Thanks and Thoughts Thursday

First up, Rusty says thank you, thank you, thank you for your votes and support in Mangominster!  Your support means a lot to all of us and we are so proud that Rusty was selected as the Reader’s Choice for Good Old Dog.  Congratulations also to Jubal of the Bumpass Hounds for keeping the voting so close in the Reader’s Choice.

We also extend congratulations to Charlie and Emma, El’bow, Guiness,  and Sarge for their placement in the judging of Good Old Dogs.  And, of course, super congratulations to the judge’s selection for Winner of the Good Old Dogs section – Rudy.

We had a blast with the competition and encourage you to stay tune as Mangominster continues to the Best in Show winner.

Thank You!

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****

We realize that the second half of our post is far more serious than the fun we had with Mangominster, but we did not want a day to go by without linking to a terrific post.

As our regular readers know, we are a family of rescued Siberian Huskies and we enjoy some of the winter sports that Siberians love such as dog sledding.  In case you have not figured it out, The Herd is a very pampered group who may enjoy pulling one minute, and sleeping in a human bed the next.

We also totally respect the professional mushers we know who compete in some of the most challenging dog sledding events like the Iditarod and the currently running Yukon Quest.  These dogs are superb athletes and beautiful spirits.  But they are also just wonderful dogs.  For example, this is Holly:


We were fortunate to have met Holly and spent some time with her.  She loves ear rubs and belly scratches.  Oh, yeah, and she is an Iditarod veteran (2007) and a veteran of many other races.

Why do we mention this?  The Sled Dog world is rocked at the moment by the senseless slaughter of 70 beautiful sled dogs at a commercial kennel near Whistler, B.C., as a cost reduction.  The dogs were used to provide tourism sledding during the winter olympics, but had been killed after the tourists left.

Hear us clearly.  WE CONDEMN SUCH SENSELESS TREATMENT.  By the way, so do professional sled dog groups such as Mush with P.R.I.D.E. with clear language, “Euthanasia should not be used for population control and what happened in this case is simply unacceptable. No responsible sled dog owner or caregiver treats dogs in this manner.”  Compare that reaction to some big money sports that welcome convicted criminals into their ranks with multi-million dollar contracts and make weak excuses for those people.  The Sled Dog sport condemns completely this despicable behavior and we applaud them for their clear commitment to the care of the dogs.

Unfortunately, despite this swift condemnation, some animal rights activists are taking advantage of this despicable act and trying to paint all of dog sledding as the same uncaring people.  One such move was a recent article in the Vancouver Sun that said sled dogs could not be re-homed because of their training.

Scroll back up and look at that picture of Holly.  Iditarod veteran Holly.  Ear scratch loving Holly.  Living in a home and enjoying life Holly.  We have met Holly and she absolutely could be – and has been – re-homed because she is a typical canine.  A typical, well-cared for, professional sled-dog canine.  A few minutes sitting on the floor with Holly and you know how wrong the article mentioned above is.  And how she is just a wonderful dog who happens to enjoy doing the very work that she was bred to do.

So – to the link.  This terrific post is a compilation of short stories of former sled dogs who have been re-homed.  Each one of these stories refutes the base assertion in the article that sled dogs can not become pets.

We are entering the height of sled dog sport season with the world renowned Iditarod starting in just a few weeks.  This period is always accompanied by a series of factually incorrect articles about the “abuse” of sled dogs.  It is also the time of year when our own blog gets targeted by some of those same animal rights activists and we receive some very nasty comments.

Sadly, the despicable act – which is being resoundingly condemned among mushers – will be fuel to the misinformation campaign.  We want to make sure you get the whole story and hope you take the time to read the link we provided.

We hope the full force of the law is used to convict the perpetrators of the heinous act in Whistler.  We hope that those people serve a long prison sentence (and are not released to lucrative contracts in the NFL).  And we hope that you understand that the action of the few do not represent – in any way – the many in our favorite sport who love and care for our canine companions.

Mush on – with care and love for the dogs that make the sport.


  1. Piappies World on February 15, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    By the way, Happy Hearts Day to all of you and the Hu-dad!

    Piappies Fudgie, Princess, Frappie, Mocha, Sugar, Wai-Pai, Wai-Max & Forgie

  2. Piappies World on February 15, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Congratulations on your win, Rusty! We sure voted for you!

    It is sad to hear about the death of the sled dogs. We admit that we do not know much about mushing and sledding but we sure know a lot of giving proper care for every animal in this world.

    We are happy that we got you and we constantly look forward to your stories for Huskies is one of Piappies Mom’s fave breeds. We hope that there will be a stop on senseless killings. Thank you so much for sharing the stories of the re-homed dogs. They truly are champions and deserve to be in furever homes too. We are all mixed breeds yet we are given the same love and care just like any pup so we know that they definitely can be re-homed and enjoy life as we all do.

