19 November 2013

Meet the Musher: Paul

Meet Paul.  Paul lives on Long Island with his dogs, Summer and Tucker.   Paul is the owner of PAWESOMEDOGS.COM.  He volunteers with two rescue groups "Siberian Husky Assistance and Rescue Program of NY" and "Pets for Vets" as their trainer on Long Island.

What dog powered sports have you been involved with?

 Dry land mushing, I started Mt.Board-joring in 1992 with my then Malamute Boru, he loved it we'd go everywhere and created smiles too, the simple connection gets me lost in watching his movements in front of me, back then I was alone in doing this and still I get frowned upon by old school mushers, but once they see it and try it they change their perception, I actually compete in Bike-joring classes when I can get to sanctioned races and introduce people to running their Dog, as a trainer with the Springer System, Kjell is a great man.

How did you first get started in the sport? 

Through my love of Northern breeds and even as a kid I'd attach my Dog to my BMX bike and have him pull me, I went on instinct, then learned form more experienced real Mushers about how to call out for turns. 

When did you know you were hooked on the sport? 

Well it started when I was around ten years old, so 30 years ago and I've never been on a sled, so go figure.

What is mushing like in your neck of the woods?

I'm all alone, I hear about others, but I'm pretty sure they just see me and think there are more of us.

I do my best to promote it, and got some people into cani-cross, but I run on seriously twisty Mt. Bike trails so even experienced mushers might be intimidated by where I run my dogs.

What is your favorite activity to do with your dogs?

Kayacking, Summer does water rescue, it came natural to her, but I love that it proves BSL is BS. Then bike-joring and Mt.Board-joring. and hiking. I Love Hip-belts.

What other kinds of training have you done with your dogs? 

Well I'm a Dog trainer so opening doors, is pretty cool, some tricks, but I just focus on Dogs that can go anywhere and do anything, I'm pretty sure I could take a class 2 / 3 river with Summer in my Kayak and sky dive with her, it's all about love and trust.

Tell us about your current dogs. 

Summer comes from an amazing breeder, Tucker was a rescue that was locked in a basement for 16+hours, never abused, but severely neglected, he now helps me train unruly puppies.

Tell us a little about your relationship with your dogs.

They are amazing Zen like Dogs, they teach me.

What characteristics do you look for in a new dog? 

Their history, to quote Dr, Ian Dunbar socialization happens between 4 & 12 weeks of age and if those Dogs are introduced to a 100 people they Will be better Dogs for it, beyond that good legs and willingness, I never force a Dog to do anything, I may motivate them, but it's about Love and Dogs want to please us.

What is your favourite piece of gear? Why is it your favourite? 

A good harness that fits properly, good equipment is key and I also love RuffWear packs, but I get my Harnesses from Amy Dugan at Mountain Ridge, because that are handmade and I believe in all that Cape Town Carts does, people that Love Dogs and creative amazing products out of Love, not money get my undying  support. 

Describe a perfect run with your dogs. 

One where I lose focus on the trail and get caught up in the beauty of their movement, it's magical.

What is the best advice you have ever been given for mushing? 

Good equipment is essential, and so are the basic commands, my Dogs knowing “Stop” has saved me from serious injury.

What resources have you used to further your training? Not many besides some real mushers teaching me the tried and true commands, Haw, Gee, Whoa, Stop, Line out, Hike, Lets Go.  

Know the basics don't create your own commands so others can run your Dogs if needed, I've even worked Haw & Gee into pets Dogs for walking.

Why do you run your dogs? 

For the Bonding , for the thrill, for the Love we share doing it.

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