...a wonderful trail companion during our walks and a super snuggler.
If you have had the opportunity to visit the Sanctuary it is no doubt you've met Thanatos, who we refer to as 'Thani' for short. All dogs have an important job here but Thani is a major keystone to nearly everything that goes on at the Sanctuary.
For many years we depended on him to not only work hard in harness pulling the sled down the trail but also to greet those who came to visit and show how loving and gentle sled dogs can be. Thani not only excelled at making our visitors feel welcome, (he is one of our full time inside snugglers) he has also excelled out on the trail as well.
For many years he took up the wheel position (closest to the sled) working next to his big buddy Boreas pulling the sled easily through tough terrain. The two worked so effortlessly that they quickly earned the nickname the "Buffalo Brothers".
In 2013 we gave Thani a chance up in lead when Juno was having trouble navigating through a particularly rough section of trail. Right from the start he excelled in his new position but because of his great size and strength was quickly put back in wheel where he would be of the most benefit to the team. As soon as the hook was pulled he quickly set back to work, but the wheels in his head had already started turning.
Thani has always been impatient to go and has developed a bad habit of chewing on the gangline because of it. To help keep him in check he is often the last one we place on the gangline.
After his time in lead this bad habit became even more difficult to manage when, out of frustration at being so far behind, he chewed the lines of the team pulling one of our guests out for a day of mushing! After a few quick repairs we were off and and running again but it was clear, he was absolutely convinced he was ready to do so much more.
In 2014 we decided to start the season off with Thani tentatively in lead and were shocked to see how well he behaved! He did very well, looking back often to check on his commands, held his line out tight and at every turn, whether he took it right or wrong, he was always ready to try again until he got it right.
He has always been a great dog to have at the Sanctuary, a wonderful trail companion during our walks and a super snuggler. Now we can also add 'Trail Boss' to his resume as he works with the new dogs helping to teach about life here at the Sanctuary and how fun it is to be working out on the trail.
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