Woof, woof! Pick me! Pick me!
As the mushers prepare the sled for a dog sledding tour at Kirkenes Snowhotel, the huskies are barking and howling hoping they are the ones who get to go on an adventure this morning.
The dogs in each team are carefully selected, the guides know which dogs go together and work well together – and which ones don’t. And they never put two female dogs next to each other – that would just end in chaos. Who knew dogs could be so catty?
On the second row of the sled this morning, there is only one dog. Norvic is an absolute sweetheart and he loves to cuddle, but he is a loner and works better on his own. He is big and strong and has excellent pulling abilities, but he is not a leader, and you will never see in front of the sled.
A lead dog has a lot of intelligence and common sense. He knows how to take initiative, and has the ability to find the trail, even when the weather conditions are not optimal. The mushers find out who is most suited for this job through trial and error. Not every dog is a leader. And the dogs who are not, are happy to follow.
In any team – at the workplace, in sport teams, in student groups – you will find someone more suited to take charge and others who are more comfortable taking directions. You’ll also find a Norvic – the one who prefers to work more independently. But every part of the team is just as important, and nothing works unless everyone pulls in the same direction.
Specifically bred for their pulling and sledding abilities the Alaskan huskies can run at top speed of up to 50 kilometers per hour. These dogs are definitely at their happiest when they get to do what they were born to do – run. That is why they get so excited when they see the mushers getting the sled ready for today’s morning tour. But even if they don’t get picked this time, their next adventure is never far away.
The dog sled is prepped and ready to go. As soon as the musher steps off the break and yells “klar” and the dogs are off. The barking and howling has turned into complete silence – the only sound you hear now is the dogs breathing and the sled dragging through the snow. Happy huskies are born to run.