My Heroes All Have Four Feet
Our trip last week to England for Crufts has left me with a whole list of things I want to write about. Until I have time to sit down and organize my thoughts, here are a few links inspired by the end of Mushing season. I'm already counting the days until we hit the trails again!
I missed this last year when it was originally published. It’s a difficult to walk the line between the show dog and working dog. Unsound movement, cow-hocked rears, short legs, overly course dogs and a whole host of other problems are all inexcusable in the ring and on the trails.
This is a post from last year but it is a good read about what makes a great sled dog. Most of the dogs running in the Quest and Iditarod today are not Siberians. Interestingly it would seem that Alaskan Huskies are not only a hodgepodge of other breeds, but also genetically distinct (pdf)
This one is a golden oldie from the ONION. Curiously the photo of the dog in the article is an Alaskan Malamute, not a Siberian Husky. I’m willing to chalk this one up as another sly move by he Onion staff. Most people probably would’t even notice. No they don’t look anything alike!
A bit of history about The Last Great Race on Earth and the 2016 Iditarod champion Dallas Seavey. After more than 10 years of working with sled dogs, I now understand why someone would be motivated to race over 1,000 miles, alone, in the alaskan wilderness. That doesn’t mean I don’t think that these people are absolutely insane! Great dogs are required to compete but the race is more about sleep deprivation and time management. These are not things I find enjoyable.
“Out on the trail, mushers are unquestionably the alpha of the pack, and that means more than just telling the dogs what to do and when to turn. If a musher turns frustrated or disheartened, which is easy to do in a frigid 10-day race, it can affect the dynamic of the whole team.”
Our Faces in the Dog's Brain: Functional Imaging Reveals Temporal Cortex Activation during Perception of Human Faces
It is pretty interesting but not all that surprising that dogs can recognize faces. After all, they’ve been learning how to live with humans for more than 20,000 years.