(KFYR/NBC News) – Sloane Penfield and her new best friend, Harley, will be watching the Iditarod sled dog race closely this year.
Sloane, 7, has been dreaming of dog sledding for most of her young life.
“There’s this movie that I watched when I was little called ‘Eight Below’ and I just fell in love with it,” she explains.
Sloane had been trying to fill six two-liter bottles with dimes; someone told her that would be enough money to buy her own husky someday. But before she could fill all those bottles, her dream came true. In November, her parents surprised her with a trip to Montana, a visit to Skinny Leg Sled Dogs and her very own sled dog.
“They came out here we did a little sled ride together. And then we came back to the barn and I asked her if she liked Harley quite a bit and she said she did and she loved him and then I said, ‘Well, he’s yours if you want.’ She didn’t know what to do,” recalls Brett Bruggeman, a former Iditarod racer who now lives in Great Falls, Montana.
“I was so surprised!” said Penfield when she recalled the day she met Harley.
Harley raced in the Iditarod. He’s retired now, and his owners were looking for a forever home for him. Penfield was the perfect match.