Gonzo, an Alaskan husky, started losing his eyesight a few years ago. His veterinarian offered the owner some straight-to-the point advice: Keep this sled dog running.
Gonzo was happy take the advice and run with it!
His brother dog Poncho now runs with Gonzo and the two have delighted everyone who passes by their home state New Hampshire in North Country.
"A lot of people say everything about dog sledding is efficiency. Gonzo and Poncho are not the most efficient sled dogs out there. They won't set a speed record, they won't pull the most you've ever seen. To be honest, they're probably some of the goofiest dogs you can put in harness. But they're just fun."
It wasn't always easy riding, though.
There was a definite learning curve for the brother sled dogs in the beginning, said the owner:
"At first, he'd be a little bit nervous when Gonzo would lean into him. And then somehow — I don't know how dogs communicate — he learned that he was utilizing him to determine where the turns are and how fast they were going. And he would let him do that — he wouldn't get as grumbly as he did in the beginning. I've never seen it with any other dog. There's definitely a bond there and communication beyond what we do with the two dogs, between the two of them themselves."
The owner then described a day where they were running and Gonzo fell off the path into the snow - Poncho grabbed his harness by the teeth and they kept on going like nothing had happened - the owner said:
"He essentially picked him out of the powder … threw him back on the trail and never skipped a beat. I've run dogs in a lot of places, all over the country, and it was the most amazing thing I've ever seen sled dogs do. Every time I run these dogs, whether it's Gonzo or anybody, I'm still in awe of the ability of these animals. It's just amazing."
But especially amazing is Gonzo the blind sled dog and his brother Poncho!
That dog is one RUFF cookie!
[Image via AP Images.]