On Saturday we went along to the local Community Centre where the Willow Dog Mushers’ Association was holding it’s annual Canine Athlete Symposium.
As well as the scheduled speakers and planned sessions, there were several vendors selling a variety of tempting and useful things and we duly spent some more of our cash. Rather predictably I think, I bought dog stuff and Joyce bought a limited edition piece of artwork. Actually, the picture is really good, drawn by a local, David Totten and was the official poster for the 1997 Yukon Quest. David took 3 of the prints from the original run and got all the entrants to autograph the picture.
For me, it’s still very odd to see people wandering around that I have spent a great deal of time reading about or watching on DVDs. I know the old adage to avoid being awestruck of remembering that we all put our trousers on, one leg at a time, but it’s still a funny feeling to be standing talking to George Attla, or listening to Joe May telling self-deprecating tales.
We attended 4 different sessions during the day, the one on Extreme Cold Weather Survival (obviously), Dog Lots Hints and Tricks, Canine Accupressure and Trail Etiquette. They were all very interesting and informative and provided some excellent food for thought.
The main speaker was George Attla and the whole hall listened closely as he talked about his racing history, his favourite dogs, training methods and rivalry with Doc Lombard. At the close of the day, George, Joe May, JP Norris and Sue Firmin sat on a panel and answered questions – for me, I think that was the most enjoyable session.
So, thank you to Erin and the WDMA for an excellent event.