We met Dapper Dan through the Second Chance League. He had been turned in to the Fairbanks Shelter in late 2004. The SCL put him in foster care and he spent time with a slower team doing glacier tours in the summer and some mid-distance events in the winter. In March of 2006 he was still waiting for a permanent home and perhaps a faster team.
We tried out Dapper thanks to his Foster parent in Creamer's Field in Fairbanks. Paul tried Skijoring with him and was sold. He could tell Dapper was trying to GO FAST even tough his running mate was trotting along. Dapper had many miles under his belt and we had primarily inexperienced dogs so home he came to Colorado.
Dapper Dan is a far cry from the scared and shy sled dog we adopted. Of all the dogs on our team it gives me the most joy to watch him in the yard and house "just being a dog." When we got him he was food aggressive, extremely hand shy and not house trained. We worked slowly with him in these areas and he is a new dog. Once we got weight on him he became more stable at feeding time and no longer acts outs during meals. He is finally house trained - knock on wood that he is done marking his domain! It took a constant eye, quick action and crate training to get him to this point but it was well worth it to enjoy his company in the house. He even enjoys time in our bed with us just hanging out. Now he loves more than anything a good butt rub and is not afraid of us or anyone else! Talon is his BEST friend and you can actually see a smile on his face when I put them together for the day.
Dapper is the Swing dog of all Swing dogs. He is on top of his game and enjoys running so much that his exuberance can get him into trouble. Dapper gets so crazed to run that he can turn on his partner and has caused one too many fights. So he runs single swing and that's just that! His is a super sled dog and we don't mind giving him a special place on our team!
RIP MY MAN: April 25th 2014 UPDATE
Dapper Dan My Handsome Man - A Tribute to our old man. 12 years old this year he originally came to us as our only experienced sled dog he was 4 years old and already had thousands of miles on him.
He was shy and afraid and food aggressive - but we made short work of those habits and he relaxed into a life of luxury while demonstrating his claim to fame as the Worlds Best Swing Dog!! His enthusiasm for running was always evident - and I'd say hands down age 10 was the peak of his spirit for running! This boy who wouldn't let us touch him for the better part of a year is one of the greatest inspirations of my time rescuing huskies. Just to watch him play with a tennis ball or wrestle with Talon as if they were puppies made my heart sing. But the best was to have him lean in to a good butt scratch ! Dapper Dan it saddens me deeply to say goodbye to you today - lay in the eternal sunshine of heaven with your old pals of yesterday until Talon and I make it there to play again ! Xxxxxooooxxxxx