Experience dog sledding
GO DOG SLEDDING IN SKELLEFTEÅ
When Sabina and Pete's car rolls into the yard, Emma is already running around and harnessing the dogs that will be on the day's tour. Sabina and Pete are from Manchester, England. They have come to Skellefteå to experience winter for real. That is, ice and snow and the Arctic everyday life in the north. Today, dog sleds are on the program. Yesterday it was ice hockey. Skellefteå AIK - Färjestad BK. Where the local hockey culture is felt right down to the toes.
Personally, I would like to take a close-up of a pair of ice blue husky eyes. It turns out to be easier said than done. As soon as I bend down with a camera, the dogs think that I would rather play than take pictures. And of course it's nice to get someone's undivided attention, but it's also a challenge to keep all wet noses away from the camera lens.
FEEL LIKE ONE IN THE PACK
- You are welcome into the dog yard, says Emma when she visited Pete and Sabina.
- Well, says Sabina and looks a little anxiously at the not entirely wolf-like dogs. I don't know?
She sticks her hand through the net and Rigel, Emma's big, long-haired husky is right in front to greet. Sabina reflexively pulls her hand. Then she laughs.
Her reaction is by no means strange. If this is the first time you've met a herd of huskies, it's normal that you're reserved. But of course there's nothing to be afraid of.
- I still think I'll wait out here, she says and scratches Rigel behind the ear, through the net
HALF AN HOUR DOG SLEDDING
The dogs of course know what's going on. And their enthusiasm can't be missed. If you are a husky in Swedish Lapland, there is no greater happiness than pulling a sled as fast as you can through snow-heavy forests. Pete and Sabina climb onto the passenger seat of the sleigh. Emma gets ready to drive at the back. She loosens the snow anchor and then carries it off.
There is a light snowfall. The sky is almost clear blue and the temperature is just below zero. It takes 30 minutes for the round that Emma and her guests are out on. While I wait, I check the pictures.
- One of them must work, I think.
But most contain only one ear or one snout. At best, I can catch a glimpse of half an eye. In addition, most images are blurred. Or the focus has gone crazy.
A MAGICAL FINISH
Then I glimpse the crew between the pines. Sabina turns around and says something to Pete who laughs, while Emma slows down.
The dogs stop. Some lie down in the snow. Their tongues hang. Every now and then someone chews a mouthful of snow to quench their thirst.
- Fantastic, says Sabina. Pete nods in agreement.
As the dogs recover, the visitors bubble up with questions. How come some dogs have different eye colors? So, a brown and a blue. And how much does a husky actually eat? And what do they do in the summer?
The insecurity in front of the dogs is blown away. Sabina and Pete can't resist their appealing looks of those who ask to be scratched and patted. Sabina makes eye contact with Bettan. She lays her white head with black markings, a little at an angle and twinkles with her ice blue eyes.
- Seductive, she says and puts her hands around Bettan's face and looks deep into her eyes. I myself put the camera's viewfinder in front of my eye and snap off.