Outside she is a whirlwind, dashing from dog to dog saying hello, bouncing here, there and everywhere...
One day a call came in from one of our sponsors. There was a wonderfully sweet little husky at the shelter who was in desperate need of a new home. She feared if Eli was there too long her time would run out. Since we had space in the Sanctuary to give another husky a chance we went for it and have enjoyed every moment with Eli ever since.
Like most huskies who come into our Sanctuary, Eli was shy and took some time to trust us but once she had some time to relax and settle into her new surroundings she opened up in so many ways.
In the dog yard she is very sweet, a love and a flirt to all the boys. When we ask for her attention she promptly rolls over on her back without hesitation asking for a belly rub. In the dog team Eli is a very different dog. When harnessing, her favorite belly rub position makes it a bit awkward to get her dressed. Even with coaxing she prefers to be worked with on her back, all four feet up in the air.
Once her harness is on she is off like a shot running circles around the yard whining softly, ready to be hooked into the team. After she is hooked in she cant wait to go and will bounce back and forth over and under her teammate until the break on the sled is released and the team is off down the trail.
Eli loves to run and there is no speed that she doesn't like. Since she is so tiny she can run as fast or as slow as the team wants to go. As the years pass she has grown into a mature working dog, even spending time up in lead, which she couldn't always do before because of her young age and tendency for distraction.
Like most sled dogs Eli's favorite thing is to mush down the trail but she also loves the couch! Her personality varies greatly from the dog yard to the cabin. Outside she is a whirlwind, dashing from dog to dog saying hello, bouncing here, there and everywhere but when brought inside you would think she disappeared! Once she finds the bed or the couch she is very quiet and content to sleep the day away.
One day we were editing a mushing video on the computer while Eli slept peacefully on the couch. As the video rolled on the dogs traveled, breaking trail through the snow while Eli continued snoozing on the couch. Coming up on a hill the team stopped for a breather. Eli slept on. Once the dogs were rested the command to go was called out loud and strong "Ok guys, HIKE!" Eli snapped awake, leaped from the couch and dashed into the other room before she realized where she was!
We were a bit confused by her behavior but had a good idea what was going. We decided to try it again. After many pets and hugs Eli settled back into the couch and promptly fell asleep once more. The video was loaded up again and at the same point where the command "HIKE!" was given Eli leapt up from the couch repeating the exact same behavior!
Even though she is the perfect picture of calm inside on the couch, in her heart she will always be a sled dog on the go, ready at a moments notice. This little girl has captured our hearts in so many ways and we delight not only in her work ethic but in her loyalty. Even on walks in the woods Eli is not far away ready and eager to come when called and flop over for a good belly rub.
*** Thank you Ronnie Rosenburg for sponsoring Eli! ***
Learn how you can sponsor a Sanctuary sled dog by reading more about our Sponsorship Program...