A stray cat visited Ivan Beliveau’s beloved cat’s grave in his backyard, off a sleepy Carthage road where he and his wife, Jodi, have lived for four years.
Beliveau, 80, said his deceased cat was beautiful.
“They get to you,” Beliveau said about his deceased cat and the stray’s timely and curious visit. “Our house is too small for a dog.”
Beliveau owned a dog grooming and boarding business and raced sled dogs when he lived in New Hampshire.
He displayed a white mug with his favorite dog, Coal.
Ivan Beliveau shows off his favorite sled dog, Coal, at his home in Carthage.
“I almost didn’t buy her,” Beliveau said. “I learned that you don’t judge a dog until you try them. At six months, she was too small,” Beliveau said about Coal being an amazing lead dog.
“We took care of greyhounds and rehabilitated them. They have long toes, and they get broken easily,” Beliveau said about his boarding business.
Beliveau has photos of him racing with a team of Siberian huskies but said they were not the best for racing.
“An interesting dog out of Norway, sophisticated greyhound crosses. Instead of going twenty miles an hour, they can go twenty-two. They are crossed with English setters, have a narrow chest, and are thin,” Beliveau said.
Beliveau participated in the World Championship Dog Sled Derby in Laconia, New Hampshire, which lasted about an hour, and he helped build a cabin for a friend who raced in the Iditarod in Alaska, which takes over a week.
“I like sleeping in a warm motel room at night. On the Iditarod, it gets seventy below at night,” Beliveau said about never racing in Alaska.
He made high-protein dog food and made some money selling it, but his friend who freeze-dried it made more because she sold it to the pet market.
“People don’t like tripe, but animals go crazy over it, mixed it with chicken parts from a factory,” Beliveau said about making the dog food with animal guts and processing waste.
Beliveau has traveled the world and said Ecuador’s Indigenous people were most respectful to Earth, which relates to his life’s motto to treat people and the environment with respect.
Beliveau wanted to travel to Russia and made plans to travel through eight time zones but said it was too difficult to arrange for all the language translators.
His mother was a librarian, and his favorite authors are Russian. He said Fyodor Dostoevsky, who wrote “Crime and Punishment,” was his favorite.
Academics analyze Dostoevsky’s novels for ethics.
His father was a gifted artist without professional training who created portraits, and some have eyes that follow viewers from where they are hung on Beliveua’s walls.
Beliveau has three children. Danielle lives in Cameron, Christina lives in Rhode Island, and his son, John, lives in Washington.
Beliveau was a candidate for the New Hampshire House of Representatives in the 2012 Republican primary. He ran teams of sled dogs, with up to 24 dogs, using two sleds.
Now, he enjoys walking at Reservoir Park, reading, and visits from the stray cat.
Feature photo: Ivan Beliveau recalls his sledding days on May 2, 2023, during his retirement, where he lives in Carthage.
~Article and photos by Sandhills Sentinel Journalist Stephanie M. Sellers. Contact her at [email protected]