Still enjoying the adventure, thrill and the beauty of seeing these canine athletes run!
But it all started when I got my first Sled Dog, Aloak (soft black stone) a male Siberian Husky Puppy!
Like many mushers, I started with one dog, then two, then three.
Due to limitations on the number of dogs you could have in the city, I would go and borrow others dogs from people and a kennel that didn't run their dogs.
On training nights, I would go and pick up the other dogs from three different places. Then drive 3/4 of an hour to my training sight, run the dogs, then drive 3/4 of an hour back to Brampton (where I lived) drop off the other dogs return home, feed my dogs and then go to bed getting some sleep before getting up to go to work the next day.
This routine, through the fall, Winter & Spring, would be repeated four times a week.
Aloak was my inspiration, my companion and my mentor leading me through many adventures of exportation during training and many Mid-Distance Races in Ontario, Pennsylvania, New York State, Massachusetts and Maine.
Aloak was an incredible Sled Dog running Lead, Wheel and was also a Champion Weight Puller!
Aloak loved attention and the cheering on of the crowds, that would come from all over, to see him perform.
His last pull was in Hamilton, Ontario at the age of 12.
He was up against his main rival, a big Red & White Male Siberian Husky named Igor.
As normal, the contest eventually came down to Aloak & Igor for the final pull.
If I remember correctly, the weight on the sled for this final pulls was just over 1200 pounds.
Igor was first to try the pull off, he jumped up and lunged trying to get the sled to move.
After several unsuccessful attempts, It was Aloaks turn.
Before the final pull, the organizers had to repaint the finish line in the snow as the paint had worn off during the competition.
I hooked Aloak to the sled, told him to stay and went to my position at the end of the pull are behind the finish line.
The crowd was silent!
I called "Aloak Come", he slowly crouched down, leaned into his harness and started slowly to move the sled.
He was at the finish line and he stopped!
He smelt the new paint on the snow and it startled him.
I said softly to Aloak, "come".
He again crouched down, leaned into his harness and pulled the weighted sled over he finish line.
The crowd cheered loudly showing their appreciation of the efforts of this superior athlete.
He finished his last pull retaining his Championship and undefeated over his Weight Pulling carrier.
Aloak was a loyal, always willing to please and most importantly, my companion.
Without him, I would never have started down this road to find my destiny!
Until next week........
In the photo from left to right staring at lead.