Future sled dogs learn their trade at YMCA ranch

Local News

GRANBY, Colo. (KDVR) — Sled dogs are training at the YMCA of the Rockies Snow Mountain Ranch. Instead of pulling sleds on snow, they are pulling side by side all-terrain vehicles.

It is the sound that is music to Steve Peterson‘s ears.

The professional dog sled trainer happily finds himself employed at the ranch in Granby.

“My job title is chaplain. And then I also run the dog sled program,” Peterson said.

In the dawn’s early light, the dogs were unloaded, hitched up, watered and fed.

“It’s actually what we call baited water. It’s water with ground elk in it so they get calories as well as hydration,” Peterson said.

The anticipation of the day’s run is almost unbearable to the four-legged athletes. After almost an eternity in dog years, they were off and running.

Out on the trail, there is a deep connection between man and dog that defies explanation. And it really does not matter — both man and his dogs are exactly where they want to be, looking out for each other.

“Four years ago, my oldest daughter died from cancer. I don’t think I would have survived it without my dogs,” Peterson said.

Just another day on the mountain.

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