NL NDP Leader Lorraine Michael (MHA Signal Hill – Quidi Vidi) and Christopher Mitchelmore (MHA Straits-White Bay North) had the pleasant opportunity to participate in a short ride at Northern Lights Mushings in Happy Valley- Goose Bay.
Ms. Michael after harnessing a husky took a seat on the basket sleigh as I had the opportunity to lead from behind wearing my seal skin boots. I have been on snowmobile over the years and loved the ride as a child, however, there is such a feeling of tranquility as the smooth ride one feels as the Labrador huskies gently pull you across the snow.
The pure bred Labrador Huskies are magnificent animals, who do their job well. I can only imagine in the early 1900’s when Dr. Wilfred Grenfell would take to the North Coast of Labrador and Northern Newfoundland via dog team to provide essential medical services. It is delightful to see that some people of Labrador are continuing the traditional way of transportation.
There is something unique about the Labrador Husky:
The Labrador Husky originated in the Labrador portion of the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The breed probably arrived in the area with the Inuit people who came to Canada around 1300 AD. Although they were once very closely related to other Northern breeds, such as the Siberian Husky, they became isolated in Labrador. Their history of being bred with wolves does not mean that they are wolf-dogs, nor do they have any recent wolf ancestry. However, they still retain some of their wolf-like physical features.
Of all the northern dog breeds, the Labrador Husky is one of the rarest, with less than an estimated 50-60 purebred Labrador Huskies currently identified in Labrador.. As a result, the breed is not well understood by many dog breeders. (Source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labrador_Husky )
My time with the Labrador Huskies was truly a remarkable experience. If you ever have the opportunity, I highly recommend you take the time to ask questions about the breed, their contribution to way of life in the “big land” and enjoy the ride.
A special thank-you to Northern Lights Mushings! You’re hospitality, knowledge and passion for the preservation of the Labrador Husky is to be commended. I hope you continue for generations to come!
Live Rural NL –Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA The Straits-White Bay North