Sled Dogs

On our last trip to the Cairngorms we noticed a sign for sled dogs, and both being massive animal lovers we knew we had to check it out! So this time when we stopped in the Cairngorms for the night we made sure to visit. 

On the day of our visit we walked up a long dirt road passing through old pine forrest. We had been told it would be a short fifteen minute walk, but we were so excited about meeting the dogs it felt like twice that! By the time we arrived, we were both sweaty and hot, but happy we could hear the sound of dogs barking. We couldn't help notice how cool the place looked, with its wooded cabins and native american woodwork. We loved the feel of this place. It felt like we could easily have been transported to a home in Alaska!

 The view from the cottage as the rain set in

The view from the cottage as the rain set in

 One of the cabins on the property used as a mueseum

One of the cabins on the property used as a mueseum

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 Thought this tree looked cool

Thought this tree looked cool

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We were greeted by Fiona in front of the gate to the dog's yard. We could hear the dogs barking excitedly and we couldn't wait to get in to see them. Peering through the first gate, we spotted our first sled dogs waiting patiently to meet us.

Before we could go inside, Fiona spoke a little about herself and her husband's history with the dogs. It was fascinating hearing how she had spent the last twenty-five years working with the sled dogs and her family racing them. However, after telling us the brief history, she finally let us go and meet the dogs as she could tell we anxious to go inside the dog's yard. 

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We could see that the dogs were excited to see new arrivals and were desperate for our attention as we were led into the dog yard behind the stone cottage. We spent time with each dog, playing with them, and learning a little bit about each one and their unique characters. We were so happy to see how friendly and gentle the dogs were, lying on their backs so we could scratch there tummies and behind their ears. As we walked around we realised we were attracted to different dogs. Some were cheeky, and would put their paws up on your chest and playfully pull at your jacket to get your attention. Others were happy with just a clap. 

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 We shared a moment...

We shared a moment...

 Loved up

Loved up

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 Some of the dogs had amazing blue eyes

Some of the dogs had amazing blue eyes

After we spent some time with the dogs in the first yard we made our way through to where the equipment used for sledding was kept. Fiona talked for a while on the uses for all of the items and told stories of her family's history in racing. We also heard of her journey through the years with the dogs and how she has got to where she is today. She showed us how the dogs are given their place in the team and the board they used to do it. We loved listening to her stories; it seemed she had lived a pretty cool life! After Fiona had finished talking she let us through to the back yard where there were even more dogs.  We loved it, spending time with dogs and taking pictures. That's two of our favourite things right there!

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 Sled workshop

Sled workshop

 Fiona speaking about the sled and the equipment used

Fiona speaking about the sled and the equipment used

 The cables used to pull the sleds

The cables used to pull the sleds

 The boards used to place the dogs

The boards used to place the dogs

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 Lucky poking his head through to say hi

Lucky poking his head through to say hi

 What you say?... Biscuits?

What you say?... Biscuits?

 This is Grizzly, he's from Canada.. he's also just had an op on his ear

This is Grizzly, he's from Canada.. he's also just had an op on his ear

 Number Five... Thats right, her name was Number Five

Number Five... Thats right, her name was Number Five

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 Fiona talking in the museum

Fiona talking in the museum

 Grizzle

Grizzle

 Lucky

Lucky

We were in our element, and after two and a half hours of being there, we were so sad to leave. At first sight of snow we'll be back for a sled ride!

John & Holly