The Secret to Happiness
Updated: Feb 12
"How many miles a day do you travel?" This is the most common question I have received. First, happy dogs will exhibit strength beyond human comprehension. However, dogs that aren't happy, or have been overworked at one time or another, will only put forth half the strength of a happy dog. The problem is, when a dog is overworked, he will never forget it and hold back his TRUE strength for the rest of his life.
One of the greatest secrets in keeping our sled dogs happy is that I don’t ever, ever plan or calculate miles to travel. It’s impossible to feel what our dogs feel when we’re focused on “munching” miles. It’s all about knowing how our dogs feel so they aren't overworked.
Secondly, it’s about time traveled, not miles. And the determining factor in the amount of time traveled is air humidity. The lower the humidity, the more friction on sleds from snow, which correlates to the effort to pull the sleds. It’s about hearing the sounds of snow grinding on the sleds. When it's loud, it's low humidity, and the humidity is high when it's silent as the night. So, we can't expect our dogs to travel the same distance when the humidity is high as when it's low.
As their coach, traveling companion, and teammate, we must stay tuned into how they feel. It's our responsibility, and when we fail, they fail.
The bottom line is it's about watching the dogs’ facial expressions and body language and being in tune to the point that we feel what they feel. These factors determine our distances and determine their smiles.
"Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do." 1 Thessalonians 5:11