With the arrival of each new season, I always have a moment of panic. How will I EVER fit all of the things I want to do in the next few months? Skiing, skating, ice fishing, snowshoeing, winter lake walks, skijoring, hot chocolate drinking, there is so much fun to be had in the cold and the season always flies by.
The lake has been freezing for weeks now and the ice should be thick enough to drive on soon. The sprinkling of pop-up ice fishing shacks is turning in to little villages of more permanent shacks towed out by ATV’s and side by sides.
I love the frozen lake because it gives the dogs a bit of space to run around off leash and burn off some energy, and the dogs love investigating old fishing holes for any remnants of bait or dropped snacks. This year we were lucky to get out for a walk on the ice before it was completely covered by snow.
It’s always a bit of an eerie feeling be able to see the bottom of the lake through the ice. Piper feels the same about it as me and we stick close to the edge, while Pat and June are a little more confident about exploring.
With each cold week I get a little more confident about venturing out further, and soon enough we will all be gallivanting across the frozen lake confidently.
Piper has really enjoyed skijoring with me in previous years, and I have wanted to figure out a way to get June involved too without having two high energy dogs attached to my wobbly self on skis. The answer was a kick sled! I picked up an Esla kick sled from a local shop in Saskatoon and ordered a two-dog gangline and bungee from Alpine Outfitters.
Being a retired sled dog, Piper has a pretty good idea about how it all works. June is totally new to the sport, but she is thrilled to participate in whatever we are doing.
With the help of my friend Lindsay and sister Chantal, we took them out for their first adventure. One person drove the sled while the other two acted as a ‘dog hype team’ and ran with the girls to get them excited about pulling the kick sled.
It worked perfectly! The pups were so good, and I realized that I am way out of shape when it comes to running. June was a great sport, and she pulled even harder than Piper. Every time the sled stopped the would barrel roll into the snow and make us all laugh.
We all had big smiles on our faces and I can’t wait to get them out again. I’m hoping that they’ll get into the swing of things and won’t need runners beside them in the future.
Until then, we need to brush up on our dog sledding commands.. and I need to start jogging more.