Greetings Race Fans!
Still winter here at Denali. Snow & icy. Anchorage is expecting 5 inches of snow today. Jason has a team of yearlings out on the Denali Hwy getting ready for the ’09 race season. We’re not letting the grass grow under our feet here!
Dog sales have been brisk – but some of the best are still here!
Check ‘em out! I’m off to Palm Springs with my daughter Ellen to check out a fine arts boarding school. By the time I get back next week I’m guessing the snow will be starting to melt quickly.
I wanted to answer a few of the questions that have come through on the blog…
-As for what does POTUS stand for? If I told you that I’d have to kill ya! Figure it out…!! 😉
-A couple comments about Lance’s dog Zorro. We hear he is home safe & sound in Fairbanks after being hit by a snowmachine near the finish of the Sweepstakes. There was a comment that possibly Zorro shouldn’t have been being carried, and that possibly Lance was acting irresponsibly by not stopping or something. I wasn’t there, but I know Lance well, and I also know that it’s not uncharacteristic to carry a dog that can’t keep up with the rest of the group. This does not imply that the dog is in any way uncomfortable, suffering, or such. It is way more humane to give a ride to a dog that can’t keep up, than encourage a dog to go faster when he can’t. I have no reason to believe Zorro was injured prior to being hit by a snowmachine, and have made the assumption the more likely reason was that he could not keep up with the speed that the balance of the team was capable of going.
-Salem is happily training yearlings with Cali. His littermate Houston will be going to his retirement home outside of Bend, Oregon. And Rumba has recently moved to Northern Sweden.
-The harnesses I used in this year’s races were modified PULKA harnesses from Howling Dog and made in the Czech Republic by ManMat. I love them, and clearly intend to continue using them. There are two things I like about them more than the distance harness I’ve been using: 1.) I can select one side or the other for the dog to stay on. This gives me an opportunity to influence pressure points on the dogs – it does not require me to remember which side of the tow line that the dog has been running on. It sounds insignificant when I say it and see it typed, but I cannot emphasize how much benefit I believe I have reaped for the dogs because of this. 2.) The harness pulls slightly further back and lower off the dogs body, producing and even straighter “tension line” from towline to far shoulder. It also is less prone to rubbing.
I will be attending a Cabela’s Grand Opening in Scarborough, Maine on May 24th & 25th. I’ll also be attending the California Iditarod Fan Club’s meeting (at my Mom’s house!) May 17th.
That’s all for now folks!
**Check back soon for new & updated puppy pictures!!