That pooch might have ski-propulsion potential. You can find out at one of the Aspen Animal Shelter’s skijoring classes.
The sport, in which an animal pulls a person who is on skis, started in Scandinavia. “It was very popular in the ’70s in ski towns,” says shelter executive director Seth Sachson. “And recently there’s been a huge surge in the popularity of doing it with dogs. It’s a neat way to exercise and bond with your dog.” Though a small dog is more likely to run along for the ride, bigger canines pull their own weight and some of their human companion’s, too.
Sachson hosts clinics (the next is Feb. 23; check dogsaspen.com for more dates; private lessons are also available), and he can often be found looping Bernese Boulevard at the Aspen Golf Course. He rents skijoring equipment from the shelter, and anyone can borrow a dog for the day. For a real rocket ride, take out one of the shelter’s retired sled dogs.
“It’s thrilling, exciting, dangerous,” says Sachson. “But it’s totally addictive.”