hodgepodge collection of Northern breed rescues and rejects. Each one had their own story and each story could easily become an article in itself. They came to me a various stages of life each learning from the veterans what was expected of them and they all spent the rest of their lives with me pulling my variety of contraptions. I started with a little red wagon that would tip every time we got faster than five miles per hour. Next my husband devised a unique apparatus he put wheels on an old wooden ironing board. He knew I would never use the thing for its original purpose so what the heck I was even able to steer it somewhat. But after two concussions and one runaway experience he insisted I call it quits until I had a safer mode of travel. So I found a cart to use when there was no snow and I ordered my first Risdon Rig from Michigan. We made quite a name for ourselves in my community. We gave talks at schools youth organizations and libraries. We appeared in parades and participated in events that recommended breed research prior to getting a dog and encouraged the Adopt Don t Shop mantra. Now in January of 2016 babies none of whom Granite took to hiding I was left with three could be trusted. Poor when the harnesses 30 came out afraid of being drug down another six-foot embankment by the overzealous Hawkeye. Try as she might Zirkle was no match for the bigger dog s enthusiasm and she too started to dislike the harness. It looked like my Risdon Rig and my mushing days were reaching retirement. After the 2016 Iditarod I learned that a dear friend of mine was leaving her position at a high caliber-mushing kennel to pursue a less competitive career. Besides her own Rez Rescue dog she was taking three retired race dogs with her. It hit me. Why hadn t I thought of that There had to be many dogs too old for racing but with years of service left. I knew people I had connections. My search began. I had several offers but the most intriguing came from Montana s Jessie Royer. She had a nine-year old boy who had completed Iditarod five times 2009-2013. His mother Kuling had been awarded the Golden Harness in 2009. I told Jessie I had a much different set up than a real kennel. My new dog had to be able to run loose in a large enclosure with the other dogs. He had to get along with cats and horses as well. Beggars shouldn t be choosers you might say. But Jessie assured me that Jaguar was used to running free. And he gets along with cats (at this point she sent me a photo of Jaguar snuggling with three cats) horses bison moose elk and the occasional grizzly bear. She did warn me that Jaguar was not a lead dog and not very aggressive. Like that bothered me A dog that had run 1 100 miles in harness five times would be a million times more experienced than my three dog team. Now to get Jaguar from Montana to Illinois I considered flying him too expensive too risky. As I was making plans to take a week off work to drive to Montana Jessie told me Nathan Schroeder Bear Grease Champion and 2014 Iditarod Rookie of the Year was coming to visit on Memorial Day. So Nate brought Jaguar back to Northern Minnesota with him where he stayed for two weeks. As I thanked him over and over again via texts Nate assured me Jaguar was no problem and A real nice dawg. Another friend of mine that I knew through endurance horseracing Candy Barbo picked Jaguar up from Nate and took him to Southern Minnesota to a horse race. There he was picked up 31 by a Wisconsin friend Elinore Tonsor. On Father s Day my husband John and I drove to Milwaukee and finally met our new dog. It was an amazing voyage but Nate s words encapsulated the beauty of it the best. I was falling over myself with gratitude when he told me to cool it . It s what we do for each other he explained. I insisted I was only a fringe clinger I was not really part of his mushing world. Ah but the dog is he said. So we finally met Jaguar and brought him home. He adapted quickly. Try as I might I could not find mink and beaver at Wyanet Locker but he quickly learned to love Purina Dog Chow with meat broth. True to Jessie s description he was anything but aggressive. Granite the low man on the totem pole figured he could advance himself by bullying the newcomer. Jaguar would just turn the other cheek. But it was evident that he was only humoring Granite. A few days later Granite tried to bully Zirkle the shy dog Jaguar had immediately gravitated towards. One growl and chest bump from the old man and Granite demoted himself back to low man. Daily we walked my Hennepin Canal towpath. On mornings when I had to work the hike might be just a few pre-dawn miles. On my days off it was several miles or sometimes dozens of miles behind a horse or a 4-wheeler. It took two days to realize Jaguar did not need a leash. He never left my side even when the other three took elaborate detours. Slowly as he grew more and more familiar with the terrain he ventured away from me for a few minutes at a time but he never lost sight of me. John and Jaguar developed a special relationship. John was retired from his 40-year career as a home improvement salesman a Tin Man and he had become Wyanet s chief putzer. As much as I love the man we are opposites as far as attitude towards physical activity. He could spend his whole day sorting nails Jaguar became his constant companion. Their big walk of the day occurred when John travelled 100 yards to get the mail. I ll never forget the day I came home from work to see John in a lounge chair in the middle of the front lawn. He had a beer in one hand and a pitchfork in the other. Jaguar sat beside him a watchful look on his grizzled face. We re huntin moles John told me. John and Jaguar appeared in our Wyanet Summer Festival parade. I provided the announcers with my dog s storied history and he was mobbed after the event. He loved it loved being the center of attention. A month later Jaguar and I situated ourselves comfortably where the participants of a 100mile foot race on the canal were passing right by our house. We cheered on the runners for a while until one of them yelled at me Hey lady what kind of dog you got there I quickly responded As amazing as you guys are I ve got the kind of dog here that puts you to shame. Bring him over the runner said. So I did and a dozen of those extreme athletes took time out of their race to hear about Jaguar s 1 100 mile journeys. Finally fall and the temperatures were low enough to put the team in harness. The enthusiasm on Jaguar s face the yodel in his voice stirred me. For the first time I realized he missed his career. I wasn t giving him a release from his past life I wasn t doing him a favor. I loved him and he loved me but he loved what he did best. He practically put his harness on by himself. I put him in lead and I could almost feel the relief in Zirkle when I clipped her neck line to him. She was a sweetheart and knew commands but being overpowered by Hawkeye had almost soured her on mushing. Next I put the Hawk in wheel where his strength was best used. As usual he started squirreling around and tangling himself. But amazingly Jaguar cast him a glare and leaned a little harder in harness responding to my line em out command. Next came Granite who once again had to be coaxed out of hiding. Should I just leave him home No. Three dogs had no uniformity. I wanted the four in front of me. So little Granite joined Hawkeye in wheel not because of strength just to fill a void. I took a deep breath and Hiked. Oh my gosh down the drive we