It was a few months ago that I received an email from a student filmmaker in Ontario who had happened upon my website after doing research about the sled dog industry. She wanted to know if she could do her film school documentary on I Was A Sled Dog.
It was one of those moments where a million things raced through my mind - not only am I uncomfortable in front of a camera, I was surprised someone was going to fly out here to use me and this subject for a film. Ultimately I decided to do it because more important than my anxiety about talking on film is helping bring awareness to the plight of sled dogs... and now the filming is done.
The filming took place over three days last week. Interviews and filming of photo sessions, capped off with a walk with ten sleddies. The crew made it so easy for me and they were so gentle around the dogs and so respectful with each other... it was all pretty painless.
One of the coolest things about the experience was sharing it with people who didn't know anything about what was going on and with open minds they worked to gather footage to help tell a story that will hopefully resonate with even more people. To see them meet the sleddies and go for the group walk - it was obvious that they fell under the sleddie spell. You don't have to be a crazy animal lover to understand the cruelty that happens in the commercial and sport sled dog industry and want to do something to help spread awareness. And for an artist and filmmaker, it's beautiful to find that connection with a subject. It was really a powerful and emotional three days.
After a few days of decompressing it's given me a new hope about advocating for sled dogs - there are people outside of my little circle here that care and want to do something to help.
I'm still in awe that they travelled all the way out to the west coast to film me, my sleddie stories and cover this project, but I'm so very grateful they did. I can't wait to see how Meagan, the director puts it all together.
Here are some photos from our forest adventure walk featuring sleddies: Arwen, Cane, ChiChi, Copper, Echo, Jasper, Lion, Nordique, Penny, Sassy + Stuart... and sleddie sibling, Piper.
For any of you not familiar with sled dogs, I'd be interested in knowing who you think Piper, the non-sleddie is.. because that's what this is all about. Sled dogs are dogs, first and foremost.
None of the sleddies who came on this walk are any different than the dog who was never a sleddie. #iwasasleddog #getsleducated #sleddogsaredogs