And We’re Off!

Yesterday was the official start of the Iditarod, world’s greatest dog sled race. Our hearts are with Snowhook – “our” wonderfully gritty and humane team up there in Alaska. Rebecca’s the CEO and she’s very kindly volunteered to send in reports.

Welcome new friends (in the gallery) Kink and Chet (yes!), Sherman, fellow Slim Jim fan.

And now – over to Rebecca. Here she is with AJ at the start yesterday (photo courtesy of Oley Howler’s Pop):



The field of teams left the restart, the real start, of the Iditarod beginning mid-Sunday afternoon and Snowhook was among them. Shortly after 3 p.m., the team left the starting line among the cheers of the crowd and the support of the Plunderers.

Who is Snowhook’s starting line up?

Clyde (rookie)


Louisa Mae

As we stood at the starting line, waiting for the countdown to begin, I asked AJ if he wanted to walk up and check the team. It is something he’s done in past years. This year was different. “No. I’m having a hard time holding them back.” It was true. The team barked and pounded their harnesses as the announcer read AJ’s bio and eventually began the countdown. AJ’s plan is to pace the team despite the desire to go and go fast.


It was great to share the emotions and excitement of the starting line with the Plunderers both in person and those with the team in spirit.



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This entry was posted on Monday, March 3rd, 2014 at 9:19 am and is filed under Chet The Dog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

166 Responses to “And We’re Off!”

  1. Tupper and Gilly
    9:20 am on March 3rd, 2014

    Thank Dog for Ray! Great film of the start and it made us feel worlds better to see it.

  2. O'Howlers' Mom
    9:24 am on March 3rd, 2014

    Good morning, Race Fans! Our team is doing great. I didn’t realize that Clyde is a rookie, but I am in love with that dog. What a lover!

  3. B. Stover
    9:28 am on March 3rd, 2014

    Charlie made the team!!

    Thank you for the report Rebecca and Spence. (And to Ray: Thank you for the wonderful video of Snowhook’s start.)

    I received a musher alert from the Iditarod Insider that the team checked into Unalakleet at 11:14 PM yesterday Alaska time.

    Good morning all.

  4. Wose-the small and meek
    9:57 am on March 3rd, 2014


    To the Plunderers in Alaska, Thanks for the great reporting, pictures and video of the Plunderfest 2014!
    Hope youse that are sneezing and coughing are on the way to tip-top!


  5. Wose-the small and meek
    9:59 am on March 3rd, 2014

    HRH, B, Charlie will probably have many stories to tell about the race when he returns to your easy chair.

  6. Barb & Maggie
    10:11 am on March 3rd, 2014

    Ray’s video was top notch. Great start to the race, and we wish them success today.

    Were those some of the Plunderers with the dogs at the start line? Saw one bearded guy – was that Daddy Dawg?

  7. Whitey-Lance
    10:13 am on March 3rd, 2014

    The team is into the Finger Lake checkpoint. Yeep!

  8. Masquers
    10:15 am on March 3rd, 2014

    Ray’s video yesterday at the restart was a true sanity saver for the Plunderers and much appreciated.
    Thank you Howlers’ Pop!!
    B: Heh. We received that same wacky update from our trusty friends at the Insider this morning.
    Dima, Bear and I were quite unprepared for news of our team’s early arrival. They must have flown like the wind because they are way, way ahead of everyone.
    I do believe that from now on we will rely solely on the reports from our Pixie.
    BSD awoke at some undogly hour this morning so we, no doubt, won’t hear from him for awhile.

  9. Masquers
    10:17 am on March 3rd, 2014

    Whitey-Lance! I just saw you at the top! How apropos is that?

  10. Herd's Mom
    10:21 am on March 3rd, 2014

    Good morning, everyone! Exciting day yesterday standing on a frozen lake for 5+ hours. OH’s mom was kind enough to share her germs with me so I am going in search of a doc in a box today. Oh, the insider isn’t working here either (still).
    Have a mushing Monday.

