Puppies and Mush

We stepped off the bus to pandemonium! Barking, squirming dogs everywhere it seemed but they were actually under control…sort of. scan0006You see this wild eyed, happy, manic look on the face of the dog on this card…yup we were surrounded by dogs with the same expression. The handlers, excuse me , “Mushers” said the dogs just love to run. They get excited when they hear a car or bus come down the road because they know they will be hitched up and off to do their favorite thing.

Alaska2013 857 copyWhile the mushers wrangled the adults into the harness we were led to another pen to see the “puppies”. Now I use the word puppies loosely because I was expecting little balls of fluff. Even when they said they were 11 weeks old I wasn’t prepared for how big they were. Before I knew what was happening or even got close enough for a look a 25 lb. bundle of energy was plopped into my arms. I heard someone say this little girl is Emma and then they were gone. What a cutie.


Sandy had another similar sized pup in her arms.

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It took all of my concentration to be sure mine didn’t wiggle out of my arms and get away. I’m sure it happens sometimes with these energetic balls of fur but I didn’t want it to be on my watch! Eventually one of the employees asked me if I’d had my turn on the dog sled ride. When I said no, he told me to go get on but made no move to relieve me of Emma.


After I asked about 3 times what he wanted me to do with the puppy it seemed to get through to him. With an  “Oh! Yeah.” He scooped Emma up and pointed me toward a really strange contraption.

This monster had a sturdy metal frame, rubber tires and 3 bench seats that had  been rescued from some old junk cars. It even had a roof and a front windshield of scratched Plexiglas. It looked awful heavy for a bunch of dogs to pull.

Alaska2013 860 copyI grabbed the front seat. In spite of the scratches I wanted to be up front where I could see what our dogs were doing. Our young lady Alaskan was our musher and hopped on the back just as if this were one of the light weight dog sleds. With just a word the dogs were off with us right behind. They got us going pretty fast too until one of the dogs decided he wanted a break for some snow from the snow bank. That brought the whole line to a halt while he broke formation for his little snack.

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Lady Musher got down and untangled the traces and got them all lined back up. Before she had time to even get back on the rig our little trouble maker was rolling in the dirt and getting everyone tangled up again. Back to the mess our intrepid musher  went and, in her words,  had a little talk with him.

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This time when he was straighten out he stayed in line and we were on our way again.

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We went around one last corner and there was the camp where we started. It was a short ride but it was fun.

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The dogs in the front are the lead dogs and he ones in the rear are the steering dogs. They are the strongest dogs on the team. They get you out of that snow bank if you get stuck. Even through the Plexiglas window it was easy to see they were having fun and so was I! 🙂

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