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Aimee's Canadian Adventure | Dogs Sledding Ranch Stay

Aimee's Canadian Adventure | Dogs Sledding Ranch Stay

Author -  Aimee Lobb

Aimee's Canadian Adventure | Dogs Sledding Ranch Stay

 

iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-10.jpeg

The day I left New Zealand was the most exciting feeling ever, there’s something exhilarating about leaving everything behind to go off on an adventure half way across the world.

iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-7.jpegiwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-6.jpeg

I hopped off the plane and was suddenly surrounded by snow, I had finally arrived in Grande Prairie, which was the location of the ranch which would be my home for the next 10 weeks.


iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-36.pngiwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-5.jpeg

 

I was living in an apartment above the boarding kennel with 2 other workers a German and an English. The family of four lived in a cabin just down the drive, they were big animal lovers and own around 30 sled dogs as well as running their own dog kennel business. Aaron is a dog musher and owns around 30 Alaskan huskies. 

 

iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-37.pngiwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-40.png

 

A lot of the time was spent training the sled dogs for the Canadian Challenge in Saskatchewan, which occurred in February. (Btw I just found out he won!) His wife Eva manages the Boarding Kennel as well as raising their two young children. The family were really welcoming, they made sure I had all the correct gear, letting me borrow various big fur hooded jackets from there collection to ensure I was well prepared for the -40 weather. 

 

iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-27.jpegiwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-12.jpeg

Most of my time was spent working at the boarding kennel, training the sled dogs and occasionally babysitting. I had 2 days off each week, which was a nice break as work starts at 7.30am and finishes around 6pm, the days were long but always eventful. Working at the boarding kennel there were a variety of different tasks to be done, such as cleaning, washing the dogs, playtime and walking the dogs. There was always something exciting to do. One of my favourite tasks was training the sled dog puppies, it was such an interesting experience to see how sled dogs start off in their career.


iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-19.jpegiwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-26.jpeg

Once a week myself and the other two workers would head into town and go to the college where we would go rock climbing, this became a regular thing we would do together. Living in the middle of nowhere had its restrictions being a 25-minute drive out of town, which meant I didn’t meet a lot of new people; however I did make a few crazy friends from town, who showed me the Canadian way. Who knew it was normal to have a sled in the back of your truck. 

 

iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-39.pngiwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-3.jpeg

 

Plus I have never ever met anyone who says eh as much as I have in Canada. I definitely picked up on the slang pretty much straight away, just throw a few eh’s in every sentence and you’ll be sweet. We were lucky that the family had a truck we were able to use at times on our days off or in the evenings if we wanted to head into town. Let me tell you driving probably the biggest truck out (also known as the beast) was rather scary in snowy black ice conditions. I even had the chance to go see the local ice hockey team play, which was something I have always wanted to do! I also attempted snowboarding…lets just say it didn’t end well…to be continued. haha

 

iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-15.jpegiwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-20.jpeg


I remember the first time I headed down to the dog yard being face to face with about 30 howling Alaskan Huskies. I was told I would need to learn all of their names, I thought this had to be a joke, there is no way I can remember all of these different names and put them to faces. Well surprisingly after a few weeks, I did it! The first week on the ranch I learnt how to properly harness a sled dog and how to attach them to the gang line and all the other sled dog terms. 

 

iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-17.jpegiwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-28.jpeg

 

Since my arrival the snow had disappeared so training the dogs required the use of a quad until there was enough snow to use the sled. At first the German girl and myself who were new to learning the ropes, would sit on the back of the quad as Aaron yelled out the commands “Gi” and “Ho”. Soon enough we were out on our own. 

 

iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-29.jpeg

 

The runs started off small and eventually got to be about 5 hours long, most of the time it was -30 so it was bloody freezing being out there for that long. No matter how many layers you wore you were bound to get frozen at some point, but it was so worth it!

 


iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-22.jpegiwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-9.jpeg

I remember waiting and waiting for the day I could learn how to drive the sled and eventually that day came! Stepping onto the sled thinking this is it, don’t mess it up. Sure enough I yell out “Ready, Alright” and the dogs are off. I’m actually doing this I’m driving a freaking sled. It’s such an amazing feeling as you’re gliding along the snow being pulled by the team. I think at this point I could officially call myself a dog musher!


iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-34.jpeg

 

There is nothing more exciting than seeing the dogs faces light up as they are being hooked up to the sled, the gang line being tugged as the dogs eagerly wait to head off into the snow. They live for this, this is their life and they love it! The other dogs bark watching their fellow friends get ready to set off on their venture.

