This year, I spent my birthday in the snow. Obviously, I spent most of it snowboarding as it’s the only sport I’m actually good at, but this year I wanted to try something a little different as well. I fully vetted out the options for alternate snow fun and ultimately decided on dog sledding. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing will have to wait for another year. (perhaps one with more snow)
I’ve never had any interest in dog sledding before this year as I’d always assumed it was mean. Strapping a dog to a sled and making it pull me? Kind of absurd just for some fun. That was until I met my own little fur ball Cambodia. She’s a herding dog through and through. At the dog park, she won’t run after a ball, but she will run after, and subsequently try to herd, another dog running for a ball. In our apartment, she steers me towards the kitchen when she’s hungry and nips at other dog’s heels to get them to go where she’d like them to. She’s also wonderfully stubborn.
Herding is her job, though a job for a dog isn’t a job in the same sense that we use the word. It’s more of a propensity or a need for a canine. It’s a drive. Herding dogs will herd. Hound dogs will sniff. Working dogs will work.
Dog sled dogs are working dogs and are excited by the idea of pulling a sled. The team of Siberian and Alaskan Huskies at Dog Sled Rides of Winter Park were eager to run when we arrived at the kennels. They howled and barked in excitement and preparation for a run with their teams amongst the tall snowed over trees. A fresh two inches of powder lay in wait for our sleds as we slid through the valley in the mountains northwest of Denver.