went hawing in command to head in the opposite direction that we would take to go to the towpath. That in itself was a miracle. We sped down the blacktop road to town everyone loping in a straight line. This hadn t happened for a year. I was in Heaven. We stopped a few miles from home for a snack. Jaguar immediately laid down and everyone else followed his example. Relax guys he seemed to say. You never know how far we are going. A few weeks later the snow arrived. My sled came out of the shed and the dogs all four of them 32 33 went crazy. We headed to the towpath like a team. John tried to catch us at road crossings to get photos but we kept out running him. Even Hawkeye ignored the wildlife distractions. Across the canal a five-member family of coyotes loped alongside us. The bald eagles soared above. The whisper of the runners on the snow the soft pants of the dogs. I couldn t help it. I started singing Hobo Jim songs out loud. The caterwauling certainly scattered the coyotes but the dogs seemed to enjoy it. And John did manage to catch us a few times and got enough photos to decorate my upcoming Christmas Cards. Texting and Face Booking took up most of my evening after that first magnificent 18 mile run. I had to show Jessie the joy in her old friend s face. And it didn t even lessen my feelings of accomplishment when she responded with a photo of her running forty dogs in harness pulling a truck I had trouble expressing my pure gratitude to her for trusting me with Jaguar. From the wide circle that Face Book draws I got some comments from other people who also had Jessie s retirees some siblings of Jaguar as well. My mushing world expanded. A few days later Jessie sent me a pretty long text that explained her stance on retired race dogs. As she wrote me she said that eight retired dogs were lolling on her living room floor. She said two of Jaguar s sisters lived in Saskatchewan where they still played at mushing but mostly visited schools and retirement homes. Others run on tour teams short distances to ignite the spirit of the sport of dog mushing. But it was her final words that struck my heart. If I am not 100% sure of where they 34 35 are going I d just as soon keep them here and give them free run for the rest of their lives. I was part of that 100% and I did not disappoint. We are promised a snowy winter and I am looking forward to my time on the runners. We never go far we never go fast but we have fun. As much as I d like to I will never make that leap from recreational to competitive musher. I will continue to communicate with the heroes of the race world. I will admire those who accept the challenge of 1 100 miles of frigid temperatures and arctic winds. As close as I will get is when I put my arms around Jaguar after a run and feel his history. I am not a member of that elite handful of men and women who have run the Iditarod But the dog is. ABOUT THE WRITER LORI WINDOWS My name is Lori Windows and I have been in love with sled dogs all my life. I live in Illinois and have a strictly recreational team of hodgepodge northern breed crosses. I have helped vet Iditarod 3 times as a Vet Tech and I am friends with several big name mushers. Last year I adopted one of Jessie Royer s retired dogs one who had run Iditarod the whole way 5 times. He has become a bit of a local celebrity visiting schools and libraries and even marching in local festival parades. This story Jaguar s Second Life I wrote about him showing the possibilities these veteran dogs have for second lives. [END] 36 37 38 39 40 41 Siberian Husky Assistance and Rescue Program (SHARP) A Canada-wide rescue organization By Richard Meldrum With the recent dumping of sled dogs that took place in Quebec I felt it appropriate and timely to profile a Canadian organization that is doing an amazing job of rescuing and rehoming Siberian Huskies (and related breeds) across Canada. The Siberian Husky Assistance and Rescue Program (SHARP) is a volunteer-run organization that is working hard to save the lives of huskies and other Northern breeds. By working with animal shelters rescue groups dog owners and the general public its organizational goals are To offer advice to owners about the proper care and ownership of Siberian Huskies the membership of SHARP consists of owners and breeders of Siberian Huskies. The members have a wealth of knowledge about the behavior training and care needed for the breed. They are eager to offer their experience to help others enjoy the company of their pet. In addition SHARP has access to a wide variety of information and expertise including the Siberian Husky Club of Canada the Canadian Kennel Club the Ontario Federation of Sleddog Sports and several international organizations. They also network with many partner rescue organizations and animal transporters. They want people and their Siberians to have long happy 42 lives together. To provide education and information about the Siberian Husky breed. Education. The Siberian Husky is a beautiful and noble breed. They are often seen in movies television and advertisements. Unfortunately this exposure can and has led to problems. People want to own a Siberian because of their beauty and the behavior seen in these controlled situations. They do not realize the time and effort needed to work with a Siberian in order to achieve these goals. Similar problems occurred with the Dalmatian and Saint Bernard breeds with the movies 101 Dalmatians and Beethoven . SHARP cares about the image and myths that exist about the Siberian Husky breed. We want to ensure people understand the Siberian Husky. To assist with the rescue of Siberian Huskies. Although we all hope that through advice and education all Siberian Huskies and their owners will enjoy a lifetime together in reality this does not always happen. When all else fails SHARP works on the rescue rehabilitation and relocation of a Siberian Husky in distress. They help local shelters and humane societies rescue neglected or mistreated Siberian Huskies. They also use this network and other contacts to return lost Siberians to their owners. And they work with these organizations and the general public to find new homes for Siberians. SHARP is run by a team of dedicated people. Melissa Van Grootel is Operational Coordinator Marilyn Hubley is Accounting & Administration Officer Alan Boyce is Transport Coordinator Kayla Ashley is Foster & Adoption Coordinator and Sally Kirkby is the Marketing & Public Relations Officer. As well as these individuals there is a whole network of volunteers who help out in any way possible including conducting home visits fostering dogs transport and attending public events to help promote the organization. SHARP members receive no salaries for their work. All their members donate their time because of their love of the breed. However Siberian Huskies which come under their care frequently require extra medical and nutritional assistance. SHARP does welcome any donation to help their efforts. If financial assistance is not possible contributions towards their regular auctions will be accepted. Sharing their Facebook posts and website links is also a great help. At this point in the article I m going to take a break from simply reporting about SHARP and describe my own experiences of this amazing organization. I have been a volunteer at a number of adoption and promotion events and I have always been in awe of both how many people give their time to the organization and also of how enthusiastic and knowledgeable these