Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mush!

No, I’m not talking romantic mush – yuck!

Dog sledding mush!

Terry Lynn Johnson’s first book, Dogsled Dreams, was released a few weeks ago. She’s a fellow blogger and super nice person, so I asked her to tell me a little more about dogsled racing. She also listed signs of dogsled addiction guaranteed to make you laugh! So please welcome Terry…

Dogs ran my life for over twelve years.

Yes, the term “musher” usually means someone who runs sled dogs, but I found it was the other way around. And I think most mushers would agree.

To own a team of dogs is all or nothing. You must be completely committed to them, because they give you everything in return. When I wasn’t on the trail, I was dreaming about dogs, planning events with the dogs, weighing dogs, inspecting dog feet, cooking for dogs, picking up dog poop, grooming dogs, studying dog charts, or talking about dogs.

At a dogsled race, you will see the results of months of running together – alone, often at night, through mud, then icy trails, then finally snow, and blizzards. Years of living and working together, creating strong bonds.

The relationship mushers have with their dogs is more than that of a pet. I have had several pet dogs. I’ve never seen any of them look at me the way one of my leaders have. I know that dogs – all dogs – seem to have the ability to look into your soul. But I simply can’t explain the understanding that reflects back from the eyes of a sled dog. I’m sure it’s the same with any working dog. The dogs seem to relish they have a job. They are relied upon. They are needed and have responsibilities – especially lead dogs.

Dogsled racing isn’t really about going fast down a trail.

I hope that in my novel DOGSLED DREAMS, I show that relationship and help people understand why anyone would want to do this crazy thing. You can read the first chapter and more at my site, Terry Lynn Johnson

So that you don’t think I’m just some weird anomaly who had a strange, unnatural attachment to her dogs – here's what other mushers said about their dogs on a forum on Sled Dog Central.


You know you have a problem with being addicted to dogsledding when:

You spend more time reading the labels on dog food bags than you do your own food.

You sleep with the window open to get used to the cold.

You think dog hair is a food group.

Checking dog poop for consistency is no longer weird.

You have your favorite sprint sled in your living room so you can study it.

After a heavy snow, you dig out the dog yard before the driveway or front steps.

You change the straw in the dog houses more often than you change your bed sheets.

When you can tell which dog is barking in a kennel of 40 dogs.

The second you think, “I have four, what difference does two more make?”

To order DOGSLED DREAMS -
Barnes and Noble
Amazon Canada

66 comments:

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I loved reading this , I love dogs but not adiccted to dog sledging,
I am however addicted to children's slides at the park.

Yvonne.

Liza said...

This looks great. Thank you for the interview!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

What an interesting world! Thanks for sharing it with us. I think my corgi would *love* to have a job. She's so happy when I send her out to chase away squirrels from the bird feeders. :)

DEZMOND said...

Terry is a nice person, she visited our GALA CEREMONY on Sunday and was very nice and polite to the Dezzies academy!
Wishing her the best of luck with the book!
PS did she ever had problems with animal protection organizations due to the topic of her book?

Hannah Kincade said...

Congratulations, Terry! I had the pleasure of spending a wekend dogsledding. There is nothing like it and I would love the chance to do it again...though I pulled my groin.

Margo Benson said...

It's always a good sign when I'm inspired to read something I know nothing about. Your passion is contagious. Great interview and best of luck with the book.

iZombie said...

looks interesting, doggies don't like me... i will be cautious...
:)

Matthew Rush said...

I used to own a Siberian Husky, and she was the most awesome dog I ever had. This book sounds great, thanks Alex!

Charles Gramlich said...

Dog sledding makes me think of Jack London, and that's a good connection for any writer to have.

Jules said...

I'm all about dogs! Thanks for sharing the book. :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Carol Kilgore said...

I live in Texas, so I don't have sled dogs. I do have two working dogs, though - border collie and Australian cattle dog (blue heeler) - so I can relate a little. I laughed out lout at dog hair being a food group. Our heeler sheds consistently all year and both have huge spring and fall sheds. And I can tell the difference in their barks, but so can everyone in the neighborhood - LOL.

Stephen Tremp said...

