Meet the Team, 2 legs & 4!
God made dogs so mushers could have heroes.
Twelve seasons into sharing our dogs and the backcountry with people from all over the world, we are still humbled everyday by how much our guests love what we built so long ago. We turned our passion for mushing into our family's way of life and it is a blessing to share it with everyone who joins us on our trail in the Little Flat Tops Range of Routt National Forest. Our kennel is a refuge for race dogs, old and young, who need a continued lease on life. Come meet our rowdy bunch! We promise to put a permanent smile your face!
Sarah & Lark Daniel Piano
Sarah is a dreamer and her husband Dan is a doer. They started Snow Buddy 12 years ago when Sarah "had an idea" and it's been a wild ride in ever since. Sarah really loves mushing and is humbled she gets to share her heart for an age old tradition with people from all over the world and every walk of life.
When things got easy for Sarah and Dan year 7 (hahaha) they added Lark to the mix! Life has improved exponentially since he was born and Lark's parents look forward to the day when he can take over... Lark is already planning on it! He's a hard worker and knows a lot of great jokes. A guide in the making!
Dan. Where to begin? There is no Snow Buddy without him. He built everything our guests can see and enjoy at the two camps (our trailhead and backcountry camp), the gorgeous kennel facility and the Piano home. He is a gifted carpenter and exceedingly gifted guide, trail boss and cookie baker. He wasn't a dog-man when he met Sarah, but his love for his wife and family keep him going when the going gets rough. He thinks he's blessed and that's all that matters to him.
Giovanni Jeffrey Piano
Office Manager since 2021
Von makes sure Sarah's desk never has any clutter. He also baby proofs the sled dogs. Stay tuned for more on Von once he starts talking...he does a fair amount of barking and yelling, we just don't know what it means yet.
Update: Von can talk! He has a lot to say and he knows a lot about dogs already: My dogs, lots of them. Crazy loud, running. Love them!
Von nailed it.
Ben is one of the kindest most genuine people you will ever meet. He loves dogs and people and was a natural here from day one. It's hard to imagine life around here without him, as he jumps in to help with just about everything we do all year round. He's had a lot of different jobs over the years, but we are hoping his affection for our little family of dogs and humans (and good fishin in the summer) will park him here for at least a little while longer. Thank you Ben, for being the most loyal coworker and friend these Snow Buddies could ever hope for!
We won't give Emily a title here at Snow Buddy because we don't want to limit her and her contribution since 2018. We are blessed to have her back again for a little bit of everything this winter! She's always happy and will put a smile on your face too. She's a fine horsewoman through the summer months, but she makes do with smaller four-legged friends through winter. Emily is full of interesting facts about the Colorado Backcountry, be sure to have her tell you about the aspens!
Bio to come
Bio to come
Bio to come
Bio to come
Bio to come
New to Snow Buddy spring 2022, born in Rifle, CO, Alice Cooper Litter, Augie's noisy and feisty and a very messy eater so he fits in here quite well so far.
Born in Healy, AK, Bruins hockey team litter, in her 5th winter, she is really mighty, but she was too small for Dave Dalton's Quest Team - she takes 3 steps for a big dog's 1! We love this little lady and her 200% sled dog heart.
In his 13th winter, born in Yellowknife, NWT - nickname Scissor Teeth (he STILL chews up everything), Atlin loves giving kisses, loves laying on the picnic table, loves jumping in people's cars when they try to go home...
Born in Seward, AK, retired from racing Iditarod, handsome boy, loves to pull! He would have been a great racer, but he's not a great eater. He loves to have his belly rubbed :). He's a sweet boy, but he's loud - SILENZIO BRUNO!
Chere came to us from Linwood Fiedler's kennel and she's an accomplished athlete. She raced with Linwood in every Iditarod he competed in recently, leading up to his retirement from mushing. She's beautiful, smart and sweet as they come. What a terrific leader!
Cooper is a nut! He's Von's favorite dog in the whole kennel because he's so crazy. He has some health issues that keep him from running every trip, though he would love to if we let him. This silly boy has a lot of heart and he leaves it all out there every time he wears a harness!
