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In August of last year we purchased a rustic cabin in Alaska. Those of you who follow my husbands’ blog are familiar with the Iditarod Dreams blogs and the stories he has posted about learning to live/survive in Alaska.

It was a tough decision, you see we chose for our two youngest kids(teenagers) and myself to remain here in Colorado to maintain our dog training business, Denver Dog Works, while Robert set up roots for us in Alaska.

With the roller-coaster economy, normal family struggles would be difficult enough, add in 2300 miles and a two hour time difference, bad internet and phone connections and it spells disaster.

I’m sitting here looking at a picture I took of my husband in 2000 he is kneeling down behind our beloved Ineka under an arched sign that reads: Never Forget Your Dreams. We found this arched sign while exploring the Black Hills of South Dakota after a sprint sleddog race called The Hill City Race For The Gold. In a few weeks we will be returning to those Black Hills. I don’t know if we’ll find that sign for it was pretty battered and weathered then. It was close to the Crazy Horse Monument that was in its first stages then.
On that day, while parked under that arch, Robert shared this dream with me of wanting to run in the Iditarod with “silly” Siberians and bring the race back to its glory days. While he told me this I knew I would do whatever it took to help him realize this dream.

Over a decade later he’s finally in Alaska. I never thought that it would be this difficult. Getting the kids and I up there is proving harder and harder with each passing month. As I mentioned above the economy is on a roller-coaster which makes being a dog trainer and that being your only income difficult to grow the dream, repair the cabin, build the team, and bring the family back together.

There are days when Robert wants to give it up – says the cost is too high. There are days I agree with him, especially on those sleepless nights. But then a bright new day begins and I see this picture and I remember the dream he shared is part of the reason I love him so much.

So I’m going shopping for a new pair of rubber boots, going to wade through the knee deep crap and dig in and keep going.

Going after your dreams is harder than dreaming them up. I admire my husband for always taking the road less traveled.


Michele Forto is the lead trainer at Denver Dog Works and the co-host for Dog Works Radio Show