Can you spot the difference?
One was a street dog in Mexico.
The other was a sled dog.
One of the biggest myths about modern sled dogs is that they're pure 'Alaskan Huskies'.
I guess that could be accurate in most cases, but essentially Alaskan Huskies are a mixed breed deliberately built for speed and endurance - like for pulling tourists on sleds through the snow and racing to earn their keep.
They aren't recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club or Canadian Kennel Club as they're more a category such as working, sporting, toy etc. Being a mix of other breeds which can include the more obvious Siberian Husky and Alaskan Malamute, but also less obvious breeds like Salukis (a desert sighthound), German Short-haired Pointers, and others. Take one look at the diversity of the 228 former working sleddogs here and you'll see that Alaskan Husky as a breed really is a big ol' melting pot.
The stories I've heard support the dogs I've met -- from unplanned litters, to operators getting mix-breed dogs from shelters, to buying dogs from and trading dogs with other kennels without any history on them... it's a sled dog wild, wild, west.
I'm talking about this today because I recently met a dog that stopped me in my tracks. This dog reminded me so much of ChiChi, I had to take pause. She was the same size and colouring, had the same coat and very similar body shape. She was even nervous of new people. And she looked more like ChiChi than ChiChi's brother Jeff did.
If you've been following this page, you'll likely know which is ChiChi, but if you haven't, please take a moment to consider the vastly different lives these two dogs would've had before adoption. The cold that ChiChi endured, the pressure on her body when working, the fact she spent her days tethered to a post for many years. I'm not in any way saying Tia's life would've been better as a street dog, but how can the sled dog industry maintain these myths when we can see with our own eyes, the lies we're being fed.
Thanks for stopping by,