Saturday, July 21, 2007


Yea, I know- it sounds lot Iditarod! But it tells a story and that's exactly the point. Mitch Seavey was the 2004 winner of the Iditarod race from Anchorage to Nome and he is the hometown (Seward) boy. So we spent a couple hours at his kennel just outside of Seward and went for the summer version of the dog sled ride. Pulled by 16 dogs, we went for a brisk ride through the woods and along the glacial stream for a couple miles. It was quite exhilarating to feel the power of the pack and they reach speeds, even pulling a summer sled with an average of 2500 pounds on it, that are quite surprising. Like our musher said, "We want to thank you all for coming out today and paying for the summer training for our dogs!" The ride was a blast for sure, and the lecture, demonstration, and hands on experience was something we won't soon forget...Every dog on Mitch's team is an Alaskan Husky- no Malamutes here. Like thoroughbred horses, these dogs are bred to run- and they sure do love to do that. The minute the handlers pick up the harnesses the noise goes up from the team and they do not quiet down until they are actually out on the trail. You can sense that they love to run.
We decided that Huskies have the longest tongues in the dog family. There's nothing scientific about this idea, just that after a run of any length, those big tongues go to work on the panting/cool off routine. They were beautiful dogs and they love people- very well socialized and wanted a pat from everyone whose "tail" they hauled across the trail that day. Praise goes a long way with animals; people too.
Yea, that's the spot, Greg! Rub there some more, would you please, please, please....
Always was a sucker for blue eyes....
At the halfway pit stop, the team gets kudos from Marilyn.
And look who they wanted to drive the sled back to the kennel. No lie! Marilyn steered us back home.
Puppies sure are cute. At four weeks old, they already are heart-breakers, huh? No! Abby does not need a new sister right now!
Marilyn gets the volunteer of the day award! No one else wanted to put on the 50 degree below zero mushing suit and gear on a nice warm sunny day. MJ did it. Ain't she a cute little snow bunny?
In Alaska, when they say "things are going to the dogs"- that's a good thing!

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