volunteers are. They are happy to stand in a pet store for eight hours without a break encouraging members of the public to meet the dogs to consider fostering or adopting to give a donation or simply to spread the word. I ve also seen people pause meet a dog then fall in love...in most cases they end up adopting giving the dog another chance. My own kennel WolfStar Huskies has adopted two SHARP dogs in recent months one dog being rescued from a kill shelter with only hours to spare. From my own personal perspective I would encourage everyone who is thinking about a new dog to consider contacting their local rescue organization to see if there is a suitable dog available. A puppy is adorable and irresistible but believe me a dog that is rescued knows you saved their life. Even dogs who have had reported behavioral problems sometimes change when they are introduced into 43 their forever homes. In conclusion I think it s a great opportunity to profile SHARP and highlight the amazing work they do in Canada. SHARP s website is www.sharprescue.ca They can also be found on Facebook. [END] 44 45 46 47 48 Continuing the Adventure An Interview with Laura Allaway of Trail Breaker Kennels By Jess Richter 49 Continuing the Adventure An Interview with Laura Allaway of Trail Breaker Kennels By Jess Richter Trail Breaker Kennels owned and operated by David Monson is opening its doors daily to spread information and positivity about dog sledding. In the summer Trail breaker does over two hundred tours of their facility in Fairbanks Alaska highlighting the wonders of dog sledding introducing people to the dogs and doing demonstrations for large tour groups. Their operation is bringing the sport to life for people who might not otherwise get the chance to see and understand dog sledding. A fixture of the Trail Breaker operation is the demonstration and tour they do two times a day seven days a week for the Riverboat Discovery in Fairbanks Alaska. In the summer when the riverboat is 50 running Laura and her team run their dogs to the river for the passengers to watch and enjoy a show which ends with the dogs getting to play in the water to cool off. Then when passengers disembark from the boat they re able to visit with some of the Trail Breaker s retired dogs and learn about dog mushing. It s my favorite part of the tour Laura said. She gave an emphatic account of the Riverboat demonstrations. I get to talk about the wonderful aspects of [dog mushing] and really show people who have never experienced it what it s all about. Laura went on to talk about the other tours they do at the kennel showing off their 43 Alaskan huskies who in the summer get to have fun and play but in the winter about 24 of them can be brought together on teams for racing. All the summer tours are of the kennel itself people get to meet the dogs and see what the facility is like but it s too warm for the dogs to take people out for rides so they stick to showing their facility from about May through September. It doesn t really get cool enough to take people out on tours with the dogs until about seven o clock in the summer Laura explained and the facility is David s home but in the winter I run a small mushing business where I take people on tours. David allows Laura to do whatever she wants with the dogs in the winter Trail Breaker itself only runs and exists during the summer so Laura went on to explain that she used the dogs for racing in the winter. Much like David a Yukon Quest champion she runs the dogs in long distance races working alongside her dogs to compete in several of Alaska s most famous races. This year the goal is the Yukon 300 which is the first 300 hundred miles of the Yukon Quest Laura said. This is her first year back racing since she started the winter tour business. She had previously done races while working at Trail Breaker but she needed to be more financially stable to continue. You know I don t race for the money Trail Breaker doesn t do tours for the money I do this to give the dogs this lifestyle they have here. Laura was very adamant throughout the interview that her dogs loved their job and that this was the job they were meant to do. She spoke passionately about the way she cared for her dogs telling fond stories of accidental puppies and the 51 time she spends advocating for dog sledding. Trail Breaker Kennel is a place for people to go to learn about mushing and to understand the lifestyle the dogs are given there. Laura and her team give the dogs hearty meals warm beds and lots of love throughout the year. We re really geared at Trail Breaker for the health of the dogs Laura said and went on to talk all about the diet they fed the dogs. She often feeds them hunks of meat or fat while racing keeping up the high protein diet sled dogs need to be able to make the distance. The dogs are livin the dream here. Laura recounted her time as a doggy daycare worker in Wisconsin contrasting the years she d spent there with some of the most pampered dogs that were often overweight or dissatisfied because they weren t getting enough attention and exercise. Here our dogs get to play and live with their friends and littermates it s just a very different feel. Our dogs are some of the 52 most mellow well behaved dogs out there and it s because they re satisfied. Trail Breaker Kennel goes above and beyond taking care of their dogs but the exercise they get everyday gives the dogs a purpose and allows them to feel fufilled at the end of the day. Laura described them satisfied and mellow their life is content and fulfilled. At Trail Breaker they re priority is their dogs bringing in controlled tours to meet puppies and let the breed shine. Right now they ve got plenty of puppies that Laura is working to train and she hopes to have many of them running in races within a few years even hoping to do the full Yukon Quest during the 2018-2019 season. Laura s racing season also brings in fresh trail stories for the tours she gives around the kennel bringing in all the important elements of dog mushing to entertain their guests. She even talked a bit about what she does to help combat some of the negative conversations and bad press dog sledding has received in the past few years. Every single day we re trying to put out the good word about dog sledding she said It s so satisfy- 53 54 55 ing for the dog to be able to do their job. We re allowing these dogs to live the life that they want to live. The dogs at Trail Breaker are as enthusiastic about dog sledding as Laura is. She talked about a race that she had done a few winters ago which started with a broken chain back at the kennel. Linus escaped from his pen and found his way to Shale and although Trail Breaker is careful to keep males and females separated Shale wound up having puppies after visiting with Linus. You know I felt responsible for these puppies and Shale and Linus had never run in a race before usually we only breed our best dogs so I had no idea how the puppies would be Laura said but I gave them their first food and took them on their first walk and trained them and three of them wound up on my racing team. She spoke about her dogs like they were her family. Talking about a race where she had those three accidental puppies now grown up and ready to race on a team. The trail passed the kennel in Fairbanks before heading towards the Bering sea and as she brought the dogs down hill and out towards the water it occurred to her that these dogs the three puppies from Linus and Shale who she had