  11. Masquers
    10:25 am on March 3rd, 2014

    Herds Mom: Mushing Monday! How Purrfect.
    You and all the others at Plunderfest. Feel better soon.

  12. B. Stover
    10:47 am on March 3rd, 2014

    What is the problem with the Insider? I’m going to write to them asking about the error in the musher alert message to see what they say.

  13. Wose-the small and meek
    10:57 am on March 3rd, 2014

    B&M, That bearded man was Mick, the person. He and his wife Jodi , are friends of the giant and our Pixie. They are truly nice people.

  14. Barb & Maggie
    11:03 am on March 3rd, 2014

    Wose, thank you, that makes more sense that it would be Mick. Now that I think of it, didn’t Daddy Dawg stay back at the Hobbit House?

  15. Tupper and Gilly
    11:04 am on March 3rd, 2014

    We are going to send a can of Raid to the Insider folks so they can GET THE FREAKIN’ BUGS OUT!


  16. Riö -The Evil Pug
    11:05 am on March 3rd, 2014

    Insider!….Anyone have any inside news on the Insider?….sniff!sniff!….It won’t even come up at all for me….sob!

  17. Riö -The Evil Pug
    11:05 am on March 3rd, 2014


  18. Diane C.
    11:07 am on March 3rd, 2014

    Hello All–I add my thanks for yesterday’s starting prayer, and for the gorgeous photos and coverage. Does anyone have photos of Josephine and Louisa May? (I continue to follow with excitement, despite not understanding everything that’s going on.)

  19. Herd's Mom
    11:09 am on March 3rd, 2014

    Are you sure Natasha is wearing purple Uggs? Dawson and I could have sworn we saw her with knee-high 3″ platform boots at the re-start yesterday but she slipped away before we could confirm. And yes, there was lovely fur around the tippy top of the boots (you can’t make this stuff up!)

  20. c.hobbit
    11:15 am on March 3rd, 2014

    Security allowed the O’Howlers to go down into the chute–hence the video as they passed close by. If the insider ever shows AJ’s departure, Eileen should be seen on one side and Ray on the other close to AJ and the sled as they start.

    Last day for some of the Plunderers. Hope we can celebrate two birthdays: Ray and Sharon. More later.

  21. BearSpiritDog
    11:19 am on March 3rd, 2014

    Regarding the Unstable Insider: There are Comments on the Iditarod Trail Committee’s facebookie page saying the Insider is Down. AGAIN.

  22. BearSpiritDog
    11:20 am on March 3rd, 2014

    Happy Birthdays to our Plunderfest Guy & Gal!!!

  23. Riö -The Evil Pug
    11:28 am on March 3rd, 2014

    Bear!…I doubt there is a Money Back Guarentee…sniff!…I wish there was an alternative website to give them some competition….grump!

  24. Siber-H
    11:29 am on March 3rd, 2014

    The Insider will be getting an email from me in the next few months explaining why I won’t be renewing my subscription next year. That money will be much better spent donating it to Husky Rescue in NM.

    Thanks for the list of the Snowhook dogs that made the team this year. GO SNOWHOOK!!!

  25. Masquers
    11:32 am on March 3rd, 2014

    Very unhappy comments on F/b to say the least.
    We don’t dare refresh the Insider for fear it will not come back up. Having said that…it isn’t of much use right now because the only thing refreshing on the GPS tracker page is the counter ticking the minutes away…still it does offer some sense of security, albeit a false one.

  26. BooBear
    11:33 am on March 3rd, 2014

    I’m proud that Jem and his nose made the A-team. Hopefully, he will get farther in the race this year than last. He does have another year of training under his collar.

  27. Siber-H
    11:47 am on March 3rd, 2014

    I managed to get to the Forums on the Iditarod’s website. To say that people are pissed is an understatement.
    I found out why the website crashed yesterday. The Sportsman tv channel gave away free links to the re-start.
    I figure the buck still stops with the Iditarod Insider.

