Christine Grabowksi and her daughter, Jenna, have only been dog sledding for a few weeks, but they're already hooked.
â??Itâ??s a special relationship we share with the dogs,â?? said Christine Grabowski. â??The dogs have to trust us and we have to trust the dogs.â??
â??Itâ??s kind of the rush,â?? said Jenna Grabowski. â??The wind gives you a good feeling of how the dogs are happy and then you're happy.â??
Sled dog owner Julie Verette invited the family out to experience the sport that's been enjoyed for hundreds of years, and the dogs are no ordinary canine breed.
â??These dogs are really special. They come from Alaska and have run the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod. Theyâ??ve retired out of these races, so we're lucky enough to run these dogs who have run with Susan Butcher and Aliy Zirkle," said Verette.
Butcher and Zirkle are some of the most well-known female mushers to compete in the Iditarod race in Alaska, so the dogs come from a very talented background.
But besides relying heavily on the dogs, the musher has just as much responsibility to run the sled.
â??The dogs don't necessarily pull us all the time up the hills; they'll look back and count on us to get off the sled and run up the hill with them,â?? Christine Grabowski said.
During the summer months, the training still continues. Jenna works with the dogs during the summer and is in charge of maintaining them.
â??Itâ??s a lot of fun but also a lot of work. You have to clean up after the dogs, make sure they have enough water; you have to keep them in shape. I put a leash on them when I run them, and they pretty much yank me around. Itâ??s a lot of work, but totally worth it,â?? Jenna said.
â??Dog sledding is for any age,â?? Christine said. â??Itâ??s a lot of fun; we really enjoy it. They know when the sled comes out and the harnesses come out, then it's game on and we're ready to run a race.â??