raised since they were puppies had come from where they d taken their first walk had their first food and played with their littermates and they d walked from their home to the Bering sea. Their heads were down their ears were perked going down the hill looking out on the Bering sea and I just to be able to show these dogs the ocean to be able to take them on this adventure it was very emotional. Laura laughed and added I felt like they were saying this human this stupid human finally gets how this is how our life is supposed to be. Laura and Trail Breaker Kennel share this awe of their dogs and the years they ve spent raising Alaskan huskies has given their entire team an appreciation for the dogs that is unrivalled. They see their racing 56 and their tours as an adventure they get to share with the dogs Laura even said I felt so guilty at the end of that race because that was it we were done with the adventure for the season as she finished the story about bringing the dogs to the sea. Their passion drives their continued service in dog sledding. Trail Breaker Kennel s positive message about dog sledding will continue to go out everyday every summer and they will continue to share their love of dogs with the world. Laura plans to race this season and keep training her dogs to go on these adventures. It was marvelous getting to speak with Laura about Trail Breaker I d like to thank Laura for her time and I hope Laura and Trail Breaker have a great race season [END] 57 58 COLUMNS 59 60 Training Column By Meredith Mapes Successful Development of a Puppy Many people are amazed when I pass out puppies as young as a day old on tours they seem confused that the puppy needs more bonding time with it s mother without us humans interfering. But think about it from a musher s standpoint do we want the puppy more bonded to its mother or to us as humans The most important connection in a sled dog s life is to it s musher if it doesn t trust the person running it then it will not run for them and you are left with a wonderful pet dog. So what better way to begin that bonding process with your puppies than handling them as soon as they re born. Socialization is obviously very important for a sled dog. They will come in contact with countless humans in the course of a racing career so they need to be comfortable being handled by them whether it s a veterinarian doing a prerace vet check a volunteer handler helping to harness them and bring them up to the line or a helpful volunteer helping to park your team at a checkpoint the dog will being around humans that it doesn t necessarily know on a daily basis so it must be comfortable in that environment. It doesn t have to be super friendly to all these people giving them kisses and tail wags but the dog does at least have to tolerate being around people it doesn t know and maybe even tolerate these strangers touching them. How best to socialize a young dog to these types of situations It s always better to expose them young just like a human child I ve noticed through observation a sled dog puppy learn things a lot quicker when they re still growing. So it is much better to expose them to as many of these situations as you can as young as you can. For example what better way to get them used to being at a race and being around strangers in a race setting than taking them to a race Even if they only come with you to ride in the dog box and maybe meet some strangers as 61 a six month old (current on all vaccines) it will be a huge help in their future racing careers. I ve recently seen several videos on Facebook of breeders with a sort of obstacle course run that they put their puppies in and let them run around and play but playing is learning so it s an excellent opportunity for the puppies to learn how to overcome obstacles in their path and be exposed to new and exciting situations. This is similar to what many musher s do when they take their young dogs on puppy walks crossing streams and downed trees getting used to running around with their pack and getting introduced to some of the trails they will run on as an adult are all excellent experiences for puppies to learn. It s also important to leave a litter of pups with their mom for as long as possible. Though some mothers prefer to wean their pups early (I had a litter weaned as young as 5 weeks entirely by the momma dog) I will always introduce another older dog to the litter so they learn important aspects of doggy socialization from their fellow dog. If nothing else they must stay with their siblings or puppies of a similar age until they are at least 8 weeks old else they may never learn how to act around other dogs and will never fit into a sled dog team. I also feel it s important to introduce pups to a harness at a fairly young age. Definitely don t do any excessively long runs with them but the best litter of pups I ve ever raised was harness broken at 6 months old doing 1-mile runs once or twice a week and they were all comfortable lead dogs by the time they were a year old. I waited too long with a litter a couple years ago and harness broke them at almost 16 months old and they are still some of the most awkward dogs I have in harness. It s best 62 to start harness breaking early and keep it as short and fun as you can. It s impossible to make a good dog in the first few runs in harness but it s very easy to sour a good dog in those first few runs by making them not enjoy themselves. I often tell guests on my tour that mention the dogs jumping all over each other and running on the wrong side of the line that as a yearling dog I don t care what they re doing as long as they re having fun and moving forward meaning they re not eating their partner or their harness or their lines but they re at least pulling and enjoying it. A forward focused dog is always easier to train to be a lead dog in the future so keep puppy runs fun and moving forward. Guests on tour also inquire about how we get dogs to wear booties. The most common question is don t they throw their feet around all crazy And of course the answer is yes most of the time. Though I have had dogs that acted like booties made no difference to them from the very first time I put them on. Those were the pups whose feet I messed with from day one constantly touching manipulating examining just like I would do with an adult dog on a race. Since they re so conditioned to having their feet touched they don t seem to mind the added distraction of something being on their feet all the time. Often I ve had troubles with young dogs not wanting to go through tunnels or over bridges on some of the more urban trails we run on and I have yet to figure out a good solution to condition them to those types of obstacles before they see them in a harness. They tend to see the bridge or tunnel as 63 64 something different when they re in harness vs when you re just walking them on a leash and no matter what the young dog always balks the first time they see it. Of course after going through a couple tunnels or over a few bridges they figure out that it s not super scary but they have to get over that fear by themselves in a harness. Children can be another big fear of some sled dogs. They don t know what to do about tiny humans that tend to move fast and don t know how to read the dog s body language. I can t say enough good about dogs working on tours to get them over this fear seeing kids day after day all summer long they eventually figure out that they aren t super scary (unless the