 

iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-21.jpegiwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-23.jpeg

I was lucky enough that I got the chance to take part in some of the tours they did with visitors, we even did tours at a school, which was an interesting experience. We also did some tours at Nitehawk the local ski hill for New Years. I was lucky enough to get the night off and went out with a few mates in town for New Years, sledding our way into 2017! You can’t get much more Canadian than that eh!


iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-30.jpegiwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-38.png


During my time at the ranch, I learnt many new skills, such as how to groom a dog and hook up a sled team. I even learnt how to ride a snow mobile and took a few of the larger boarding dogs out for runs on it, such a rush.

 

iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-8.jpegiwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-24.jpeg


The days got shorter as I realized my time was nearly over, I wasn’t ready to leave the place I had called home for the past 10 weeks. I felt like I had become a part of something and it was the greatest feeling ever. You grow this tight bond with the dogs, being there for that long and it was sad to leave them behind. I already miss the snow and the chill that comes with it, I miss the sound of waking up to the dogs howling at strange hours of the night, I even miss the occasionally run ins with wild moose. Is it weird to say I felt more at home there in Canada than I did back in NZ?

 

iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-11.jpegiwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-18.jpeg

 

My remaining two weeks in Canada were spent travelling around exploring the beautiful mountains and glaciers it had to offer, from ice walks to sleigh rides, it was one hell of an adventure.

 

iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-16.jpeg

I had an unforgettable time, I fell in love with Canada and I’m definitely going back next year! (Who doesn’t love a good Canadian accent) haha

 

iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-41.png

 

Written by Aimee Lobb | Dogs Sledding Ranch Stay Canada 

Aimee's Canadian Adventure | Dogs Sledding Ranch Stay

I wasn’t ready to leave the place I had called home for the past 10 weeks. I felt like I had become a part of something and it was the greatest feeling ever. You grow this tight bond with the dogs, being there for that long and it was sad to leave them behind. I already miss the snow and the chill that comes with it, I miss the sound of waking up to the dogs howling at strange hours of the night, I even miss the occasionally run ins with wild moose. Is it weird to say I felt more at home there in Canada than I did back in NZ?

Aimee's Canadian Adventure | Dogs Sledding Ranch Stay

 

iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-10.jpeg

The day I left New Zealand was the most exciting feeling ever, there’s something exhilarating about leaving everything behind to go off on an adventure half way across the world.

iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-7.jpegiwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-6.jpeg

I hopped off the plane and was suddenly surrounded by snow, I had finally arrived in Grande Prairie, which was the location of the ranch which would be my home for the next 10 weeks.


iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-36.pngiwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-5.jpeg

 

I was living in an apartment above the boarding kennel with 2 other workers a German and an English. The family of four lived in a cabin just down the drive, they were big animal lovers and own around 30 sled dogs as well as running their own dog kennel business. Aaron is a dog musher and owns around 30 Alaskan huskies. 

 

iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-37.pngiwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-40.png

 

A lot of the time was spent training the sled dogs for the Canadian Challenge in Saskatchewan, which occurred in February. (Btw I just found out he won!) His wife Eva manages the Boarding Kennel as well as raising their two young children. The family were really welcoming, they made sure I had all the correct gear, letting me borrow various big fur hooded jackets from there collection to ensure I was well prepared for the -40 weather. 

 

iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-27.jpegiwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-12.jpeg

Most of my time was spent working at the boarding kennel, training the sled dogs and occasionally babysitting. I had 2 days off each week, which was a nice break as work starts at 7.30am and finishes around 6pm, the days were long but always eventful. Working at the boarding kennel there were a variety of different tasks to be done, such as cleaning, washing the dogs, playtime and walking the dogs. There was always something exciting to do. One of my favourite tasks was training the sled dog puppies, it was such an interesting experience to see how sled dogs start off in their career.


iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-19.jpegiwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-26.jpeg

Once a week myself and the other two workers would head into town and go to the college where we would go rock climbing, this became a regular thing we would do together. Living in the middle of nowhere had its restrictions being a 25-minute drive out of town, which meant I didn’t meet a lot of new people; however I did make a few crazy friends from town, who showed me the Canadian way. Who knew it was normal to have a sled in the back of your truck. 

