The Dog I've Always Wanted

Canine Behavior, Training and Photography

The Dog I've Always Wanted header image 2

Dale’s Backyard Sunday 9 March 2009

March 19th, 2009 · · Captioned Photo, Photo Gallery, Uncategorized

I missed the sunrise this morning due to the fact that my brain got the time change concept but my body did not. Even so, the light was beautiful and warm and it felt like spring. The dog action was pretty laid back; they think its hot. Benny and Asher tried to teach Cleo, the Basenji in the Chilly Dog, to play husky style with some success. But she got cold. Yuki swanned around on the hard snow and everyone respected her space as always. Benny and Steele wrestle but without the intensity of those fiercely cold mornings in the dark.
In this warm gold light Benny looks like exactly what the Ottawa Humane Society said he is “Canadian Eskimo/golden dog”. I think that makes him a village dog. A neighbour who has spent time in Iqualwit told me that there are lots of dogs there that look like Benny. They just hang around. Sometimes people shoot them. There are no veterinarians in the entire territory.

I managed to get a shot of Steele that shows his edginess just as it is. I can’t help having the north on my mind as the Iditarod mushers took off today and part of me wants to be in the wilderness with only dogs for company. I’ve read a number of books this winter about both the Iditarod and The Yukon Quest sled dog races. So I’m getting to know some of mushers by reputation and anecdote. It is exciting in that raw kind of way that is so quintessentially northern.

As an aside, I was thinking about something that I read on Jon Katz’s blog last week. Apparently he has been receiving email from people who question the humaneness of allowing his phenomenal sheep herding Border Collie Rose to risk injuries that could arise from the performance of her duties. Jon addresses the issue eloquently. It would be inhumane not let Rose do her work; it is her purpose. This is a dog that never likes the sheep to be out of her sight. It occurred to me that that the same may be said of sled dogs, particularly those teams that run the Iditarod. It is what they want to do above all else. I have read that a whole yard full of dogs will go berserk at the sight of a human with an armful of harnesses. We do not do dogs any kindness at all by attempting to suppress their essential nature.


Share |

0 responses so far ↓

  • There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment