The summer of 2012 I traveled to Grand Prairie, AB to meet up with Aaron Peck (Elevation Dogs www.elevationdogs.com). Aaron kindly agreed to help me build my Yukon Quest team by selling me some of his dogs.
I met him at the gate and we walked into the dog yard to meet my new athletes. Aaron stopped at the first dog in the yard and started talking about her. I didn't listen to what he was saying, I was so focused on trying to figure where my new dogs were! He persisted to talk about this little dog, and then it hit me. This can't be one of my new dogs... she's so small. She's just laying there, no enthusiasm or energy. I was quite disappointed and didn't know what to say or do, I mean the guy gave me a wicked deal to help me out!
We met the rest of the dogs and chatted about upcoming races and our dogs. At the back of my mind I was still stuck on this little dog. Aaron helped me load up the dogs into kennels and I was soon on my way home.
That evening I got home and started letting the dogs out one by one. Walking them around to stretch and explore this new kennel they would soon call home. The last dog to come out was this lazy little dog. I figured that if the rest of the dogs were as good as they looked, then it would make up for this one. When I opened the door she sat in the kennel and starred at me for a few minutes (which felt like hours). I don't know what happened in those few minutes, but that little dog got to me. I suddenly felt overwhelmed, I had no clue what I was feeling when I looked into the eyes of this little dog.
As the summer went on there was no change with this dog. She barely moved around, didn't really want to play with the other dogs, and just generally kept to herself. I thought that maybe she was depressed, so I spent more time with her. Taking her out for rides in the truck, visiting friends. She was a little social, but mostly liked to keep to herself. She was eating like a pig and wasn't destructive, so I was told not to be too worried... but I was still concerned about this little dog.
Finally fall came around and it was time to hook up the dogs for their first run of the season. The dogs went crazy when I pulled out all of the gear! When I looked at the little dog, who was laying inside her house half asleep, I decided not to take her.
The next day I pulled out the equipment and started to prepare for the second training run. I was shocked to see the little dog wagging her tail and barking at me. I quickly turned around to see if there was something behind me... nope, nothing there! I think she wants to go...
When I brought her to the line she happily greeted her fellow team members and practically put the harness on herself. Aaron told me she was a leader, so that's where I put her. Then that little dog sat down while the rest of the team was jumping and barking, all ready to go. Well this isn't going to go over well, maybe I should move her to the back? Then I hear a loud SNAP! The team broke the anchor line and was leaving without me! I ran as fast as I could to jump on that quad! We were just flying down the trail. My first thought was the little dog... and there she was, leading the team full force! I could feel the smile growing on my face, I knew at that moment she was going to be our secret weapon!
In the two years that I have owned this little dog she has outsmarted me (many times), shocked me (many times), saved my life (literally...many times), and stole my heart. Like I said before.... I try not to pick favorites, but sometimes a dog will come around that completely takes you by surprise. Like that little dog. My little dog, Gogi.