  28. Barb & Maggie
    11:53 am on March 3rd, 2014

    HOH, I don’t think that was Nattie in the platforms with fur around the top. We have inside information (not Insider), that it was Johnny Wier. He has been quoted as saying he doesn’t give a hoot about the animal if the fur adds to his outfit. That is why Barb has a strong dislike for the guy.

    Sorry all those up north are feeling less than tip top.

  29. Masquers
    11:53 am on March 3rd, 2014

    Siber: Whether it was their fault or not, the Insider is going to lose a lot of customers after this years fiasco.

  30. c.hobbit
    11:57 am on March 3rd, 2014

    The Iditarod has a big egg of its face with its website problems. When people pay for a service, they expect to get it. Very very bad. They should know better and it will cost them big time.

  31. Natasha the Nefarious Borzoi
    12:00 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Oh dear – ve vere spotted by sharp eye Plunderers. Yes, is true Natasha had back up boots in suitcase. But fur top is fake. Ve vould never vear real fur for fashion statement.

    Team is running like vork of clock. Vill be good race – ve are sure.

    As to Insider – pah!

  32. Natasha the Nefarious Borzoi
    12:01 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Is trouble vith being in vilderness. Avatars sometimes cannot keep up

  33. Masquers
    12:04 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Siber: Checking on F/b we see the Sportsman Channel posted a link on their page, but they are saying the 48 hour pass was offered by the Insider.
    If this is true it appears the stupid Insider caused their own crash.

  34. c.hobbit
    12:05 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    O’Howler’s Pop has been growing an Alaskan beard since he arrived. He might need a new blogger name. Heh.

  35. Masquers
    12:07 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    The Sportsman Channel
    Like This Page · March 1

    Iditarod Insider is offering a FREE 48 Insider pass to our fans, sign up now for full access to video and GPS tracking and to watch the first two days of the race (March 1st & 2nd)!

  36. Masquers
    12:10 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Looks like the Insider thought this was a good way to drum up new customers.

  37. BearSpiritDog
    12:13 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    C.Hobbit: Another Grizz!

  38. Siber-H
    12:16 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Masquers, The plot thickens. It does not surprise me at all that the Insider caused the problems. I know their past history and other people in the Forums are saying the same thing. On the Iditarod’s website, they will never mention these problems. They never do.

  39. Herd's Mom
    12:17 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    BSD: Better than Duck Dynasty beard 🙂

  40. O'Howlers' Mom
    12:22 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    My Insiderhas been working fine, including the GPS tracker. Maybe I need to stay Way Up North in Alaska.

  41. Masquers
    12:24 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Siber: That sounds about right and you know the Insider tactics better than we do.
    Riö: When you have a moment please check your SDD.
    Herds Mom: Or…ZZ Top!

  42. Riö -The Evil Pug
    12:27 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Free-Loaders!…Maybe after all the Free loaders leave the website will work again…grump!…Still makes me sick to my pug stomach…spit!

  43. c.hobbit
    12:32 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Rio: don’t tell me you’re about to get sick at the Hobbit Hotel! I can’t have any more of my residents sick. My reputation is sinking…Gah

  44. O'Howlers' Mom
    12:39 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    On my behalf, I was not sick when I left home. If I am the germ-passer, I am sorry.
    On the video posted last night, I am the one in the white SK.

  45. Herd's Mom
    12:54 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Anchorage TV station KTVA’s website has 13 fotos of the ceremonial start and OFM is #12 🙂

  46. BearSpiritDog
    1:22 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Heh. Youse sickos should have had some of that Famous Cure All…
    Hot Water with Brandy, Lemon & Honey.

    Thanks for the Tip, Herd’s Mom!

