The Story of a Certain Dogmusher
Apukka Resort is a wilderness resort on the edge of the Lappish outback. It is old log walls and fireplaces, laavus hidden deep in the surrounding forests and a location for endless possibilities of spotting the mythical Northern Lights. But beyond all this, Apukka Resort is the people. We have an amazing team of brave souls with limitless amount of ideas, energy and pure joy of life. We in Apukka believe that at the end of the day it is the people that you meet on your travels that make all the difference. It is the people that can turn a trip into a journey. We’d like to invite you to meet team Apukka – we hope to one day meet you all in person as well.
J A N N E
When we talk about the positive energy of Apukka Resort, we can’t start introducing our staff to you from anyone else than Janne, our head dog musher. Admired by all the staff and loved by the dogs, Janne is one of those people who are not easy to forget if you’ve been blessed to meet them. With the widest of a smile and a laughter that fills the room, Janne faces every new day as an upcoming adventure. On a winter day, it can be a full on blizzard outside with a frosty temperature of -30 C and yet you’ll see Janne and his dogs getting ready for a new, thrilling adventure in the snowy forests – and I can tell you it’s hard to tell who loves the trips more, Janne or his amazing pack of Siberian huskies. The all, simply, live for the dogsledding trips in the great outdoors.
Let’s take a step back to a time 8 years ago to learn how Janne actually ended up working with huskies. 8 years ago Janne was living 450 km south east from Rovaniemi, working as a nurse. Janne had dreamt of a dog for a long time, but unfortunately due to his allergy he couldn’t have one at home. That was until he met Pyry. The Alaskan Malamut Pyry (the name means snowstorm in English), just like Janne, will be tattood in your memory if you’ve ever been lucky enough to meet him. This fluffy, 38 kg weighing tiny dog, is the kindest creature you’ve ever met and often joins Janne and the guests to the laavu for hot drinks after dogsledding trips. As Pyry loves cuddling and attention, he is more than happy to embrace this role of entertaining the guests. So Pyry, was how it all started for Janne.
Pyry did not cause allergic reactions to Janne unlike any dogs he’d previously met. Inspired by this, 2 years later Janne got his first Siberian Husky, Grande. Couple of months after that he suddenly found himself with 9 dogs, Pyry and 8 Siberian Huskies. Soon competing in dogsledding races with his pack of furry friends, Janne and his family started to build a craving for the far up North. Finally, in the summer 2019, Janne headed towards Rovaniemi with his family and his dogs. Today Janne lives on the premises of Apukka with his wife Hanna, two young children and altogether 45 Siberian Huskies (and Pyry, of course). Janne and Hanna are also parents to two adult children.
With altogether 46 dogs out of which 17 are still under 1-year-old, Janne never sees a boring day. Waking up at the break of dawn even outside the high season, the dogs make sure to keep Janne occupied till late evening. Feeding the dogs, cleaning up the dog yard, health care for the dogs, playing with the puppies and cuddling the adults, you name it. Now that the winter season for this year has ended in Apukka, Janne and the dogs use the spare time to explore new routes and possibilities of the snowy terrain. They normally travel in between 5-8 km in a day per dog team, often stopping along the way to barbeque sausages. As they return to the dog yard, there are instantly other dogs expressing their very, very eager willingness to go sledding as well. And there goes Janne and his fluffy friends into the forest again! Janne, Pyry, Grande, all the 17 puppies and all the other marvellous dogs at Apukka will be there to welcome you to Apukka again next autumn. Then, when you meet Janne yourself, you’ll see what we mean by the smile that would light up even the nightly forest.