Too Mush Cuteness
By Elle Parker
Four paws on the ground. Harness secured. Mind prepared. This can only mean one thing: it’s time to mush.
At the mention of “dog sledding,” most people think of Alaska, huskies, and mounds of snow. In reality, it can take place in all four seasons in any city, including Meridian, and any breed of dog is welcome to participate. Mia Gussie started up Dryland Dogs in January 2018, hoping to popularize mushing in Idaho. For most dogs, it’s something they truly enjoy; even beyond this, there are many reasons to mush…there is likely one that hits home with every canine owner. For Mia and her dog Zeus, mushing was only the beginning of something much greater.
All breeds, ranging from terriers to labs to pit bulls, are able to mush and can learn how with a bit of training. The main question many ask is how it’s possible to mush in all four seasons, especially in Idaho. Dryland Dogs’ mushing is considered “urban”- all the training is done in neighborhoods, parks, and on trails. This sport has recently entered the game and is rapidly becoming more and more popular. The musher can ride on a scooter, cart, or bike instead of a sled—no snow needed! It’s crucial to keep sledding dogs in shape year-round and fresh on the commands (i.e. “easy,” “whoa,” etc.) so that they’ll be ready to go when the official season rolls around in winter.
Even if a dog doesn’t participate in wintertime mushing, this training can not only help dogs stay active and challenge themselves mentally, but it is also a marketing opportunity for pups looking to get adopted. Through a program called “Running to the Rescue,” this business offers 30 free minutes of mushing for shelter/rescue dogs. This is truly a testimony to how much Mia Gussie cares for canines.
Dryland Dogs also provides many free services such as gear demos, basic scooter training, and harness fitting. Mushing is also beneficial for dog owners; it allows for a bonding experience that is simply impossible to find elsewhere. Whether the best method of mushing for you is rollerblading with your pet or purchasing a cross-scooter, mushing creates an unparalleled connection.
To Mia, the small steps matter. She explained how simply “watching people on their first ride is absolutely an amazing success” to her, and how witnessing a first ride is always “such a positive experience.” Dryland Dogs has seen many four-legged friends completely transformed through mushing. Of these dogs are Great Danes Frankie, Flo, and Fern. Through their training, these pups and their owner, Lyndsey Gill, have found such joy together in mushing: “I have never loved my dog(s) more than after awe started scootering,” she previously told Gussie.
Dryland Dogs also carries a wide array of mushing gear. Whether you need scooters, harnesses, or running lines, they have you covered. So, the next time you’re cruising around a park or driving around Meridian, keep an eye out for Flo, Frankie, Fern and their furry friends.
Facebook: Dryland Dogs LLC