My Service Dog
Diamond grew up training to become a long distance sled dog. She competed in her first Iditarod in 2016 as an alternate lead but had a shoulder injury that caused her to drop out near Finger Lake. The following year she led her team over the finish line in 33rd place. Her third chance at the Iditarod ended near Koyuk after gassing out during a winter storm.
She entered semi-retirement after her 2018 run by joining ~80 other dogs at a kennel near Fairbanks, AK. I met Diamond in July of 2020 and fell instantly in love. She has that effect on people. She was absolutely the most spoiled dog in the yard and would often be allowed to run around to her friends because she could be relied upon to come back when called. Her job focused on leading teams and training puppies to do the same.
Her small stature sometimes made it difficult to control or work with a larger more excitable dog but she always maintained composure and poise. By this point, she was 10 years old and though she still enjoyed running she needed a change. We officially adopted her December 27th, 2020. She immediately took to retirement and would only be in the snow as long as was needed to relieve herself. She slept on our bed and would lose her mind for cheese treats.
My initial intention in adopting her involved training her to become a service dog for my husband. She would act as an alert dog if he fell while running or hiking. However, it soon became apparent that I needed more immediate attention. So we pivoted her training and set aside an idea to find another dog more suited to Kevin at a later date. True to her nature as an intelligent leader, she picked up her tasks incredibly quickly. She has since proven herself to be an incredible service dog to me and has not only made my life so much easier, but also kept me alive to have a life at all.