When summer came and the days quickly became too humid for the dogs to run, we felt like we were blessing the pack with a summer vacation. A whole season “off” to rest and lounge and play – a dog-yard mini-retirement of sorts. How sweet of us. Sled-dogs however, are type A canines on steroids. They are exactly as their label implies: working dogs. They don’t fetch for fun, eat for pleasure, feel gratification by chasing down the UPS truck, or long to bask in the sun on a front porch. With hundreds of years of arctic pulling ancestry, sled-dogs have formed genetic traits apart from any other. Recent DNA analysis has confirmed a unique molecular signature in the modern day Alaskan sled-dog. With the fur and endurance of a Husky/Malamute, the speed and nose of a Pointer, and the intelligence and work ethic of an Anatolian Shepherd, today’s sled-dogs have evolved into a new breed of dog. So yeah, this explains a few of the mishaps and injuries this summer. Here are a few things we’ve learned for example: trying to “play” with sled-dogs before they’ve eaten will result in them jumping up at you and breaking your nose; wearing sandals when a dog fight occurs can end in broken toes; and sporting a white shirt while feeding raw meat will definitely have parents talking when you pick up your children looking like a walking crime scene. Although the dogs seem happy, “vacation” is most definitely a foreign antibody to the sled-dog’s system. They are restless and beyond eager for cooler weather. One more month of this cruel season and we’ll be able to get some dry-land training in to please the pack!