“They can’t wait to run!”
“Wow! Look at them go!”
A site you don’t see every day on the varsity lacrosse field:
a team of six gorgeous Siberian huskies pulling a wheeled cart….
Thanks to a generous donor, we were able to have Maryland Dog Sledding Adventures visit our school for two assemblies.
Catherine and Eric Benson set up camp in our assembly room and introduced the boys to lead dog Beaver. After a demonstration, three lucky boys got to try their hand at putting on Beaver’s harness, booties, and belly bands. Catherine explained that some mushers put belly bands on the dogs’ harnesses to prevent them from bunching up when the lines go slack. We then learned about the positions on the team as eight boys took their places as lead, point, team and swing dogs. They practiced their commands and learned to “ready hike,” “gee,” “haw,” and “on by!” The boys examined the sled and discussed what types of things the musher could carry in their sled.
But… by far, the greatest part of the day was the “meet and greet” on the field with the dog team! Two classes at a time got to go out onto the field where they were able to see the dogs get hooked up to the sled. The boys squealed, grinned, and laughed as the dogs jumped, barked, leaped over each other and lunged at their harnesses until the signal was given for them to charge off down the field. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that these dogs LOVE to run…. They were just as anxious to run for the fifth group as they were first group! Once the dogs returned to the dog truck, they were unhooked from the sled and the boys favorite part of the day happened! They got to pet and snuggle and meet the dogs. There were lots of kisses (on the part of both boy and dog) given! The last group of students even got to help unharness the dogs and get them ready to go home.
There were lots of questions about how the dogs were transported. The boys were interested to see how each dog had their own little spot on the truck. We learned that the boxes actually help keep the dogs safe as they travel as they don’t allow the dogs to slide around too much while they are on the road.
We will be anxiously watching Eric compete at the Can Am Crown International Sled Dog Race this year. The Can Am is a race that happens in Maine the same weekend as the Iditarod start. He will be wearing bib number three in the thirty mile race. There will also be a sixty mile and two hundred and fifty mile race as part of the even. The longest race is actually an Iditarod qualifying race.
Our second graders made an adorable book to thank the Bensons for coming. Here are a few pages to share: