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Dogsledding in Quebec

Mel treated me to a wonderful trip for my birthday. We stayed at the Ice Hotel in Station Touristique Duchesnay near Quebec City. On the afternoon of our arrival, we had booked a dogsledding adventure. This was great fun!

We arrived at the venue by bus, and disembarked to the howling of the dogs. They can hear the bus arrive and know that this means they get to run! Here is a pic of the kennel area:

Sled Dog Kennel, Station Touristique Duchesnay, Quebec
Sled dog kennels, Station Touristique Duchesnay, Quebec

It was really cold this afternoon, around 5 degrees F, but the dogs were comfortable and acclimated to the climate. They just lay on the snow or on top of their houses:

Sled Dog on top of their house, Station Touristique Duchesnay, Quebec
Enjoying the winter weather atop his doghouse!

After some instruction from our guide, we met our team at our sled:

Our Sled Dog Team, Station Touristique Duchesnay, Quebec
Two of our team’s dogs, the big, strong ones at the back of the team of six dogs.

Then, we were off!!


We went on a hilly course, and I had to get off the sled and run and push up the hills to help the dog team. The lead dog always knew what was going on, and I noticed him (or her?) checking over their shoulder every time I got off or back on the sled. These dogs are magnificent, and just live to pull sleds.

We had a bit of a problem part way through, a pair of dogs fighting each other. Our guide had to swap a dog from our team with one from her team.

Unrest Among The Sled Dog Team, Station Touristique Duchesnay, Quebec
Unrest among the team members.

We arrived back at the kennels after a lovely circuit through woods, up and down hills, and along the banks of a nice river. Now it was time to thank the dogs for all their hard work:

Arriving back at the kennels, Station Touristique Duchesnay, Quebec
Arrival back at the kennels.

Mel thanking the dogs, Station Touristique Duchesnay, Quebec
Mel giving the dogs some lovin’.

These dogs are not house pets, but they are very affectionate and enjoy human company and touch.

We then went to the yurt for some hot chocolate and got to meet one of the puppies:

Puppy, Station Touristique Duchesnay, Quebec
Sweet girl! (Kind of stinky, though!)

One member of our team was an 11-year old female, still pulling after all these years! When the dogs no longer want to pull, they are retired, and get taken for walks from time to time. One of the dogs is the mascot and has her own area where guests can pet her:

Mascot Dog, Station Touristique Duchesnay, Quebec
Mel and the mascot.

This was one of those memorable experiences we seek as travelers. Add it to your list of things to do!

Happy travels!

-Steve

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