The start of it all - Handler story pt1
Updated: Nov 21, 2020
When I was making a website for my kennel, I noticed there was a blog function I could add and something itched at the back of my mind. A thought that I've had since February 2019 - to write a full account of the trauma I suffered working at a sleddog kennel. I don't know if it is something that is even necessary for my healing, but it is something that has burned at me ever since I left that place. Because I need validation that what happened to me was real? Because I want someone to listen and hear my story so I am not alone? Because I want to make sure no one else ever trusts that man, or trusts the safety of their dogs with him? There are multiple reasons and feelings roiling around inside that I have yet to pick apart, even with the deep diving we have been doing in my PTSD therapy.
I was hesitant for this whole time because the man who abused me is someone with a great deal of clout in the mushing community. Would anyone even believe me, when he was someone with a great deal of history, countless race wins, and an entire family history of mushing backing him? But I am confident now that people will. The friends and the mushing community I know will take my word for it, no matter how much of a mushing nobody I may be. I owe a great deal of thanks to Jess Kizmann of Blue Eyes and Spitfire Mushing, and Amanda Vogel of Snomad Racing for being the first ones in the community to believe me. Even now my eyes leak because of how grateful I am for their support. And my heart pounds with anxiety of delving back into that dark time.
But even with the anxiety creeping in and the dread tightening my throat, I want to do it anyways. I know through my therapy sessions that writing and reading an account of your trauma helps it to have less power over you, and it will be a cold day in hell before I let Ed Streeper have any kind of power over me ever again.
So, through these blog posts, I want to recount and share what happened. Please when reading these, note that this is not the norm - he is one of two mushers out of the countless I have met over the seven years I've been involved with mushing who have substandard care for his dogs. It is really important to me that this account damns him, but damns him alone - even friends of his that I met while living at his kennel were had impeccable dog care.
So with that - September 26, 2018. The day I arrived at Streeper Kennels. The start of it all.