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updated: 2/8/2014 7:39 PM

Sled dogs visit Hickory Knolls Discovery Center in St. Charles

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  • Kendra Moldenhauer of West Dundee points out dogs on the Free Spirit Siberian Rescue sled demo team to her 1-year-old daughter, Trente, at Hickory Knolls Discovery Center Saturday. Trente, who loves dogs, said, "More, more, more!" every time they mushed by.

       Kendra Moldenhauer of West Dundee points out dogs on the Free Spirit Siberian Rescue sled demo team to her 1-year-old daughter, Trente, at Hickory Knolls Discovery Center Saturday. Trente, who loves dogs, said, "More, more, more!" every time they mushed by.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Jason Hussong of Machesney Park leads the Free Spirit Siberian Rescue sled demo team at Hickory Knolls Discovery Center in St. Charles on Saturday. He brought two teams from the Harvard-based group to share the sport with the public. Most of the dogs are rescues.

       Jason Hussong of Machesney Park leads the Free Spirit Siberian Rescue sled demo team at Hickory Knolls Discovery Center in St. Charles on Saturday. He brought two teams from the Harvard-based group to share the sport with the public. Most of the dogs are rescues.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Jason Hussong of Machesney Park leads the Free Spirit Siberian Rescue sled demo team at Hickory Knolls Discovery Center in St. Charles on Saturday. Hussong, representing the Harvard-based rescue, started mushing in 2006 and organized the team for the rescue.

       Jason Hussong of Machesney Park leads the Free Spirit Siberian Rescue sled demo team at Hickory Knolls Discovery Center in St. Charles on Saturday. Hussong, representing the Harvard-based rescue, started mushing in 2006 and organized the team for the rescue.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

 
 

Free Spirit Siberian Rescue out of Harvard brought their sled demo team to Discovery Days Saturday at Hickory Knolls Discovery Center St. Charles.

Visitors were able to see Jason Hussong of Machesney Park and Larry Brodersen of Hampshire mush two, five-dog sled teams displaying the sport as well as getting the chance to meet the dogs up close and personal.

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The teams raced single-file around an oblong circular path outlined by orange cones, the fully energized dogs bounding and bouncing through several inches of powder demonstrating their speed and power.

All of the dogs except one were alumni of Free Spirit Siberian Rescue, having been successfully adopted out. Hussong brought four of his adopted huskies and Brodersen brought his two. The other dogs on the teams were "on loan" from their adoptive owner in Rockford.

Hussong has had huskies for close to 20 years, and organized the sled team for the rescue in 2006.

"These dogs are definitely built for this sport," said Hussong. "They're my friends and we're just out there having fun together. It's all about the dogs, bottom line."

Brodersen, who has adopted from the rescue several times, started the sport about a year ago.

"They have a lot of energy," he said of the dogs, adding that "just getting out and enjoying a day like this" with the dogs was a good way to enjoy "that bleak time between fall and spring."

For information on adopting from Free Spirit Siberian Rescue or the sled demo team, go to huskyresecue.org.

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