kid rushes at the dog which will sometimes happen but I try and get parents to control their children as much as I can). It also helps to have kids holding them from the time they re little puppies that way they never see them as scary it s just a part of normal everyday life seeing these little humans. Basically it s important to help your dogs overcome their fears from the very beginning of their life and to make everything as easy and fun as possible so it remains fun for the dogs for their entire life. Of course some shyness is hereditary and no amount of socialization or conditioning to a certain thing will remove that fear from a dog but they can learn to tolerate and if their bond is strong enough with their musher they will do anything to make them happy including tolerating people touching them and examining them in a race setting. Socialize your pups to people noises obstacles and teach them everything you can to help them overcome their fears when they re young so they grow into the best mature sled dogs they can be. Happy trails and good luck with your future pups [END] 65 66 67 68 FEATURING Laura Daugereau 69 Dog Musher Carpenter and Inspirational Speaker By Christine Grabowski For the fall issue The Sled Dogger magazine is featuring kennels from the Lower 48 and Western states. I connected with Laura Daugereau who lives in Washington and Montana. She has a wide-range of life experiences and is a multi-talented woman. Laura who is 35 years old is from Millington Tennessee and due to being raised in military family she has moved all over. She was home-schooled and started mushing at an early age. Even though her family was not into dog mushing she became interested at eight years old after reading a National Geographic article about Susan Butcher. Laura said that her parents saw that this was not a passing interest and took me to the Junior Musher s Symposium in Fairbanks when I was 13. While at the sympo- Laura Daugereau 70 sium she and other kids visited Susan Butcher s kennel to run small teams of dogs and practice passing. At this point Laura said she was hooked. She met musher Rusty Hagan at the symposium and he offered Laura the opportunity to handle for him and his wife Leonora. For the next four years during every winter Laura would fly to Fairbanks from Washington with her school books and handle for them. Laura started her own kennel at 13 years old with dogs that Rusty sold her and flew them back home to Washington. By the time she graduated high school her kennel grew to 26 dogs. Laura said that her family has always been super supportive . When she became interested in mushing at age ten her parents told her she was paying for it. She started to work for her family s construction business. She swept floors and stacked materials to pay for her dogs. She added that 25 years later she is still working for the family construction business as one of the lead carpenters. She loves this type of work as she enjoys building and working with her hands. When Laura got into dogs her family became her handlers. Laura said that I didn t grow up with a soccer mom I had a musher mom Laura said that before I got my license my mom would drive me into the mountains to run dogs. She would wait for me in the truck until my training run was done and drive me back home. I asked Laura to tell me more about her beginning interest in dogs and mushing. She said I always had a love for the outdoors and animals. I knew I wanted to do something with animals when I grew up. When I was 10 years old I had taught my Lab Samoyed mix dog all kind of tricks and obedience. I didn t have dolls as I would dress up my dog. I was riding my kiddy sled down the hills in Leavenworth Washington when I remembered the article about Susan Butcher that I had read. I was doing all the pulling of the sled up the hill and my dog would ride down hills with me This got me excited about teaching my dog sledding commands. I lived around no other mushers so I checked books out of the library and taught her how to pull me. At this point my family moved back to Western Washington and out of the snow. I adopted another dog at the animal shelter and made a shopping cart into my first dog cart. We would go carting around the neighborhood. Laura said that when she was 19 she started spending her winters in the heart of Montana. Now she spends spring and summer in Washington and returns to Stockett Montana where she trains in the Little Belt Mountains. My dogs go back and forth with me every year Laura said that she is a distance musher who has dabbled in some sprint races and has done well in mid-distance races. Laura competed in junior mushing and ran the sprint circuit in Fairbanks which included the North American Championship. When she was 17 she and her family drove her dogs up from Washington to compete in the inaugural Junior Yukon Quest. From there she moved to longer distance races. She has run four Coast to Coast race circuits The Siskiyou 200 Cascade Quest Race to the Sky Canadian Challenge Beargrease UP200 Can Am 250 Pedigree Stage Stop and the Iditarod twice. She added that she has run multiple other races too. She was the first female from Washington to run the Iditarod. She said that the Iditarod was an amazing experience My heart 71 is in distance racing and going places with my dog team. The Iditarod is a hard race to compete in if you are from the Lower 48 due to the logistics alone. It was such a unique opportunity for me to be able to achieve that goal. Even though her heart is in distance racing she is now trying stage racing and will participate in dry land mushing in Washington this fall. She enjoys these type of races because the strategy is different with shorter mileage. When participating in races Laura has won many dog care awards. I asked her to tell me about her dog care and her dogs. She said that there is a running joke about how many second places I have received while receiving Best Kept Team awards. My dogs are my top priority. You can only achieve a top racing team while taking the best care of your athletes. My goal is a well-rounded dog that is happy and content at home in the kennel and is well trained and ready to race. Laura maintains a very small number of dogs at Nightrunner Kennel (her kennel name) for the level of competition I run in. I have only 20 dogs which includes some youngsters but doesn t include my old retirees. You always have to keep a few of those around. I believe in keeping small numbers and training 72 73 74 them well. Her bloodlines of her dogs are mainly Swingley and Mackey. In the off season Laura said that my dogs get bones and toys to play with. I do a lot of free running and have big pens where I can have dogs stay loose. In the evenings after work all 20 dogs get turned out together to play in my large kennel free run area. I set up obstacle courses and have a pond for them to swim and splash around in. Closer to fall or when temperatures allow I will run them on two carousels. By the time I start four wheeler training the dogs are running up to 20 miles every third evening. Laura reaches out to the public to educate about dog mushing. She has done over 600 presentations in schools libraries business luncheons etc. Her favorite is talking to students. She described her program as bringing in my dogs and equipment. I get to teach them about dog sledding but once I have their attention I can talk about achieving their goals and facing mountains in life. One of my mountains in life is being severely