One of only three dogs ever born to Snow Buddy, brothers Newman and George Costanza, great lead dog, always plotting his escape! These Seinfeld boys are 9 years old.
Sweet little sister to Tazzy, Elmer and Merlin, Looney Tunes litter from Healy, AK, in their 5th winter - not super bright but dang she's cute! She really loves to run in circles. REALLY.
Last of the 7 Dwarves litter from Healy, AK, Doc is everyone's favorite old man, don't take too long harnessing, he will start a howl!
Sweet little sister to Tazzy, Daffy and Merlin, Looney Tunes litter from Healy, AK, in their 5th winter - like her sister Daffy she is a little shy on brains but she's a doll and very sweet! She's becoming a pretty darn good leader too.
George! What a talker! Great in lead with his brother Cosmo, shy but warms up once he tells you a thing or two! DO NOT FEED HIM COOKIES NO MATTER WHAT HE TELLS YOU!
Gus (pronounced "Goose") has been a Snow Buddy since she was a tiny pup, along with her brother Leon. They were born in Leadville, CO. She is very affectionate, loves to pose for the camera and is almost always in lead!
HeyHey, along with his brothers from the Alice Copper litter, came from Rifle, CO and we are still getting to know each other. We know this guy is smart, he's an escape artist and he loves to talk and he has a very pretty trot. He might be on the lazy side...
Hudson was Gabe Dunham's main lead dog the last few years and completed her and his first Iditarod two years ago! He's retired from racing now, but sure seems excited to keep running here at Snow Buddy. What a love bug he is too. He loves to cuddle!
Kraychee would prefer you to know nothing about her and not even look at her and just let her run and pull and eat her food in complete anonymity. (She's painfully shy...Bruins hockey litter, sisters Miller and Bjork!)
Sweet Leon has been here since he was a pup along with sister Gustava - we just love our sweet Lay - On (he likes to lay on stuff but that's a coincidence...we think).
Luna Girl is retired from racing Iditarod but she doesn't know it... she's brilliant and intense and she needs her space like all pretty girls!
Looney Tunes litter, she's the cutest one and that's saying something, but boy does she know it! Make sure to get a picture with Merlin or she won't forgive you.
Bjork and Kraychee's sister, she's a very hard worker, Miller loves kids but grown ups not so much! She transforms in harness from a wallflower to a pulling machine!
Alice Cooper litter, we're still getting to know Moe. He's painfully shy, but a very driven dog and he has a beautiful gate. He had glaucoma and had to have an eye removed so he could keep doing what he loves, so he looks a little different now, but he's still a lovely animal.
Mojo is getting to be an old man but don't tell him that! He still drags the whole team down the trail coming into his 10th winter here! His brother Cliff retired to a couch in Broomfield 2 years ago and Mojo is still going strong!
Foxtrot was one of a litter of 4 males, born on the Juneau Icefield 7 years ago. We have his brother TrankyDoo as well and they are a dynamic pair! Accomplished Iditarod dogs and very lovable. They are puppies at heart and will put a smile on your face.
Ned aka fabio
We call Ned Fabio when he gets too big for his britches and that happens a lot. He's very beautiful and very sweet, but he pulls harder sideways than forward...Ned was a naughty pet before he came to us and he's an ok sled dog so he can stay... for now :).
Cosmo, Newman and George were the only dogs ever born here and they know they are special, but Newman has a special place in everyone's hearts. He's very affectionate and he loves to cuddle in pictures! He's an exceptional dog. A people pleaser in the best way!
Perch came from an Iditarod kennel in Willow, AK. He was always a bridesmaid and never the bride so to speak, making the team 3 years in a row, but never getting to actually race. He's very happy here and we are even more happy to have him. Don't put your mittens near his face, he likes to eat them!
Pippen is a tiny freak of nature whose heart rate never goes below 100 BPM and who sprints everywhere she goes. She hugs everyone's legs with the same intensity :).
Whisper is 10 years old and came to us from Juneau, AK - Lark made her a house pet, make sure to get a picture with her, she loves to be held in your arms like a baby! She's got a bad thyroid, so she looks a little like an old white towel. She's still got a lot of spunk and runs every trip.
