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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.
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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.
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This Week's Thundering Herd Special Features
Weekly thoughts from our Hu-Dad with the latest updates on his writing projects, the books he's reading, and a gratuitous dog photo of us.
Way Back Wednesday
Each week, we reach back into our vault of over 4,500 previous posts and share a favorite. We hope you enjoy this look back.
Lots of snow, lots of rain, muddy roads, four-wheel drive, and an open jeep window. This is when a dog should not hold their head out of the window, as demonstrated by Natasha and Kodiak as they show off their Mud Freckles.