Going for a Drag

Have you ever heard of the Darwin Awards? If not, “The Darwin Awards commemorate the remains of individuals who contribute to the improvement of our gene pool by removing themselves from it in really stupid ways…” [Source: http://www.darwinawards.com].

The Darwin Awards are usually awarded to people who die; however, every now and then an honorable award is given to people who live.

I did not win a Darwin Award, although, my actions could have gotten me a spot as a nominee. What I did today was so incredibly stupid; and everyone at Stinkypup Kennel is amazed that I’m alive. Here’s the stinky tail:

At around 7:00pm I decided to take a team of 8 dogs out for a run on the 4-wheeler. There’s nothing unusual about taking 8 dogs out on the 4-wheeler– it’s a pretty normal activity. Around a mile away from my house, the 4-wheeler got severely stuck in the mud. I tried getting the team to pull me out while I pushed the 500lb machine, but the dogs weren’t pulling. Storm, my leader-in-training, lay down and the other dogs were barking and playing. Note, this was my team of smaller dogs. The line up was:

Leaders: Duke and Storm
Point: Stubby and Red
Swing: Pumpkin and Frankie
Wheel: Chez and Monkey

After a few minutes of trying to get the 4-wheeler unstuck, I came up with a brilliant plan. Since the dogs weren’t pulling, since it was my “small” team, and since I often take all of my pet dogs for a walk at the same time, I decided that I’d just tie the dogs to myself and we’d all go home.

I tied a piece of webbing to my waist, carefully unhooked the dogs from the 4-wheeler, and clipped the carabineer to the webbing. As soon as the dogs were attached to me they took off with me dragging behind them.

The trail I was on is called the “baseline” trail. It’s part of the Yukon Quest trail and it is very wide– meaning there’s nothing to grab onto. The previous day it had snowed, so I was being pulled through mud and snow. I tried grabbing onto pieces of hay, but this didn’t help. All I could think of was how I was going to die, and if I didn’t stop the team I would die, and it they made it to Helen’s Lake I was going to die by drowning in freezing water.

After I lost my hat and one of my boots, around 300 yards up the trail, I finally caught hold of a tree and stopped the team. The webbing around my waist was extremely tight. The dogs were still pulling and I was holding on to a flexible ash tree. I didn’t want to lose the team, but I wanted to live. As I unhooked the team from my waist I lost my glasses and then I lost the team.

I tried to find my glasses and couldn’t. Since I couldn’t see, I decided to walk home the way I was dragged. I’d get home, put in my contact lenses and then look for the dogs. On the walk home, I found my boot and then my hat. When I arrived at home my arms were burning. Turns out I had a couple of huge abrasions on my forearms. No biggie– I needed to find the dogs!

I put in my contact lenses, grabbed a pack with an extra flashlight and dog tie-outs and headed out to find the dogs. I reversed my route in the hope that I’d run into the team. I didn’t see any paw prints in the snow, and I wondered where the dogs were. They should have been home by now. Finally I found the dogs around 100 yards from where I let them go. They must have heard me and they were all running toward me. My headlamp was shining on the trail and all I could see was 16 eyes running toward me. My first thought was, “Crap. They are going to trample me!” But they didn’t. They were happy to see me. They were all okay and they were all tied in knots.

I probably could have unharnessed everyone and walked home with 8 loose dogs, however, I didn’t want to take the chance of loosing anyone. I tied for to a dog tie-out and walked home with four. Then I returned to get the remaining four. On my trip home the second time, I ran into Greg. He had been looking for me for a couple of hours. He wanted to know why I had the 4-wheeler out as well as the sled. I told him that the drag marks he saw weren’t from the sled– they were from me– I was a human sled.

We all went home and had dinner. I bandaged my arms, and everyone lived happily ever after.

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