Welcome to the blog of a teen and her life with 9 dogs!
These ramblings are best read with a hot cuppa' coffee in your hand and warm slippers on your feet.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's a colorful world out there....

...and we're missing out. With our eyes glued to our smart phones, computers and tablets, we're missing out on the beauty of the world.

All it is now is rush, rush, rush; make more money, buy a better car.

The Upper Falls in Taquamanon Falls, MI

Why don't we take a moment and get back to the good stuff?
Spend time with your family, have dinner together, have an actual face to face conversation with your friends.

Go for a hike and breath in the fresh air. I've heard it's good for the lungs. ;)

Maggie and I decided to do just that today.

We covered 5 miles of ground in an hour and a half. It was 35 degrees and beautiful. We left this fast paced world behind and tuned into nature, into God.

When we came back it was time to run the race team.

We did some exploring of our own while going down new, undiscovered trails. The dogs love the adventure and so do I. They can't wait to see what's around the next bend in the trail.

You can't do that with a smart phone. ;)

So get off that couch and go explore the world! Technology will still be here when you get back.

Peace, Love, Sled Dogs

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Michigan's 1st Dryland Sled Dog Race Makes the News

Last weekend, the 12th and 13th of November, marked the first annual dryland sled dog race. This is the first race of it's kind in Michigan and it caught the interest of the 9&10 news crew as they came out to interview mushers and video tape the race. It was a part of their "Hobby Hunting" series.

Here is the link to the video. 9&10

We were not able to make it to this race , unfortunately. We were planning on it when we heard it was going to be run but it ended up colliding with the annual youth conference, Chosen. I just had to go to Chosen (Which was awesome by the way. God is awesome!!) so we we'll have to plan on next year. It looked like it was a blast! There were 36 teams in total.

Peace, Love, Sled Dogs

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

ManMat Junior Musher Contest

If you're a junior musher, this post is for you!
The dog sledding equipment company, ManMat is holding a contest for junior mushers across the US and Canada! The prize is 8 harnesses and collars for their team along with other various equipment and apparel from ManMat. The total value of the prize is going to be around $1,000!

If you're a junior musher in between the ages of 13 and 17, whether you distance race, sprint race, recreation, or skijor, they want YOU to participate! Here is a direct quote from their Facebook page stating some of the rules:
"To participate, submit a biographical essay stating age, state/province, # of dogs, type of racing, mentor, favorite musher, races you have done or want to do, # of dogs in kennel etc. Have fun, this may be the first time you have thought of these things in detail. There will be no grading for spelling or grammar. If English is not your first language, submit it in the language you are most comfortable with. We can interpret several and have assistance if needed."

The contest will run from today, the 15th of Nov. to Nov. the 22nd so you better get typing!!

You will have to check out the link here to find out the rest. I highly suggest that you do!

Now, I better get crackin' on my own essay!

Peace, Love, Sled Dogs

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Animal Rights Or Advertisement?

It's no secret that most of the animal rights activists like the people of PETA are not fond of dog mushers. Their main disagreement is focused on the Alaskan sled dog race, the Iditarod.
They believe it is too hard on the dogs, the dogs are forced to run, mushers abuse their dogs in the race, and so on and so forth.
They actively protest the Iditarod each year whether it be on their website blog or standing at the race site holding signs. They send letters to race sponsors telling them to "stop supporting such a cruel sport".

What some of you may or may not know is that there is a race, called the Yukon Quest, which is said to be "the toughest race in the world,". It starts in Whitehorse, Yukon and ends in Fairbanks, Alaska. The race is 1,000 miles, slightly shorter than the Iditarod, but sometimes tougher on the dogs and their mushers. The temperatures can be lower, the terrain can be tougher, and the wind can blow harder.

So why, you ask, doesn't PETA protest this race in stead of the Iditarod?

The answer is easy: It's good advertisement. The Iditarod is way more commercialized than the Yukon Quest, meaning it's more worth PETA's time and effort to protest where all of the cameras, money, and spectators are, which is the Iditarod. More people to get money from and more cameras to see it happen.

