Its funny which dogs become your favorites; you’d think it would be the best dogs you run, the best leaders, the fastest, the most energetic. But sometimes you can’t figure out why a dog is at the top of your list. Joe Joe is a dog like that, he’s retired now, but when he ran he was never the best dog in a team, he wouldn’t run lead, in fact the farther away from the front he ran the happier he was. He was a great wheel dog though, as strong a dog as you could hope for, and when it was time to stop he would lay down and anchor the team, you would hardly need to set a snow hook if he thought it was a good place to stop.
Of course having such a handy parking brake like that did not come free. Before you hooked him up for a run, he would roll on his back for a belly rub. If he didn’t get a belly rub he wasn’t moving, and as I just mentioned he was an excellent parking brake, so there was no getting him to move if he didn’t want to.
Though he raced many times, sometimes doing pretty well, if you had a team full of dogs like Joe Joe you probably wouldn’t be the first one to cross many finish lines, but it sure would be a fun team to run, assuming that is you could convince one of them to lead it.
To look at him in his retirement now reminds me how lucky we are that these dogs run with us, they really are something special