Working in the schools, I had the privilege of meeting one of the north’s favourite mushers, Hans Gatt, and a whole bunch of his sled-dogs. Gatt is a veteran of sled-dog racing, including in the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod.

Gatt ended up leaving Atlin, BC (two-hour drive from Whitehorse) later than anticipated, so the planned morning visit had to be postponed until the afternoon. Considering the late time of day and the long drive ahead of them to Fairbanks, Alaska, I was very pleased at Hans and Suzie’s immense generosity in taking the time to stop at the school, take all their dogs out (one student counted 23) and then “pack ’em all up” for the trip ahead.

The grade six class I was working with were very excited, to say the least. They went around the truck petting each of his dogs, getting to know them and getting answers to tons of questions from both Hans and his friend, Suzie.

Having that many dogs in one place at one time, you’re bound to see EVERYTHING dogs do, all within a five-minute period. And, because sixth graders are, well, six graders, I got a kick out of hearing their reactions to seeing dogs be dogs.



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