Wayne & Hayley

Let’s get a dog I said, a little dog I could take for walks, throw a stick for and cuddle up with on the settee on cold winter nights. However, Wayne my husband had other ideas about the type of dog we should have. So off we went to Exeter in the car to see a little Siberian husky puppy, it was love at first sight he was so small and fluffy and there was no way we were going to leave without him, but little did we know at that point how much this little ball of fur would change our lives forever in the years to come.

On his first outing to our local shop, which is about a 15 minutes’ walk away we got stopped by everyone we saw, people just couldn’t get over how cute he was. That first 15 minutes’ walk turned in to 2 hours ending with Wayne having to go and get the car so we could get home without anyone else stopping us to say hi to our new little husky puppy.

We started walking everywhere with him and he loved running alongside Wayne while he rode his bike. Everywhere Wayne went our new puppy was sure to follow, just like Wayne’s little shadow so that’s what we named him ‘Shadow’.

As we started to look deeper in to the Siberian husky breed we saw that as they were a pack breed and loved to be with not only humans but other Siberians, so we decided that we would get another husky as a play mate and to keep Shadow company on those rare occasions we had to leave him by himself.

Enter Sky, a blue eyed, very vocal (still is…), ‘Alice Cooper’ look alike, female Siberian husky puppy. The 2 of them were inseparable, everywhere Shadow went Sky followed and everywhere Sky went Shadow was sure to go. As the 2 of them grew their energy levels increased, all they ever wanted to do was run together and run fast. We decided we needed to find a good fun way to put all of this energy to good use so we looked into competing in races and competitions with the two of them. Wayne entered them and himself in a dryland mushing race in the New Forest. At the starting shoot for the race things where mad, dogs jumping and barking and raring to get going, when it came to Shadow, Sky and Wayne’s turn at the starting shoot they walked in, sat down looking at Wayne. Everyone laughed and said ‘how sweet’, we weren’t sure how Shadow and Sky would react to all of this, let alone if they would even run but when the countdown clock hit zero, Wayne said ‘go’ they took off like rockets much to the surprise of all the spectators and other competitors. And they were event more surprised when Shadow, Sky and Wayne came first in their class, winning the championship. We were so proud of them and they absolutely loved their day racing, this was what they were born to do.

Well that was it, the start; We got a third husky called Zante and won the 3-dog class, a fourth called Zasha and won more races and more classes. We were now definitely hooked on Siberian huskies. We got a few more huskies, some from rescues and some from other breeders to join our team. However not all of them wanted to or enjoyed running and we didn’t want to make them, Hudson in particular didn’t like running he just liked his walks and snuggling up on either the sofa or our bed, so they became our special house huskies and we loved them just as much as all our huskies. Then came the puppies from one of our female huskies, all 7 of them. 7 adorable husky puppies and we decided to keep all of them, Team Wolftracker was born.

After that our dry land racing stepped up a gear and we carried on winning more classes and further race championships. We decided that we wanted to let our dogs see real snow and also to see how they would do racing in snow with a sled. So off we all went to France for several months to see how we got on in the cold and the snowy conditions of European sled dog racing. Surprise, surprise, they loved it, couldn’t get enough of the snow and racing in it.

On our return to the UK it just wasn’t the same racing in dryland competitions again, so after lots of discussions and a few sleepless nights we decided that Norway and the Finnmarksløpet long distance races was what we wanted and needed to do. So, in the August of 2016 off we all went, 19 dogs Wayne and myself to Langfjordbotn which is a small village at the end of a fjord an hour’s drive west of the City of Alta, Norway, the home of the Finnmarksløpet long distance races.