I look at it as more of a passion than an addiction. You love what you do and you're very good at it. Best wishes for the success of your book!

Tara said...

How awesome that you have such a passion for something and were able to convey that through writing. Best of luck to you!

Bossy Betty said...

SO cool! I learned a lot today!

Haleine said...

You mean dog hair isn't a food group??

Best of luck to you!

Chris Phillips said...

loved the line about dog poop consistency. my wife (vet) always checks our dogs' poop and even takes samples to work.

Old Kitty said...

I adore dogs and think they're so clever to be hanging out with mushers for dogsleding!! Yay what fun for man/woman and doggie!!! I wish Terry Lynn Johnson all the best with Dogsled Dreams!!! thanks for the link to her first chapter - it's great to get a taster of the book!! Take care
x

Melissa said...

This is so cool!!!! I'm really interested in this book.

Karen Peterson said...

Sounds like a fun read! I love reading stories about these entire cultures I know little or nothing about.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

yay for dogsledding! I know a couple of sledders here and a friend of a friend ran the iditarod last year

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, this was great! I can sort of get this obsession--in fact i think i totally could, if not for the COLD part, but the working dogs and bond thing is way cool. It would make a good set-up, too for... a thriller or something (a killer forcing the dogsled person (what is the person component of this called?) and team to help him escape off somewhere strange... or get TO somewhere strange where someone has left some treasure...

Love your list at the end, too! (thanks for hosting, Alex!)

Mary Vaughn said...

Great post. I'm happy to see this is one addiction that won't be getting me. Love the dogs but snow -- not so much.

gideon 86 said...

Great interview...

Sounds like a good read. I love everything about dogs.


Good luck, Terry.

Michael

watchman said...

nice

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks everyone for supporting Terry! She will check in later to reply to comments. And sorry, I've been busy all day as well. Someone actually expected me to do some work at my job today. The nerve!

The Golden Eagle said...

Great post!

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I've just started Dogsled Dreams, and I already love it! I'm hoping to review it over at Ink Spells (Sorry it's taking so long, Terry! Promise I'll get there!).

:)

Lindsay (a.k.a Isabella) said...

Congratulations Terry. We don't have dogsledding here in the uk, but it looks like something people get passionate about. I love that. If it wasn't for the fact I hate the cold, I'd give it a go. :)

Amity said...

Hi Alex,

I am so thankful to you that In spite of my very long absence now in your blog, you still try to drop by my space though I am sooooooo irregular!

You should know how pissed off I am with my ISP...I swear!

Thanks Alex...I am reading you but more often than not, due to poot net, even comments window could not be opened...so that is how poor our net services here...

I could only do in such unholy hours like now..it's 3:31 AM and I should be sleeping still...but I need to write some posts for my Alumni website!

Have a great day Alex!

Talli Roland said...

Fantastic post - really interesting. I've always been fascinated by dogsleds.

Melissa Gill said...

I just saw the last part of a TV show on Animal Planet about sled dogs in Alaska. Very interesting. Boy those dogs like to run.

M Pax said...

What a fascinating passion. Thanks for sharing it with us. I enjoyed reading. All success to you, Terry Lynn.

Christian James said...

Great interview. I adore dogs, and the dog I have always wanted is a siberian Husky, i fall in love with them

Summer Ross said...

Alex- this was a wonderful interview. The bond between these dogs and their owners sound unique. What an experience this must have been to write the book.

The Old Silly said...

Sounds great!

Lynda Young said...

haha I love the signs of addiction to dogsledding.

Clarissa Draper said...

What a cool book! I love the little facts at the end. Thanks for hosting her, Alex.

N. R. Williams said...

Nice to meet you Terry. All the best with your book. I'm a big dog lover though I've never been dog sledding. If that is the correct term.
Nancy
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Amity, that is really sweet! You know I try and check on you as often as possible. Curse that poor ISP of yours!

Thanks everyone for your comments - Terry will be thrilled!

Melissa Bradley said...

This is too cool! I've always been fascinated with dog sleds and the mushers. I will definitely be checking this book out. :)

Raquel Byrnes said...

