I opened the truck door to find a slightly frightened and confused black and white sled dog. Trish has since become a close friend and Sleet is without a doubt the best gift anyone has ever given me.
Sleet was already seven when she got here. Still an active working sled dog, but one who was not so interested in spending her days outside, unhappy in a traditional dog yard setting and not quite as fast as she used to be. At the time, I only had three other dogs, purebred Siberians who had no idea they came from sled dog lines! Sleet spent several years happily leading a growing team down the trail. If it hadn't been for her, I'd probably still be standing in the driveway, dogs going crazy, harnesses tangled and lines chewed, wondering what the hell to do next. Sleet got us started, got us home when the musher insisted on taking the wrong trail, taught the young and the scared that pulling was fun. In life Sleet was sweet and submissive; in harness she took no crap from anyone and was all business.
Minutes after Sleet left us, Goldie joined her. Goldie was the first dog who ever looked at me from a shelter kennel and as plain as a day asked me to help her. Her face, those soft, scared brown eyes at that moment are forever burned into my memory. My silly husband actually said " you have three dogs that's enough!" If only he knew what the next few years would bring! Two years later, eight dogs were here and Goldie was still wasting away in the local shelter. She came here in April 2002.
Goldie developed a strong bond with Chase. They shared a pen and their lives. A funny looking pair indeed...short, fat Goldie, long, lean, tall Chase, but they adored each other and were never far apart. Chase stayed by Goldie's side even as she took her last breath. She was lucky to have him; he added joy, canine companionship, play and security to her life. I am lucky to have Chase and hope he will be able to adjust to life without his dear friend.
Such different dogs in almost every way, such wonderful dogs in so many more. It was a privilege to share your lives.
Godspeed my girls. You will be deeply missed for a long time.