National Sled Dog Day
A sled dog is a dog that runs through snow day after day pulling a sled which can be hundreds to thousands of pounds. You don’t think they deserve any recognition. February 2nd is officially the holiday of the sleddog. Without it, man wouldn’t have done very well.
The sled dog evolved in Northern Asia’s mountainous regions over 35,000 years ago. However, they are believed to have actually started pulling sleds for humans around 3,000 years ago when fishing and hunting communities had to relocate further north to Siberia. They then made their way to Canada, Alaska, Canada, and Greenland. The historical references to actual harnesses for dogs go back far beyond the first European contact of the native peoples in Alaska and Canada.
The Alaskan gold rush was actually what really got Americans interested in sled dogs for transportation. Most gold camps could only be reached by dogsled during the winter months. Dogsleds were for a while the only reliable way to transport anything in harsh Alaskan and Yukon weather conditions. Then, airplanes took over in 1930s. As late as World War II, dogsleds were used in western Alaska to patrol. The sport of mushing was largely recreational after that. The 1925 serum run from Nome, Alaska to Nenana was one of the most remarkable achievements by sled dogs. With diptheria in Nome threatening lives and the serum being needed to reach Nome (1100 km) in Nenana, many people could have died. Luckily, there were 20 dog-led teams who worked together to bring the serum to Nome. The serum made it to Nome in just 6 days. This saved many lives. The first Arctic explorers were also men who had sled dogs.
Many famous dog races are held each year. Sled dogs are also admired for their participation in polar expeditions. National Sled Dog Day allows us to bring attention to the animal’s dedication to humanity. You can also raise funds for charities that care for sick or homeless dogs and those who have been abandoned cruelly by their owners. Volunteering at an animal shelter is a great way to meet some dogs, play with them or go for walks with them.
Dogs are social and friendly creatures who love to play games and exercise. So even the smallest gesture to celebrate National Sled Dog Day is sure to be appreciated by a dog that does not have anything to do but to sit in a pen or cage all day.
You never know, you might become close friends and decide to adopt the dog. This would be a great gesture of respect for the dogs who gave their lives and health to make a better world.
PETA and other organizations take this opportunity to highlight how many dogs are being mistreated and abused around the world. They encourage people to take immediate action if they witness abuse to man’s best friend.
PETA strongly opposes Alaskan dog-sled runs every year. They claim that they exhaust the animals and urge Alaskan tourists to boycott the Iditarod annual memorial race or any other tourist attraction that includes dogsled rides.