Monday, January 09, 2006

Well, I'm up here...

And I am tired. Dog handling is hard work! Feed 40 dogs, scoop poop, cut fish, fat, frozen , meat, haul wood, pack sleds, hook up dogs, unhook dogs, sort harnesses, booties,scoop again, feed forty dogs again, and start the whole thing over again!

So I am feeling a bit worn out. But, I get to run dogs tomorrow! At least a ten miler and if that works out, a 20 miler on top of that would be awesome.

There are lots of caribou and moose around. The mushers see them everyday. Its been about 25 below consistently. I have gotten pretty well adapted, it wsas 10 above yesturday and it felt hot! I didn't wear any gloves that day.

Also...I may get to see Jack and Doppler! The guy that Karen Land sold them to is racing the Copper Basin 300 sled dog race, next week. That would be so cool to see them.

There is another team training here, so another cool thing is that after the racem the mushers staying here will move back to White Horse and I get my own cozy litte lakeside cabin! woohoo!

More later


Blogger Barbara said...

Hey Ted,
Wow! So great to read your post tonight and hear more about what's going on. I check Zoya's journal every couple of days, too, so I am really getting a picture of sleddogland and what you are up to, as well. I even have a few people whom you don't even know who read Zoya's blog because they find it so interesting that you moved up there and want to learn more. I loved the picture of Zoya and John's dogs in the truck. The dogs looked so cute all peering back at the camera. It makes me miss Bisbee because he made me laugh every day with his human-like qualities. He was a great dog, wasn't he? I do hope you can see Jack and Doppler again. Diane suggested I get one of those little tiny fluffy dogs but I don't know....Anyway miss you and am so happy for you.

January 9, 2006 at 10:51 PM  
Blogger dogsled_stacie said...

Ha! I laughed when I read how tired you are and how much you do. I did tell you it would be hard work and long days right?? But it's so worth it - even if some days you may be thinking "what the HELL am I doing here?!?!?" (I thought that a few times for sure)

That's cool that you'll get your own cabin soon. Kick Sebastian's butt outta there!! :-) I checked out his website and he has posted some pictures and talked about some of the runs around there. Looks so beautiful.

Say hi to Clint from Stacie and Ray and have fun at the race! Everyone will be there! You'll have a blast seeing all the mushers & teams.

January 10, 2006 at 11:18 AM  
Anonymous Peter said...

Good luck Ted !!!

January 12, 2006 at 1:45 PM  
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January 13, 2006 at 3:14 AM  
Blogger Woofwoof said...

Great to read that you made it to Alaska. Best of luck. I never knew man has to work so hard for dog! Quite a switch for the species.

January 14, 2006 at 8:51 AM  
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Blogger BohemianBlogger said...

Wow, a lot of work. I received your blog link via a rescuer friend of mine. I am hoping they are not posting too many or... any of those Animal Rescuer-God-like complex where they know everything and no one else knows everything they know...

I know there is some controversy about Sled Dogs, from what I have been seeing, about their care mostly. My hope is that great care is taken. With your dogs, and all that you know.

I know sled dogs love to pull and run. But my concern is that they are not mis-treated. It always worries me when an animal is a commodity and I can only hope that the Sled Dog world moves toward more and more humane treatment. (And this is not to say anyone else is better) But just to keep moving in the direction and learning from the past mistakes and habits...move toward healthier (for both humans and animals). I know there are horror stories, we all have them. But I would hope there are the opposite end of the spectrum stories. About how someone who treats their animals like the beautiful creatures they are, with respect and regard for their health and wellbeing... afterall no race, no sport is worth it.

Good LORD I did not mean to get preachy. YUCK. Sorry about that. I will get OFF my soap box.

I hope you will check out my blog.


January 31, 2006 at 6:06 PM  
Blogger BohemianBlogger said...

Did I forget to list mine?

It is a movie about a girl who rescues animals. Fictional feature film. Still struggling to finish.

January 31, 2006 at 6:07 PM  
Anonymous s.seineke said...

Please address the statements made in the following excerpt. Convince me that your dogs and those of all other mushers do not suffer similar treatment/fates/abuse. Thank you:
"Iditarod dogs are simply not the invincible animals race officials portray. Here's a short list of what happens to the dogs during the race: death, paralysis, penile frostbite, bleeding ulcers, broken bones, pneumonia, torn muscles and tendons, diarrhea, vomiting, hypothermia, fur loss, broken teeth, viral diseases, torn footpads, ruptured discs, sprains, anemia and lung damage.

How do sick animals run the 1,100 miles across frozen tundra and through icy waters? Veterinarians give them massive doses of antibiotics to keep them going. Anemia tires the dogs but mushers force them to run mile after grueling mile.

At least 126 dogs have died in the Iditarod. No one knows how many dogs die after this tortuous ordeal or during training.

On average, 53 percent of the dogs who start the race do not make it across the finish line. According to a report published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, of those who do cross, 81 percent have lung damage. A report published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine said that 61 percent of the dogs who finish the Iditarod have ulcers versus zero percent pre-race.

Tom Classen, retired Air Force colonel and Alaskan resident for over 40 years, tells us that the dogs are beaten into submission:

"They've had the hell beaten out of them." "You don't just whisper into their ears, 'OK, stand there until I tell you to run like the devil.' They understand one thing: a beating. These dogs are beaten into submission the same way elephants are trained for a circus. The mushers will deny it. And you know what? They are all lying." -USA Today, March 3, 2000 in Jon Saraceno's column.

Mushers believe in "culling" or killing unwanted dogs, including puppies. Many dogs who are permanently disabled in the Iditarod, or who are unwanted for any reason, including those who have outlived their usefulness, are killed with a shot to the head, dragged or clubbed to death. "Dogs are clubbed with baseball bats and if they don't pull are dragged to death in harnesses....." wrote Alaskan Mike Cranford in an article for Alaska's Bush Blade Newspaper (March, 2000).

Jon Saraceno wrote in his March 3, 2000 column in USA Today, "He [Colonel
Tom Classen] confirmed dog beatings and far worse. Like starving dogs to maintain their most advantageous racing weight. Skinning them to make mittens. Or dragging them to their death."

February 1, 2006 at 12:08 PM  
Blogger dogsled_stacie said...

Ha! Skinning dogs to make mittens!! That is by far my absolute favourite!!!

S. Seineke - c'mon over to my blog and check out my dogs and our adventures. Click on the links of all of my musher friends who have blogs. You're more than welcome to ask questions and comment. It would be much more factual and real than the crap you are regurgitating from Saraceno.

February 7, 2006 at 12:41 PM  
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