Grit Blogs > Russ-Stick Ramblings

The Making of an Honest Sled Dog

Dog team

In the world of dog mushing, there are different phrases.

Heading into the woods

The one which holds the highest regard is an Honest Dog.

Coming out of the woods

An Honest Dog is one who gives his all. 

Not just now and then.

But every moment he is hooked up to the sled.

Loping out of the woods

Our new dog Malakai, is new to mushing. 

Not really ... as deep in his heart, he knows this. 

He instinctively understands.

As with all new dogs, we place him nearest the sled, in the wheel position, so he can be watched and easily hear his master's calming voice.

Team formation

He not only pulls, but he pulls from deep within his ancestor's gene pool.

Team pulling

The sign of an Honest Dog is one whose tug is always tight. 

Ranger the lead dog

Ranger, our leader, is an Honest Dog.


Shiloh, our other new addition to the kennel, is pursuing an Honest Dog title.


Malakai excels at a tight tug.

Dog team heading west

It stirs an emotion within me to see a dog find himself.

Tears meet the cold air.

Snowy nose

To be happy, and content.

Malakai stopped

To wonder what is next ...what adventure awaits.

Dreamy dog

To dream ...

Sunset on Russ-Stick Acres

Until next time – May all your dogs be Honest Dogs – God willing,


sherry 'woodswoman'
2/9/2010 11:40:16 AM

Thanks to each of you for your kind and caring comments. We have loved having northern breed dogs (Alaskans and Siberians) over the years. It's such a delight to watch them morph into their ancestral ways. They love being part of a big canine family ~ and work and play together with glee. Cindy ~ I love your observation of the human factor. Very true indeed. Thanks again ~ more stories are coming your way.

mountain woman
2/7/2010 6:52:17 AM

I love your dogs. Really beautiful and to see them working in their element was wonderful. I have 7 dogs and although they aren't sled dogs, I understand what you mean by honest. Thanks for sharing the wonder of your world with us.

oz girl
2/5/2010 10:05:30 AM

What beautiful sled dogs you have... your pictures conveyed the joy felt by dog and human alike. I can't imagine how stirring and satisfying it must be to glide through the woods like that, with such devoted and committed dogs, who, at the same time as being "Honest Dogs", are simply enjoying the moment!

cindy murphy
2/5/2010 6:48:12 AM

Sherry, much of your description of what makes an Honest Dog can also be applied to what makes an Honest Human. Sometimes I think we'd be a much better and contented race if we just took our cues from animals.

2/4/2010 9:05:45 PM

You have such beautiful dogs and they look to be having so much fun in the snow. Those blue eyes are just beautiful. Good luck with your mushing vickie