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Sled Dogs Earn Their Keep Giving Rides in City Parks

Prices for riding on Voronin’s dog sled are regulated by park management. Vladimir Filonov

A resourceful dog owner is making a business out of giving dog sled rides in Moscow parks. Alexander Voronin owns 11 dogs. He began raising huskies five years ago, and for the last two years he has been making money on dog sled rides.

"I'm not doing this for the money, but to keep the dogs in healthy physical condition," Voronin told The Moscow Times.

Anyone can come to Sokolniki Park or to Gorky Park and get a ride on a sled powered by his canines. Rides are offered on weekends from noon until 7:00 p.m. The schedule for the weekdays changes, depending on the number of park visitors. The charge for rides, which are regulated by the park, is 250 rubles ($8) per child and 400 rubles per adult for 200-meter rides in Sokolniki. At Gorky Park the rates are 150 rubles and 300 rubles, respectively.

One dog can pull a child, while adults sometimes need two. If a customer yearns for the true feeling of speeding across the tundra, four or five dogs can be yoked. The dog sleds can reach speeds of up to 20 kilometers per hour.

Voronin says he spends 4,400 rubles per month to feed his dogs.

"Of course, I have business rivals, but nobody is doing dog sled rides for children. They prefer offering VIP sled rides for events and clubs," he said.

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