Friday, January 22, 2010

Siberian huskies

With my mother operating a dog training business, I have slowly been transformed into a dog-lover. At the moment, our family has five dogs; four border collies (Xena, Rambo, Spice, and Thriller) and one bi-black sheltie (Whip). Currently, she picks dogs that will hopefully be good at the dog sport ‘agility’. Our dogs are considered work animals and this idea has led me to decide that if I ever get a dog it would be one with a working-class origin. And while I am against the domestication of animals as pets, when I break down and get a puppy for myself, there’s no doubt it’ll be a Siberian husky.

A medium sized working breed, originating out of eastern Siberia, this class of Husky is easily recognized by their thickly-furred double coat, sickle tail, erect triangular ears, and distinct markings. They are active, energetic, and extremely resilient to the cold. The breed was imported to Alaska during the Nome Gold Rush to be used as sled dogs but is now mostly seen as family pets and show-dogs. They can come in any color and can grow to be 60 pounds.

Did you know?- On February 3, 1925, Gunnar Kaasen was first in the 1925 run to Nome to deliver diphtheria serum from Nenana over 600 miles away. This group effort comprised of several sled dog teams and mushers inspired the creating of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race which reenacts that faithful run. In honor of this lead dog, a bronze statue was erected at Central Park in New York City. On it is inscribed:
Dedicated to the indomitable spirit of the sled dogs that relayed antitoxin six hundred miles over rough ice, across treacherous waters, through Arctic blizzards from Nenana to the relief of a stricken Nome in the winter of 1925. Endurance--fidelity--intelligence

In 1930, the last Siberians were exported as the Soviet Union closed the land’s borders to external trade.

Did you know?- In 1933, Navy Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd brought about 50 Siberian Huskies with him on an expedition around the 16,000-mile coast of Antarctica. Labeled ‘Operation Highjump’, the journey proved the worth of the Siberian husky due to its compact size and greater speeds.

The dog’s coat is comprised of two layers: a dense undercoat and a longer topcoat of short, straight guard hairs. With this combination, the breed is able to withstand temperatures as low as −60 °C (-76° F). They are quite affectionate with people, but extremely independent and stubborn and get bored easily. So while they’re not suited to live in an apartment, if you have lots of wide open space and time to play, the two of you will form a loving relationship.

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