dyslexic. I get to talk to students about how dog sledding helped me learn how to face challenges and how to overcome. Being dyslexic is something I face every day. But I take it just like racing one checkpoint at a time. And it s okay to ask for help and let others know that you were facing a challenge. Laura s most memorable dog mushing experience was finishing the Junior Yukon Quest which was 150 miles at age 17. She said that this made a huge impact on me. Her future includes moving more towards mid-distance in stage stop racing as it is getting harder to maintain a long-distance kennel particularly in the Lower 48. She enjoys her dogs the competition and the camaraderie of racing. When interviewing women for this column Women and Mushing I ask What do you want to tell the readers about women who mush Laura said I guess I never really see a difference between male and female mushers. We all have our strengths and weaknesses as humans. We re doing it because we love to run dogs. When I look at mushers signed up for a race I don t see that I m racing against a male or female. I just know who my top competition is and who I ve got to beat When asked about any closing thoughts Laura wisely said Enjoy your dogs not just in harness not just when things are going well or when you re on top of your game. But learn to enjoy your dogs 365 days a year Great advice and good luck to Laura Daugereau and her dog athletes this upcoming season [END] 75 HUSKY HELPLINE A Column By Kristi Benson Note Husky helpline topics can often include info and advice that includes all breeds 76 Start the Ski Season Off Right Prevention and training for dogs who are scared to skijor By Kristi Benson Disclaimer This article is designed for educational purposes only. The services of a competent professional trainer or applied behaviorist should be sought regarding its applicability with respect to your own dog(s). Interacting with dogs is not without risk. The author and publisher shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by the information contained in this article. If you love skijoring as much as I do it s disheartening to have a beautiful and zippy sled dog who is obviously scared of it. She might run and hide when you pull out your equipment or try to get off the trail hunched and wide-eyed instead of running joyfully like she does in front of the sled or bike. Although it s a sticky issue with a bit of effort many dogs can be turned around to be comfortable skijoring. And seeing a previously skittish dog loping joyfully down the trail ahead of you There is nothing better. Even if your dog is fine in a bigger team or doing other sled dog sports like canicross or bike-joring skiing can be a different thing. Many dogs find weird extensions to people (like hats bags walkers or canes) to be scary. And when you are skiing you have four two poles and two skis. The poles are a bit menacing and hit the trail with some force and sound. And the skis are just straight-up nightmare material long sharp noisy... and don t get me started on what they do when you (inevitably) fall. They clatter and stick into the snowbanks and the whole thing might be accompanied by some minor and polite yelling. In a dog s eyes very scary stuff. Whether you have a dog new to skiing and want to prevent problems before they arise (smart by the way very smart) or you re dealing with a dog who already finds skijoring to be really intimidating the training is the same. Well it s the same in theory. The difference is in the practice the already-scared dog needs you to go much much more slowly through the steps. You ll need to do each step many more times and if your dog is not improving get in touch with a competent dog trainer. 77 Just leave your skis and poles out for a long time so that your dogs get bored of them . Step one the skis and poles The first step is getting the dog used to the sight of your skis and poles. The easiest thing to do is just leave them out where your dog can see them for a few days (if you re preventing issues) or a few weeks (if your dog is scared). Lay them down somewhere where you won t trip over them and they won t fall down near the dog. Falling skis like falling brooms can scare dogs. And that would be very bad for our cause Step two put the skis on and give the dog an added bonus After the dogs has grown very bored of seeing the skis it s time to put them on. Snap on the skis and take a few steps and then toss your dog a delicious treat--something they never get otherwise. Repeat this randomly a few times a day. When your dog runs up when you strap on the skis head on to step three. If they startle up but don t flee and eat the treat you toss keep doing this until they do run up for their goodie. And if they startle up and flee take the skis off and give them their treat anyways but go back to step one for a week before cutting step two into (at least) thirds just approach and move your skis slightly and then toss the treat. Keep doing this until your dog approaches happily for their treat when you move the skis. Then put one ski on and toss treats. Repeat until your dog approaches when you put one ski on. And then both skis. You get the picture use tiny increments and always toss a treat afterwards. Every time you move too fast and your dog runs away you ve set yourself back at least a week unfortunately. Going slow will actually be faster because you ll avoid setbacks. Step three ski with the dog loose If you can take your dog skiing somewhere where they can be loose this is a fantastic next step (if your dog doesn t come when you call check out the Fall 2016 Husky Helpline for information on how to train a great recall). Simply ski a few times with your dog bounding around loose. This will allow them to get used to the sounds of skiing and your strange erratic movements. If you are a proficient 78 skier it makes sense to fall on purpose a few times to get them used to that particular commotion too. If you are like me and fall all by yourself anyways then let it happen and tell anyone who sees you that it s for the dog. You re ready Once you ve skied a few times with your dog loose and they re happy and joyful when you pull out your skis it s time to skijor. Set up your first five runs with your dog s happiness in mind pick a good short trail that was recently groomed. Give your dog a slightly longer line. And most of all have fun. You dog will be About the author A dog musher and trainer for ten years Kristi is an honors graduate and now employee of the prestigious Academy for Dog Trainers. Contact her for any training questions through her website www. kristibenson.com or https www. facebook.com KristiBensonDogTraining. You can even sprinkle treats around your skis and allow your dogs to eat them . [END] 79 80 Florida s Surprisingly Robust Urban Mushing Community By Lisa Nalewak When you think of Florida you probably think palm trees white sand beaches strip malls bizarre news stories and horrifyingly long lines at Disney World. And while those are absolutely all representative of the southernmost state in our union there is a surprisingly robust population of people and their dogs who present a very different picture to the uninitiated They are out in the early mornings or overcast days of the cooler months (and sometimes throughout the year depending on their location) driving their dogs in scooters carts bikes and sulkies enjoying rock-free well kept trails at local parks and possibly even visiting the local ice-cream drive