  47. Siber-H
    1:28 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Bear? Is that a Hot Toddy?

  48. Wookie's and Teddy's Dad
    1:43 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    I’ve got to tell you that Teddy is really enjoying his fist Iditarod, although it seems that we may be having more snow here in Chevy Chase that they are in Alaska, another 5 inches or so falling today. The good thing though was that Teddy and Zeta had an improptu playdate today, sort of early training to see if they can join the team next year in Alaska. We even have a couple of short videos, which I have never tried to upload before but lets see what happens.

  49. Wose-the small and meek
    1:44 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Bear, we will have to come up with a different name for the Howler’s pop. Only one Grizz on this here blog.

  50. Wookie's and Teddy's Dad
    1:45 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Well, that seemed to work, so let add the second video. They definitely want to join the A team next year if they can!

  51. Wose-the small and meek
    1:47 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Wookie and Teddy’s Dad, I think you have two fine candidates for AJ’s team next year. Teddy is so handsome. sigh

  52. Fargo from the Other Side of the Bridge
    1:48 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    I want to let you all know that we welcomed my daughter, Tomboy on the other side of the Bridge on Saturday night. My Lady told her she loved her and that it was her time, and then she asked the Creator to keep Tomboy’s spirit and requested Tomboy always know she is loved. Tomboy passed peacefully and is now restored to Whole. She was always one of the best huggers in the kennel—something she’s proved to the Raven, CHobbit’s dad Jerry, Maggie and others. I know she will be missed by my Lady, but I have Tomboy in my care. All will be fine.

  53. Wose-the small and meek
    1:58 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Fargo, very sorry to hear this news, but I know you will take good care of Tomboy, and that she will be eternally loved. Tomboy will always be near to Your Lady, as their hearts will beat as one.

  54. O'Howlers' Mom
    2:08 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    R.I.P. Tomboy.
    Nice videos of Teddy and his gal Zeta.
    Happybirthday, HOH Maw.

  55. Tupper and Gilly
    2:24 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Wonder how many race fans have “un-friended” the Insider.

    Safe travels to those of you headed home. We are looking forward to the upcoming Plunder Party in Massachusetts.
    Hmmm. Wonder where the Pug will be.

  56. Tupper and Gilly
    2:26 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    We just read Fargo’s post.

    sniffling here. Wishing that happy girl a good journey.

  57. Barb & Maggie
    2:28 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Happy Birthday Sharon.

    Howler’s Mom, We don’t think it is your fault that some of the Plunderers up there are getting sick. It is always easier to pick up germs when you are traveling, in a different climate, eating and sleeping differently, etc. Just try to get better before you fly back.

    Teddy’s Dad, we couldn’t see any of the fist video, and the second was only about 4 seconds long. Was that the whole thing or did we miss some?

    RIP Tomboy. Run like the wind.

  58. Riö -The Evil Pug
    2:32 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Location!…I’m staying with CHobbit for as long as I can or until she kicks me out….snort!

  59. Wookie's and Teddy's Dad
    2:35 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    B&M — sorry about the first (it is only about 2 seconds); the second one is just about 4 seconds; they were taken by Zeta’s mom on a smart phone, which limits the duration. I do have one additional picture below of the two of them — get a load of the ears on our boy!

  60. BearSpiritDog
    2:38 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    SiberH: Yes, Heh, Heh and Used for Medicinal Purposes Only.

    Wose: Of Course there is Only One Grizz! The O’Howlers’ Pop is a Grizz-Wanta-Be.

    Okay, Now I’m off to watch the videos that Wookie’s & Teddy’s Dad posted.

  61. Chet The Dog
    2:42 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Great videos, W&T Dad! So glad videos work here. I’ll have to learn how to upload them myself! – Admin

  62. Barb & Maggie
    2:51 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Wookie is a beautiful young man. Only question is why is Zeta always in the lead? Is she more Alpha?

