Monday, 29 November 2010
The three of them live close to the park, and have recently returned from Reingers in Lower Austria, where Jirka and Jessie participated (and were, I am delighted to report, victorious) in the one-dog scooter class. As far as I can make out, this 'mushing' sport involves being pulled along by the dog on a specially designed push scooter.
According to Jirka, there are about forty huskies in Prague and over 800 countrywide; no wonder that he spends a good deal of time meeting with other owners and taking part in the popular závody (races) and other competitions.
Jirka told me the story of Stalin's wholesale destruction of the original breed in an attempt to control the nomadic Siberian peoples, for whom huskies were the only means of transport. Fortunately, a number of the dogs had already been imported into Alaska by fur traders in the early 1900s, and I was interested to learn that both Jessie and Inari come from America. If only they could talk...