Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race, 2015 #AISDR

The excitement of the dogs grew as each dog was hooked up to their sled and the vocalization was heard for some distance.  A chill rushed through my body as the sound of the dog’s cries hit us down the track.  I knew right then and there, they were close to starting the races.

Friends of ours, Dave Semerad and Julie Mooney, invited us to join them as they volunteered for the Apostle Island Sled Dog races in Bayfield, WI, and we joyfully accepted.  They were volunteering their time helping groom the trails and handling the dogs for the mushers and their teams; we were photographing the event.

I was even lucky enough to ride on the back of the sled as one team finished – I am sure I had and extremely LARGE smile on my face 🙂

Got the fever

Got the fever

The event: 

Date February 78, 2015
Race Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race
Location Bayfield, Wisconsin, USA
Purse $3,000
Organizers Bayfield Chamber & Visitor Bureau
Distance 60 mile & 80 mile; 40 mile Sportsman’s Race; and a 6-8 mile Family Rec Run

Dave and Julie both can recall how energetic, strong, and focused these dogs were; sometimes even pulling the handlers across the parking lot to the starting shoot 🙂  They told stories of each team and how they work together, each one as incredible as the last.  The mushers really need to understand and know each dogs personality for placement on the team for placement of the lead dogs, the point dogs, the swing dogs, and the power behind it all- the wheel dogs.

According to Wikipedia:

Dog sledding has been used for hunting and travel for over a thousand years, even as far back as the 10th century.

Assembling a dog sled team involves picking leader dogs, point dogs, swing dogs, and wheel dogs. The lead dog is crucial so mushers take particular care of these dogs. Important too is to have powerful wheel dogs to pull the sled out from the snow. Point dogs (optional) are located behind the leader dogs, swing dogs between the point and wheel dogs, and team dogs are all other dogs in between the wheel and swing dogs and are selected for their endurance, strength and speed as part of the team

Viewing the power of each team as they raced past us on the the trail was beyond words.  Looking back on the images, I relived the excitement of the team and noticed how proudly the mushers gaze was as they looked upon their dogs.  Sled dog racing shows great team work; I was completely impressed.

We will be making this a yearly visit and next year, I will be volunteering to help handle the dogs!

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Ohhhhh Wilbur

Last week, we said goodbye to one amazing little buddy. Wilbur was rescued from a neglect situation after he was brought into the veterinary clinic I used to work for. Dr. Darlene Cook, from The Bluffs Pet Clinic, re-attached the poor little guys ear flap that was lacerated after a tight bracelet was left on his head for far too long. The bracelet had grown into the back of his head and had cut into his ear which left only 1/4 of his ear flap attached to the body.  Dr. Cook did one incredible job as the ear, and the back of his neck, healed completely! Throughout his treatment he remained in good spirits, not a mean bone in his body.

I knew that Wilbur would be a great addition to our family and brought him home shortly after his ear reconstruction surgery. His personality shined throughout his life. He spent a good 12 years in our family and brought a smile to our face every single day. He was a clown as most Dachshunds are.  Not so much of a trouble maker as girls (Audrey and Tindra) were, but he was right there in the action when the time was right. He had such a peppy gait and a silly demeanor that when he would walk into a room, you just had to think… here comes Goofy or Mr. Wilbur. 😉

goofy

He was also the worlds best photo bomber:

056_56

Wilbur was the best little mole hunter ever and would be so proud when he caught one. With his head held high, he always had to bringing us his prize. Wilbur was the last of the three musketeers- Tindra, Audrey, and Wilbur. Losing the three within 6 months has been hard, but I know we will all see them someday.

Farewell little buddy, you are greatly missed.

Farewell, Spoonful of Stars (Tindra)

Farewell, My Fair Lady (Audrey)