Dogsledder to discuss experiences across Maine, Canada
Camden — Polly Mahoney of Mahoosuc Guide Service in Newry will share slides of her dogsledding experiences from the Yukon Territory, Maine, Nunavut, and northern Quebec, on Thursday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. at Camden Public Library.
Mahoney has been dogsledding for 33 years and is co-owner of her business for the last 23 years, offering dogsledding trips in the northeast. She will bring a couple of her friendly sled dogs to meet attendees and a sled to demonstrate harnessing the dogs.
Mahoosuc Guide Service is a small family-run business; Polly Mahoney and Kevin Slater are professional year-round guides, equally comfortable poling a canoe up the Allagash or driving a dog team across the sea ice of Hudson Bay.
Mahoney said in a news release, “Mahoosuc is unique in that we make much of the equipment we use on our guided trips, such as cedar canvas canoes, ash dog sleds, and maple paddles. We have found the traditional equipment and materials we use to be durable, functional, and in many ways preferable to today’s high technology outdoor equipment.
“We have traveled extensively in the north with the Cree and Inuit and many of the techniques we use for northwoods and tundra travel were developed by them. We believe in the intrinsic value of wilderness experiences. Our philosophy of guiding is to respect and accept the wilderness; not to compete against it. We have been fortunate over the years to have been discovered and featured in periodicals such as Cross Country Skier, Mushing, Canoe, Canadian Geographic, Downeast, and a film for National Geographic Explorers Journal and PBS Made in Maine.
“We refer to our dogs as Yukon huskies. Their bloodlines go back to various parts of the Yukon territories where they were originally bred by native people to pull toboggans in deep soft snow conditions. They are big, long-legged, very intelligent, and extremely devoted. Yukon huskies are not as high strung as racing breeds and because of their size and strength fewer (normally five) dogs are needed per team. All of these qualities make it easier and more enjoyable for beginners to learn how to work with a dogteam.
“We have been raising, breeding and training our bloodlines for over 33 years. One of the unique features of our dogyard is that we have bred, raised, and trained all of the dogs ourselves. We believe in providing an excellent quality of life for our hard working huskies. We take one or two on our guided canoe trips and we have three one-acre pens they run loose and play in during the summer months. Our commitment to our dogs does not stop when they retire from pulling. We have a very active elder retirement community in our house. We take care of our dogs from birth to death. They are part of our family!”