Walking up to the dog sled, the four of us stare at it while the dogs are all barking and jumping ready to move. Who will get in first? Tallest goes in first the musher says. Well, that is definitely not me. As we pile in, I slide into the third spot. My friend Nyla sits in front of me, and by the end of the ride, I think she regretted it. The sled is narrow so, we are all sitting on top of each other and putting pressure on each of our legs. Nyla was practically lying on top of me when we start moving.
Race Sled Dogs
The lead dog, Sheba, starts us off and Candy, the Wheel dog, is impatient to be running. They start running and the sled is trailing behind controlled by the musher. Knowing that doesn’t alleviate the feeling like we will be tossed out as we go around each corner. We all can’t stop giggling and laughing. Then we hit the first bump, and the sled goes a little airborne and BAM! I knock Nyla in the head with my camera lens. I’m apologizing to her and asking if she’s ok and not even two minutes later, I do it again. Reminder to bring a smaller camera when on a dog sled or even a GoPro would have been better. But, as we were all on this photographer tour together, we laughed it off as hazards of getting the perfect shot.
Dog sledding is such an adrenaline rush as the sled banked high on the curves and the dogs kept on going. The entire ride lasted only 12 minutes but, it felt longer. When we returned to the kennel we took lots of pictures of the Huskies. They were so lovable wanting to be petted by us and trying to give us kisses. All these dogs are bred to be race dogs. These Huskies race in the Iditarod and Yukon Quest. Grizzley came in sixth place one year. Chena Dog Kennel does adopt the dogs out when they no longer want to work as sled dogs and would rather play with someone who loves them. If interested and want to visit and see the dogs, check out their adoption page.
After our ride had finished, we walked into the kennel to warm up and stood around for awhile. We weren’t sure what we were waiting for but, the next thing we know is that they are bringing in puppies. Seven of the cutest 4-week old puppies you ever saw. They were so adorable. I held one that was the tiniest of the bunch and it would not stop shaking. He was so nervous with all the people around. When the guide was discussing their parentage (could be between two dads) and that neither of them was the best race dog. My puppy started yapping. He didn’t like the disparaging comments about their dad. These puppies do not have names yet. They don’t get their names until they become race dogs which their future as that is uncertain.
I sat on the ground to play with them and then all chaos erupted. All of the seven puppies were climbing all over me, playing with my scarf, licking my camera, and nipping at my pants. I felt like an obstacle on an obstacle course for these little pups. They kept climbing up and over and falling down the other side over and over again. One, in particular, a cute black one with white paws kept coming back toward me and curling around in between my legs. He almost fell asleep right there.
When play time was over, I took him back out to his pen cuddling him as I walked. I dragged my feet until I was the last one to give the puppies back. Lifted him up to return him and he started whimpering. I asked the worker if I could just put him in my jacket to take home with me. She said no. 🙁 This experience totally makes me rethink getting a pet.