Did you know that Siberian Husky originated with the Chukchi people and native to Siberia, Russia? It is thought that the term “Husky” is a misnomer of the nickname “Esky,” for the Eskimo people. The Siberian Husky were introduced to Alaska in 1909, where they are used as endurance sled dogs. One of the most memorable sled team was led by Balto, the lead dog.
In 1925, when a diphtheria epidemic broke out in Nome, Alaska, a relay of dog teams, including a Siberian Husky team, brought life-saving antitoxin serum from distant Nenana. Diphtheria is a disease that went widespread. It’s a bacteria that invades the nose, mouth, and throat that makes it hard to swallow which leads to suffocation. Without the serum, the contagious disease would quickly spread. The only serum in Alaska was found in a hospital in Anchorage 1000 miles away. Transportation methods were almost non-existent, due to the harsh winter weather. A train could transport the medicine to a town called Nenana, but not to Nome. The fastest and reliable way to transport the life saving serum is to use dog sled teams. The trip could take up to 13 days to complete. Balto was a Siberian Husky, borned in Nome, Alaska. More than 20 mushers and their dog sled teams took part in this journey. They battled temperatures as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit and strong winds. On Feb 1, 1925, the package of serum was handed off for the last time to Gunnar Kassen. His sled dog team was led by Balto, a young and inexperienced lead dog. Kassen was unable to direct, but Balto was trained to lead the team through any weather conditions. Balto led his team over 53 miles to successfully deliver the much needed serum, saving many lives.
In present-day, Huskies are still involved in competition mushing, urban mushing, and some are still living the life of a true mushing dog in Alaska. Have you ever wanted to get into dog mushing? There’s a mushing harness that is ideal for huskies involved in weight pulling activities, such as pulling a bicycle or a long board. Huskies are bred to run long distances, what better way to burn off some excess energy and to provide mental stimulation than allowing them to pull you.
Now, you got the harness on and there’s cold snow or a hot pavement outside. Are you ready to go? Not yet! You need to protect your dog’s paws from the element. There are waterproof dog boots that you could slip over your husky’s paws, but they may not think it’s natural to run in it. A better solution is to use an all natural wax that will keep the cold snow or hot pavement from penetrating into the skin of their foot pads. Application is simple. All you have to do is make sure your pet’s paws are clean, apply a dab on their paws and in between. The product is non-toxic and has a soothing menthol smell to it. If your husky’s paws are prone to cracking, this will also help. Now get out there and have some fun mushing!