Saturday, November 13, 2010

Iditerod Baby: Putting the Pups to Work

When we first got out puppy, Clover, people told me time and again that her breed (she's a mystery mix as far as I know...) needed to pull.  They said she's a work dog who would take pleasure from pulling a sled or person on skis (aka skijorning).  So when the baby came along and the snow came out, I figured it was as good a time as any to give it the old college try.

Last year, Clover pulled my tiny Violet all through the dog park for a month or less.  We didn't buy our sled until March, so it was just the last of the snow we got to enjoy.  This year, we had the sled from day one, and Clover has been making the most of it.

We use an infant sled that we got at the Great Outdoor Clothing Store next to REI in Anchorage.  It has a pull rope, so we attach a retractable leash to the pull rope.  Then, the split leash is also attached to the pull rope using the clip from the retractable leash.  The dogs wear regular harnesses and are attached to the split lead, and the baby goes in the sled (in case this is hard to follow).  The adult, or safety brake, holds onto the retractable leash.

Most days, Violet loves her sled and Clover loves her pulling.  Some days one or the other does not.  I'm not trying to make anyone unhappy, so we just take those days off.  It's great fun though, and for my little dog-loving baby, there's not much cooler than being pulled along by your dogs.

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