Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make!
I hear a few birds singing that winter’s going to leave soon. There’s no green here so far, a few piles of ice are still hanging out on the streets and in the parks. That’s a good time for a last big snow story then. A snow story from last winter, when I got part of a wolf … husky pack.
In the midst of the Laurentides, surrounded by deep forests, rounded mountains and quite a bunch of lakes there lays the city of Rivière-Rouge. From here you drive left, right, right left into the woods, get lost, go right again, inside or outside the region of Sainte-Véronique, maybe close to Lac Vert, maybe closer to another lake, but for sure at the top of a little Laurentian mountain you might hear a howl trough the cold, keen winter air.
Yes, there are wolves in the Laurentides. But what I heard up here each night for almost one month was not a lonesome wolf singing its song to the moon, but an impressively big pack of dogs. Alaskan Huskies, Greenland Dogs and Siberian Huskies – a whole 76 sled dogs living and howling next to your house in the middle of the snowy forest, what a ridiculously awesome dream!
Living on a husky ranch – and this is, what I am writing about – was one of my rare plans for my stay in Canada. Since I visited a farm like this in Finish Lapland by accident a few years ago I am absolutely crazy about all kind of dogs, but especially about those beautiful and magical wolfy ones. (Also the beary ones, though. Is there a bear dog farm somewhere? Karelia? Newfoundland? Take me there!)
So what would you do with 76 sled dogs except hugging and petting, cleaning and feeding? Sled dog training! So we did, whenever the weather conditions allowed it. For this we used not only the sled but also ATVs. It was actually quite a joke to see the dogs trying the first times. Almost no dog was listening, everyone ran wherever it wanted, some just kept standing, some cleverly just ran with the pack, not pulling at all. I have no idea how the story ended and if the dogs ever successfully* pulled a sled with customers where they were supposed to, but be sure I have a lot of fun imagining their lovely fails.
*unromantic gloss: A daring guide and bit too much speed or ice and a dog sledding tour can be pretty dangerous business.
More huskies and more impressions from my stay at the husky farm in the Canadian Laurentides in the great howl 2, here. Woof!