Sunday, June 10, 2007

No Longer a "Micro-kennel".

I was sitting here at my place of employment thinking about my dog team and kennel when it suddenly occurred to me that it is no longer appropriate for me to think of the Stardancers Historical Freight Dogs kennel as a "micro-kennel". With enough dogs to fill out a nice sized touring team, we have come up one notch on the mushing food chain, and now qualify as a "small kennel" instead.

It's only a matter of semantics, really. Nonetheless, it seems to have changed the way I perceive my kennel and team and the manner in which I manage my dogs and resources.

For example, when I thought in terms of a micro-kennel I didn't worry much about comparison shopping for dog food and small husbandry items. When caring for only four dogs, a buck or two difference in the price of dog food, toys, or chew bones didn't make much difference. Now, however, it is something I think about. Saving just a couple of bucks on a bag of dog food can add up to some serious money over a relatively short period of time.

Time management has also become an issue. With three young dogs in the yard that need a fair amount of work if they are to reach their full potential as sled dogs, I have to work more efficiently in order to accomplish everything I must during the time I have available. It requires more thought and planning.

I think the difference in perspective may also make a difference in how I relate to my dogs. All of my dogs are still my best buddies, but I'm less inclined to think of them as pets. Now I tend to think of them as family members or perhaps as co-workers who join forces to accomplish a common goal.

It's well known that in political debate, semantics can make a huge difference in how different people perceive an issue. Apparently semantics can make a difference in how one perceives something as simple yet as complicated as managing a team of sled dogs.

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