Skydog Sanctuary is named after an old Blackfoot Legend .....
When horses first appeared to the Blackfeet people, they thought the strange animals were large dogs sent as a gift from the sky from Old Man, creator of all things......
"A long time ago we had to walk and walk from sky to sky, from camp to camp. Our dogs carried our rawhide bags and pulled our travois sleds. We walked so much that we wore out many moccasins going across the plains.
All of a sudden, one day, coming from Old Man’s sleeping room, west of the mountains, we saw some strange looking beasts. They were as big as elk and they had tails of straw. Lying across the backs of these beasts were two Kutani men. One beast was pulling a travois sled. We became afraid because we did not understand.
As I looked around I saw that all were afraid. They had big eyes and four of them had their hunting bows aimed.
Then our chief Long Arrow laughed. He said, “These are from Old Man. They are a gift like the elk, antelope, buffalo and bighorn sheep. They are called Sky Dogs”.
We waited for the Sky Dogs to reach our camp.
We took care of the beasts. We fed them dried meat as we fed our dogs. We threw sticks to make them fetch. One Sky Dog ran away. The two that stayed showed us they like to eat grass.
No one was afraid anymore.
I went up to the smallest Sky Dog. I touched him gently from hoof to mane. I felt his soft, warm skin. He did not flicker. He did not move. I pressed my face close against his face. He still did not move. Long Arrow smiled at me and gave me the name He-Who-Loves-Horses.
The Kutani woman grew well, married my father and we lived in the tipi as a family. She sang to us the story of the Sky Dogs and her people. I learned how to mount and to comb the mane with a bone comb.
And I learned how to ride into battle."