Dog sledding enthusiast - The360 PlayBuzz

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  • Friday, November 29, 2019

    Dog sledding enthusiast

    Dog sledding enthusiast

    The dog sled is often synonymous with tourist catchers thirsting for adventure, eager to play trappers of modern times in the heart of the frozen vastness of Quebec. Far from clichés and the traditional postcard. 

    We had some reservations about the dog sled before our trip to Kinadapt. The fervent advocates of animal welfare are already wondering how we could consider encouraging the exploitation of poor doggies, all that to get shot in a sled, without moving a finger? It's the humorist François Morency who will finally convince us. Himself a great lover of dogs, he has indeed piqued our curiosity by admitting to practice dog sled a good fifteen times a season since 2010!

    As soon as you arrive at the Kinadapt parking lot in Rawdon, the dog welcome committee will not leave you indifferent: a dozen retired and affectionate huskies come to greet you.

    Because at Peter W. Boutin and Carole Turcotte, the owners of the place, no question of leaving their companions when they are no longer able or no longer want to pull a sled. We are far from the hell lived by animals in some mushers' businesses.

    It is not uncommon for Kinadapt to become a second chance for abandoned huskies. "This is one of the breeds most present in shelters," notes Boutin.

    This is the case of Cassy, ​​one of the two bitches sponsored by François Morency, saved from euthanasia at 6 months and re-educated by Kinadapt. She is now part of the pack of 86 dogs on the site who have the opportunity to run nearly 40 km per day.

    A dream trip ###
    Before venturing on the 30 km of trails on the estate, Peter W. Boutin and Carole Turcotte meet us in their sugar shack for a brief briefing. It will certainly be a question of safety and technique, but also of animal welfare. Mr. Boutin particularly insists on the respectful way of approaching a dog so that he does not feel assaulted.

    It's now time to harness the dogs. Our musher, Vincent Bellerose, adventure tourism professional for three years, strategically chooses the eight dogs that will accompany us on our sleigh ride. It's about training good duets, according to their strengths and weaknesses. Depending on the weather conditions and weight on the sled, a team can consist of four to eight dogs.

    "You have to find the right match, analyze their morphology, their character and their affinities," explains Vincent Bellerose. "We must stay tuned, learn from other mushers dog schedules and observe their behavior," he adds while stroking his dogs obviously very excited to see him.

    They are waiting for a word from their leader to embark on a crazy race. Lightening will be our sled leader and will train with Salomon the lead duo, followed by Agora and Phoenix, Sydney and Fraya (two dogs in rehabilitation), as well as Stinger and Uluriac.

    Comfortably seated in the sledge at the front of our musher, we can only appreciate the first minutes of the experience. But it is when Vincent invites us to take orders that we really understand that dog sledding is a winter sport that deserves to be tried. The smile stamped in the face, we feel in total communion with the pack always listening to his musher: their ears respond to the quarter turn to "Gee!" (Right), "Hop! Hop! Ha! "(Left) thrown by Vincent.

    With both feet on the skis, you often have to jump and run in the snow to help the dogs on some more difficult detours and on the slopes. An experience much more physical than one would have thought!

    After 30 minutes, we are surprised to think of the course that will lead us to be as independent as François Morency, the only one in charge of his sled.

    Kinadapt offers three-hour dog sled fundamentals, including an hour of trail riding, supervised by a certified guide. It is then possible to become a member and get a card at a cost of $ 550 giving access to 5 visits to the site.

    A winter sport that is certainly expensive, but worth the trip if you want to be part of this beautiful community canine that leaves us an unforgettable memory.

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