Now living in Northern Minnesota, with an average 30+ Alaskan crosses running mid-distance with longer trails and much less traffic, here's how it all started for me back in 1991...
I had owned golden retrievers for years. At one point, I was without for a couple of years. I talked about getting a new best friend but had not yet made the move. One day a good friend showed up at my door with a 10 week-old Samoyed puppy named Sasha that they had rescued from the pound. With a job transfer pending, my friend asked if I would take care of her and find her a good home. Well that took all of twenty minutes. She was staying right here with me!
I changed her name to Pooh Bear, and as she grew I became more and more attached to her. She was adorable and listened as well as any of my best dogs. I even bought her a freighting harness and taught her to pull the neighbor kids around in their wagon. They often came to the door to ask if Pooh could come out and play. : )
She had only one downfall, the weak scale on the Dragon's belly if you will: she Loved to chase Squirrels. Being off-leash trained, she rarely strayed from the yard, but that one fateful day her name was called, and it broke my heart for sure. It took months before I could talk about her without my eyes welling up. Afterward, when the neighbor kids would stop by to talk I would tell them that Pooh was an Angel now. Knowing you can never replace a friend, I waited for a new one.
Six months later, I was day-dreaming at a friend's house on the porch, all alone. All of the sudden it hit me...WHAPP! The Sunday Paper! My friend, breaking the silence, had walked up, threw it at me and said "Here, find a new dog."
I don't recall what the headlines were, but I slipped a thumb into the inch-thick paper and threw it open. The first words I saw were "Samoyed Puppies," accompanied by a price and phone number. Fate?
I called the long distance phone number and talked with them for over an hour. It turned out that I was the first to call, and if I wanted I could have pick of the litter of the seven puppies. I told them the story of pooh and that I was interested only in a girl, of which they had 4. It was well worth the 2½ hour drive just to see the puppies and to play with them. : ) They quickly put away all the boys so I could play with only the girls. There was only one that spoke to me, literally. "Rifff, Rooo, ourooo roo roo," she said. I slipped the pink collar out of my pocket and put it around her neck.
Later, as I was going through the paper work, I couldn't help but notice the sire's name was Artic Buck, without the other 'c'. They also had several generations of paper work there as well, and his father and his father before him used the first word Artic in there names. So, when they asked if I had thought of a name, as I wrote out the check I replied..."Yes, as a matter of fact I have."
Her name is Årtic Ångel.
After Angel's 1st litter we went from 2 Sam's to 9. A sledding team was at hand...
The Lightest, Fastest Rigs
Made in the U.S.A.
With humble beginnings in 1993, we Artic Rigs began with a simple need to exercise the family pets, Samoyeds.I made the harnesses myself, and I borrowed what was supposedly a “light rig” from a friend of mine.Ha! It weighed 110lbs. At the time, I was running a small company, Artistic Welding. I began researching rig design, and the more research I did, the more I liked the European style gig or rig- but no one was making them available in the US. Therefore, I set out to build one, cut it up and build it again until I liked the result.Finally, after several failed designs, we had a rig that really handled well while being solid and dependable. I loaned one of these rigs to the friend who had lent me use of his “light” rig, and he tried it out. He loved the way that in a tight turn he could kick out the rear wheels to create the feel of an actual sled, something not possible with the current available US models.
Thus, with a play on words, the Artic Rig was born. My friend decided to purchase a rig from me, and began to discuss his new rig with fellow racers online.A lot of positive feedback later, the demand for this new style of rigs became apparent, as there were no truly “light” rigs to be had.After receiving an email from Dave Steele of ISDRA urging me to make them available to the public, we put together a simple website and have been building light rigs ever since.
Each Artic Rig is custom-built to order based upon the needs of the team that will be pulling it. With a rainbow of colors available, our customized training rigs are up to 50 lbs, with racing rigs as light as 28 lbs. Not only are our rigs true “light” rigs, Artic Rigs offers the most affordable pricing available, opening the joys of sledding to anyone.At just 895.00+ worldwide shipping, you need only have the skill to ride a bicycle and the drive to have fun with your dogs!
Over the last few years, we have been sponsoring teams in the 4-dog class and have won many dryland races, including the East-Meets-West Challenge 2 years in the running. We have often run 8-dog teams with an Artic Rig, and it is an absolute blast.Artic Rigs are ISDRA and IFSS legal in all dry land events, featuring locking brakes on all three wheels and ample space for the dog bag. Although Artic Rigs were originally built for the small recreational team, focusing on the portability of tossing the rig on the car, loading a couple of dogs in the back seat, and heading off to the park for a spin, the light weight and maneuverability makes a great deal of sense for the sprint racer as well.After all, you wouldn't race with a 60-pound sled, so why should your rig weigh any more than it needs to?