 

iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-39.pngiwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-3.jpeg

 

Plus I have never ever met anyone who says eh as much as I have in Canada. I definitely picked up on the slang pretty much straight away, just throw a few eh’s in every sentence and you’ll be sweet. We were lucky that the family had a truck we were able to use at times on our days off or in the evenings if we wanted to head into town. Let me tell you driving probably the biggest truck out (also known as the beast) was rather scary in snowy black ice conditions. I even had the chance to go see the local ice hockey team play, which was something I have always wanted to do! I also attempted snowboarding…lets just say it didn’t end well…to be continued. haha

 

iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-15.jpegiwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-20.jpeg


I remember the first time I headed down to the dog yard being face to face with about 30 howling Alaskan Huskies. I was told I would need to learn all of their names, I thought this had to be a joke, there is no way I can remember all of these different names and put them to faces. Well surprisingly after a few weeks, I did it! The first week on the ranch I learnt how to properly harness a sled dog and how to attach them to the gang line and all the other sled dog terms. 

 

iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-17.jpegiwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-28.jpeg

 

Since my arrival the snow had disappeared so training the dogs required the use of a quad until there was enough snow to use the sled. At first the German girl and myself who were new to learning the ropes, would sit on the back of the quad as Aaron yelled out the commands “Gi” and “Ho”. Soon enough we were out on our own. 

 

iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-29.jpeg

 

The runs started off small and eventually got to be about 5 hours long, most of the time it was -30 so it was bloody freezing being out there for that long. No matter how many layers you wore you were bound to get frozen at some point, but it was so worth it!

 


iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-22.jpegiwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-9.jpeg

I remember waiting and waiting for the day I could learn how to drive the sled and eventually that day came! Stepping onto the sled thinking this is it, don’t mess it up. Sure enough I yell out “Ready, Alright” and the dogs are off. I’m actually doing this I’m driving a freaking sled. It’s such an amazing feeling as you’re gliding along the snow being pulled by the team. I think at this point I could officially call myself a dog musher!


iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-34.jpeg

 

There is nothing more exciting than seeing the dogs faces light up as they are being hooked up to the sled, the gang line being tugged as the dogs eagerly wait to head off into the snow. They live for this, this is their life and they love it! The other dogs bark watching their fellow friends get ready to set off on their venture.

 

iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-21.jpegiwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-23.jpeg

I was lucky enough that I got the chance to take part in some of the tours they did with visitors, we even did tours at a school, which was an interesting experience. We also did some tours at Nitehawk the local ski hill for New Years. I was lucky enough to get the night off and went out with a few mates in town for New Years, sledding our way into 2017! You can’t get much more Canadian than that eh!


iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-30.jpegiwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-38.png


During my time at the ranch, I learnt many new skills, such as how to groom a dog and hook up a sled team. I even learnt how to ride a snow mobile and took a few of the larger boarding dogs out for runs on it, such a rush.

 

iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-8.jpegiwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-24.jpeg


The days got shorter as I realized my time was nearly over, I wasn’t ready to leave the place I had called home for the past 10 weeks. I felt like I had become a part of something and it was the greatest feeling ever. You grow this tight bond with the dogs, being there for that long and it was sad to leave them behind. I already miss the snow and the chill that comes with it, I miss the sound of waking up to the dogs howling at strange hours of the night, I even miss the occasionally run ins with wild moose. Is it weird to say I felt more at home there in Canada than I did back in NZ?

 

iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-11.jpegiwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-18.jpeg

 

My remaining two weeks in Canada were spent travelling around exploring the beautiful mountains and glaciers it had to offer, from ice walks to sleigh rides, it was one hell of an adventure.

 

iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-16.jpeg

I had an unforgettable time, I fell in love with Canada and I’m definitely going back next year! (Who doesn’t love a good Canadian accent) haha

 

iwh-canada-dogs-sledding-ranch-stay-aimee-41.png

 

Written by Aimee Lobb | Dogs Sledding Ranch Stay Canada 

Aimee's Canadian Adventure | Dogs Sledding Ranch Stay

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