Siberian husky sled dogs demonstrate mushing in St. Charles

  • Jason Hussong of the Free Spirit sled demo team mushes Siberian huskies during a dog sledding exhibition hosted by the St. Charles Public Library Saturday.

      Jason Hussong of the Free Spirit sled demo team mushes Siberian huskies during a dog sledding exhibition hosted by the St. Charles Public Library Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • A Siberian husky named Maverick mingles with the audience during a dog sledding exhibition hosted by the St. Charles Public Library Saturday.

      A Siberian husky named Maverick mingles with the audience during a dog sledding exhibition hosted by the St. Charles Public Library Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Patrick Brennan, 7, of St. Charles pets a Siberian husky named Pedro during a dog sledding exhibition hosted by the St. Charles Public Library Saturday.

      Patrick Brennan, 7, of St. Charles pets a Siberian husky named Pedro during a dog sledding exhibition hosted by the St. Charles Public Library Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Violet Jeffrey, 3, and her brother, Simon, 6, pet a Siberian husky during a dog sledding exhibition hosted by the St. Charles Public Library Saturday.

      Violet Jeffrey, 3, and her brother, Simon, 6, pet a Siberian husky during a dog sledding exhibition hosted by the St. Charles Public Library Saturday. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 2/27/2021 7:33 PM

Siberian huskies gave a crowd a chance to see a mushing team in action during a dog sledding exhibition Saturday on a snow-covered field in St. Charles.

Held on a field near the Haines building, the temporary location for the St. Charles Public Library, teams of six dogs pulled both traditional mushing sleds and wheeled carts during the event. An audience of around 75 people also learned about the history of the use of Siberian huskies as sled dogs, then had a chance see the dogs up close and pet their soft fur.

 

Jason Hussong of the Free Spirit Sled Demo team said the purpose of the event was to support its sister organization, Free Spirit Siberian Rescue, and to support the sport of mushing by educating the public.

Nikki Borsch of Chicago holds a Siberian husky named Goose during a dog sledding exhibition hosted by the St. Charles Public Library Saturday.
  Nikki Borsch of Chicago holds a Siberian husky named Goose during a dog sledding exhibition hosted by the St. Charles Public Library Saturday. - Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

"You don't normally see something like this around the Chicago area unless you belong to a club, so we give people a taste of what it's like to watch dogs do what they were bred for," Hussong said.

He said the dogs that were part of the team are house pets belonging to club members.

While the deep snow of a week ago had diminished during the recent thaw, there was still plenty of wet snow for the dogs to show their skills.

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"We've been running sleds since December, but we do have the wheeled carts when we don't have snow," Hussong said.

Patrick Brennan, 7, of St. Charles said he liked their soft fur, while his mom, Barb, joked that her kids would take a dog home with them if they could.

"It's nice, very informative, and cool for the kids to see," Brennan said.

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