    We take this chance to thank you for letting us into your world and sharing with us the joys of being the Herd. =)

  3. The_Dogfather on February 15, 2011 at 10:09 am

    We read the news too and signed the petition to bring justice to our bros & sis who were killed senselessly. Ignorance is a scary thing. Of cos sled dogs can be home dogs too! All it takes is the right human for the dog….the problem lies with human, not dogs!

  4. Wild Dingo on February 14, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    i didn’t see this post but saw the one on karens and commented. i couldn’t agree more. i joke about Juno’s mastications, but seriously? she is probably the best dog i’ve ever owned in terms of friendliness, tolerance, patience, ease-of-getting along with others (like bully’s named Retardo)… just such a gem. i wouldn’t trade her for the world. it makes me sick to my stomach to see any dogs, let alone sled dogs who WORKED for their lives (and i mean WORKED) and only to be treated so inhumanely. they service the human for what? it’s disgusting. it’s disgraceful.

    well-said, Herd. Bien-dit!

  5. Jed & Abby in MerryLand on February 13, 2011 at 5:26 am

    Rusty, we wanted to wish you congratulations on your win of the Readers’ Choice award in the Good Ol’ Dog category at Mango Minster. The competition was fierce and you can take justifiable pride in coming out first.

    We’re sorry you had to share your happy victory with such sad news from B.C. We also hope the varmints are arrested, tried, convicted and suffer stiff prison time and fines. And being banned for life from ever coming within 100 yards of another dog of any kind.

    Keep you chin up, buddy.

    Jed & Abby

  6. Khumbu on February 12, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Wooo congrats Rusty.

    Great blog, lets hope the animal activists get themselves a few more brain cells and stop the “trying to paint all of dog sledding as the same uncaring people”. They should learn more about the breed and people before they speak such utter rubbish.

  7. Holly & Khady on February 12, 2011 at 1:35 am

    We are so happy for you Rusty!! We voted for you, so were so glad to see you won!

    We were also horrified to hear about all the sled dogs in Whistler. We certainly hope a thorough investigation is done, and the people who ordered this massacre are prosecuted. There are so many wonderful former sled dogs out there who are not living the lives of pampered pets. It is such a shame that one, horrific incident, can ruin a sport that is truly for such amazing athletes. There are always those few bad apples out there who can totally destroy something that over-all is NOT bad. These dogs were born and bred to RUN! They love it!

    We will certainly be watching this event very closely. And, we wish all those poor souls who suffered so needlessly Godspeed.

    Holly and Khady

  8. FiveSibesMom on February 11, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    Congrats Rusty!

    Excellent post…we were horrified also and spoke about it too. Very well said. Hopefully, such horror will never happen again. Ever.

    Holly is just beautiful! And a wonderful poster girl of a happy, healthy re-homed sled dog.

    Bravo to your post!

  9. Sagira on February 11, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Congrats to Rusty. 🙂

    That is just an awful story. 🙁

  10. Pup Fan on February 11, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Congrats to Rusty!

    And great post about the sled dog tragedy… I really learned a lot. thank you.

  11. The Luke and The Bleu Mom on February 10, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    Just dropping by to say thank you for your support… and to leave behind a lot of love, hugs and nose kisses for The Herd!

  12. KB on February 10, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    Way to go, Good Ole Boy, Rusty!!!!

    What you express about sled dogs is part of a good general rule. There will be bad people in every aspect of life – but don’t condemn an entire population (e.g., all mushers) because of the heinous act of one.

    It seems like some Sibes love nothing more than to run like the wind in front of a sled, and their humans treat them wonderfully. It sounds like a good life to me.

  13. siku marie on February 10, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    We have followed this story and are greatly disturbed that living caring souls in the form of these noble animals were brought in to pander to human entertainment and greed and then disposed of when the demand slowed. There is no way this reflects on true athletes involved in sled racing and adventure who care for their animals and for the dignity of the sport. These pimps were NOT interested in sledding or dogs…it was solely a monetary thing…and Relentless Greed is sickening in all of its forms. I hope these people are prosecuted to the full extent possible.

  14. Lisa alias Sitka's Mom on February 10, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Congratulations to one of my favorite huskies, Rusty!
    I was glad to see your blog re:the Vancouver Sun’s article. I read Karen Ramstead’s North Wapiti blog the other day about this issue & was really impressed by her writing too.
    There will always be people who, because of their own ignorance, misconstrue any type of sport/activity that involves animals.
    Dog mushing,is and always will be,one of the most artistic, demanding, and rewarding sports for humans & their beloved canines! Anyone who has ever owned, or been around Nordic breed dogs, knows that they live to run. Running makes them happy. They love the cold weather and they love their owners as much as they love to run!!! Any of the team dogs I have ever seen, any of the mushers I follow, and all of the blogs I read indicate the wonderful bond between these dogs & their human companions!!!!

