So, let’s talk about huskies. Because, who wouldn’t love dogs? At Apukka Resort we are currently building a brand new, spacious dog yard, with the main focus on the well being of the dogs. When you step inside the dog yard, your heart simply melts. Dozens of beautiful eyes of different colors are focused on you as you are greeted with a friendly, barking choir. There is an endless amount of wet husky kisses waiting for you, tens of strong sets of paws ready to grab you on a tight, loving hug to keep the scratching hands close by. For us our huskies are our colleagues, an essential part of our team. They all naturally have their own names and individual personalities and seeing them grow up from a young age to strong athletes and eventually retire to a well earned relaxation is a privilege to get to follow.
When a puppy is born at the dog yard, it spends the first few weeks with it’s mum and siblings, gaining strength for the future adventures. Once the puppy has grown a bit, it’s important to socialize it with other dogs to create a friendly, caring environment amongst the dogs as well. All the other dogs care for the puppy, making sure they are just a bit more careful around the youngsters than the adult dogs. In just a couple of week, the puppy has become a member of the big, happy family of huskies. Let’s call the puppy of this story by the name Bessi, shall we?
Around the age of 12 months, Bessi starts to join the daily training with the other dogs – only the light trips though as she’s still kind of a baby, often running unharnessed on the side of the dogteam to get the idea of what all the hassle is all about and to learn from the pros. As she grows and gains strength and confidence, in the age of two the puppy (who is actually no longer a puppy), is ready to take the big step into husky adulthood and become a professional athlete: a sled dog.
Now, a very important fact about dogsledding. The dogs absolutely love to pull the sleds. As an excursion is about to start and the sleds are brought out, the dog yard symphony begins. Every single one of the dogs is howling, all of them wanting to join the trip. They all get to go eventually, including our Bessi, trying it’s paws in the adult life, but our dog mushers will also make sure they all get enough rest during the week. When the huskies are not running, they are having a nap in their cozy dog houses, enjoying their delicious evening meal or playing with either fellow huskies or by fellow people. They live a good life and get so, so much scratches during their day at work!
As the years pass, our Bessi grows into a true professional, knowing how to follow vocal commands of directions, how to use her strength right and to stop pulling when asked to. She becomes a leader dog. The leader dogs are considered to be the most clever ones, where as the ones in the back are the muscle of the team. Most of the dogs run in teams until they reach the age of 9 or 10, depending on how long they stay healthy – just like us humans. When they retire, we work hard to find them good, loving homes for their retirement days. Which brings us back to Bessi.
Now it’s time to let you in a secret. Bessi is actually my dog, or my friend more accurately. A retired Alaskan Husky who’s reached the admirable age of 15. Bessi joined our family five years ago when it was time for her to retire from her career in sports. She is the queen of the house. She’s conquered the sofa and the bed. We’ve gotten to the point when she has literally decided that the only food worthy of eating is minced beef. Okay, she might be a bit spoiled, but you have to give her that – she is 15-years-old, after all. Bessi has lived a full, good life, first at the dog yard and later on with us.
Currently we have 3 beautiful 9-week-old puppies at our dog yard. I took Bessi to see them one day. I could see the glow in her eyes, almost as if she would have been thinking: ”Oh, those days! Marvelous days!” These puppies have an amazing, adventurous and loving life ahead of them. Come and meet these little fellows and all of their bigger friends at the dog yard, you just might run into the grand old lady Bessi, often spending her days on the premises as an office dog during your stay as well!