Marie’s got the camera, so I don’t have pictures to post yet.
Dogsledding may be one of the most fun things I’ve ever done in my life. Upon seeing people arriving, the 100 dogs in the field start stirring and making a bit of noise–coming out from their doghouses, barking a bit. Once they see the harnesses for the sleds, the dog yard just goes crazy. All the dogs start yipping and jumping, eager to take off. Harnessing the dogs to the sled feels a bit like a chaotic rodeo. To hook up the dogs to the sled, you’ve got to stradle the dog, and then put the harness over their head, and bend down to put their legs through the harness. They’re pretty passive for that part. But, then once the harness is one, they’re ready and rearing to go. They get all kinds of antsy and wiggly and eager–which makes hooking the dogs to the actual sled line a bit difficult.
In a way, observing the dogs and their interactions with us and with their handlers–I’m reminded of John 10 and the parable of shepherds and sheep. The handlers know every dog’s name and unique personality; to the casual observer, quite a few of the dogs seem to be nearly identical, but the handlers know the distinctiveness of each dog. The dogs know who the seasonal handler is, who their owner is, and who’s just there for the day–and they respond accordingly to each. Fascinating stuff.