  63. Wookie's and Teddy's Dad
    2:59 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    B&M — Truth be told, she probably is. She is definitely the more agile of the two and slightly faster as well, which leaves Teddy very much in the pursuer role. But they do have great fun together and the best part is always to see them when they first meet — the excitement on both parts is palpable.

  64. O'Howlers' Mom
    3:03 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    I don’t remember who asked for a picture of Louisa Mae, and I’m not sure if she is in any of my photos from up here. But here is a photo posted last year when we sponsored her.

  65. Riö -The Evil Pug
    3:07 pm on March 3rd, 2014


  66. BearSpiritDog
    3:08 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Fargo: Tomboy Running whole and free With Family and Friends is a joyful thing to see. She lived the Dream of being a Snowhook Dog. And, if we remember correctly, isn’t she the also one of Lucky Dogs featured in Born to Run?

    Teddy RR & Zeta Running towards Iditarod…barking Wait for Us!

    Admin: Rio can help you out with that!

  67. C.hobbiti
    3:12 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Heh. Rio is loving my mini iPad

  68. Staff
    3:20 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Laurel and Hardy dance to Santana…

  69. Oley Howlers' Pop
    3:49 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    I’m do not want to be a Grizz-Wanta-Be. I’m just taking advantage of not shaving for a week.

  70. O'Howlers' Mom
    3:54 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Where is Siber? I want to know if AJ has now passed The Steps.

  71. Barb & Maggie
    3:57 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Wookie’s Dad, Nothing wrong with that, they are both getting exercise and having fun. When Maggie plays with Fred next door she is always chasing him, never the other way around. I aways figured that Fred was 1. faster, and 2. Maggie would rather be herding him than having him chase her.

  72. O'Howlers' Mom
    4:00 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Siber girls always think they must be in the lead. Teddy is being a gentleman letting Zeta have her way.

  73. Tupper and Gilly
    4:09 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Snort – white guys can’t dance!

  74. Siber-H
    4:23 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    I agree with the Howlers Mom…or another way of saying it is there is nothing else like a Siber girl. I love them and Teddy apparently does too. That is an adorable photo. Teddy with the flying ears is one handsome dude.

    Howlers Mom, Sorry, but I have no idea if AJ has passed the steps. I hate the GPS Tracker’s map so much that I have not even looked at it today.

    Tomboy, Run like the wind and give all our love to the Plunderers that have arrived at Rainbow Bridge before us..

  75. C.hobbiti
    4:29 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Plunderers are packing. Sniff. Seeing what will fit in their suitcases and what won’t. Rio seems to be supervising or he might be contemplating stowing away–he is acting suspicious but it is hard to tell what is going through his brain.

    I haven’t forgotten the Melanie buttons and will let you know when I make them and mail them. Melanie: your button should arrive Wednesday.

  76. B. Stover
    4:37 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    According to “Current Standings” on the Insider, AJ left Finger Lake at 9:57 this morning (Alaska time) after resting at the checkpoint for four hours.

  77. Wose-the small and meek
    4:42 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Felix Cumpleanos, Sharon!

  78. Herd's Mom
    4:45 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    SnowBella, thank you for sharing about Tomboy. I am honored to have met her before she crossed the bridge.
    Watch Rio…your socks might stay in AK and Rio could fly south.
    BSD and Siber H: Mmm? A Hot toddy? Then a nap! Might not feel tip top but at least tip. Oh, and some chicken noodle soup too.
    Yesterday I did the TN waltz with Junior and Clyde…love those guys.

  79. Herd's Mom
    4:46 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    And thanks to all for the early b-day greetings 🙂

  80. O'Howlers' Mom
    5:23 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    The team passed the Steps an hour ago! Wooo Hoooo! And a big sigh of relief!!!

  81. Masquers
    5:29 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Siber: Phillip Walters commented on Snowhook’s F/b page that AJ & team have made it through the Steps.
    Kat knows what we would be doing without these updates.

