At our last sleddie reunion back on April 26, 2016, we saddled up a few dogs with the GoPro dog harness, mounted the camera and let them go!
I'm not sure Question, Cane or Ash even realized it was on their backs.
To those who know the dogs in this video, they will see some friends they haven't seen in a while and some who've passed on - including dear Question - who showed us her view this day.
But aside from just being a light-hearted video, it also shows a reunion in which more than 50(!) former sled dogs got to choose.
Choose who they sniff. Choose what they sniff. Choose where they go. Choose their own route to the other side of the lawn. When to run with friends and when to lay down to chill. They had the chance to use their noses to smell their way around - where to go, where not to go.
The modern sled dog industry doesn't account for their dogs having choices. They have very little, if any choice in how they spend their days.
It's all routine.
Routine wake up. Routine meals. Routine pacing on the chain. Routine work.
Routine is efficient. Routine and systems keep the operation going. Time is money.
I understand dogs like routine. They're dependent on us so a routine can help them feel safe, get on a potty break schedule and when food is coming.
But when that routine is all encompassing and not just the Five Freedoms, but also the updated version of Five Domains Model of Animal Welfare, are not being met, that's a huge problem.
The research is there. The science is there.
The industry is antiquated and it's had its run.
The full blog post and photos from this reunion can be found here: www.wendynesbitt.com/blog/not-so-secret-society-of-sleddies
Thanks for checking in!
an afternoon of sleddie beach romps - sleddogs don't need to pull sleds to be happy... a ocean beach and some dog buddies will do just fine, thank you.
Pictured: Apex, Cane, Daffy, Daisy, Grey, Lunar, Niv, Question, Stuart Little and (non-sleddie) Angel.
A combination of feeling the creative bug and ChiChi's upcoming birthday so my dog dorks came to my studio so we could all hang out working a little bit on art and lot on snuggling dogs.
Sleddie roll call: ChiChi, Cola, Niv, River, Question, Daffy + Apex
Also special appearance by Saru and a wee little Coco (photo 3)