Smokey – Oh, we did some stupid things. You’d get out of the bush and of course you were alone all the time and at first you didn’t talk because you weren’t use to talking.

Lynn – Not me!

Smokey – Well not you! And then once I started talking I couldn’t shut up! But I worked with lots of good guys. I remember one rescue that I assisted on. They had moved Wally McPhee to Lake Louise. Gerry Lyster was my boss out at Saskatchewan River Crossing. I was called out to help. We went down to the far end of Lake Louise to the climbing area there. Two guys had been stuck there, one with his hand burnt so bad, he couldn’t help himself. That was when we took the cable. We were learning with the cable. Wally was lined up with his radio in the truck. We set this up before nightfall. The guy was in between us. One guy was standing at the bottom of the cliff with a flashlight. We were on the very top with the cable. We waited til daylight before dropping Walter Perren down via the cable and the diaper. We lined everybody up by radio, the injured guy, us guys on top, the guys standing below and Wally from across the lake. It was quite a long way. We had taken a boat to get the equipment down there. Walter, unaided, rescued the uninjured man and then he used the cable and diaper to rescue the injured man. None of us could help him, except by lowering this cable. Everybody walked back, but I alone paddled the boat back across the lake. I used to be a good canoe man in Ontario.

Smokey – After we went out the first winter from Indian Head I got a dog from Walt Disney productions. They were filming in the Seebe area east of Banff, “Nicky, Wild Dog of the North.” The dog’s name was Tundra, he was a Siberian husky. They gave him to me. For the first night I put him in the pen at the warden bunkhouse. The next morning when I went to feed him, he jumped between me and the door and disappeared. There I was looking around Banff for him. I got George Balding who was the town warden at the time to help me find this dog. I had to get back to my district. The next morning I checked the pen and there he was sitting in the dog kennel! He had come back by himself. I was able to get a collar on him. Then we went back to the Ya-Ha-Tinda Ranch.

Smokey – I also had a female dog, Queenie that was part Shepherd and part Collie and I had Buck who was a cattle dog. He had a short tail. I got him from Billy Vroom who got him from Ed Stewart for a case of beer. Billy also gave me a harness that he made and a small toboggan. I had a three-dog dog team.

Smokey – Anyway we spent that night at the Ya-Ha-Tinda. Now it was after Christmas. We started out on horseback from the ranch with Lorne and Shirley Cripps. Lorne was the horse breaker at the ranch. They were both superb horse people. I couldn’t lead my Siberian husky from the horse. He kept going underneath the horse! He was scared of the horses. I didn’t want the lead rope to go underneath the horses tail. So I turned him loose assuming he would stay with the other two dogs. Buck was the only one who followed fine. Queenie and Tundra stayed behind at the ranch. Lorne and Shirley took us over the pass as far as Parks Cabin with the horses. We spent the night in that drafty cabin!

Smokey – The next morning I returned to the Ya-Ha-Tinda with Lorne and Shirley and all the horses. Lynn stayed at the cabin with Buck. I was able to get my other two dogs. I was now going by foot on snowshoes. I had to return with my two errant dogs to Parks cabin. It was a long trip! By 9:00 p.m I was sitting on the trail about three miles from the cabin. It was dark now. I was finally able to feed that dog. I wouldn’t let him eat until he took it from my hand. With renewed hopes for my dog team, I sewed up harnesses that night. At about 5:00 a.m I let all three dogs out of the cabin, got the fire going and climbed back under the blankets. Soon I thought, “Jeez, it’s pretty quiet.” I whistled, hollered, finally swore, more hollering, still no dogs! When daylight came I tracked the dogs, seeing that all three were headed toward Indian Head. The cabin was about four mountains away. I could tell by the tracks that two of the dogs had veered off, but Buck kept heading toward Indian Head to the old cabin. That dirty bugger! He knew that he would have to pull the toboggan. The other two had never pulled a toboggan. So I spent the day at Parks cabin waiting for the dogs to come back and getting everything ready for the next day. At midnight there was a scratch at the door. Queenie! I took at look at her noticing for the first time that she was pregnant, It hadn’t occurred to me. I couldn’t even give her a licking. I think I gave her a pinch or something because I was mad at her. But anyway she was there, but no Siberian husky. The next morning here we start out with the toboggan that I had gotten ready for the dogs. Lynn had never been on snowshoes for such a distance. 14 miles to go and we started out pushing and pulling the toboggan ourselves because there were no dogs to do it! Got to the river and I didn’t know how good that river crossing would be. I had big long poles and I tied them to the toboggan with a long rope, pushing the toboggan ahead. Seeing all was okay, I would then walk ahead. Gave it another push and this is how we crossed the river safely. We got to Harrison Flats. At the edge of the flats there was a huge tree. Realizing there was no we could pull the toboggan under these circumstances, especially with the cold weather. I hung the whole thing up in this big tree. We took our recently purchased Phillips radio, some food and left the rest for another trip on a better day. I went ahead breaking trail. Periodically Lynn would catch up to me and then I would resume walking. She didn’t even get a chance to rest! About 9:00 pm I got a fire going, so Lynn could catch up and I was making supper on the trail. I always liked to travel to the moonlight. It gave us extra light. I had this garlic sausage cooking on a stick when we heard one long mournful howl. That was the last we ever heard of the Siberian husky. He was with the wolves. Going to the wolves because he was brought up with the wolves. Anyway we got to Indian Head.

Lynn – But, Buck came back to find us.

Smokey – We hadn’t come there the previous night so he came looking for us. But it was too late now. The toboggan was hanging in the tree miles away from home!

Lynn – But we were at Indian Head anyway. Thank god!

Smokey – I got a hold of the provincial rangers and I left word that Tundra had two collars on and I suggested that they shoot him because then he’d been running with the wolves and they agreed of course.

Lynn – He was shot running with the timber wolves. A sad damned story!

Smokey – Jack Woledge and Fred Dixon also had dog teams from Disney Productions and I just got one dog. It was too bad.

Smokey – The next spring I was called into Banff for a month to work on the annual elk slaughter, to cull then rds. By this time our pups were born, all seven of them. Some of them looked like Buck with short tails, black and white markings perfect just like him and some of them they had long tails and looked like Queenie. So we had to go to Banff and the dogs had to remain at Indian Head alone because Queenie was still feeding them. I took a bunch of our groceries and I made round balls with oatmeal, nuts, raisins, meat that I had, wild meat, fat and I made balls of it all. Then I cleaned out one part of my fire shed. I put Queenie’s dog house in there so that she could jump on top of it if she wanted to get away from the puppies. Buck would come with us. I packed a bunch of snow in containers and put the food and snow all in the shed with the dog house and closed everything up. There was no heat, but there would be no wind either, so they all could be warm. It was the best that could be done. When we returned a month later, I could hear some noise and cautiously opened one door and peeked through it. Queenie was wagging her tail and all the puppies were fat and healthy! I was so relieved. I opened up the door for them and Queenie ran around the fire shed about four times and everything was fine!

Guttman Puppies