By Casey Lueck
I have a new job and I’m really good at it! My mom really likes to go cross country skiing but she’s not very good at it. She falls all the time and can’t go very fast. My new job is to pull her! This is called skijoring. What I do is put on my harness, get connected to her with a rope and when she says “hike!” I take off running. She even tells me”Yes!” when I pull her! I’m not allowed to pull when we go on walks so skijoring makes me really happy! I’ve wanted to pull my whole life! Mom uses some funny words like “gee” and “haw” when she wants me to go right or left. I don’t know the difference yet so I just watch her skis to see which way they are pointing and I pull that way. She says “whoa” when she wants me to stop, but I have a hard time with that one because stopping is boring. If we see another skier or another dog, Mom says “on by” so I know I have to passthem on by. That’s an easy one.
Nothing is as much fun as my new job… except maybe chasing birds! Mom says she wants me to have as much fun as she’s having so I still get to stop and smell sometimes. I just have to remember that she falls down if I run to the side-so I shouldn’t do that. Even if there’s a squirrel or a great new smell. If Mom falls it’s my jobto rescue her with hugs and kisses. She’s really good at getting backup. I think she’s had lots of practice. Mom connects the rope to my harness with things called carabiners. These neat things make it easy to fix the rope when we get all tangled up. Our friends Kathy and Charlie are learning to skijor too. Charlie only weighs 24 pounds but he’s really strong and can pull just like a big dog. He barks a lot when we’re on walks but he doesn’t bark at all when skijor because he’s too busy. Charlie is a prankster. He tried to run circles around my mom so she’d get tied up with his rope. It almost worked! But Charlie has carabiners on his harness, too, so his mom untied my mom right away. When we are done skijoring, I am a tired dog. Mom says that makes me a good dog. I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know that I love skijoring!