We - that means Raphael and Yvonne, our two Alaskan Huskies Gizmo und Ranger and - of course - a lot
more fluffy faces we live and work with.
… grew up in a small village named Vals in Switzerland. There he was out in nature and in the mountains already as a child. Being with the farmer on the alp, hunting with his uncle, snowboarding, hiking, climbing, slacklining or fishing, life always happened outdoors.
Even at work: as a mason he often worked on building sites without a roof above his head, as a ski instructor in the middle of the snow he was completely in his element.
He visited Äkäskero, Finland, as a guest on a sled dog tour first time in winter 2015. In autumn he started to work there as a guide and allrounder. Sled dog tours, snow mobile tours, snow shoe tours - with Raffi as the guide you always have fun and find the right way. Also, his manual skills were in demand very often.
… grew up in a peaceful village in Thuringia, Deutschland. From the beginning she spent her time outside together with her dogs. Neither rain nor snow could stop her. At the age of 14 she had the quite silly idea that she will immigrate to Finland and have her own husky farm somewhen in the future. Ok, this plan had to wait a little.
First, she studied law in Berlin. Afterwards, she worked as a lawyer for white collar crime at Noerr, a renowned law firm in Munich.
Starting in winter 2011/2012 she spent her holidays on sled dog tours in Äkäskero. So, it was not surprising that she decided to live her dream in 2014. She started the training with the tour dogs in autumn. But when there was the opportunity to train the race dogs, there was no need to ask twice. Next to this she jumped in as a guide when necessary, took care for the communication with guests and tour operators, the human resources management and at last also the management of the wilderness lodge.
… was born in 2005. During his time as an active sled dog, he was Raffi’s perfect lead dog in the team. And even if he is retired now, he still is the boss. Not only with other dogs, also humans are wrapped around his finger - äh paw - in seconds. One look in his wonderful eyes and suddenly it has happened. Otherwise he is a very cute and calm dog. You just realise him when he jumps on the sofa and needs more space than you.
… is the opposite of Gizmo. He was born in 2012 and started his career in the race team in 2014, at the same time Yvonne started there. He loves to jump and run around all day long. That made him to one of the best in the team. He is never tired. To be perfect only the „lead dog gene“ is missing. Indeed, he is very intelligent and knows the commands but most often he is missing the self-confidence to run in lead. At all, sometimes, he is a little bit fearful and loves to stay very close to Yvonnes feet.
The four of us
The beginning of our common experiences was in Äkäskero, Finland. When we moved on it was obvious that one can only have the four of us together.
So, we spend a year with Barbara and Emil Inauen in Grimsbu, Mid-Norway. There were no tourists, only race dogs. After an interesting season with a lot of training and new experiences we wanted to be more in the north again.
Grimsbu was followed by a four month stay in Innset, North-Norway. This time only tourists, no race dogs. After a quite cold spring and some hot summer days we said goodbye to try something new.
We spent the autumn and early winter with Mats Pettersson in Kiruna, where we also had the honor of training his Iditarod team in addition to tourist tours before landing in Äkäskero again in the "real" winter.
Now, we are in Germany, where we expect many exciting things in the near future.