Meet the Team, 2 legs & 4!
God made dogs so mushers could have heroes.
Eleven 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 11 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!
Dan. Where does one 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.
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!
Spencer has been driving dogs for over a decade, mostly in more northern climes, but we finally convinced him to come join us here for a winter! An excellent human in every respect, we're blessed to have him and his knowledge of the sport. Not to mention he's just plain fun to have around. When he left the dog racing scene years ago, we adopted his sweet Rooney. To say she's glad he's back is an understatement. Look at those puppy dog eyes!
Our Fun-Loving Felicity (pictured here in yellow) hails from Lander, Wyoming and she's very good at winter. She is also very good at mushing, despite having just joined us this season. She always has a smile on her face, even when it's extra cold and windy, so she's kind of like the best sled dog ever, only with two legs!
Our Volunteer from Norway
Meet our sweet Stine, here on vacation from Norway, who helps out at the trail. You will love her smile and her accent! She can't stay long but we love her willingness to learn and to jump in and help.
An old friend and shuttle driver, you'll see old Part-time around when we are in a real bind, but we are sooooooo grateful when he comes to save the day!
In his 11th 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...
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.
Atlin's sister, also 11 years young, excellent picture prop, always posing! Always digging, always chewing...maybe she will grow out of those bad habits...
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!
10 1/2 year old Siberian Husky male from Yellowknife, NWT, Chubb is in love with Brooks (he has great taste) and is more of a cat in a dog suit.
New to Snow Buddy spring 2022, born in Rifle, CO, Alice Cooper Litter, Cooper is a SUPER hard worker and we are happy to have him!
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 8 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!
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!
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.
Holly came from our friends over in Winter Park. She's a sweet old girl and can get lost in the crowd, because there are so many loud mouths. She always remembers to speak up at lunch though!
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.
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!
Moose is so cute we thought maybe we'd change his name, until we got to know him. He is definitely a Moose! He's still just a pup and we can't wait to see all he will do here at Snow Buddy !
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 are 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!
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.
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 8 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!
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.
Our newest addition! Picture to come, 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).
Our youngest pup. We will start him in harness this fall. Stay tuned for an update on Phil, on the job!
Santa's Lil Helper
Sweet Santa - She looks like a Mexican street dog, but despite her appearance she's a very excited and very hard pulling little lady. She came from our friend's kennel in Leadville, cut from his race team, but she more than earns her keep here and we love having her.
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 it 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 :)?
No one knows how old Pismo is, but it doesn't matter, he's a lifer here. He is so weird it's charming. He has too many tics to count, but again when you're this cute and charismatic it really doesn't matter. Pismo is at least 13 but he's still going strong!
Songbird is a nut! 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 siblings are 11 years old this year so we will see how well they run this winter. It might be time to retire soon, but we will see!
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 2 years old and we can't wait to see what he grows up to do here.
Who will be the newest Snow Buddy?
Who will be the newest Snow Buddy?