How The West Was Won – The Canadian Way

How The West Was Won – The Canadian Way

Hail Brave hearts

Come and explore with me.  Come  into the adventure of your lives.  There’s no time to waste, the days are passing.  Make a plan, make several plans.  Learn and strive, push your limits.  Take the time to prepare.  Healthy food, proper clothing, skills, companions, strong bodies and strong minds.  Into the unknown, you travel.

A sketchy route has been marked on a page. Lines and drawings, hopefully familiar.  A post is the site marker, a mountain range on the left, stay on the river and follow the trail.  Animal tracks cover the ground.  The new fallen snow is heavy and trail breaking is hard.  Persevere, for today’s travel distance is long.  Fortunately the terrain is gentle,  rolling uphill but not too difficult to climb.  Somewhere out here is a cabin for us.  We can rest in shelter and escape the wind and the cold, then push on.  It’s a better trip than it used to be, before the route through the country was found, before the explorers and before the map makers.  Now we have a plan to follow.  The bleak, cold winter closes in, but we chose this life.  We are  homesteaders, looking for our land.

Land!  There’s plenty of land!  But ours is still a long way off and we persist in our travel.  A trading post is lurking close by.  Stay on the trail and follow it closely.  We need supplies.  Supplies and a place to rest, some warmth and some shelter, food and a hot drink.  We chose this life.  Come on.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Edmonton_Park

Come on, brave hearts, a new life is calling.  The freedom it brings will be worth all of the pain.  The hardship, the struggle, the will to survive.  Keep at it.  Don’t stop.  The winter is a good time for travel.  As cold as it is, the path is easier, travel along the rivers and frozen lakes.  It’s relatively flat and easier to see, it’s cold, but faster and we cover more land.

What is now just sport is survival to us.  The dogs must run and we are grateful.  Fast and steady they hurry along.  The dog team runs and they seem to know the way.  Skills and training, education, courses, work and labor to learn these skills.  All to become homesteaders in a land offering freedom, survival, a chance to choose for ourselves and a chance to be autonomous.  But it’s work and we have now traveled so far.  Out to the west to settle these lands.  Push on, push on, the day if fading.  Run you fabulous dogs!  Take us away to our world awaiting.  To trading posts and teepees, to waterways and farmland.  Take us to our destiny, our hearts are soaring.  The cold winters wind, howls beside us, but go on.  On to our home, to farming and prosperity.  Come on, you good dogs, run forever, transport us across Canada, open the way and save us again.

written by Dr. Louise Hayes

March 19, 2018

dog sledding competition in Russia.  What was used hundreds of years ago to open up Canada is now international sport.

A Man’s Best Friend

A Man’s Best Friend

Hail brave hearts.

Your company is here!  Fast and furry, friendly and happy, this is your very best friend.  Your dog is your companion for life.  Easy to care for, easy to please, all they want is a warm home, to be fed, and to be included in all of your life.  We have nurtured the companionship of dogs for a long, long time.

A trainable friend, a fiercely loyal companion, a lovable pet, your dog is a strongly supportive part of your life and your family.  Train him to do whatever he can, fetch a ball, play with sticks, swim in the lake, take a walk, guard the premises, guard you, pull your sleigh, be your business, own the  company, take him wherever you can.  This is not just a pet, this is a big part of the family.  This is the pet that can be your eyes, alert you to danger, pull you to safety.  This is the pet that can be trained to be a working dog, taking care of the disabled, protecting the property, protecting the people.  This is the pet that lives for you, you are all of his life and it can be a wonderfully fulfilling time of mutual companionship.  Take the dog for a walk, to play in the park, to stroll down the street, to meet your friends.  This is an important part of his day.  A little fresh air, some exercise, the walk will do  both of you some good.

Dogs are with us in history, helping us to build a nation.  Sled dogs carrying people and supplies, opening trade and transportation routes, bringing people together in a sparsely populated country, where no roads had gone before.  Great explorers like David Thompson, used the sled dog to carry him across the country,  adventuring and exploring along the way.

 

 

Train the dog to be a part of a team, pulling the sled, running for joy.  Most dogs welcome the activity of a good run and the dog team is a companion sport, dogs and humans in the cold winter time, speeding across the countryside together in a sleigh.  It’s an age old sport of Canadian history.  Run the dog team to an adventure, to exploration, to connect to one another.  It’s an unusual and clever idea, to hitch a dog to the sleigh, run him over to the neighbors farm, over hill and over dale, running through the snow.  The fast, light dogs enjoy this too.  They can run for hours through the snow.  Winter coats and hats, boots and pants, pull on your warm attire.  The season of winter fun is here.

This is a sport that you might want to try, just to experience the historical culture of the nation.  Imagine being the master of a dog team, sliding along in the wintry chill, sled piled high with trading goods, to sell at your next stop.  How far will it be today?  20 kilometers only, or maybe an all day stint, rushing through the forest, sliding across the lake, the trade routes are open, come out all of you, to experience the skills  that a life like this  would take.

written by Dr. Louise Hayes

December 17, 2017

Dog sledding

Dog sledding

Good day, you awesome human

Today it has snowed. The chilly wonder of a winter’s delight. Our nations most favourite past times are here.
The dogs whine and climb out of their white, snowy blankets. A new day of mushing and racing is upon them. Friendly, eager playmates in a life of Canadian made fun.
The sun pierces the sky and casts it’s golden warmth upon us. A fabulous, chilly -35C. A perfect day. A day of winter delight, of breakneck speed through the wild land, of wind on your face and warmth in the air. A day of endurance, strength, preparedness, fun! The great planet calls to us from the landscape and we’re off. Off to an adventure, off to another day of grand pursuits.
The eons of time travels quickly with us. Generations of dog sledding flies past our feet. We must. In our minds we know that we must. Carrying on the history of nation building, the travels of voyageurs, the present day sportsman and adventurer, the tourist. In a land of long winters and brilliant dark sky the endless preoccupation with the joys of winter fun is a must.

As Canadians, these traditions fill us with joy and wonder. The long race of dog sledding, a time of daring adventure, a feat of a thrilling pursuit. An age of discovery, when dog sledding helped to open the country and helped to transport goods, food and people across the land. A method of transportation for early explorers. Across the great white, snow covered plains of the Arctic. Dog sledding carrying us, as Canadians, all across the land.
Mile upon mile the dogs will run, day after day. The race. Such a thrilling adventure for dog and man.
The dogs stretch their limbs and howl. Run! they cry and off we go.
The winter!
The transportation corridors change and sometimes are easier with ice and snow. A frozen lake is a short cut, the marshes and bogs are easily crossed. Better to travel in winter with ice and snow and the howl of dogs in your ears. Faster and less dangerous than running rapids with canoes and the winter forest shines with snow.
Culture!
What we do to save ourselves, to explore, to open trade routes, to fulfill our negotiated contracts.
The dog team is an integral part of our culture. It’s a need fulfilled. Across the great land to explore, to reach communities with goods for trade. To fulfill business contracts and to live.
Here, almighty human in the great white north is the destiny of a lifetime of adventure. It called to the early explorer. Come to Canada! Live the adventure! And so they did.
Criss crossing the nation from trading post to trading post with sleighs laden with supplies. A life of business enterprise. Dog and man, racing across the great plains of the provinces, dog and man, racing east to west and back again. Dog and man racing to the north, racing to the south.
Culture and tradition whistling in our ears.
The dogs, our coveted friends.
Praises to you brilliant mankind, for the peace of trade and for the joy adventure. The negotiated peace that saves our lives.
written by Dr. Louise Hayes
November 12,2013