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After many visits to Whistler Blackcomb for skiing we decided to venture off the slopes and enjoy some of the other outstanding activities Whistler has to offer.
Being an animal-lover I was very excited to experience (book) my first dog sledding adventure.
A couple of months later, I hesitated only for a moment to cancel my trip after reading about the horrific acts by another dog sledding company, and my husband asked if I was sure I still wanted to go, and I replied "absolutely, I want to support those who do it right!" I had no idea what to expect during the trip, and have to admit that some of the experience took a little getting use to, but after absorbing it all I realized this is very cool.
My vision was of happy, frolicking dogs, and caring handlers, and I was not let down after substantial education from my guide Georgie.
Of course the first site I had when we drove into camp was of many dogs chained together, awaiting their journey, some barking with excitement, anxious to hit the trail, while others were quietly laying down, possibly saving their energy for what was to come.
I had to keep reminding myself that these are working dogs not lounge-lizards like my Jackson and Dakota.
Georgie was an awesome guide and instructor, explaining every step of the way - from how they examine every dog on the team for joint and foot issues, before they are put to work, and even swapping out a dog who needed additional examination prior to running.
I was introduced to each of my dog team and was able to "love on them" one at a time - getting to know a little bit about each dogs personality. I was especially drawn to "Berta" who was timid and sweet, and who was going to be one of the lead dogs - I wanted to take her home to my family of dogs.
She appeared a bit too lean, nervous, and introverted, not like some of the more vocal outgoing dogs, but Georgie assured me she becomes totally different when pulling the sled.
She could not of been more right - Berta shined like a new penny when she and her partner took lead of the pack - who was this dog Berta?? You cannot imagine the ruckus just before the three sleds began our journey. Most dogs cannot wait to get going and are barking at us to just release the brake so we can be on our way.
I was surprised at how smooth the ride was, given your backside is literally on the snow. We were comfortable and warm departing from the staging area.