Skijoring class to benefit Summit animal shelter
summit daily news
Louisa Morrissey has dedicated her life to dogs. She’s a certified trainer, a skijoring instructor and, well, just a plain canine enthusiast.
That’s why she suddenly felt sick to her stomach on Monday when reading a story about what the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals called an “absolute massacre” in Whistler, British Columbia. One hundred healthy sled dogs were killed – either shot or stabbed – by the general manager of Outdoor Adventure Whistler after the area’s tourism industry took a dip following the Olympics. The dogs, all part of the company’s many sled teams, were dumped in a mass grave.
“I literally felt sick to my stomach,” Morrissey said of reading the story. ” … It just blows me away that someone could do this.”
And Morrissey felt she needed to do something about it.
Today, she is holding a skijoring class at the Gold Run Nordic Center with all the proceeds going to the Summit County Animal Shelter. Morrissey said there will also be a jar set aside for people to make separate donations.
The class runs from 9-11 a.m. and is through Morrissey’s Skijor-N-More dog training business out of Silverthorne.
“It all just came together as a way to not only (raise awareness) for what happened but also to help animals,” she said of today’s class.
Skijoring is a sport in which a skier is pulled by either a dog or a horse, but Morrissey sees it as a lot more than that.
“It provides this great link between a person and their dog,” she said.
She added that a person’s dog, even if it is a working dog, should always be viewed as a friend or a partner, rather than some “Disney Land ride.” That’s why Morrissey said she never “rents out” dogs for skijoring purposes.
“It’s really important to have that connection with working with your own dog,” she said, and she feels when that connection becomes lost, that’s when some people – like those at Outdoor Adventure Whistler – can lose sight of what’s important in the sport.
“To me, dogs are such an important part of my life,” Morrissey said. “I just can’t imagine dogs being treated like that.”
To register or for more information on the class, call the Gold Run Nordic Center at (970) 547-7889 or visit http://www.townofbreckenridge.com.
For more information on Skijor-N-More, visit http://www.skijornmore.com.
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