Harnessing History: On the Trail of New Hampshire’s State Dog, the Chinook
Start Date : May 7, 2013
End Date : May 7, 2013
Time : 7:00 pm
This program looks at why and how dog sledding developed in New Hampshire, the influence it had locally, nationally and internationally, and how the Chinook (the New Hampshire State dog) played a major role in this history. The audience will gain an understanding of how man and his relationship with dogs won out over machines and technology on several famous polar expeditions; the rich stories of these dogs, their international adventures and how this bond between man and dog continues today. The program consists of a 30-45 minute PowerPoint slide presentation plus 15 minutes for questions and answers covering the history of Arthur Walden and his Chinooks, now the State Dog of New Hampshire. The program spans the globe from pole to pole with Walden's experiences from the gold fields of Alaska near the Arctic Circle to his leadership role with sled dogs on Admiral Byrd's explorations of Antarctica. It covers the story of the Great Chinook from his birth in Wonalancet, New Hampshire, his history of winning races starting with the first international dog sled race, his award winning ascent of Mount Washington, his fame in winter carnivals and demonstrations, to his mysterious disappearance on his 12th birthday near the South Pole. The story continues with Walden's own dramatic death in a disastrous fire while saving the life of his wife, Kate Sleeper Walden. The Chinook breed was continued with a heroic rescue and the work of dedicated breeders in New Hampshire and Maine and has seen a renaissance in recent years with a renewal of winter carnivals, summer olympics and other activities. Along with the dog history is the tradition of hand crafted sleds made of ash and sinew and customized for the specific trail conditions needed for the future owner. Each program ends with a listing of upcoming dog events open to the public that the audience may want to participate in.