The name 'Asher' means "Happiness" or "Blessed". I rescued Asher in 2012 froma terrible hoarding situation when he was 9 months old. I had a sense that his life was bad, but I did not know how bad his life really was when I acquired him until a month later when his former 'home' was raided by the Fond du Lac Humane Society for an enormous animal hoarding situation. When he was about a year old, I took him in to my vet because he was dragging his feet, and there he was diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia in both hips. He also partially tore his ACL in October 2013. Because of his hip problems, he has bad arthritis in both of his hips and both of his knees. Because of this, I elected not to do surgery for his ACL (recovery would have been too hard on his hips) and let the already growing arthritis take it over. His ACL stopped bothering him after only about 1.5 months. I still let Asher run with the team up until the end of the 2014-2015 season. I always took it easy when he's hooked up and watched for any signs of pain or discomfort. His former owners bred their Huskies to be shorter and fluffier, so Asher has shorter legs, meaning he can't run as fast. He's slower than the other 3, but ran with the same dedication.
In May 2015, I decided to get his hips x-rayed. I wanted to see how bad they were and I also wanted to finally make an official decision on whether it is actually ok to let him run on the team or not. The x-rays weren't too good. At not even 4 years old, he has very displaced and "deformed" hip joints, and major arthritis. So diagnosis is that Asher most likely lives in some sort of discomfort or pain every day, but his quality of life is so good that he isn't bothered by it. As for the following sled seasons, he won't be pulling my sled ever again. But he can still run Canicross with my husband, which is great because he loves running, just not pulling.
I give him 2 Joint Max Triple Strength soft chews, 1 Duralactin Canine chew, 3 Fish Oil, and Yucca extract every day to help with his Joints. I also have pain medication readily available in case he needs it. I call him my "1/2 sled dog" because he can't run fast or pull, but his heart is 100% in it. His heart and soul is that of a sled dog. Asher is the definition of Alpha Survivors.