Saturday, March 21, 2009

Dogsledding in Minnesota

A couple of weeks ago I tried something entirely new - dog sledding. My daughter, Liz, lives in Minneapolis and invited me to join her for a long weekend in the northern part of her state. We had a blast and I recommend it to anyone who has a chance.

It was chilly up there, though at 25 deg. F it was about 30 degrees warmer than the previous week. Lake Superior remained frozen quite solidly.
The outfitter had about 100 dogs in their camp. Each dog was assigned their own plywood crate and was staked to a post in front of the crate. With a bit of straw the dogs were apparently quite comfortable, despite overnight temperatures that dropped to -50 deg. F.

The outfitter had a recent litter. Liz and I each visited with these pups. They were chewers and thieves - swiped the gloves out of my jacket pocket and led me on a chase around the kennel as I tried to reclaim them. Gotta love those puppies.

Like bird dogs, these pups were incredibly eager to get out and do the work for which they were bred. They were trememdously fit, capable of pulling the sled for 3 hours straight, then reluctantly taking an hour break for lunch, and then pulling for another 3 hours. Temperatures had warmed to the 20's and the guide said that this cut their endurance!
Liz's boyfriend's family hunt waterfowl and grouse and have a couple of nice labs. Next fall I may try to arrange for a visit to the woods with them - I'll promise to bring a couple of nice setters.


Shawn K. Wayment, DVM said...


Looks like fun! I've always wanted to do that! Thanks for sharing the experience!


Andrew Campbell said...

Awesome, Pete! So great to see working dogs working.


Bill said...

Mike dogsledding is fun, but its even more fun with pointers and setters.

Bill Holtan