Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Photo Diary - Caution: this entry not for the faint of heart

My back aches and I'm reminded of my zoo keeping days. Carrying five pound buckets of feed around to feed 30 dogs is a lot like keeping. Some may say I'm odd for posting these thoughts - especially the photo below - but I felt it was worth a note about the work that goes into this sport.

Many probably only think of the ideallic images projected by Discovery Channel or Disney when thinking of running dogs. Allow me to dispel the myth with this photo...

Beef: it's what's for dinner. The dogs consume about 12 pounds of beef a day

Hard driving, hard working sleddogs consume many calories to make up for what they burn running. A lot of those calories need to come from fat. Currently, the 30 dogs in the yard consume 24 pounds of beef a day, along with 12 quarts of high-protein kibble. All of this is mixed together with water to provide adequate calories. And carrying these buckets around with all this slop isn't easy. The dogs also need constant care, rub downs, foot salve, and general lovin' to keep them running at top speed as well.

Then there's chopping firewood, building fires, running in the rain, wind, snow when you really would rather stay in a cozy sleeping bag, not to mention the sawing of raw meat which usually includes anything from beef to fish to venison, moose,'s a lot of work and not for the faint of heart.

"And the dogs they run in the good, good morning sun" Damien Rice Dogs

But then, it's all worth it for a good run in the morning sun.

Felled birch on the trail

Today, I ran across this felled birch on the trail. Luckily I had my axe, but a saw would have been much better. Clearing trails is part and parcel for running dog teams too.

So, I thought I'd post this to show that there's a lot more to this sport than sitting by a fire...although, when the work is done, it's a nice thing to do too.

After a hard day's work, a fire is nice

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