I have been in love with dogs for as long as I can remember. I grew up with a black labrador retriever named Samantha. She was my best friend and the closet thing to Nana, the famous do-it-all dog from Peter Pan, that I have ever seen.
I learned about dog sledding one day when I was home sick from school. I must have been six or seven years old and my mother rented the movie Iron Will. Ever since then, all I have wanted to do was be a dog musher. Growing up on the warm sandy beaches of Falmouth, Massachusetts, however, made this a somewhat difficult dream to pursue. Each Christmas and birthday I always asked for the same thing: a dog team.
When I was in the fourth grade, my aunt took me on an overnight dogsledding trip for Christmas. Although I had been obsessed with dog sledding for years beforehand, actually going solidified this obsession. I soon read every book on mushing I could get my hands on and under the hot heat of the summer sun, I pretended I was in the cool dark of Alaska, racing sled dogs.
In the 5th grade, I got bold. If my parents weren’t going to help me pursue my dream then I was determined to find someone who would on my own. I emailed 4 time Iditarod Champion Susan Butcher asking her for dogs. She said that she thought 5 dogs would be perfect for me and had just the ones who would help me get started. I was all set to send her my life savings when my mom stumbled across the email messages and emailed Susan back: unfortunately, Sarah will not be getting any sled dogs.
More to Come…