Type in a phrase like "PETA and the Yukon Quest" into Google and see what pops up. I just did and the words 'Yukon Quest' and the acronym 'PETA' aren't even in the same sentence when you scroll through the links.
Now type in "PETA and the Iditarod" and see what comes up. PETA and the Iditarod are like salt and pepper--they're always together.

Now you may be wondering what the sole purpose of PETA's campaign against the Iditarod really is--are they in it for the dogs or are they in it for the money?
Truth is, it's probably both. I don't think it would be fair to say that they are totally and completely in it for the money and don't care about the dogs. I mean it's obvious on their website that they do care about the welfare of the dogs.
On the flip side, I don't think it would be truthful to say that they are in it totally and completely for the dogs either. The Iditarod, I'm sure, brings in a lot of money and publicity for them, which is why, I feel, it's their main focus rather than the Yukon Quest.

So that is part of my view point on PETA. I'm not a fan or a supporter, but nor am I a hater. They may mean well but their actions sometimes can prove otherwise...to me anyway.

Now I'm going to go a little off topic here and explain some things that I feel need some time in the spotlight.

One argument from the AR activists that I find totally unrealistic is this; they believe that since a few mushers abuse their dogs or don't take care of them right, the whole sport needs to be outlawed.
In reality, you could say the same thing about raising children (and pet ownership) "Since some parents abuse their kids and don't take care of them right, having kids should be outlawed.". That's obviously never going to happen nor is it realistically thinking.
Outlawing something like the Iditarod is NOT going to solve anything. Mushers would just run the Yukon Quest instead which, as I said above, is a tougher race.
Outlawing dog mushing altogether isn't going to solve dog abuse. PLENTY of pet dogs get abused everyday. A dog doesn't have to be a sled dog to experience abuse.

Unfortunately we live in a non-perfect world. Sorry if I burst your bubble but it's true. There is always, always going to be some sort of "evil" or wrong-doing in every aspect of life whether it be murder, theft, abuse (of any kind and inflicted on anything) etc. You can take measures to control it (ie. establish laws and enforce them) but you will never ever be able to eradicate it...even if you outlaw it (murder is illegal but it still happens).

So that's why I feel it's unrealistic to say that since some bad stuff happens in dog mushing, it should be wiped off the face off the planet.

I could say so much more on this subject but I won't. I think I've said enough for now.
Please keep in mind that what I have written is all my opinion. It came from that squiggly, slimy thing in my head they call a brain. I'm not trying to state my opinion as any form of fact either (If I was I would be on the same level as the AR activists.). You can agree with my opinion or disagree with it, it doesn't matter. I won't hate you if you disagree and if you do, well then welcome to the club. lol

I'm also not trying to paint an ugly picture for the Yukon Quest. Heck, I may run it someday.

I will leave you with this quote (I've put it on here before but it needs repeating)
"It's a mistake to theorize before one has data. Inevitably, one begins to twist facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts." ~Sherlock Holmes
Translation: Before you think that dog mushing is a cruel sport (after reading PETA's website or Sled Dog Action Coalition or whatever) take the time to go watch a race and talk with the mushers. After all, it doesn't make much sense to advocate against something you know next to nothing about now does it?
Food for thought.

Peace, Love, Sled Dogs

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

"They're off and running!"

Well, we're not quite off and running yet BUT, we know when and where we will be running!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the 2012 race schedule has been decided! You can find it to the right of this page and on my website here.

We're excited to be able to welcome back the Mackinaw Mush! The race wasn't able to run the past two years due to lack of snow and other complications.
I'm pretty excited to be able to run the Mackinaw Mush for the first time this year--after all, it's the race that dragged me into this lovely addiction! I grew up spectating the race every year and I even ran in the little kiddie race with one dog when I was little. Then I was bit by the bug when I was 11 and the rest, as they say, is history!

We're waiting on the snow to fly now. Hopefully it won't be long!

~Peace, Love, Sled Dogs