A Rocky Start

It’s almost time for the American Dog Derby in Ashton, Idaho!!

If you haven’t heard of it, you’re not alone. We lived here for an entire decade and never knew about it, either. Unless you happen to drive through town and see the billboard they put up a few weeks before the race, it’s easy to miss.

Too bad our local news doesn’t promote it more because, as it turns out, The American Dog Derby is the oldest dog sled race in North America:

From 1917 when Tud Kent won the first American Dog Derby during a blinding blizzard to this year’s races, the running of the dogs in Ashton is an exciting event rich in history. There are 5 different races offered and a start/finish line full of activities including a celebrity race, a snowshoe race, and a weight pull in which spectators and their dogs can compete

Source: https://americandogderby.com/

It wasn’t until after we started getting into recreational mushing that we found out about both it and the Pedigree Stage Stop race which just finished up this last week. Both are close to home and we enjoy going to both every year, or at least we did until COVID struck.

While they discouraged spectators at the Stage Stop this year, the Ashton race is still on and we definitely plan to be there! We love supporting our local mushers and hope to one day maybe even run this particular race with our own pack, if we can train them well enough to do it.

The American Dog Derby holds a special place in our hearts because that’s where we found our boy Rudy last year.

At the time, his name was Rocky and he was with a wonderful family who adored Rocky but for some reason, he just didn’t love them back the way they’d hoped he would. We happened to run into them at the races and after a few weeks of back and forthing with them, our families decided to do a trade. We had some gorgeous pups from Juno and Draco at the time and we let them pick one of those in exchange for Rocky.

We had always wanted a red husky, but the closest we’d come so far was that one year when Draco blew his coat and his tail mysteriously came back red:

Yeah. That was weird. It’s back to normal now.

That first day he came to be with our pack we just knew it was a perfect fit. Rocky seemed happier to be with other dogs than he did with humans, particularly younger humans. He just wasn’t crazy about them and his old family had kids who were sad about that.

Which made us sad. We want everyone to be happy, especially these pups! It was pretty obvious what made Rocky happy and that was playing with other huskies:

Odie (above, left) and Tonka (below, right) were born just 10 days before him so the three of them were like brothers right from the beginning.

So needless to say, he is incredibly happy now and quite spoiled. He loves to be with us but he really loves to be with his friends. It’s a good thing that we have access to oh, so many friends for him.

We renamed him to Rudy early on (or should I say Roooooo-deeeee) because from the first day he came he “awrooooo”-ed with so much happiness it just seemed like a good name.

New name, new family and a whole new dog. That’s our boy, Rudy.