It is my opinion, that next to the canoe in the summer, the dogsled was not only the main transportation link to the rest of Canada in the winter, but made a significant contribution to the creation and survival of our nation. Dog sleds delivered mail, firewood, mining equipment, gold ore, food, furs, priests, and other needed supplies between the trading posts and settlements across the Interior and along the western coast. Even the Royal Mounted Police hitching sled dogs into their harness.
Today, sled dogs as a transprtation mode (also called �mushing�) are almost driven into extinction by the spread of snowmobiles in the 1960s, but some trappers, and other isolated users have gone back to sled dogs, finding them safer and more dependable in extreme weather conditions.
But it is the dog-sled racing today, that enjoys great popularity as a sport and is being practiced world-wide, but primarely in North America and Europe. This painting was inspired by just such a race north of Toronto.
The most popular and the toughest mushing race in the world is probabnly the �Yukon Quest�
A single musher and a team of 12 to 14 sled dogs race for 10 to 14 days, following the historic
1890's Klondike Gold Rush and river mail-delivery routes. What a great tribute to the survival and heritage of the dog-sled and sled-dog in our country. --- mush!! mush!! ...........................................