Photo Diary: Dog Sledding in Abisko

All the silly fellas clambering to take a photograph.
When I was still in second place.
Hello handsome.
Desperately trying to squeeze himself out.
Our guide, and his fellow dog who ran with us that day, Ninja!
The ultimate noob, Felicia Tan!

Dog sledding was the activity that all of us looked forward to the most whilst in Abisko, and it definitely lived up to its expectations. The dogs were so adorable and friendly, each with their own unique personality. For me, I started off with a sled of dogs that were way too powerful for me. Even with my entire body weight on the brake, they still race ahead. Initially, I was supposed to be the 5th sled in the entire chain of 10. Before we even started, my dogs hurtled ahead and I became the second, right after the guide. After about 5 minutes of watching me fly off the sled multiple times and panting as I struggle to control the dogs, they switched me to the 10th sled, which had the weakest dogs of the day. They were initially carrying my friend, but they were so weak and became so far behind that they started their own trail and dragged him to some godforsaken corner of the forest. I was a little upset to be the last, as there isn’t anyone to shout to for help if you fall off. But after assurance from the guide that they would always keep a lookout for me, I started off again.

This new sled was perfect for me actually. The first one had dogs that were so powerful, I focused all my attention on not falling off the sled and never stopped to notice the scenery. The second one were weaker, but as I was much lighter than my friend, they pulled me with ease but not so fast that I couldn’t control them. That being said, while we were supposed to help push the sled up for them while going uphill, I have to step on the brake so that they would not overtake the sleds in front. By the end of the excursion, I was back to the 5th place with my faithful dogs.

Each person has four dogs, the front two are weaker but faster, leading the sled, and the back two are the stronger ones, who are responsible for pulling you ahead. For me, I had brothers for leaders, both of them snowy white, with one pale blue eye and one yellow eye. One of the brother was so mischievous and active, he kept running around while the sled was stationary, dragging the brother along, till the brother got annoyed and started growling. For my back two dogs, one of them is rather chill and the other is super lazy. While running, he would sometimes sit on the snow all of a sudden and refuse to budge until the other three turned to stare at him. Sometimes he would raise his hind legs and run with his two front paws alone! And he is really affectionate, everytime I go near them he would clamber over to sniff and sit next to me. So very sweet!

The scenery along the way is fantastic as well. You stand on your sled, look around you into the horizon, breathe in the fresh unpolluted cold air and enjoy nature as it is. That way, you can really truly enjoy the Swedish countryside and winter at its best. The dogs love it as well, they cool off by rolling in the snow and digging their snouts into it. Oh and they love to pee at the same rock, for some really odd reason.

It was a great experience really, we were completely involved with the process of harnessing the dogs, leading the dogs to the sleds, hooking them up, interacting with them, taking them back to their respective homes and removing their harnesses. No one got assaulted, the huskies were all very loved and well trained. The owners, two brothers and a lady, takes really good care of them and you can see their genuine love for the dogs. Until now, I think the thing that I miss most about Sweden and Abisko would be these beautiful huskies.

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