Year after year he plunges enthusiastically down the trail and every year he always remembers...
For many years Hermes has maintained a solid position at the head of our team, working hard down the trail and leading us through miles of uncharted territory.
Watching Hermes at work is like watching a beautiful ballet. The twists and turns he takes through the deepest snow leaves us in awe, especially when it is our turn to forge the way ahead. Even with the help of snowshoes the way is tough, slow going and very tiring work but Hermes always puts us to shame making each step look too easy.
Year after year he plunges enthusiastically down the trail and every year he always remembers the way ahead. Even if he has only taken to the trail once in his life his brain remembers it all, down to the very last detail, the way the trail curves or if a short cut was used to avoid bad ice or overflow.
The way Hermes sees the trail is amazing and unique. Not all sled dogs retain such a feel for the path or are so comfortable in lead. In the racing world dogs with his talent are valued very highly, often selling for top dollar, but due to his extreme shyness many would not bother to pay the price or take the risk.
Hermes is very unique not only in his trail sense but due to the fact that he will only run for a few people. If he doesn't know you well he will refuse to cooperate, slip out of his harness and dance just out of reach, never far from the team but refusing to work all the same.
This is a very confusing trait for those used to the typical energetic friendly husky who will do just about anything to please but to us here at the Sanctuary Hermes is just another dog who has a wonderful challenging personality. Over the years he has taught us so much about shy dog behavior, how to gain their trust and never to judge a dog by what is on the surface.
At first glance you would never know Hermes' amazing talent for the trail, and for many years we did not know ourselves. With all the dogs who come into the Sanctuary the time we take to get to know them, work with them and connect with them is priceless.
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You can read more about Hermes in the January/February issue (2012) of Mushing Magazine.