This sweet shy old man is an accomplished race dog from the Yukon Quest trail. Woodie is going on 11 but you wouldn't know it - he's the hardest worker on the team no matter who he's running with! Born in Healy, AK, Woodie thinks it's warm here in Northwest CO. You won't often catch him in his dog house!
Our newest addition! You will love this handsome boy, Quetzal's brother! He is really silly and he loves to bark, and jump up (we're working on better manners) but he loves tummy rubs the most (thank goodness).
Oh Phil. Where do we start with this hard luck little man. We love him despite him and ourselves. Not a great sled dog, not very photogenic, not super friendly, but he's got a lot of heart and that's what counts. We love you Phil. Really. And Phil loves a good ball. He really lights up for a dog toy. It's nice when it happens :).
Scatter is a nut. She doesn't have many friends here because she's so intense, but she's made a great friend out of Daffy, who looks like her and loves to wrestle just as much. Thank goodness for Daffy! And Scatter too! Scatter has a sister named Squirt. Squirt is not a chew toy, Scatter!
Sara and her sister Songbird are the Fleetwood Mac sisters. They are a fantastic leader pair we have come to count on daily on the trail. Sara is less confident than Song, but with her braver sister by her side she always rises to the challenge in lead.
Ruthie is noisy and she's bossy and always runs up front. She retired from racing Iditarod and we have to make sure she's on every trip we run so she doesn't get bored and get in trouble. She could hardly be cuter or have more personality, but she can be shy at first...the smart ones always are.
This guy! He may look like a goofy black lab and act like one too, but he is perhaps the hardest working dog in the kennel. He eats like he is, that's for sure. He came here from Seward, AK, and adjusted to life here quickly. Watch out for Routty, he opens gates and climbs fences.
Rooney is one of two house pets we have and she's wonderful with our little boys. The position behind lead is called swing and Rooney is the consummate swing dog. She has gotten a little plump eating scraps from baby hands under the table, but it hasn't slowed her down too much!
Quetzal was born on a glacier in Juneau, AK, the first summer Sarah and Dan worked together there. Quetzal was a birthday gift to Sarah from Linwood Fiedler the second summer they spent together on the ice. She is as intense as she is beautiful, she runs in lead alone or with Leon almost exclusively.
Polar came from Healy, AK, ran too many Yukon Quests to count, and he is really glad to still run in harness here. He has a lot of life left, but he is so sweet we are sure he will make a good pet when he's ready to stop running, at let's say... 25 :)?
Another beautiful dog from the Q litter, born on the Norris Glacier! Quixote had a rough beginning, almost not making it as a tiny pup, but went on to have the longest racing career of her litter mates. This girl is just lovely and sharp as a tack!
Songbird is a hard worker! She LOVES to run in lead and she inspires her sister Sara (Fleetwood Mac theme) to run and pull just as hard as she does. The sisters are heading into their 7th winter they show no signs of slowing down anytime soon!
Skookum is getting to be an old man and the only way you would know is that he has stopped tearing stuff up... at least as much as he used to! He and his brother are 13 years old this year so we will if they run much this winter. It might be time to retire soon!
Tazzy and his sisters, Elmer, Merlin and Daffy will make you laugh, but Tazzy especially with his big goofy ears, his long legs and his sweet heart. He often runs in lead with Ruthie because her big bark doesn't scare him. Look out, he's a licker!
Titan is soooooo handsome and pulls soooooo hard and we love him sooooooo much. He was born in Seward, AK and he's not even 3 years old. We can't wait to see what he grows up to do here. Lark and Von love to play "Titan" when they pretend to be sled dogs. He's tough and handsome and no nonsense. A good role model for a boy :).
Elivs and his brother Elton were on the icefield in Juneau, too, as pups. Elvis didn't show a lot of promise as a pup, but he was a late bloomer and is still going strong. He ran many Iditarods with Linwood Fiedler and at 11 years old has not lost a bit of his drive. He's just gorgeous too and has a puppy face!
TrankyDoo! What a sweet boy! Born on the Norris glacier from the Dances litter - He is also retired from Linwood's kennel, 7 years old now, and will do a lot for us here as Snow Buddy. He's a happy boy, great with kids and loves extra petting. Like Elvis, he's an eternal puppy!