  82. Masquers
    5:31 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Heh. Someone beat me to it.

  83. Riö -The Evil Pug
    5:34 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    CHobbit!…Check your SDD when you get a second…sniff!

  84. Siber-H
    5:35 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Thanks guys! I am glad the steps behind AJ now.

  85. Teddy Ruff Rider
    5:41 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    And we are now just into Rainy Pass. Woo! Woo!

  86. Teddy Ruff Rider
    5:43 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Who stole my avatar?

  87. Tupper and Gilly
    5:49 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    We are able to access the tracker and according to that AJ is doing very well
    Some teams are down to 14 dogs already. The trail must be pretty tough.

    But then again, so is the Snowhook team.

  88. Barb & Maggie
    5:57 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Back after some family errands.

    Also stopped at the library this morning and ordered 12 years a Slave. We are #40 on the waiting list. That is what we get for ordering it the day after the movie won Best Picture.

    What time are the flights back?

  89. Herd's Mom
    6:20 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    At the start line yesterday, AJ said to Rececca that the Snowhook dogs were ready to RUN, and it looks that way.

  90. c.hobbit
    7:13 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    The Plundermobile is on the way to meet Rebecca in Wasilla with emergency cheesecake supplies.

  91. Tupper and Gilly
    7:25 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Awwww – the first scratch – Cindy Gallea is out at Skwentna

    Good run Cindy – hope you and your dogs are safe.

  92. Masquers
    7:52 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    T&G: That’s too bad. Didn’t Cindy scratch last year also?
    CHobbit: Yay for cheesecake!

  93. Tupper and Gilly
    7:58 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Hey everyone – we saw Melanie today, and she wants to thank you all for all the wonderful cards, and pictures, and books and gifts, and LOVE! She is fighting hard to stay strong, and knowing that she has all this support from all of you truly helps her.

    And we want to thank you too.

  94. Masquers
    8:04 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Just received a huge apology from the Insider claiming they had been under attack on Sunday and experienced a deliberate attempt to block access to their site.
    Any of youse subscribing to the Insider no doubt has received the same message.
    They are assuring us that everything is now up and running. If this is true why are we not receiving the 5 favorite musher updates? (of course there was that one this morning letting us know our team had reached Unalakleet.)

  95. Siber-H
    8:11 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    I just found that email.
    I do not believe them…”under attack”

  96. c.hobbit
    8:13 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    T&G: No matter what is going on in our lives and in the Iditarod, our love is shining on Melanie. We are fighting too to stay strong.

  97. Tupper and Gilly
    8:13 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    From the Iditarod newsletter:

    “ comes under attack from NEFARIOUS groups from time to time. On Sunday, March 2, at exactly 12:35pm AKST we experienced a deliberate attempt to block access to”

    Hmmmm – you don’t suppose Natasha had anything to do with this, do you?

    Na – couldn’t be

  98. BearSpiritDog
    8:18 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Tupper&Gilly: Sniff. Please tell your Mama we think she is One in a Million.

  99. SnowBella
    8:23 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Good-byes! Oh, how I hate them! Sniff. The first of the Plunderers depart tonight.

  100. c.hobbit
    8:23 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    I was hoping it was Natasha who had blurred AJ to Unalakleet this morning. Then it turned out to be an Insider error. Phooey.

  101. Masquers
    8:34 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Herd’s Mom: Please check your SDD.
    CHobbit: So wonderful to say hello…so difficult to say goodbye.

  102. Rio's Friend
    8:39 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Insider!…They need better Security…sniff!….The only group I can think of that would attack them is PETA…grumble!…Those fanatics would stoop this low by golly…wheeze!

    Tracker!…My GPS tracker does not work – are they still under attack???…grumble!….The only thing that works is the clock. AJ never moves even though he is moving at 8 miles an hour…grump!

  103. Herd's Mom
    8:46 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Our GPS works but the videos won’t load (only the annoying ad about subscribing…duh!)
    Masquers, just got up after the toddy nap and checked SDD.

