Britt Pearson’s Yukon lifestyle combines her love of dogs, the wilderness and staying active.
Spectacular mountain views, wide-open vistas, glistening waters…and a mountain biking woman with a pack of nine dogs happily barrelling behind her? If you spend enough time on the 700 kilometres of trails within the city limits of Whitehorse, Yukon, you may come across Britt Pearson and her famous FawkesTrot troupe – a breed of dog service that embodies the thrills and adventure synonymous with Yukon life.
Britt is a multitalented athlete who was born in the Yukon, but her education and wanderlust led her to live in Ottawa – Canada’s captivating capital city, stunning Victoria, BC, and even Paris, France. Yet the magnetic pull of the rugged north eventually drew her back home.
As a former member of the Yukon cross-country ski team, it’s no wonder the territory’s vast winter wonderland always maintained a sacred place in her heart. But it’s about more than just the snow.
“The access to quiet and space is just unparalleled, and the more that you go elsewhere, the more you realize how precious that is. You’re never competing with people to find your own bit of wild here.”
Britt’s business grew out of this love of the landscape and the quest for a life that reflected her passion for pups, entrepreneurship and movement.
Three years in, Britt has two staff members and a waitlist of clients who share her philosophy that the dogs of Whitehorse deserve adventure as much as the people do. And this commitment has made her a bit of a local legend.
“I run into people around town at a café or social event and they tell me, ‘I watch your Instagram stories every day. I don’t even have a dog. I just love watching dogs running in the woods. It’s like therapy to me!’ That makes my heart warm.”
Her work is both emotionally and physically satisfying. Britt hikes, bikes, runs, skis and even skijors with her dogs, no matter the weather. And while it can be gruelling to lead as many as seven two-hour canine outings a week, she wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s something liberating and joyful about being in the epic environment alone but not actually alone, thanks to her four-legged friends. And while most trips are fairly adrenaline-packed, Britt has discovered a fondness for some more docile pastimes with her pups too. “I have found myself just singing aloud out on the trails. It’s fine. We’re basically alone out there! I’ve become interested in foraging. The region is amazing for that. The dogs will hang out while I pick cranberries or mushrooms.”
Britt’s in good company, weaving the wilderness into everyday life like this is part of the culture; she says it’s deeply entrenched in many Yukoners’ lifestyles. “I love that I can fulfill my need to connect with the landscape at almost any hour of the day while doing what I love. And so many others here structure their work around their ability to connect with the land. Having this magnificent nature so close inspires you to build your life around embracing it.”