Sunday, March 24, 2019

Making Doggie Memories

The alarm wasn't set to go off for another 90 minutes when I heard a faint whisper in the dark that said:

"Daddy... are you awake?

I can't sleep anymore... I'm too excited!"
And so began our day!

90 minutes earlier than scheduled - but it was all good!

We had plenty of time now... so no rushing as we hit the hotel breakfast up and started pulling on our warm gear and getting ready!

After loading up and checking out - we drove about 10 minutes further up the mountains and pulled in to this place... home of Alpine Adventures Dogsledding!

If there was any concern we'd not have enough snow - that was squashed quick as there was about 3 feet of the white stuff all around!

We got checked in - booted and bibbed up - and hung out in the lodge by the wood burning stove waiting for our guide, Zac.

Zac showed up right on time and said, "Ready to meet the team?"

Meron about tripped over herself rushing out to meet our crew who was all lined up and ready to rip!

Zac was awesome too - giving us tons of history on the dogs, how it all worked and what to expect.

And Meron was soaking it ALL in!

It was pretty fascinating stuff to learn too!

He explained about the lead dogs... these guys here were the "smart" ones - they took commands well and know their right from their left!

Right behind the leaders come two speedsters. The role these guys play is to keep bearing down on the smart leaders - apply some pressure to make sure they don't start dropping the pace!

Next up were two simply athletic dogs.

These guys were there to just do their part in pulling - and they - like the others - have AMAZING VO2 max... meaning they recovered in like 30 seconds every time we stopped!

Finally - there were the two power dogs.

These two brought up the rear and were closest to the sled - therefore they felt the most of the weight and drag...

Apparently - Meron and I were first up on the sled with the dogs!

After learning all of this - they explained a few hand signals to us so they could communicate with us as I drove the sled!

And like that - with a quick wave of the hand - I released my body weight off the "emergency brake" and we were OFF on to the 5 mile loop in an environment like this!

Meron was bundled up in the sled and she was in HEAVEN!

After what seemed like an eternity - the guide threw up the "STOP" signal from his snowmobile and we came to a halt.

After Zac snapped a picture for us - he looked at Meron and said, "Your turn to drive!"


We weren't sure if they were going to allow her to do that - but there was zero hesitation on their part... or hers!

Somebody was loving life and she even screamed to me "I wanna drive it all the way back home!"

But all good things must come to an end... or do they?

As we wrapped up the 5 mile loop - we ended up back here:

At the kennel... and they explained their "open kennel" policy to us meaning we could hang out as long as we wanted and play with the dogs!

Meron was in heaven AGAIN!

Thiss girl has never, ever, ever met a dog she didn't love!

And that didn't change here... and the dogs were loving her right back too!

We wandered from dog to dog to dog... loving 'em and petting 'em and hugging 'em...

But we kept coming back to "Beacon" - I think she was Meron's favorite (and Meron may have been her favorite too).

Eventually - I was able to peel Meron away from the pups and we headed back out on the road for the ride back home.

This tour had been Meron's Christmas gift this past year and I asked her if this experience was better than some silly toy... she responded with:
"This was the best gift EVER and I would ask for it every single year!"
Me thinks she liked it!

And I did too!

What a great experience that I don't think either of us will ever forget!

Thanks for bringing me along for the fun Meron... you're my favorite dog sledding partner in the world!

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