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Enjoying the Journey

May 01, 2017 08:16AM ● By Louisa Asseo

Enjoying the Journey

Louisa Asseo, DVM, DABVP

For a sun-loving girl like me, my adventures usually lead me to the beach and the water. However, a few weeks back, while visiting dear friends in Oregon, we took a trek up to Mount Bachelor in search of a much colder adventure. How did my friends convince me to brave the snow? A sled dog ride! And what an exhilarating experience it was.

The sled dogs were amazing animals. They are Alaskan Huskies, a specially bred group of dogs that are playfully called “the most expensive pure-bred mutts.” Not to be confused with the well-known Siberian Husky breed, these dogs are a blend of northern breeds built for pulling, speed, and endurance. They are about 50 pounds in size and can vary in coloration, hair coat length, and eye color. What they all share as a breed is that they are sweet, high-energy dogs that love to run. 

When the empty sled approached, all 50 dogs in sight started bouncing, barking, and running in circles as if to say, “Pick me! Pick me!” Ten dogs were chosen to lead our adventure. Once these darlings were secured to the sled, I could feel their excitement heighten. To add to our experience, we got the extra pleasure of having our musher be the father of the famous Rachel Scdoris – the first legally blind woman to complete the Iditarod. We climbed into our sled, the brake was released, and we were off. The companions left behind stopped barking and changed their chorus to a howling of disappointment as we sped away. 

Racing through the clean, white snow surrounded by snow-topped evergreens was one of the most peaceful experiences I have had – despite the view of 10 bounding dog butts in front of us. At that moment, it was clear that these dogs – although touring people over the same course day after day – were happiest when they were running, coasting downhill, and pulling uphill with all their might – basking in the enjoyment of the journey. 

I began reflecting on my first year of creating and operating Oasis Veterinary Hospital. Like these dogs, this is what I was built to do. The ups and downs, the coasting, and the struggles of the past year have been rewarding and fulfilling as well as challenging and tiresome. But just like these sled dogs seeing the empty sled come into view, I too find excitement at what each new day holds in store. It has been quite a pleasure to serve the community and its furry, scaly, and sometimes feathered friends during this past year. It has been amazing to connect with old friends and meet so many new friends, and I am looking forward to the future! Now, where is that sled?


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