A musher named Fernando Ramirez has great ambitions for his blind sled dog named Humberto. The Alaskan Husky seems to have a lot of potential when it comes to performing in sled dog races.
It does not matter to Fernando what disabilities the dog has as long as he is able to see potential and determination in the pooch.
Fernando and his wife Dana have their ranch by the name of Rancho Luna Lobos. The ranch is home to sixty other dogs like Humberto, and a few select among them participate in races. All the huskies at the ranch are rescue dogs. Fernando believes that every canine and every living thing deserves a second chance.
This winter, Fernando competed for the first time in an international sled dog race championship in Manitoba, Canada, and secured twelfth place.
Fernando said that he felts emotions flowing through the lines and the dogs during the competition, and he loved those emotions. Fernando added that competing in a dog race always made him feel like he was part of something bigger than himself.
Humberto, who is originally from Wyoming, arrived at Utah around three years ago. At first, Humberto did not seem to be particularly cut out for the sledding life because the dog was skittish and used to run into things. Fernando took the pooch to a veterinarian who confirmed that Humberto was completely blind.
After the diagnosis, Fernando teamed the pooch up with partner dogs and got the dog into sled dog racing.
Fernando noticed that Humberto quickly learned to trust his new friends. The other dogs would move Humberto from side to side. If there came a tree in the way, the dogs would move Humberto away, and if there were a curve in the path, the other canines would push Humberto into it. Eventually, Humberto was not just pulling; he started leading.
Fernando now plans to train the blind dog to ultimately run the Iditarod race, which is a difficult 1000 mile trek.
Image source: Screenshot from a video via KSL