Sunday, July 8, 2012

The story of Miles: Part 1

I am a bit late in posting this week's featured Diamond Dog because, frankly, I didn't know where to begin with telling the story of Miles. So I took some advice from one of my favorites, Lewis Carroll, who said "Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop." Here goes.

Miles is not only the Diamond Dogs education dog, he was the kennel's MVP last season, pulling his little heart out in his first 90 mile race at just 14 months of age. But the story of how Miles came to be here at the Ranch is one filled with heartbreak.

Miles' mother was what I consider a rescue. She was a sled dog with good bloodlines, who had fallen into the wrong hands of a musher who was over his head, allowing multiple breedings to happen rampantly. When things got to be too much, he wanted out - and fast. I bought a dog from him, and he threw Miles' mother in "for free." She ended up being pregnant at only 10 months of age. You can read more about that journey and the heartbreak that followed here.

Miles had seven brothers and sisters, and out of those, five were born with health problems or physical anomalies. Three have since died.

But Miles was hearty and thirsty for life right from the beginning.

Miles after his first meal.

One of the only all black puppies, Miles was difficult to get a picture of. Right from the beginning, I knew this little guy was special.

Originally this photo was posted to my kennel Facebook page with the caption, "Quickly becoming my favorite puppy!"
While he was growing up, my original education dog, Foxy, was growing older.

Me with my original educational ambassador, Foxy, at the Mogadore Library

I knew I needed to begin training a new education dog to take her place. I took Miles to his first educational dog sledding presentation when he was only four months old. He hammed it up for the audience and was a natural.

During his first dog sledding presentation, Miles preferred to sit in the sled basket with his big ears

Miles developed a quirky habit of literally "smiling" whenever we called his name or talked to him. He soon developed the nickname "Smiles" because of this. His personality is always beaming and happy, and he is full of energy that never seems to stop. He has truly made my dog sledding presentations what they are, and has fans from all around. Naturally affectionate, he blossomed as an education dog and ate up the attention from kids and crowds.

Miles gets a pat from a presentation participant at Lock 3 in Downtown Akron

But would he excel as a race dog?  That was yet to be proven....

To be continued...

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