He was the bundle of energy that you promised. I wanted a dog to pull me on my scooter and on my skis, he certainly was more than willing to do that. He filled out a lot once we’d had him for a while, and I liked to joke that we had adopted a tongue with some kind of white dog attached.
When the weather cooled off I put him in harness with my husky mix and trained them to pull together. We entered our first race (a dry land event).
Eventually moving on to skijoring. On the day this picture was taken, I ran both dogs about 9 km. At that point my husky mix was exhausted, and I dropped her off in the car while Gusty and I did another 6 or 7 km.
The following year I ended up moving to South California. To my surprise, both dogs did pretty well in the relative heat. Vita (my husky cross) retired from mushing, but Gusty still pulls me about 6 or 7 miles every Saturday when the weather is cool. We have to do this very early in the morning before it heats up.
A lot of rescues balked when I told them I was looking for a dog to play with, not just a companion animal. One husky rescue in particular told me to find a breeder and not adopt. That is very good advice for someone intent on winning races, but that never was my goal. I wanted a companion animal to play with, not an Iditarod champion.
Having spent far more years around collies than sled dogs I still am taking aback when I watch my dogs play. Sled dogs look like they are attacking each other when they play – lips curled back to show vicious teeth and pink gums, growling, snarling, and barking. But they break it off instantly if I call them over for a treat, and somehow they simply don’t end up injuring each other.
Sammies seem to have a very wide range of what is normal, in terms of energy. Some seem to really like a quiet long cuddle; others seem to be unable to sit still for very long. Most folks want quieter dogs, but I like very energetic dogs that can run and run and run. There are a few consistencies with the breed; everyone owning a Samoyed realizes that Samoyed fur is both a covering for a dog, a fashion statement for humans who wear dark clothing, part of normal decorating (in dust bunny form), and a spice that seems to find its way into food.
I guess my advice to someone considering adopting a dog is to think about what you want in a dog. How much energy do you really want? A dog that will run for 16 km in a day is not likely to want to curl up on the couch and watch movies with you all day. If you want a long haired dog like a Sammie, are you really going to groom him every week? Are you okay with dust bunnies … every Sammie home has them.
I’ve had 2 Sammies thus far. Both have been stubborn, willful, and not particularly biddable. Each has at some point or another ended up off leash unexpectedly and has chosen to not run away.
I found YNotSaveaSam when I was looking to adopt a Sammie and my local Samoyed rescue just didn’t have a suitable dog. You shipped Gusty half way across the country … now he has been part of my family for several years, and we have moved from being 1500 miles east of you to being hundreds of miles west of you. Gusty has improved the lives of everyone he’s touched. Thank you for connecting us. – Gary Hughes-Fenchel