Final Mush!

It’s hard to believe, but spring is upon us… I had the last real mush of the season the other day. The run was absolutely gorgeous… I know now why folks get excited about spring mushing. I sure do like the sunlight! It was also just in time to get the Outlaw’s third run in. As youngins, three times in harness is a good amount before they really learn the ropes next spring. The Star Wars pups are real pros now, having mushed for a couple of months!

I think I’ve ascended and become a real musher, because I’m already over summer. Let’s get to fall already! We have things to do!

Of course, we need the summer for building, growing, and bonding, as well as building funds up for our race season coming up. We really want to aim for the Copper Basin 300 next year. It’s one of my favorite races, and I think it can be a great course for a young team to see on a “puppy” schedule. However, that race might not be in the stars depending on a few factors. If that’s not the “big” race for the season, we’ll aim for another mid-distance at the end of January or the beginning of January. Time will tell!

In the next few weeks, we’ll make some exciting announcements about life, the kennel, and some summer programs to keep you entertained while you eagerly await next year’s race season! Keep your eyes peeled here… And, if you want to make sure you stay up to date, you can subscribe to get an email when there are new posts, or like our Facebook page or Instagram!

Building a social media presence is a weird endeavor! I follow along with some of the greats, but the truth is I am not always the best at “selling” myself. My goal is to just bring you guys along on this crazy journey I’m privileged to have. ATAO may not win Iditarod, but I know we will accomplish the big goals we set out to do– And hopefully make all of you, who have supported us along the way, proud to be part of the team!

Founding Members— if you’re reading this– we have an exciting announcement about some special, Founders-only content coming your way soon! Keep your eyes on your email, and look out for something directly from me! It’ll be your ticket to see “behind-the-scenes” footage, all the extra dog videos and pictures you could wish for, games, quizzes, and some other fun ATAO stuff. (If you aren’t a Founding Member but want to be, it’s not too late! We’re keeping our Founding Member program open until June… Woo hoo here be where ye click to join the team!!!)

2 Responses

  1. John Breiby
    | Reply

    Will, as usual a wonderfully descriptive story. It sounds like you all are having a blast!

    I notice in your previous post (April Fools), that you are letting your pups run free and explore on their own. For the past couple of years I’ve been somewhat peripherally involved with, or keeping track of, Alaska Safe Trails, an organization dedicated to keeping trails safe from traps, both leg-hold and Conibear, either of which can either cripple or, especially in the case of Conibear, kill a dog, even if you get to it quickly. We have been trying, very unsuccessfully, to get the AK Board of Game to change the laws to require trappers to tag traps and to keep them a reasonable distance off of used trails. Unless your dogs are well trained to commands, it might be best to keep them on a leash (Is that anathema to dogs who are being trained to pull?) Numerous dogs have been hurt or killed over the past several years that I’ve heard of. I don’t know what to tell you, other than to be very aware. It’s a sorry situation, unless you’re a trapper. So sorry to be a wet blanket.

    • Will Troshynski
      | Reply

      Hi John!

      Thanks for bringing this up. This is something I’m pretty familiar with– Thanks for doing the work you’re doing to try to mitigate that situation!

      We only do free play with the dogs in areas where we make sure to clear that there aren’t traps. We are not walking on public trails, just to be clear. I have a fenced in yard that I use first and foremost– But my dogs have learned to jump the fence, the naughty nuggets! The other two areas I do free play in are either not traveled by any other people, or have been thoroughly vetted by fellow dog mushers to make sure it’s a safe area for the dogs to roam.

      Freeplay is *extremely* important for our dogs. We work with them to have good recall and to follow along with the pack, and the un-leashed, un-harnessed method gives the dogs a really important opportunity to stretch their legs, get some great exercise, and do what they love best– run!

      That being said, there is always a risk of what you mention. Unless you have a well controlled area where you can do so– like a dog park, owned property, or other–, I don’t recommend all pet owners free walk their dogs this way. As a dog mushing community in Two Rivers, we do take steps to minimize the potential risk. One of my overall goals is to have my own property where I can widely free play with the dogs.

      If you want to learn more about why free play is so important to sled dogs especially, check out some of Martin Buser’s writing– He is my mentor and a true expert on this subject!

      Last but not leashed (see what I did there??), we do walk the dogs on leashes when we can’t get to our free play areas, but it is not exactly an easy endeavor– Sled dogs and leashes don’t really go together. Unlike with pet dogs, we of course encourage our four legged friends to pull… And they are strong!!!

      Thank you so much for bringing this up. It is a really important thing for dog owners in Alaska to be aware of.

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