through. Yes even though some sport dog enthusiasts from more northern climes might raise their eyebrows Florida has a healthy population of urban mushers. Obviously the first question we get is Isn t it too hot says Peggy Wright founder of Sandy Paws Sled Dog Club of Tampa Bay a social group for people in the Tampa Bay area who are interested in learning about sled dogs and sled dog training including the benefits of working dogs together in teams. The 81 club has well over 125 members meets monthly throughout the year and takes part in a number of community events including holiday celebrations and fund-raisers. We understand our breeds very well and we know what precautions we need to take to be sure they re happy and healthy which is why we don t work dogs in the hotter months and limit exercise then to walks or short runs in the early mornings says Peggy. Most of the sled dogs here were born and raised in Florida or nearby states so they don t know what real cold is. They re ecstatic to run in 55 or 65 degree weather. Since the Tampa Bay area is moderated by coastal winds the weather in the early mornings near the coast where Peggy and many of her club s members live are more moderate than inland where it gets hotter. It s not unusual for it to be in the low 70s in the early morning even in the early summer and in the winter it s easily in the 50s. A cold snap will drop us into the 30s or 40s and we usually get a week or two of that in December or January. Peggy got her first Siberian Husky in 1994 and from there she expanded her pack and got involved in rescue. Over the last 20 years she s fostered over 30 dogs and volunteered for numerous rescue organizations. She was bitten by the mushing bug after a trip to Colorado where she first tried the sport. Since then she s attended mushing camps in Colorado and Alaska and has attended seminars with Iditarod mushers and race personnel. She has her own trike which with her Sled Dog Club s member dogs makes regular appearances in annual local parades and has even brought Santa Claus to town and she provides mushing gear and training materials to people in the area to help them get started. She s also heavily involved in teaching people about the dogs and sport she loves. Her Sled Dog club will often feature local experts in canine training as guests to help members become better drivers and trainers themselves. She also has a passion for educating the general public about the sport and countering the one-sided perspective people get from anti-Iditarod media outlets and fictional Hollywood sled dog movies. Last year she helped organize the appearance of Willow AK resident Lev Shvarts an up and coming long-distance musher at a local Tampa Bay area school to help teach the kids about real sled dogs and mushing. Most of the kids hadn t ever seen snow let alone gotten a chance to talk to someone 82 who mushes for a living she states. Since they study the Iditarod as a way to learn about different geographies and weather it was the perfect opportunity to engage them with a real world expert. They got to learn all about what it was like for people and their dogs to live out there in the wilds of Alaska but they also got to learn about how closely a musher works with their dogs and how much a musher needs to know about dog nutrition and health so it was a very nice way to teach them about the realities of responsible pet ownership too. Peggy isn t the only one that s working hard to educate people on the sport of Mushing in Florida. There are a number of other well-educated highly experienced and passionate people helping the cause. Gina Hunter is one of those people. Gina lives nearby to Peggy and has a long history in dog training. As a youngster she helped her dad train birding and hunting dogs including teaching them to pull carts to transport the deer they had taken. She moved on to work with canines while enlisted in the military and then with Charles Chuck Eisenmann the famous dog trainer who made appearances on Johnny Carson Merv Griffin and numerous other TV shows with his 5 German Shepherds London Hobo Thorn Lance and Toro. Chuck s training techniques were gentle intelligent and grounded and he really taught me how to connect both intellectually and emotionally with the dogs I worked with she says. That 83 ers for training new dogs to pull and often helps local sled dog owners new to the sport to select and gear up with the right equipment. She herself prefers to drive her team on a Sulky. She ll often harness as many as four and take them out and about the neighborhood where people gawk at her and her dogs as they happily trot down the lane. These dogs are bred for this. There is nothing else they like doing better and they can not wait to get out on the road once they see those harnesses. Gina is also an active partner in Chalo Sulky a Georgia based company that resells purpose-built sulkies for dog pulling and holds numerous training seminars and workshops around the southeast. If you go east-northeast from Tampa Bay by about 100 miles or so you ll come to Orlando best known beyond the state s borders as the home of two particularly famous mice a posse of ball gown wearing princesses and firework flocked castles. Less well known the area is also home to Katelyn Valentine President of Central Florida Urban Mushers a group dedicated to helping people learn to work with their dog s natural pulling instinct instead of against it and teaching them the sport of Urban Mushing. Unlike Peggy and Gina Katelyn has never owned Spitz type sled dogs. Instead she got her start in urban mushing with her Chihuahua. Yes Chihuahua. An avid hiker Katelyn took Abby with her on numerous adventures walking running hiking and biking. She s a big dog trapped in a small dog s body. She s incredibly smart. She learned things very quickly and is always up for trying new things. It was because of her that I became interested in sport dog activities and learned about Urban Mushing. Katelyn then added to her pack by adopting a Vizsla-Pit Bull mix named Sandy whom she background gave her a wonderful foundation for working with behaviorally challenged dogs. She now puts her training to use helping local rescues evaluate and socialize problem dogs and is heavily involved in rehabilitation work. She finds that teaching a dog to pull and introducing them to a pack and asking them to participate in activities as part of team does wonders for many of them. It s amazing to help dogs come out of their shells and teach them what it s like to be happy and have a purpose in life she says. So many of them just were never taught how to channel their energy or were never properly socialized. Getting them involved in a team sport gives them a job. It gives their brain something to do. Working them as part of a dog team increases their confidence and makes them more accepting of other dogs. And giving them exercise every day goes a long way to improving their mental health. She smiles and laughs. I know some people who would benefit from the same Gina has a large pack of her own pups numerous Siberian Huskies and a Great Dane Malinois mix that she works daily. She uses scoot- 84 trained to scooter. This was perfect when I started taking on foster dogs from Bully Up Rescue she states. The young Pit Bulls I would get were full of energy motivation and drive but had nowhere to put it. I would hook them up alongside Sandy. The dogs loved it and it was an incredible tool for teaching confidence and self-control to the rowdy