Knowing a little bit about the life expectancy of working Greenland Dogs, I would wager that Plet is the oldest dog above Greenland's Arctic Circle.
He was not an easy dog but a hard worker who could be paired with anyone. To his credit, during his working career with me, Plet made two notable 400-mile journeys; one was to Ella Island in 2008 and the other was in 2010 when we headed into an area map-marked unexplored. Plet was 10 years old in 2010 and he made it look easy.
I let Plet decide when he wanted to retire and at that point Jennifer skijored with him for two winters. Working dogs need a purpose and it was heart-warming to see the years drop away from Plet whenever Jennifer got out his harness.
|Plet ready to skijor with Jennifer.|
At first he hated being inside the house. He would stand at the door with a sad persecuted look. If a plush, deep pile sleeping mat (especially for him) was introduced there was look of, hmm, I don't know about that. We have progressed and slowly Mr. Plet has learned being indoors meant more treats and lovely massages. Plet has always been Jennifer's favourite and if there are any treats going he gets them, which is the way it should be.
He still likes to be outside in good weather to oversee what my other dogs are doing and when I start hooking them up I see Plet hopping and jumping around wanting to go too, just like the old days. In reality though, he has slowed down and is not the working dog he once was. But we will always give him the feeling that he is a very important part of the kennel, even though his running days are over.
Life now for Plet consists of treats, massages and short walks. On the walks, and when he is ready, he turns around slowly to tell us that he has had enough.
To us he is The Pletster and will always be loved. Even when he decides to stand all four paws on my computer keyboard to get the best view of a passing dog team.
For more about Gary, his dogs and where Plet lives go to www.garyrolfe.com