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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Points Unknown Handler - Kristen Eckwright

Kristen and Sweet Pea
Kristen Eckwright was born and raised in rural Minnesota and will graduate in the Spring of 2012. She has lived with animals her entire life ranging from giant Saint Bernards to tiny Yorkies. She currently has four dogs of her own including three lab-mixes and a Yorkie, three rabbits, and over 20 farm cats. Kristen has always known of her love for working with dogs. At the age of 10, she started training her own dogs through 4-H. Within a few years, she began competing in AKC obedience, rally, and agility. Wanting to help more animals, she started volunteering at the Brown County Humane Society. She spends much of her time there exercising dogs or helping to teach them basic manners. For dogs that need special attention or simply need to learn to trust humans, she brings her passion home and fosters them to make them more adoptable.

At the age of four, Kristen was introduced to the world of figure skating. She instantly fell in love and the sport became a huge part of her life for twelve years. She was forced to quit due to an injury, but quickly began to find new activities to fill some of her spare time. She discovered her love for hiking and the outdoors. Not long after, she began taking her dogs on bikejoring outings and started her own two-dog team, turning her Labradors into hard-pulling “sled dogs”. 

After both Kristen and her dogs fell in love with “mushing”, she wanted to learn even more about real sled dogs. She met Linda about two years ago after joining the Points Unknown Canicross Club. It wasn’t hard to become addicted to the sled dogs! Now she spends much of her time volunteering for Points Unknown and helping out with any tasks that need to be done. Working with the sled dogs has helped her to realize more what she wants to do with her future – share her passions of nature and wildlife with other people.

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