First Days in Inari
Unfortunately, weather has been grey almost everyday so far. So, I will not show you any magnificent landscapes or northern lights today. Instead I will tell you what a classical day looks like for me here, in Inari.
8:00 AM: Everybody meets for breakfast. We prepare plans for the day and leave to Kotiniemi, the farm where the horses and dogs are.
9:00 AM : The shy light of the arctic winter tends to appear … behind a thick layer of clouds. Arriving at the farm it’s time to say hi to the dogs and clean their poo. I must admit that this task is something I like. Not for the fact of removing the frozen dog’s poo stuck in the ice of course, but because it is a very special moment with dogs. They are so happy to see you again, play with you, hug you, … This is clearly my morning energy. Then comes the time to take care of the mother, her nine puppies and the future mother. Another great moment with these little dogs trying to get some milk from your fingers with their sharp little teeth …
10:30 AM : Some clients arrive. Let’s prepare the dogs. First step : slip on the harnesses. This can really be a time and energy consuming task with some of the young dogs. They just think you want to play with them and then jump, bark and lick your face. Once succeeded, you bring them to the sledge, attach them and try as hard as you can to calm them : excitement reaches its maximum. Dogs are barking, squealing, jumping, fighting, playing … This is a fantastic moment, but also an exhausting one. And then : “Go! Go! Go!”. No more barking, nor more squealing. Dogs run as fast as they can. This is an exhilarating sensation of speed and let’s say … control, as you might fall off in the next curve ;)
11:30 AM : Time to take care of the mummies and the puppies again. Yay!
12:00 : Lunch. Let’s go to the laavu, the traditional Sámi tent, to grill some sausages on the fire and have a good hot tea. Well deserved!
12:30 : Either another client comes, or we usually fix some stuff in the farm or train the dogs if no client came in the morning …
3:00 PM : It is time to prepare the dog food : Leftovers, dog biscuits, meat … Every meal is a new recipe we concoct for them. But sometimes also, when they are lucky, reindeer heads and guts fetched from the slaughterhouse. Yummy!
4:00 PM : The sky is already dark as night. We pack our stuff and take the car back home, tired but happy of such a great day!