Our blog today is a salute to the sled dog.
We’ve published so many books about sled dogs — and for good reason — these courageous critters never cease to inspire us with their energy and tenacity.
In the coming weeks, mushers from all over the world will be working with their dogs on final preparations for the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. Diet, exercise, training (both physical and mental) are all culminating to create resilient teams of human and dogs.
Here are some insider thoughts on dogs and mushing from a couple of our favorite authors and books:
Dogs have a remarkable ability to take what life hands them and respond in inspiring ways. By watching them I have learned a lot about compassion, loyalty, and forgiveness. In the Arctic, when I was afraid, dogs helped me find more courage than I ever knew I had. I have seen dogs show a sense of fairness and strength of character that leaves me in awe. By their example, dogs have made me a better person and they have made the world a better place for all of us.—Pam Flowers, Ordinary Dogs, Extraordinary Friendships
For us, mushing is always about the overall journey, not solely the end goal of winning a race or crossing a finish line. We always long for adventures, and in lieu of racing we have more opportunities for them. We spend the remaining years with the dogs in their prime taking out sleds (when we can) for enjoyable runs exploring new trail and teaching Lynx the basics of mushing, and it is immensely satisfying for all of us.—Joseph Robertia, Life with Forty Dogs
(Joseph recently won the Dog Writer’s Association of America 2017 Award for Best Book: Rescue or Adoption and the 2017 Dogwise Best Book Award for Life with Forty Dogs.)
Most of us won’t have the opportunity to run sled dogs but we can celebrate with our own puppy pals with this special homemade treat!
Winterlake Lodge Gourmet Dog Biscuits
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a baking sheet.
- Combine 2 1⁄2 cups of flour, 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, and 1⁄2 cup of bacon grease or oil.
- Mix in two eggs and enough water to form a ball out of the dough. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is smooth and shiny. Roll out the dough and cut it with a bone-shaped biscuit cutter or by hand into 1-by-3-inch rectangles.
- Lay the biscuits out onto the baking sheet. Bake the biscuits for 15 minutes. Turn the biscuits over. Bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until they are golden brown.
- Set the biscuits on a cooling rack and serve one per day for good behavior. This makes about 25 large biscuits.
— From Kirsten Dixon’s The Winterlake Lodge Cookbook. (The Winterlake Lodge offers a dog mushing school as one of their activities.)