Dakota was the start to this crazy life we lead. He came to us through less than reputable sources and was received extremely ill. He spent the first two weeks of his life with us hospitalized with an extremely bad case of kennel cough that had advanced to pneumonia. The vets weren't even sure if he was going to survive. This little man proved he was a fighter with a strong heart from early on. He made a full recovery and became one of the most loyal companions, an easy introduction to the breed.
With no real guidance in our early years Dakota remained a companion animal. It was a perfect role for him, admittedly we babied him as our once sick boy.
As our numbers grew we frequently got teased with the all too common "where's your sled" tag line...so one day we decided, why not? Dakota proved enthusiastic in harness and a proficient wheel dog.
Despite his many physical faults he got us started down the trails. Unfortunately he could not carry us much further than 5 miles before his body started to rob him of functionality. He has the truest heart and drive of any Siberian, in a body that failed him beyond short distances at moderate pacing. He still wants to go when he sees the dog truck move into the loading area. We had to find him a new role.
Then we discovered Weight Pulling. Harness work measured in feet rather than miles. It seemed to be a sport tailor made for Dakota! He sunk right into his new role, and his new harness and put himself to this new task.
His first year alone he earned a Silver Medal and 3 of 4 qualifiers toward his working dog title. Also earning a novel place in people's hearts as a clown and constant chatterbox when he showed up to the area matches. Quite the 'typical' Siberian!
Persistence finally paid off when he earned his final qualifier and was approved as a recognized Working Dog titled dog.
There was just a teeny-tiny hiccup when the working chair person changed mid-process. But it was easily caught and made right! Our 10 year old Dakota became Dakota's Arctic Rush, WD February 2015.
The final weight pull of the 2014/15 season was just last month. We had every intention of making this Dakota's retirement send off. He had accomplished more than we could have ever expected of him and were immensely proud of what he had been able to do.
So naturally, he had to show us he was not ready to retire. Pulling his all time record on wheels of 920lbs and earning a qualifier toward his WDX title.
Dakota likes to keep us active too by getting us out on the trails in the off season to work on his next achievement, Working Pack Dog!
Thanks for 11 amazing years with many more to come!
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Growing up in Montana my love of the Siberian Husky started at a young age. It has been quite a journey so far. There has been much to learn and still a lot more yet to learn! I truly believe that we are never too old, too experienced, or too full of ourselves to learn something new. I also believe that knowledge is useless unless we are willing to share it with others.