rescue dogs. Recently Katelyn added Wendy a sleek leggy Lurcher mix to her team whom she describes as the ultimate Florida pulling machine. Wendy is the perfect warm weather sled dog. With her lean body thin white fur and huge ears she never gets hot. Other dogs will be panting and trotting at a slower pace down a trail and Wendy will be in an all out sprint. The dog has no quit and absolutely loves to run. Katelyn echoes Peggy s sentiments on running dogs in the heat. A lot of people who mush up north have concerns about running dogs in the warmer temperatures. Obviously we re not going for 15 miles in the middle of the summer. Either we go very early or very late or while it s raining. Katelyn also runs canicross with her dogs another sport that is gaining popularity across Florida. There are a lot of sport dog lovers here in Florida notes Peggy. Like our dogs we ve learned to adapt to the climate here and like our dogs we enjoy being out on the trails together as much as we can. You don t need snow or freezing temperatures to enjoy that. For more information on these organizations visit http sandypawssleddogclub.com for Sandy Paws Sled Dog Group of Tampa Bay https www.chalosulky.com for Chalo Sulky and https www.facebook.com groups 420116125011167 for Central Florida Urban Mushers. [END] 85 86 87 To Our Readers From The Publisher Of The Sled Dogger Magazine The Sled Dogger Magazine is very proud to support the Future of Mushing with our Jr Musher Feature Area. In this area there are often stories or information form our Jr Staff as well as Jr Musher Spotlights. However... WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT We Need To Hear From More Jr Mushers To Spotlight If you are a Jr Musher (Dryland Sled Skijor) know any Jr Mushers or have a Jr Musher in your family PLEASE contact us We are always looking for Jr Mushers to spotlight. Sometimes we have several Jr Spotlights in a issue and other times we only have 1. It all depends on if anyone submits the completed Jr Musher Spotlight information and submits it with their images This is the first issue wehre we don t have a Jr Musher Spotlight because no one responded to our ads and posts for Jr Mushers. This is very sad because the Jrs are the Future of Mushing. If people dont respond to our call for Jr.s we ll have to eliminate the Jr Musher Feature. URGENT MESSAGE JrMushers TheSledDogger.com Subject Jr Musher Spotlight To Have Your Son Daughter Spotlighted Contact us at 88 DOG MASSAGE CARE By William Shade Recently I met with my friend Sandy Bath to talk about dog massage and essential oil use for health care maintenance in sled dogs. Sandy is a Certified Health Coach and the head handler for Bath Racing Kennel of Lander Wyoming. She is also an excellent team mate for her husband s stage racing team. Being on the road during race season and handling dogs for several days at a time Sandy has learned how to identify and treat sore muscles and injuries to keep their team preforming at its best. She also recommended a few of her favorite dog massage books that she uses for reference. Sandy showed us the proper way to massage with her assistant Whitey who allowed us to play with her four new puppies. She also shared advice for starting puppies off on the right foot of enjoying massage as well as dogs who may be skittish and unfamiliar with the process. A couple of Sandy s favorite general massage care books are CANINE MASSAGE A COMPLETE REFERENCE MANUAL and Spoil YOUR PET A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO USING ESSENTIAL OILS IN DOGS AND CATS. These books are a great place for beginners to start because they have diagrams of acupressure points and the layout of a dog s muscles and bones which is helpful when dealing with an injury site. She also said to talk with your race veterinarians. It s ok to ask them to take a second look because sometimes there are so many dogs to be checked at a race an injury could be passed over unintentionally. Another source of good information is other mushers who may be more experienced than yourself. In addition to this the internet can be a great resource but there can also be a lot of misinformation. Sandy recommends researching the author s credentials and double checking with your vet if you have questions and concerns. A combination of information from credible resources and experimenting on your own will help you find what works best for your dogs. 89 There are two main reasons that a dog may need a massage. The first is general health care maintenance making sure that muscles and joints stay relaxed. The second is reason is to treat soreness or stiffness. Sandy s husband gives her a run down of any unusual behavior he may spot on the trail upon returning from a run and during travel as well. Immediate needs are always addressed first left untreated swelling can make the dog even more uncomfortable. Sandy says that some handlers or mushers prefer to go straight to the problem and start working on it however she approaches each dog very gently. She used the example of a human being hurt. Even though a doctor may be helping you a hug from a loved one still feels really good and is reassuring. A little head scratching and ear rubbing helps to relax a dog that may feel frightened high strung or defensive. Once the dog calms to her touch she begins to gently work down the neck and spine gently pressing down checking for stiffness. The spine should flex downward 90 and come back up easily. If a tight spot is found Sandy will consult the charts in her books if she is unsure about the muscle layout and begin to gently work the surrounding area. A tip she shared was to make a doggie ice pack with snow and a Ziploc bag this can be used to reduce swelling. Certain diluted essential oils can be helpful for an injury site but a dog s sense of smell is thousands of times stronger than a human s- she says less is more. She also said to let intuition be your guide. Even if a specific injury isn t found a dog may just need some gentle physical touch. Another piece of useful advice she shared with me was to begin massage contact if possible while your dogs are very young puppies. If they grow to enjoy massage they will be easier to handle when they are 91 injured or sore because you ve built a trusting relationship through touch. Sandy recommends using massage on anxious or timid dogs for emotional effect. Regular massage contact can help a dog learn that you will be gentle and kind if they are hurt. Thank you Sandy Bath for teaching me about massage care [END] 92 URGENT NEEDS JR MUSHERS TO SPOTLIGHT We Know They Are Out There We Want To Support And Encourage THE FUTURE OF MUSHING Be We Need Your Help If Your Son Or Daughter Is A Jr Musher Contact Us For The Jr Musher Forms It s a Simple Questionnaire We Make Into An Interview And Include Your Images. THIS IS FREE For Info Or The Jr Forms Contact JrMushers TheSledDogger.com 93 Due Out 1st Week of December 2017 Watch for the Winter 2017 Issue NOTE This Is A Rough Draft Of The Next Issue Cover The Text or Image Could Change COVER INFO Rider - Unknown Photo By Marabu Creative Commons Public Domain Image 94 The Winter 2017 Issue Interviews Commentary Columns & More The Return Of Product Reviews Feature Coverage Of The 2017 Northern New England Sled Dog Trade Fair & Seminars - Plus - More Jr Mushers For The Jr Musher Feature Basically The Winter 2017 Issue will have New Stories Interviews Pictures and More PLUS we We have some new Staff Feature Writers For New Points Of View 95 96