Lupin's Humor



We have an Alaskan husky in our family. Her name is Lupin. She’s got that northern look kind of like a miniature wolf. Knockout appearance aside, I’ve never met a being so full of life coupled with an irritating sense of humor. The dog puts me in the aisles sometimes… Sometimes.

I make no pretenses, I’m not a musher. But my wife, DyAnne, and I are big mushing and sled dog fans. We have a kick sled for Lupin made of old hockey sticks, cross-country skis and duct tape. Ironically, the sled is for her, but I seem to be the one who gets the exercise.

Either Dy or I will act as the carrot for Lupin to chase, and the other can ride the sled runners or pedal off to the side. One time we took Lupin out on a below-zero day and broke trail in knee-deep snow. Minutes later, I began shedding layers of clothing as sweat dripped from my eyebrows to the insides of my glasses. While I sucked wind, Lupin simply glanced at me over her shoulder, still breathing through her nose.

I’ve tried skijoring with Lupin, too. I’m not good on skis and gravity has its way with me. Though I played a lot of hockey, skate blades are considerably shorter than skis. In hockey, my natural reaction to imbalance was to step one foot over the other. I found I can’t do that with skis. Hence, I topple. Lupin thinks this is quite a giggle. To her credit, she’s come back to me to check on my welfare, licking me like a hunk of carrion on the ground.

During another skijoring adventure, she employed her version of crack the whip. She and I had gathered some speed along the trail and I began feeling genuine Nordic success. Then she suddenly stopped and sat down. Braking isn’t my forte either. I watched her watch me as I whizzed by grabbing at branches to stop.

I’m working on an article about dogs in the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon next month in Duluth. The focus is on their personalities. Lupin is one dog. I can only imagine running 14 all at once. 


Beachy in Florida

What a riotous beauty!

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