Posted by Colin Heggie on Jul 27, 2021
Loredana brought us a Zoom presentation from Tanya McCready, of Winterdance Dog Sled Tours  Winterdance Dogsled Tours in Haliburton, Canada – What are you doing this winter?  She & her husband Hank DeBruin left their careers in 1999 to turn their love of Siberian Huskies into a home-based business.  Their first few years were a struggle – to find a banker willing to lend to them, to build a kennel & a house, & to raise four children.  Now, on their 80 acres near Haliburton, ON, close to Algonquin Park, they have custom-built radiant floor heated kennel facilities for 150 dogs.  They offer a variety of guided tour packages.  Tanya is the business manager / promoter, while Hank is the lead guide, helped by their older children & other seasonal guides.  Hank has competed in two Iditarods & four Yukon Quests, typically using a team of 16 dogs over these long, gruelling, world-famous races.  A huge amount of money, preparation, logistics & training is needed to participate in either of these races, where the weather, race conditions & luck present a variety of challenges.  After Hank’s first unsuccessful race attempt, which included frostbite & a disqualification, he wrote “Iditarod Dreamer.”  His primary lesson & message from this experience is “one has to look after oneself before looking after one’s team.”  Hank & Tanya are a driven couple, who are clearly “living their dream.”