Friday, February 6, 2015

Get Your Dog Sled Rides!

Having fresh snow is certainly a benefit when it comes to winter sports, and the best is here for you this weekend.  The Door County Sled Dogs will be giving $15 rides around a trail at Whitnall Park.  That is $15 per person, Saturday and Sunday, and rides start at 11 and go until 1 PM.  Lines usually form right away and they may not have time for everyone who shows up, so it's best to get there early to ensure you get to try this extraordinary experience.

Whitnall Park is a very large park, so maybe you need a bit more direction?  Park at the golf club house at 6751 S. 92nd st., which becomes a wonderful refuge during winter, complete with a roaring fire, drinks and snacks.  You can also rent cross country skis and snowshoes from a vendor at the Clubhouse.  There's a very nice hill right out their back door for sledding too, so bring your sleds and dress for the weather.
Bring your sleds and try the hill

Are you new to dog sledding?  These dogs are all rescues, and though they are called "Door County Sled Dogs", they are very much a part of the Milwaukee tapestry.  They spend summers in Door County and winter here in Milwaukee where they live with a variety of owners.  The main two people behind this effort are Rick & Bonnie (pictured below).  They even have a bus that transports the dogs to area events.  You can read more about all these lovely well behaved dogs, but it's better to just get out and meet them and the volunteers who work with them every day.  Your rides help them to be independent in meeting their food, housing, and veterinary needs.  You can also help in other ways by buying some Sled Dog swag, or making a donation at their website.
Bonnie & Rick with their bus and some of the team
 It truly is a total experience.  While you wait for your turn on the sled, you can pet other dogs and ask questions of the volunteers.  Kids will enjoy having so much attention given them, and adults will likely appreciate the work and skill these dogs give to people who enjoy them.  If you can't make it out for a sled ride, find one of the other meet & greet sessions they host.  The Party with the Sled Dogs event is a great family outing.  Follow them on Facebook for up to the minute changes and events.  You might even consider having them come to one of your own events.  I was lucky enough to have a dog attend my book launch last February at Boswell Books for my book, 101 Things to Do in Milwaukee Parks.  There is another book, Omar Meets the Sled Dogs.  If you purchase this,  all proceeds go to the Sled Dog organization.
Rick, Bonnie and Boo Boo at Boswell 
Omar trying out the musher position

You can meet the dogs and pet them while you wait

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