About the musher: Jesse Terry, Sioux Lookout, ON
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Who said anything about growing up?
How did you start running dogs? Was it hard to get started?
My dad got sled dogs when I was a young boy. Thanks dad!
What leisure time activities are you involved with?
Leisure time – what’s that? I thought mushing was leisure time? If I do have free time from working and running dogs, the time is spent with my amazing wife and 2 children.
What are your greatest accomplishments in the dog mushing field?
Working with my sled dogs in remote northern First Nations communities; giving rides, teaching about sled dogs and connecting mushing to First Nations culture. It is so great to share the passion of running sled dogs with others – especially youth.
If you had to pick a favorite, and only one of your dogs could be your favorite, which one would you choose and why? Which dog is the most playful?
That’s a hard question to answer… But I will say that the dog that loves their job the most and shows the most desire to be running down the trail is a dog that is easy to appreciate.
How can you tell your dogs are smart? Which one is the smartest, and how can you tell?
Unlike humans, I believe my dogs (and all dogs) have the ability to read my emotions and how I am feeling without even saying anything to them. They can sense the energy you are sending out. I think this ability makes them very smart. For this reason, a musher’s attitude is very important when running dogs.
What are you known for professionally? What do you have a knack for?
Lately I have been called the “dog guy” when I’m doing work with the dogs. I like to believe I have a knack for spending quality time outdoors.
What do you do to support your “dog habit”?
I support my dog habit my running dogs and working.
If money was no object, what would be the most fantastic alteration you think you might make to your sleigh?
I think my dad builds some pretty good sleds already. But maybe we could add some foot warmers to stand on. Although my mukluks say they are the warmest boots in the world, my feet still get cold sometimes.
What advice would you give to a kid that wants to run dogs when they get older?
Start learning when you are young. And the best way to learn is by doing, so go find someone to learn from. Volunteer to help them out around the dog yard. If you don’t have anyone in your area who runs dogs, then read as much as you can about running sled dogs.
What is your favourite thing about being on the trail with your dogs?
Seeing the dogs run and how much they love to do it. Their energy is contagious. I always tell people that if humans worked as hard and with as much passion as sled dogs we would get a lot more done in our lives.
If dogs couldn’t pull a sleigh, what animal do you think you would like to try hitching up to your line?
Last time I answered that questioned I said to try and hook up a moose to pull a sleigh. But this time I am going to say a caribou. Caribou are smaller than moose and therefore probably easier to handle. The Sami people of Finland and Russia use caribous to pull sleighs.