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in photos

Skookum: adjective, Northwest Canada (of a person or animal) strong, brave, or impressive.

Most agree that human habitation and early exploration of the north might not have been accomplished without the iconic huskies. For many years they were considered the most dependable transportation in the boundless north and some till this day won’t go into the wilderness without them. In Canada, the Inuit and First Nations were the leading people to use huskies.

Dog sledding is a vanishing way of life although in some regions of the world the tradition continues. From the new pups to retired veterans; this series by photographer Rafal Gerszak includes photographs from several dog teams in the Yukon Territory.

All these huskies are or were once working canines and the pups will grow up to replace them. Thousands of miles are behind them and thousands more to come during the winter seasons. Some will rely on them for years to come.

Smeagal, four years old.

Hank, three years old.

Lester, ten years old.

Torque, twelve months old.

Harold, four months old.

Chainsaw, nine years old.

Unnamed, four weeks old.

Tater, eighteen months old.

Margaret, four months old.

Pongo, twelve years old.

Winston, four months old.

Junior, ten years old.

Haywire, thirteen years old.

Charlie Brown, six years old.

Maude, four months old.