Sunday, October 9, 2016

They are the happiest government workers

They are the most reliable mode of transportation in 50 below temperatures. Siberian Huskies are the dog of choice in Alaska for a sled dog. They are paid government workers at the Denali National Park. It also happens to be the 100th Anniversary of the Park Service. Years ago they would use teams of sled dogs to roam the back country to look for poachers. As the park grew they found the need for more teams. They are the happies government employees you will ever meet. They provide a good job service for the park rangers. There is only one dog station in Alaska but they always house between 30-35 dogs per year.
The Canine Rangers still have a very important job. The more challenging winter conditions that happen the dogs are still the most reliable form of transportation. Their engines do not freeze up. In the most frigid months the dogs run over a thousand miles. Their job is to shuttle supplies and to create trails. They seem to have a built in GPS. They learn the trails quickly and could practically steer themselves from location to location. In 1980, 200 acres of the region was declared Nationally Protected wilderness. That means that no engines or gas driven mechanized transport allowed. During the summer months they show off their skills to the public and have races.
Volunteer walkers take them out to play.  After 9 years of service they retire the dogs. Some dogs ran over 7,000 miles and still enjoy running in retirement. The park has a puppy cam where visitors can see the progress of each puppy to retirement They are stars with loyal cyber followers. Soon the puppies will be carrying on a tradition that is more than a century old.

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