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“mainly what it’s all about is just getting out to do something with your dog,” belva sutton dreer, a board member of the heartland mushers association, said. “not a lot of people know that it’s here, but it is. It’s been around forever. Awesome body tattoos twenty years ago, we had a sled dog club down in huntington. We had 10 miles of trails that we took care of and had races that tied in with the DNR down there. We’ve talked about putting on a mini race here. There’s a lot of work involved, but we’ll see what happens.”

Her dog nams — named after service members in the U.S. Navy, army and marine corps — is semi-retired from racing, having collected a rally title; a FAST cat title, which he earned by completing a 100-yard dash at an average of 22 miles per hour; and several other honors.


He is currently training to be a therapy dog. Two of sutton dreer’s dogs are certified hospice dogs, and many of them are american kennel club champions.

Since then, sutton dreer has spent much of her time sharing her passion with dog lovers throughout the state. Most badass tattoos ever she has performed demonstrations in downtown fort wayne and, for the past three years, in syracuse. Last year was the first time she brought her dogs to christmas on the farm, and in september, she hosted a demo at salomon, drawing a crowd that included 20 dogs and their owners.

“there’s bikes, scooters, specially made rigs that weigh 25 pounds, and there are dogs that can run 35 miles per hour for six or seven miles,” she said. “the cheapest way to do it is get a harness, get a gangline and ride a bike. They also have calls for people to hook a dog to their belt and run with them. If you’re a cross country runner, it’s great, and there are people that hook them up to cross country skis too.”

“once they get the idea of what you expect them to do, your northern breeds — malumutes, siberians, samoyeds — it’s all instinctive,” sutton dreer said. “some people say they’ve been doing it for 10,000 years, some of them say 12,000 years, some of them say 5,000-8,000 years. They don’t really know, but that’s what they were bred for. It’s mainly your working dogs — hounds, labs, any dog that was bred specifically to work. Most amazing tattoo ideas if they’re not at home on a couch or in a house or in a crate, they get out and run. Usually it just takes a harness, a gangline, a bicycle and a trail.”

“if you’ve got more than one (dog), you have to learn the way of the dog,” sutton dreer said. “A lot of people don’t know that dogs are right or left paw dominant, and there’s some dogs that want to work on the left side of the gangline versus the right side of the gangline and they won’t work if they’re not in their right position. A lot of people say they need to work either or, but why fight it? That’s my opinion.”

“there’s a lot of people who are dead-set against it,” sutton dreer said. “we try to explain to people that it’s not cruel. If the dogs are physically unable to do it, they won’t do it. You can’t make them do it unless it’s something that they want to do. It’s just like the billboard saying to keep your dog inside when it’s cold. There’s some dogs that don’t want to be inside — it’s worse on them to be inside when it’s cold than to be outside. You just have to take the proper care to do that.”

“I think it’s more inhumane to have them laying on the couch, but a lot of people don’t feel that way. We just try to educate and change someone’s mind,” sutton dreer said. “A lot of people don’t want to be out in the cold, so they’ll do agility or obedience. Whatever you can do to get out and enjoy your dog, that’s what needs to happen. Awesome tattoos with meaning this is just something different.”