I know nothing of sled dogs teams. I can only relate what I observed.
There were two different sled dog teams at the Football Field in Menahga on Saturday. I photographed both teams. This is the first team that took off.
The dogs were excited. They were ready to work. They looked healthy and lean, their coats were shiny.
The empty harnesses.
Waiting their turn.
The “Musher” hooks up the lead dog. He took much care with him/her with a special padded neckpiece before the harness went on. I am sure this is an older dog, I could tell that they had a special bond.
Once he/she was hooked up he/she waited patiently..I am certain she is used to the wait.
The dogs are tethered to a line attached to the sled and the sled is tethered with a line to the pickup where the waiting dogs are kept. This was an important observation.
As the dogs are added one by one to the sled. The dogs become more excited. I think the young ones are in the middle of the team. They were the most excited. That black one with the red collar in the photo was so excited..and a pill. The musher told him/her to quiet down several times. I finally asked him if that one was a troublemaker..he said “Yes, I have a few that are just 1 1/2 years old, they are learning the ropes.”
The dogs get more excited as every dog is hooked up..the anticipation is almost unbearable for some of them..they bark and bark..one left back in the truck howls because he/she wants to run too. The pickup rocks back and forth as the dogs strain against their harnesses. These are strong dogs.
The musher pulls the slip knot..and they are off..everyone is silent..the barking has ceased.. the pickup has stopped rocking back and forth..they have a job to do and are excited and happy to work.
The first round in the fresh snow.
This happy team gave rides to waiting children.
When I finished taking photos I walked back to where Far Guy and Chance were. I showed them where to park so Chance could see the action. He was mesmerized by the sled dogs going round and round..we both wondered what he must have been thinking as he watched quietly:)