A phone call with an unusual request 

Sometimes you’ll need a pair of Soft Touch gloves when you least expect it. Or at least when we least expect it. A few weeks ago we got a taste of what it’s like when someone asks for gloves for a particular situation, and we have to think of what would be the best choice for this person.

One day we got an e-mail from across the globe asking us about a few pairs of gloves in different sizes because she’d traveled to Sweden and found our gloves in store. She and her husband liked the gloves so much and weren't able to find them in the store where they lived, in the Netherlands. So she decided to send us an e-mail to ask how she could lay her hands on some of our gloves because she needed them – for sled dog racing. That’s right. Sled dog racing.

Our first instinct was ‘wow, what an unusual request and hobby’ so we picked up the phone and called to sort out what it meant. We found out that calling it a ‘hobby’ was our first mistake. Sled dog racing is a lifestyle and people should learn more about it before jumping to conclusions. Having ten Siberian Huskies and training them to race requires a lot more knowledge than the average person has,

“The sport is so different from agility and other disciplinary training. The dogs are very smart but also very stubborn. And they love to cuddle, especially with kids.” Says Trudi Nieuwerf.

Training is never a bad thing, for neither humans nor dogs. And the training sessions have become a great way for everyone to exercise and get healthy,

"We moved to a farmhouse, and we always liked dogs, my husband and I. We found a big house and decided to get a dog. A friend of ours had a cross-breed between a husky and German shepherd, and after a lot of research, we decided to get a husky. Needless to say, we fell in love. Three years later and we have ten dogs in the house. The training requires several early mornings, but it’s great time wise because we need to train ten dogs while maintaining full-time jobs. The training is also very intense, but they love the racing and enjoy it just as much as we do. So we train ourselves and the dogs at the same time and get healthy together."

And it was during one of the training sessions in Lappland, Sweden that Trudi and her husband Bartjan came across Soft Touch gloves. For several reasons, gloves are an essential part of racing,

"If you don’t use gloves when training or racing it’s not hygienic because you continuously use your hands for everything. Soft Touch gloves are soft and easy to use and perfectly fitted to give us the fingertip sensitivity we need. Because when you buckle up the dogs you need to be able to feel the clicks, and you have to feel everything in training, transport, racing, etc. And you have to wear gloves to keep your hands and fingers protected from dirt and possible damage. When the dogs play in the snow, a pool of water or in a bush with sharp leaves or thorns, the gloves keep us safe."

Gloves are apparently essential and high-quality ones at that. The gloves need to protect against weather whichever season, and they need to be sensitive enough to feel the clicks when buckling the dogs and putting on the harnesses and firm enough to make sure the grip is firm on the sled. Having ten Siberian Huskies pulling at a speed of 30 km/h – I don’t think we’ll cheap out on the grip.

After getting to know the Huskies a little bit more, we can safely say that Trudi and Bartjan need all the protective gear they can get after the Huskies are done playing around. But no matter how much energy it takes to train and race, Trudi reassured us that the energy that comes back in love, joy, and happiness makes every second worth it.

We wish you all the best and thank you for sharing your story with us.

Huskies from top to bottom - Tundra, Balto, Chinook, Exit, Dodge, Gringo, Grizzly, Happy, Jinx and Mika.