Fjestad´s Insight

Written by: Trond Anton Andersen/Anne-Mette Bjøru (transl.)
Date: 15.03.2012 13:57

Reflections from a small car mis-parked close to the River Tana, 20 km from the rest of the world (Karasjok)

It happens when you want it the least. Tired dog-teams lacking sleep, and the team will not move on. 
It is impossble for a human to know what is going on in a dog's head but as I have experienced it a couple of times myself, I believe it has something to do with too little sleep and depression.

It is not linked to any physical matters but is due to what we, where I come from, call "painful will".
The dogs no longer see the point of moving. It often happens in the mountains or other open areas, such as wide rivers or on frozen lakes - places with fewer impressions.
The condition happens to the whole team, ususally initiated by one of the leaders of the pack.

What we saw on The River Tana today, on the 6th day of the race, lasted approx. 2 hours nd was a "short one". The stimuli that helped Inger-Marie Haaland back on track and moving was the passing team of Harald Tunheim.

In the mid 80s we raced Finnmarksløpet from Alta to Karasjok via Beivasgiedde to Lappoluobbal across the lake Iesjavri and back to Alta. Taisto Torneus (Sweden) started from Alta at high speed and passed all us others one after another. Every time he passed a team of dog he handed out his business card and said: "Professional dog-musher".

400 km later in the race I came to Iesjavri at night. Soon I passed a team of dogs that were parked on the ice wihout any musher around. I saw something move on the sleigh and I moved over. There was Taito, sleeping. I pulled out his business card from my pocket and gave it back to the "professional musher".

He had cecked in to hotel Iesjavri!


Stein Håvard Fjestad