Wow, the consistency thing really got me. Bleh! Sounds like a great read. I'll have to check out her blog.
Edge of Your Seat Romance

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Sounds like a terrific obsession to have. I love dogs. We had a working dog on our farm and she was happiest when she had something to do. The intelligence of a herding dog is amazing as was her ability to read what you wanted her to do.

Jemi Fraser said...

I LOVED this book! It's fun and funny and my students are loving it too.

Love that list at the end - :)

Arlee Bird said...

I recall watching a video on Terry's blog that was shot from the driver's seat of the dogsled and it was really cool to watch, but I'll bet it was really cold to be there in person.
Congratulations Terry!

Lee
Tossing It Out

TerryLynnJohnson said...

WOW! Thank you everyone for all your awesome comments and support! I'm so happy this topic seems to interest everyone! Thanks, Alex! I'm honoured to be on your blog!

I already left a comment, but I don't see it, so I'll try again here.

Dezzie - The book really is more about how loved sled dogs are, so I have had no trouble with animal rights groups. I know they seem to target the iditarod sometimes. This book is trying to dispell some misinformation.

Carol - there really is nothing like having a relationship with a working dog! Sounds great!

Chris - too funny!

Hart - that is a super premise! My agent is subbing my second book now, Ice Dogs, but I think I may consider part of your suggestion for my next one. Thank you for your brilliance!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jemi, isn't that list a riot?

Terry, very happy to have you here today!

Mason Canyon said...

A wonderful post and a very dedicated lady. Wishing her all the best. Love the list.

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

Copyboy said...

And see, I just thought it was about going fast. 40 dog kennel one is amazing.

Lydia K said...

Great post, Alex. THe whole mushing, dog-sled world is fascinating. It's going to be a great read!

L'Aussie said...

Thanks for this look at Terry lynn's book Alex. It sounds great. I'm going over to read the first chapter. I wish her every success!

Jai Joshi said...

Thanks for this insight into the world of dogsledding! I've never been a part of such a world so I'm fascinated.

Jai

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Thanks for your visit and comment, I am planning on going some slides when I visit Nashville in three weeks time, USA I'm on my way pain and all.

Yvonne,

Justine Dell said...

I take offense to that first line in this post, sir. Romance is kick-butt! ;-)

I've always enjoyed dog sled stories. Ever since my daughter was younger, there's always been wonderful movies and books about the sport. And what a hard sport! I bow to those who undertake it. The dedication and drive it requires amazes me.

~JD

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Yvonne, you just enjoy those Nashville slides!

Justine, I like my romance real-life, easy on the mushy stuff!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex and Terry .. what an interesting read .. some people just have that commitment and ability to connect with their animals, or birds etc .. the human being can definitely be more, if we allow the brain to connect. I'm sure the book is so fascinating to read .. thanks - Hilary

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I can't wait to read Terry's book! And love the one about dog hair as a food group. In our house, cat hair is an added food group.

Ishta Mercurio said...

I've never been dogsledding, but it sounds thrilling. And this post was fabulous. I had to laugh at the "You know you have a problem..." section; so much of it reminded me of having kids! (Well, except the part about eating hair...)

Thanks, Alex and Terry!

Talli Roland said...

What? Dog hair isn't a food group?

Thanks for the great post!

Karen Lange said...

Sounds like an interesting book! Thanks to both of you for sharing this.
Happy weekend,
Karen

Donea Lee said...

Love the addiction list! Tried to picture my dachshund mushing...umm, yeah - no. :) Off to see Terry's blog - thanks!

Leovi said...

I love dogs but I have no space to have one at home.

Helen Ginger said...

Sounds like you're really committed to your dogs. That doesn't surprise me since at times you depend on each other for your lives.

On a side note, my husband's all-time favorite movie is Iron Will.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Ishta, you never know about that hair!

Donna, it would take a whole lot of weiner dogs to mush...

Helen, I've seen that movie. (Of course!)

TerryLynnJohnson said...

wow! I'm just overwhelmed with the awesome support on this blog! Yay,for dog lovers and readers who like to learn new things!

Powdered Toast Man said...

I'd hate to be the last dog. All you see is dog ass.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I find myself acting this way and doing these things since we adopted a kitten. I can't even imagine what a pushover I'd be for a whole team of dogs. Heavenly!