We are a couple who live in Northern Norway, above the Arctic Circle, about 3.5 hours drive north of Tromsø in a valley called Reisadalen. We have a small kennel of 16 Alaskan huskies, a cat and a flock of hens of various breeds. I, Sanja, train the dogs for, and take part in, long distance sled dog races. Markus is more happy in activities like going ice-fishing on the mountains with the dogs :)
We live in the middle of the nature and there is a lot to do for an active person. We are looking for a person/a couple who is responsible, positive, independent, love animals and outdoor life. Hopefully you also have some practical skills. We can offer a place to live, food and lots of quality time with the dogs. Driving license may com useful, because we live about 20 km from the town, Storslett.
The main thing we need help with is with the dogs. Training and taking care of them is very rewarding, but also very time consuming. We both work now full time, so help with the animals is very welcome. Tasks consists of feeding the dogs, helping with the training, dog yard maintenance, building new dog houses, taking care of the chickens, etc. Possibly also some help in the house.
Because it takes time to get to know the dogs, we hope that you stay for minimum one month in summer, and minimum two months in winter.
In the area, Norwegian, Sami and Kven (Finnish ancestry) cultures are present. You'll get an insight into the Norwegian-Finnish everyday life where dogs play a major part.
I train the dogs year around, but sometimes in summer (May-August) it's too warm. Training trips are short. This is time for building dog houses and for maintenance of equipment. Dogs enjoy running loose in the dog yard, and going for a swim. The chickens need to be taken care of, and the may be a building project going on, as well as some gardening.
In autumn and winter (September-March), I train the dogs a lot. The main task then is the dog training, feeding, cleaning the dog yard and shoveling snow. Also some cleaning in the house, or cooking, if you like. In spring (April-May) there are many relaxing trips to the mountains with ice-fishing and cooking coffee on open fire.
The dogs diet consists of raw meat among other things so you have to be able to handle this. We on the contrary are quite flexible with our diet so vegetarians are welcome, as long as you're bit flexible as well, and help to cook. Note that 'special products' for your diet may not be available here, or can be rather expensive.
We hope that you meet the following 'criteria':
- One month minimum stay in summer, two months in winter
- Some prior experience with animal care
- Have a genuine interest in the dogs and long distance dog sledding!
- Like to be out in all kinds of weather
- Good physical shape
- Responsible, flexible
- You must be a self-starter
- Days we are out with the dogs are more than 5 hours; it can be cold and dark behind the sled!
Accommodation is available either in a hut across the dog yard or in a separate bedroom in the main house. Shower, toilet and meals shared with us. Suitable for one person, or a couple.
Airport here is called Sørkjosen, and has flights to/from Tromsø. Or you can take a buss to/from Tromsø or Alta.
The town, Storslett, has a cinema, museum, restaurants, a bakery, supermarkets, and several other shops.
In summer, you can for instance take a riverboat safari in the national park, fish, hike, bike, enjoy the midnight sun and the birds singing, sit outside and watch the chickens, have a fire and enjoy the nature. In autumn, you can pick berries and mushroom.
In winter, you can go skiing (both cross country and ski touring, or ski with the dogs), ice-fishing, go on a moose safari (free, just around the house!) or whale safari, enjoy the northern lights, or sit outside and make a fire.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week