Below are several columns written by Karen Land for the Great Falls Tribune. All of these columns have one thing in common... they are all about Borage, Karen's famous traveling PR dog.
Mushing, Running, and the Great Outdoors!
A Borage-Eye View
Published: December, 4, 2003
If there was a “Survivor Series” for felines, these three cats would be in the running for the million dollar prize. Our 65 cat-crazed sled dogs are always waiting for them to let their guard down. But it’s usually the dogs that come away crying.
I have never minded the cat tracks on my car. Actually, I think they’re cute. But lately, bigger paws have been leaving their muddy marks on my vehicles. And I hate to admit it, but it’s all my fault.
It started as a game. When I would be hiking with my dogs, Borage and Jigs, I would always ask them, “Where’s the truck?” when it would come into view. They picked it right up. Even at a trailhead with several cars, they’ll always be running around my vehicle, excited they found their ride.
( 12 Votes )
The Males Can't Help It
“Often times, our males are just slow learners,” I explain to hundreds of junior high students during an Iditarod presentation. “They just don’t catch on as fast as the girls.”
The auditorium erupts with high-pitched, female laughter. Although I am speaking of sled dogs and not humans, the girls always love hearing this and tease the boys next to them. Even the teachers smile and nod their heads in agreement.
Many of the dogs that I train and race are from a bloodline of Alaskan Huskies that my mentor, Terry Adkins, acquired from Herbie Nayokpuk, an Eskimo from Shishmaref, Alaska.
( 8 Votes )
When I was little, I adored Lassie. The idea of being rescued from a burning building or the bottom of a deep well by a devoted, perfectly groomed collie appealed to me much more than the standard knight-in-shining-armour routine.
Lassie could drag a full-grown human from the flames, bark for help, fend off a grizzly, or dig a hole around your body - pinned under a fallen tree - allowing you to crawl free. Lassie would save your life week after week, yet expected nothing more in return than a bowl of dog chow, a pat on the head, a warm place to sleep. Lassie was a very handy dog to have around.
Skunked With A Six-Pack
People often tell me I’m lucky.
“What an exciting adventure!” they say, referring to my life on the road. Since mid-February, my two dogs and I have been living out of cheap motels, racking up the miles on my car as we drive across the country to give Iditarod Sled Dog presentations in schools and libraries.
As much as I love to travel, coming home to Montana is always equally thrilling. No matter how many times I cross the state line, I always get goosebumps when I see the giant “Welcome to Montana” sign; my body immediately relaxes into the car seat. The spectacular landscape and boundless sky envelopes me - I’m home.
Fame And Groundhogs
I’ve been on the road for two months now and put over 10,000 miles on my vehicle.
I’m writing my column from Brookings, South Dakota sitting on a blanket under a shade tree in the town park. My dogs, Jigs and Borage, are asleep by my side, choosing to bask in the warm sun. They look like lazy lions sprawled out in the green grass. They like this life.
So far - knock on wood - my road trip has gone smoothly. Yeah, my schedule has been packed with one dog mushing presentation after another, but it all has fallen together without a hitch. Well, there was that one day...
Borage's Call Of The Wild
One of my favorite parts of owning pets is observing their behavior.
Since I was a young child, I’ve been fascinated by the way my dogs play, fight, hunt, and even dream in their sleep. The pets in our lives and in our homes - whether they be hounds or cats, horses or rats - are a bridge between our domestic, “civilized” world and the realm of all wild things.
Lately, even though I’ve owned my Alaskan Husky, Borage, for six years, it’s almost like I have an entirely new dog in my life. This is Borage’s first winter as a retired sled dog. Now, he’s part of my daily routine - sleeping, exercising, eating, traveling with me pretty much full time.
( 5 Votes )
My two-month road trip is halfway over. Just one more month of traveling to schools and libraries all over Indiana, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wyoming giving talks about dog mushing and the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. Then I head back to Montana to devote my summer to finishing my first children’s book.
I know the next month of lectures will fly by. The first month did. My sled dog, Borage, and I only have 29 talks left. I can see a light at the end of my talking tunnel. But Borage would be happy doing this forever.
I have always appreciated Borage and his simple but unusual talent - patience. Borage is the most patient soul on this planet.
( 7 Votes )