  15. The Army of Four on February 10, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Hey Rusty! Congrats on your cool win!
    Also – GREAT commentary on the cruelty meted out to those sled pups! We stand with you, shoulder to shoulder on this!
    Our mom corresponds with Holly’s mom. Isn’t Holly STUNNING!?!? Is she that gorgeous in person?!? Yeow-zers!
    Play bows

  16. Ryker on February 10, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Sled dogs like any dogs will be a result of their training or lack of it. It is true that some sled dogs here in the northern villages have not be properly socialized and therefore get a bad rap. It is the fault of the owners, not the dogs.
    When little kids wander onto the dog lot and are killed or maimed, (which happens quite often up here), again it is the fault of the dog owner and the parents.
    It is my experience that some wolf husky hybrids that we see a lot of up here can tend to be more mouthy and get hyper excited during a chase and have trouble shut it off. These dogs need even more training to over come their natural instincts, or need to be controlled when out in public. I frown on promoting the wolf hybrids as pets. They are not well suited for the general public.
    ~Sandy in Alaska

  17. brooke & Darwin on February 10, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Woo hoo for the Rooster!

    That whole sled dog slaughter was AWFUL to read about. Cheers to you and the herd for trying to teach the truth about the ability to rehome sled dogs.

  18. Elyse and Riley on February 10, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Congrats to Rusty!! We voted for him, glad it helped!

    Great stance on the whole sled dog slaughter issue and re-homing sled dogs. Sorry you get all those nasty comments during sled dog season.

    Elyse and Riley

  19. Kari on February 10, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Having lived in Alaska I am on the fence with this because as I have seen first hand, many sled dogs do not live good lives at all…


  20. Stumpy and cyndi on February 10, 2011 at 10:16 am

    Congratulation, Rusty! You truly are the epitome of a good ol’ dog!

    PETA and HSUS are going to take whatever information they can to work towards taking our beloved 4 legged, winged and swimming companions away from us. It’s a shame that people aren’t forced to read rebuttals and facts to make an inofrmed decision.

    I hope those humans that destroyed those beautiful dogs… argh! Lookit! here I am sinking to their level.

  21. Rocco on February 10, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Thanks for sharing this! The more correct information we get out into the vastness of the interwebs, the more informed the public can be.

    Sled dogs are the canine world’s version of professional athletes. They play their sport for a period of time and then enjoy the world of “retirement to the couch/bed/other human furniture”.

    Keep up the good work, Herd!

    Oh and congrats to Rusty for being the best “Good Ole Boy!”

  22. HUSKYS RULE on February 10, 2011 at 8:27 am

    On to the other story we do not need to say what we wish would happen to the absolutely horrible evil people that could dare do that to such beautiful, loving, your best friends for life dogs.
    Licks & Nibbles,
    Kody & Nia

  23. Houndstooth on February 10, 2011 at 6:40 am

    Way to go Rusty! We knew you could go the distance!

    Being a person who shares her life with another breed that often is the victim of misinformation, I can understand your stance. I hate it when people see us out in public and take it upon themselves to tell me how abused my dogs were before I had them. When I read the article about what had happened with the sled dogs, I felt ill. I just can’t imagine someone being able to do that, much less how terrified those poor dogs must have been. It was completely senseless since my understanding is that they added many dogs just to make money during the Olympics. I am really hoping that those involved are brought to justice.

  24. Khyra on February 10, 2011 at 6:23 am

    Khongrats to Rusty Rusty Rusty!

    As for the other story, Mom still khan’t bring herself to read any of the original stories to their khonkhlusion – she khan’t get the images of the scene out of her head –

    Each time we light a khandle, all of them are inkhluded in the light we know they see from their spots akhross The Rainbow Bridge –


  25. rottrover on February 10, 2011 at 2:36 am

    Wow. We often feel that we rotties are the only targets of mis- information. This was a very informative post about something we’ve been unaware of. From one group of “good ol’ dogs’ to another 🙂

  26. huskymom on February 10, 2011 at 2:35 am

    Holly thanks you for the kind words and says she remembers the cuddling and ear scratches from the Hu-Dad. Her news is that she has been joined in retirement by a former teammate/Iditarod veteran. Both girls love being house pets but also like to put on their harnesses and go for short runs with the dog sled or scooter. They are mentoring other non-racing pals on how to pull, have conquered the dog parks with their playfulness and speed, and charmed their veterinarian with affection and calm behavior. Oh, and they have learned how to demand treats and make the humans do what they want! The verdict? Successful pets!

  27. Pepsi on February 10, 2011 at 2:07 am

    Firstly, Congrats Rusty!!

    Secondly, the cull of the beautiful dogs were really unnecessary and angered me greatly. I’ve signed petitions regarding this issue, but nothing seems to be done. It’s disgusting how anyone can do something so unhumane. I actually like how these majestic dogs bond with their human companions during the whole sledding event. Ugh, I don’t even know what to say about this. Anyhoos, I hope your whole pack has fun in the upcoming Iditarod.

    Pepsi, & A

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