Ending the trip on a high I met these handsome huskies on the last morning in Chamonix before flying out. There wasn’t enough time to take a sled ride but just spending a little time in their company was a pleasure.
Huskies are my favourite dogs, I’ve owned two of them, displaying my affinity for them. They are such beautiful dogs, friendly, with oodles of individuality and personality, each with a character of their own. There were also several Eskimo or Greenland dogs within the group, all so charismatic deserving their picture taken, their moment of fame.
They are great subjects for photography, with their wolf-like appearance and in a variety of colours, several had those stunning ice blue eyes which the breed is famous for. There were about 40 dogs, already together in teams which make great pictures but I prefer the individual dog portraits. They often sit quietly, watching intently what is happening around them, perfect portraits in concentration. Immensely alert, they seem aware of everything happening around them.
Their handlers were preparing them to take some local French children around the Chamonix golf course. While I snapped away, moving from team to team, dog to dog the group leader briefed the children. They had politely greeted me when I arrived and they were startlingly well-behaved, listening to instructions without any sign of mischief or horseplay. They seemed excited by the prospect of a sled ride, however they were a remarkably restrained group of teenagers.
Although it was a shame there wasn’t enough time for me to take a ride in the Rhone-Alpes, it was great mixing with the dogs for a few minutes. Most of them seemed happy to say hello after they’d had the opportunity to take a quick sniff. Once satisfied, they seemed pleased to make friends, with one exception, a very skittish husky which was extremely nervous, cowering when I came within a few feet of it. It is impossible to know what has happened to cause this behaviour but it was heart-breaking to witness.
One thing is certain, it’s unlikely to be anything their handlers did, their affection for the dogs was obvious from the manner in which they interacted with them and the tone they used to speak to them. Of course each dog has it’s own name, a few have smile inducing names like Batman and Balto, a further sign of their devotion.
The dogs have to work together, becoming an effective team, however this doesn’t mean they are always best buddies. A couple of huskies had a mild disagreement. It isn’t clear why they fought but it was soon over and they made up as only dogs can get away with; sniffing each others butts. Don’t worry, there aren’t any pictures, it was a touching scene and it’s only proper, to remain respectful of husky privacy.
Enjoy these pictures, which are suitable for sharing. Hopefully I captured a little of their character and next time there’ll be an opportunity to take a sled ride too, capturing these beautiful dogs in action.