The smells of the dog yard are setting in my skin;

Fish and kibble and raw meat watered thin.

Been ten days since I’ve showered,

Clean clothes now a fading luxury.

The soles of my shoes are covered in hues of dog poop

The likes you hopefully won’t ever get to see.


Now these things are easy to highlight

Being a brand new dog handler.

They mark the surface change from what you are

To what you once were.

But what you once were doesn’t matter

Because now there are dogs to run.

There are dogs to feed and puppies to train

And mushers to be learning from.


And if you can know this each moment,

Each day,

Even when your brain sponge is saturated,

Concepts learned with more than a little delay,

You may see more than dirt,

More than soot, more than stink.

You may see that dog handling

Requires more than you think.

New dog houses built


Learning and learning and learning some more

This is the new dog handler’s initial chore.

Learn each dogs names and ages,

Each one’s spot in the yard.

Which ones chew, which ones spew,

How to keep their poop hard.


Along with dogs learn the mushers,

How they work, how they think.

You’ll be spending all winter together

So best fall into sync.

Learn your surroundings,

The roads and trails that you run.

These are your paths both for work and for fun.


Charity and Paige put in new posts

Charity and Paige put in new posts

No day is the same from beginning to end,

Any new rule you learn, you must be ready later to bend.

For anything can happen when thirteen dogs

Are clipped to one line,

And you must always be learning those trotting behinds.


And at the end of the day

When you’re tired and sore,

Just relax, fill your beer mug,

And gear up for more.

For this is not work that you ‘finish’

Like a job from 9-5.

No, this is work that is simply living,

The best kind of work on which we here thrive.