Traveling to Swedish Lapland in the winter with two young children, we quickly learn that the best journey into snowy forest and across frozen rivers is all about the dogs.
Alaskan huskies are incredible pulling machines, and they seem to quickly run out of patience with new “drivers” who take a few extra minutes to harness the team and to ready the sled. They protest with barks and howls and lunges. But once the brakes are lifted and the dogs start running, the chaos of the launch dissolves into the gentle sounds of paws and runners on snow, human and canine breathing.
When we stop for a snack the dogs have their snacks. When we stop for the night the dogs are fed first.
The children are drawn to these dogs, and repeatedly visit them at their lodgings for the night, despite the cold. Names are learned, friendships are made, and even a precious toy is introduced … and only now do we truly understand why the dog is man’s best friend.