Claudia Hanel’s foray into dog sled racing is off to a good start with an impressive showing in Bristol.
Hanel, a 46-year-old Germany native who lives in Frenchman’s Cove, participated in two races at the 2014 Bristol Dryland Canadian Championship Dog Race Sunday in the Quebec town.
Hanel is expected to participate in two more dryland races over the next two weeks with both taking place in the United States.
Her dryland races will include testing her dogs in canicross — cross-country running with the dogs pulling her from behind — and dog scootering, which involves one or more dogs pulling a human riding an unmotorized kick scooter.
Mark Schuette of DogPoweredScooter.com is now manufacturing scooters of his own design — purpose-built from the ground up for the discriminating musher.
With a nice low footboard, Mark claims it’s more kick-friendly and ergonomic than the Diggler. It certainly looks so, and will join that bike under ‘Scooters’ on the links page.
Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks – a trainer in New Zealand is teaching man’s best friend to drive – really!
The SPCA in Auckland thought it would be a good way to showcase how smart rescue dogs are and perhaps improve their adoption rate. So they called on animal trainer, Mark Vette, who was up for the challenge.
*As in Practical Urban Mushing.
These scooters are an interesting alternative to traditional scooter mushing; the dog(s) are behind the steering wheel, making esoteric commands unnecessary. All the dogs have to do is run (if they feel like it), and the kicker can still help.
There is a disclaimer meant to alleviate the fears of folks worried about the canines, though it ends strangely: “Dog mushing is a serious sport that has as its first priority dog safety. When starting out with a new dog it is recommended to use a helmet, gloves, knee pads and sturdy, grippy soled shoes.”
But what about the rider? Haw, haw! =)