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3 Legged Mushing Across the Tundra

Many long-time Tripawders may be familiar with Calpurnia, the world famous three legged musher dog and three year bone cancer survivor.

Tired DawgToday, we’re hoppy to announce that at the spry age of 15 years old, Cali has embarked on a sled dog’s dream: spending winter in Alaska.

Cali sent us this report from the great white north a couple of weeks ago.

Read on to hear about her amazing adventure into the frozen tundra. . .

Dear Tripawds Friends,

Greetings from the Great Frozen North! We have finally made it to Alaska for the winter, and I thought I would take some time to update you.

Road Dawg“We” includes me (Calpurnia), mom, dad, and my pack of 19 other sleddogs. We thought it would be a great adventure to drive the 3500 miles from our home in Colorado to spend the winter in an un-finished cabin in the woods of Alaska so that my team could run on the historical trails that our ancestors have been pulling sleds across for centuries.

So far it has been quite an experience!

I’m not going to lie, that was one loooonnng drive in the car to get here. Seven solid days of 14 hours driving.

The road wasn’t all that great – some stretches were really bumpy from the frost that heaves it up. Sometimes the road was icy and really slippery too.

Us dogs didn’t really like the long days of sitting in the truck bouncing along, but mom and dad said that the scenery was amazing and loved seeing all the vast wilderness out the window.

I did see the caribou crossing the road and thought that was pretty neat, but the rest of it I would have rather sniffed around and explored with my nose than my eyes.

Caribou on the LooseBut we are here now, and mom and dad are working to get our yard set up and to figure out the trail system around here.

Cali and OzzyThere is another house dog, Ozzy that I have to share things with. He is a Golden Retriever, 2 years old, and a general pest. He has to chew everything and thinks that the whole world wants to play with him.

Not me – I am determined to teach that pup some manners!

Mom and dad thought that I might like to have a yard to run around in all for myself, so they built a nice fence around a birch tree just for me.

Don't Fence Me InToo bad they didn’t ask first… I would have told them I would rather be in the yard with the pack! The gate isn’t finished yet, so dad strapped a piece of wood across the opening to keep me in figuring I wouldn’t be able to jump over it since I am an old lady.

Well, I got tired of waiting for my chance to explore the trails and decided to set off to see them myself. Dad was running errands and mom was busy working on the big yard kennel and scooping poop, so I just let myself out rather than bothering her about it.


Musher Dogs RuleI took a nice long walk in the woods, following trails all around the Alaskan wilderness. I smelled all the other teams that had run past, and looked for moose.

When I got tired, I came home. I saw mom in the yard and knew she had been looking for me. To show her how agile I was feeling, I put on the speed and sprinted away from her.

It was funny to see her scramble and trip on the ice chasing after me. I sort of felt bad about leaving without letting her know, so I waited for her by the door to the cabin.

She gave me a big hug and took me inside. She looks terrible, but I feel great after my run!

A musher dog's dreamWarm kisses and a cold nose,

Love, Calpurnia

10 Responses to “3 Legged Mushing Across the Tundra”

  1. Calpurnia, it’s good to see you still pull off some Husky jokes on your mom. You really shouldn’t scare her like that, but an adventure is fun once in a while! Stay safe and keep hopping for all of us!

    Licks, Wags & AROOOOOO’s,
    Chuy

  2. I loved reading your story! Calpurnia is so beautiful and such an inspiration for us as we have our Indiana who is also a Siberian Husky! He lost his front left limb to bone cancer and will be an 11 month survivor on Tuesday! You must feel so blessed to have had all this extra and amazing time with her!! Big hugs to you!
    ~Indiana’s mom~

    • Thanks Indianna! Any time we feel sad that Calpurnia is getting older, we remind ourselves of all the dogs that never got the chance to enjoy their senior years. Cali hops along for them all!

  3. Carmen (Catie's Mom) December 8, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    Stunning photographs. Snow looks beautiful in pictures.

    What an adventure you are having.

    And, Cali, you are gorgeous too.

  4. great pics! We met Calpurnia last year in Wyoming! Play bows,

    RA & Isis!

  5. beautiful pictures!! what a great adventure for you guys – guess i’ll stop complaining about it being cold here in east tennessee… can’t wait to see more of your times up in alaska!!

    charon & gayle

  6. Have FUN in Alaska mushing!! I am VERY jealous!!!! You are one amazing Husky, Cali!

    Tracy, Maggie’s Mom

  7. Wow! Sounds like an incredible adventure! Miss Calpurnia, I believe good manners dictate that you let your Mom know when you’re going for a walk. You know you were OK, and I know you were OK, but moms worry when they don’t know where the kids are! I can’t wait to hear more about your adventures! Everyone looks like they’re having fun (even Ozzy!)

    Hugs!
    Lisa, Ranger and Spirit Sadie

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tripawds » Tripawds Tribute to Three Legged Sled Dog Calpurnia - May 20, 2017

    […] that you’re a Spirit Tripawd, you can come join me in this beautiful place, where you can run the trails like you used to as a kid, leading the pack with all four […]

  2. Amazon Tripawd Selections » Tripawds Recommends Sight Hound by Pam Houston for Bone Cancer Dog Parents - May 9, 2016

    […] Wolfhound’s three year journey through osteosarcoma was first brought to our attention by Tripawd Member Calpurnia, queen of the sled […]

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