Monday, January 16, 2012

Honest dogs

There is a phrase in mushing that I love. Honest dogs

Honest dogs are dogs who give 110% all the time, every time they run.

I was looking through the International Rocky Mountain Stage Stop page tonight - the place where I learned about mushing initially. Wyoming. And many of the same mushers who were in the race I was in last weekend are running the Stage Stop. Fast teams. Fast dogs. Dogs who win trophies and money.

Trophies lined up at the Tahquamenon Country Sled Dog Race Awards Ceremony

I really don't have "fast dogs." We've won two trophies and $50 in our entire six years of mushing.

But I have honest dogs who work hard, and I am proud of them.

Our time at Tahquamenon with all of the stops, attempts to hook down, capture loose dogs and general mayhem was still 9.17 miles per hour. Had those things not happened, my dogs likely would have run a steady and respectable 10 or 11 miles per hour.

We can't hold a candle to teams that run 15 miles or more an hour.

But, I don't really want to.

We are what we are. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Be yourself; ...Listen to that inward voice and bravely obey that. Do the things at which you are great, not what you were never made for."

We are great at venturing out into the woods with only a wanderlust and our lonely spirits to guide us.

Eight fur kids on a portion of trail used for the Seney 300 Iditarod qualifier and training run
We try to be gracious to those who have helped us along the way...

Accepting the Red Lantern at the Tahquamenon Race and publicly thanking fellow musher, Liza Dietzen for capturing my loose dog
We try to be forward thinking, not harping on the past, but learning from our mistakes and looking to the future...

One of Tak's puppies from last July, Tosh, and Elise. Tosh is Elise's sled dog :)
I am not competitive when it comes to mushing. I'm happy wherever we place, as long as my dogs are happy and healthy. Because they're good dogs.

Honest dogs.

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