Here is a mid-season musher's rambling… by Aliy
This SP Kennel Dog Log is often filled with videos and photos of our dogs, our mushers and their combined adventures. The training, the racing as well as all of the other antics at SP Kennel. As it appears through the eyes of this website, my entire life is consumed in one way or another with dogs. That is the truth. When I first wake up in the morning, I usually roll over and acknowledge the dog hogging my bed. The very last thing I do in the evening is let dogs out and pass out biscuits. Honestly, there are very few moments in between when I am not in some form or fashion thinking about dogs.
Every once in a while, I wonder… just how did I get here?
I wasn't born into a dog mushing family. Mushing was not my family's business. I wasn't even raised in Alaska. I never even saw a dog sled until I was an adult. But, I am a girl who has always had an absolute love and respect for dogs.
Some of my best childhood memories involve a huge furry husky/shepherd mix named Cleo. She was my pal and my sister and I loved her. I also somewhat remember a huge Rhodesian Ridgeback hound but he left the family kinda quick after eating a birthday cake. My family always had dogs.
"My" first dog was named Puppy Love. I was probably 8 or 9 years old when that stray dog showed up in my life. My parents didn't feel threatened by the little dog because we were headed on a week long vacation. There was no way a stray would stick around that long no matter how cute their daughter was. But, on the sly, I had convinced a neighbor to fed that little terrier at our house while we were gone. When she was sitting on our door step a week later, she was allowed to stay. I taught Puppy Love to do tricks and we would entertain anyone who paused near our house. She was a fun dog.
"My" second dog was Carmel. I was probably 10 years old when he just happened to show up at the door step. He wasn't a big fellah and he didn't have the knack for learning tricks. But he loved to run. That's when I started mushing. I didn't know it was mushing, but I see now that it was. I would put a leash on Carmel, sit on my skateboard or balance on my roller skates and he would GO! We raced up and down the concrete streets and I earned more than my fair share of few skinned knees and elbows. Even my best friends had similar mushing dogs. Our dogs pulled us all over the neighborhood. That was some of the best fun a kid could have.
I realize that many years and much distance lay between my first dog mushing miles and the thousands and thousands of dog mushing miles I do today. The dogs are different and the land is different, but the musher is the same. At heart, I am still that little girl who believes that there is nothing better than the awesome camaraderie and the amazing adventures I can have with a dog.
I was meant to be a dog musher.