Our stay at Hetta Huskies was one of the most memorable experiences of our Lapland trip. Dog sledding was always on our wish list and Hetta Huskies presented with a perfect opportunity for not just dog sledding but also an insight into the life in a husky farm.
If you are planning to have an authentic husky farm experience, I would definitely recommend you to go beyond the touristy operators of Rovaniemi. The prices at Hetta Huskies are much cheaper than anywhere else I saw but what really caught my attention was the opportunity to experience the life in a husky farm. Through Couchsurfing, we offered to volunteer with the daily tasks involved in the farm.
With -30C temperatures, the work is challenging but also fulfilling as you get to spend lot of time with the dogs.
Our first task was to arrange the bedding (hay) in all the kennels
Next task was feeding. The diet includes dry food, water and a piece of meat. As the feeding time starts, there is constant barking and howling all around.
Along with feeding, we also had to take out the poop from each cage and the areas around the kennel.
Yoda waiting anxiously for his food
End of the day briefing with the guides. The husky farm has around 200 dogs and the guides are supposed to know every dog’s name.
There are some dogs that stay indoors when they are sick or need treatment
There was a dog in almost every corner of the house
Soda claims his favorite spot
We had the joy of spending the night with huskies
And finally, the day of husky safari. All the dogs were going crazy as we started selecting dogs to form teams. It seemed everyone was desperate to be part of the ride and were constantly barking for our attention.
Trying to keep them away from getting entangled
Always playful and friendly. These Alaskan breeds are much calmer than the husky dogs of Greenland. In Greenland, I remember we were warned not to play with huskies but this was a contrasting and a welcome change as the dogs here seemed to enjoy our company all the time.
Almost ready to go and the dogs just wouldn’t stop barking. All of them were restless and couldn’t wait to start
And finally the magic begins
It was an amazing experience to ride through the stunning landscapes. The only drawback was the extreme cold weather where our hands and feet were getting frozen. For us, the best experience was spending time with the dogs and cleaning after them. It was more fulfilling than the husky ride and I am glad that we agreed to volunteer.