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Hello from Prince George, BC's gateway to the north.
We have a Dog Sledding Husky Ranch in Northern BC Canada.
On our ranch we have 24 beautiful Siberian Huskies, and 7 Canadian Inuit Dogs. They are all loving and happy dogs, and a part of our family. Even though they are or were sled dogs, we do not consider them "work dogs". We run them for their health and happiness as a recreational activity, not as a tour company. They all have individual personalities, and we love them for that. Many of the dogs are getting older, and some of them are retired from running on the teams and require daily walks, hugs, and playtime.
We really enjoy having volunteers, and are now in our 8th year of sharing our lifestyle with others.
Volunteers who want to work in the dog yard with the dogs, MUST have dog experience. Recognizing the subtle signs of canine communication is essential.
We have a couple of large cross breeds that do not get along with the huskies and it is imperative that the volunteers understand dogs.
Being able to effectively communicate with the other kennel hands is a must. Being safety orientated such as always closing gates, not letting dogs or horses out or their pens, and asking questions when in doubt, are high on our list of priorities.
As well as dog / horse care, we have many projects on the go, from grooming, fencing, gardening, trail clearing, barn painting, general cleanup, firewood splitting etc. (depending on the season)
Sorry we do not have the time to cater to specific diets, such as vegetarian, vegan or gluten free, and everyone is welcome to share cooking and kitchen duties.
Several of the older dogs live in the house, so anyone with dog allergies or issues with dog hair, would not be suitable. Other allergens include hay and shavings (wood chips) as dog bedding, pollinating trees, bushes, grasses, etc...so please be sure allergies will not cut your stay short.
We have a strict NON-SMOKING policy, everywhere on our property and house. Volunteers must be non-smokers...without exception.
We understand volunteers need to keep in touch with their loved ones and families and skyping is usually the best method. Our internet is limited and skyping slows down the feed considerably so for that reason we arrange an agreed upon schedule.
Please read entire profile and if you need more information, drop me a message.
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
Help with Computers / internet
Learn about what a farm stay is like on a husky ranch. Even though some tasks do not involve the dogs, there is an ambiance of country style living, with a back drop of howling huskies. The lifestyle of a musher is one that very few get to experience in their lifetime. Volunteers get to have a glimpse of this lifestyle and realize that even though they are here for a short while they can understand the commitment involved.
First of all it is a mindset, consisting of a full on dedication to the welfare of the dogs, their environment, their need to roam and travel, and their desire to operate as a pack.
Secondly understanding pack mentality and being interactive with a pack is one that even most trainers don't have the opportunity to experience as they usually deal with dogs from individual owners and even though they may congregate as a group in a lesson they don't naturally intermingle as a family pack.
Lastly, it is costly to care for and properly house a pack of large energetic dogs. The volunteers get to see how much food, equipment, housing requirements and physical care such as routine grooming and vet care goes into this lifestyle. So ultimately if someone was interested in becoming a musher and having a team of their own, this is a terrific experience to get a good overview of what is required.
There are a variety of tasks, depending on the time of year, weather and what project we have on the go.
We spend many hours outside in all kinds of weather. With 4 distinct seasons, we have 25 to 32 degrees normally in the summer, cooler and sometimes rainy falls, spring all depends on the snow melt, but can be muddy, and winter can get as cold as -35 or -45 with a wind chill. Usual winter temperatures range from -10 to -20. Some days are fabulous with sunshine, others are cold with blowing snow....all the life of a musher!
We also have a dog grooming shop on our ranch and grooming dogs is always ongoing. With this expect to get wet and hairy...
We have two bedrooms available for volunteers.
Bath room is shared.
Volunteers must bring with them or buy locally, appropriate clothing so they can do the tasks and be comfortable and happy...lets face it being cold or wet is not fun for anyone. Almost always, volunteers come without sufficient Mitts, Hats, Boots (in winter) and Rain Wear. Please be prepared and you will have an awesome experience.
Volunteers must be able to work well on their own or with others, be self starters and ready to challenge the day at 8:00 am. Most of the day is spent outside so enjoying the outdoors and animals is a must.
Skyping with family and friends is available when the internet is not being used for business. Gaming on line is NOT allowed as it overloads our internet capabilities. Therefore if you really enjoy hours on the internet either on a tablet or mobile phone...this is not the place for you as we have limitations on speed and usage is expensive.
In a nut shell, if you are not motivated in the morning, don't like working outside, would rather be in a city, like spending hours on the internet, smoke (and please don't come thinking you will quit smoking while you are here, we have actually had volunteers try this using nicotine substitutes ), or if you have potentially dangerous allergies please be advised this is not the place for you.
However, if you like getting up and seeing the beautiful day ahead of you, being outside and working with your hands, like being in the country, and working around animals...we would love to have you!
On your spare time there are miles of trails to explore if you like hiking, biking, snowshoeing etc...
Our sled dog ranch is 30 minutes from town and we usually plan one day per week for a short town trip to get supplies, etc.
There is no public transportation close by.
We do NOT have mail delivery to our door. To get the mail we have to travel into town to get all parcels and mail. Therefore do NOT have items mailed to our address unless it is essential. Mail from overseas usually does not arrive before volunteers leave.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
25 hours maximum, 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week