Tarma Stories: The UnMusher
"I was first gifted your Nature Calling Pendant. Now I'm finding many lovely outdoor jewelry pieces of yours that align with interests of friends of mine that I want to gift them. I included an article from Bark Magazine about what my dogs and I are all about!" -Arna
"In the moon glow, the cabin is a dreamy dog domain, unlike any gathering of canines I’ve ever seen. Quiet and contented, they are sprawled on the couch, chairs, rugs, and under and on top of the raised bed in which my human host—Arna Dan Isacsson—sleeps. Isacsson is heating coffee and doing yoga stretches with her "deputy," an intense, tricolor Border Collie mix name Gari. She is why I'm here. I've traveled to the epicenter of competitive dog sledding to see how this transplanted Swede rehabilitates canine castoffs in a way no one else has the time, energy or faith to try."
"Many of her dogs are here because they have troubled histories associated with mushing (from the stress of life on a chain to physical abuse, neglect or simply having been dumped), but she is careful about criticizing neighbors and friends. Instead, she offers an alternative that is part rescue and part example. Since the early 1990s, Isacsson has lived with both her own and rejected dogs, as few as eight and as many as 30 or more, in as close an approximation of a natural pack as she can manage. Camp K9 Kin, as she calls her home, is a free-run kennel on 14 birch-covered acres. Most of the time when she is home, the dogs have free range of the courtyard and pens. No one is chained.
"As she prepares breakfast and cleans up, they seem to visit with her and each other. "They need a social landscape,” Isacsson explains. “The experience of gnawing and grooming together satisfies something in their limbic system. It’s as important as food and shelter.”
"Her short-term push is for kennel owners to create time and an environment for dogs to socialize off the chain. As a starting point, she recommends either perimeter fencing around yards or building large playpens so dogs can be allowed some free-run play together."
After the meal, she’ll head inside for her own dinner of soup, cheese and Swedish flatbread. At some point, a howl will rise up in the yard. They do it every night after dinner. It’s eerie and beautiful and seems intended for her. Then Isacsson will walk onto her porch and call out, “Thank you.”
Read the entire article to learn more about how Arna is helping restore mistreated and abandoned sled dogs to health!