Round the corner on the snowy path through the woods. Scrappy little dogs of varied sizes and colors spring to life, fully aware of what is about to take place.
They turn circles, whine, and yawn anxiously as they are harnessed one by one and placed in line. Pent-up excitement spills over occasionally in hushed yips.
When the moment is at hand, they watch their boss intently. When she gives the word—just one—they lean into their harnesses.
The dogs pull with abandon as we wind between spruce trunks. When the way becomes straight they settle into their usual pace, a comfortable trot.
All vocalizations from our furry guides give way to pure concentration.
Snowflakes float down leisurely and tickle our eyelashes. As we bounce along, the only sound is the dull hiss of the sled’s runners on the trail.
The dogs know the way. They also know just when to regulate body temperature, and some begin to snatch mouthfuls of snow on the fly. None loses pace or misses a step.
The journey is over all too soon. Though they could go all day, the dogs agree to rest and cool off. They also take the chance to congratulate their riders and touch base with the boss.
Soon they return home for grooming and food and sleep. Tomorrow the dogs of Silver Songs Kennel will be more than ready for the next whoosh.