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Sled Dogs

May 10, 2017

My mother says that if there is such as thing as reincarnation, she wants to come back as a French poodle in a Jewish home. After seeing a screening of the documentary Sled Dogs last night, she sure wouldn’t want to come back as one of those.

In the intersect of full disclosure, Sled Dogs, the documentary, is produced and directed by my cousin, Fern Levitt.

Fern, a renowned documentary film maker was introduced to the life of sled dogs in 2010 when she and her husband enjoyed a sled dog ride near Algonquin Park in Ontario, Canada. With a love of animals she asked to visit the dogs off work.

She was appalled.

“It was this field of blue plastic barrels with these dogs all on chains. It was getting toward spring so it was muddy and it was dirty, and the dogs were running in circles. I couldn’t believe my eyes,” Ms. Levitt said. “I thought: My God, what did I do? What did I just participate in?”

Their living conditions were deplorable and right then and there she adopted her first sled dog.

She investigated and learned that this was not an anomaly, that there were other companies in the sled dog industry that treated the dogs deplorably – as a commodity and not a living creature.

Her documentary takes the viewer though several sled dog operations in Canada and the US.

Most notably is her coverage of the Iditarod – the 1,000 mile sled dog race in Alaska.

Her film is graphic and exposes the underbelly of an industry that is akin to the circus with it’s dancing bears and tethered elephants.

Like sausages, you may like how they taste, but you surely don’t want to see how they’re made.

The documentary raises one’s ire, but perhaps no more so than the dog sled operators and one of the main characters in the documentary. These folks were actually at the screening  unbeknownst to Fern Levitt who was also there to answer questions.

I was worried she wouldn’t get out alive.

She did, but will future sled dogs?

When you get a chance, look for the documentary. Decide for yourself.

Which would you rather come back as, a French poodle in a Jewish home, or a sled dog in the sledding industry?

Sled dogs. Want a taste? Here’s the trailer:

 Sled Dogs airs May 31st on the Documentary Channel.
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I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker. Check out all my services and then call me if you need help with a personal issue, mental health concern, child behavior or relationship, divorce or separation issue. I am available in person and by Skype.

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Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

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Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas and Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America.

If your relationship is faltering, then set it as your priority.

Read: Marriage Rescue: Overcoming ten deadly sins in failing relationships.

One Comment
  1. Audrey permalink

    This is heartbreaking just to read it. Where is our SPCA?

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