Running with the Husky pack
JAKE Greaves wanted a Husky because they were the closest dog he could own to a wolf. Now he has 45 of them. But far from being a circling wolf pack, this pack of canines is born to run.
Greaves said given the chance they would run all day.
The pack is part of the Howling Husky sled dog tours that operate from Crisps Hut at Dinner Plain and Wire Plain Hut at Mt Hotham throughout the winter. Purpose-built wheel buggies mean snow is an added bonus.
“I don’t know how it got to this point – I wanted a wolf, ended up with a Husky, joined the Victorian Husky Club, started racing and came back up here to live at Swifts Creek year round in 2014,” Greaves said.
“They love it in the snow, when they are running.
“My very first Husky, Koda, is 11 and still running.
“Out of the 45 dogs only six don’t run, there are teams of eight dogs each at Hotham and Dinner Plain, while we also have sled dog tours at Mt Baw Baw.”
Greaves said sled dog tours were a huge hit on the mountain.
“I think we have at least one booking for every day right up until the end of the season,” he said.
“We treat them as pets so one of the highlights for people on a tour is when we finish and they get to play with the dogs, we even have regular visitors who just come down to give the dogs a pat.”
Greaves said the sled dog tours are demanding on the Huskies and those driving.
“We can generally take two people at a time, three if it’s young kids – the golden rule is the weight limit of 160kg,” he said.
“But we are at the back and while we might jump on when it’s going downhill to control the brakes, most of the time we are running or skating alongside the sled on the flats and particularly uphill.
“It’s just great fun – for us out there in the snow and the smiles on the faces of the people on the ride are priceless.”