  104. Rio's Friend
    8:58 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Video!..I finally got to see our Plunderer-Insider video of The Giants start!…snort!….Way better coverage than that stupid Insider crew…grunt!….Good job Howlers!

  105. Tupper and Gilly
    9:00 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Creator – another sun has set in the sky, and we are grateful for all the gifts we have received on this day. The night is falling around us, and we are grateful for the comforts we have. The winter is coming to a close, and we are grateful for this time of the resting earth. The spring is coming and soon we will see change.
    Tonight, this family comes together to lift our voices to you in prayer. We ask you to hear our song, and lift all hearts among us.
    Creator – we thank you for the safe passage of AJ and the team over the Steps. Their sled was lifted by their skill and training – their sled was lifted by your guiding hands.
    We thank you for the peaceful crossing of the beloved TomBoy. Her soul was lifted by the love of her Lady, and her spirit will be lifted over the Bridge to join those who wait.
    We thank you for the laughter and friendship that bonded our family members together in Alaska. They each in turn lifted each other’s joy, the news and pictures of their gathering lifted all our hearts. We ask you to carry them safely to their homes, and let their memories bring smiles to the rest of their lives.
    Creator – we ask you to lift Melanie’s worries, and hold her far away from pain. We ask you to let her feel all of our hands lifting her, caring for her, and supporting her in her battle. We thank you for the gifts we have of her friendship, her wisdom and her humor for we have all been lifted by her each in our own way.
    Tonight AJ and the team will continue their run, their prayer for our friend. Let the path to Rohn and Nikolai be swift and easy, let the sled and the harnesses be lifted over the snow, as a feather lifted on a breeze. Let their dance over the frozen ground be easy and graceful, and let their voices be lifted in joy at the beauty around them.
    Creator – another sun has set in the sky, and we are grateful for all the gifts we have received on this day. The night is falling around us, and we are grateful for the comforts we have. The winter is coming to a close, and we are grateful for this time of the resting earth. The spring is coming; the earth will lift her face to the sun and proclaim that all is as it should be in your world.

  106. Herd's Mom
    9:03 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Amen and amen.

  107. Siber-H
    9:04 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Amen and Thank You

  108. Barb & Maggie
    9:07 pm on March 3rd, 2014


  109. bluecat
    9:08 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Amen. Thank you. Blessings.

  110. Rio's Friend
    9:13 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Amen!…I am grateful for all Golinka said and I am also very grateful for the generous hospitality of CHobbit Harris this past week….sniff!…She has truly been wonderful. She took almost all of the photos of me on my Alaskan Adventure. So I am very grateful to her for that…sniffle!…I know we both hope Melanie enjoyed seeing me suffer outside all the damned time…grunt!

  111. Herd's Mom
    9:17 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Rio: you poor abused pug 🙁 I happen to know first paw that the Plunderer Shuttle was toasty (if a bit tight with a curly tailed one in it).

  112. Tupper and Gilly
    9:32 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Rio – the pictures that Melanie loved the best were the ones of you out in the snowbank. Or shut out on the deck. But out in the snow was the best.
    You are a Good Pug to do all that for our amusement.

  113. Rio's Friend
    9:32 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    HoHo!…You have absolutely no photos to prove that….grunt!…I was cold and outside all the damned time…sniff!

  114. Herd's Mom
    9:33 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Alaska Daily News ( has on page A-8 a foto of Jem sticking his head out of the Snowhook truck (upper left).

  115. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:34 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    OUT!….All this talk reminds me I have to go OUT!OUT!OUT!…gasp!…I’ve been in all day long watching these guys pack. Some of them packed up some of my toys, I swear!…wheeze!

  116. Herd's Mom
    9:36 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Rio, you are right. I didn’t take the I Paw and don’t know how to download the digital camera. But..who will people believe, an evil pug or a retired teacher?

  117. Princess Sam
    9:36 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Rio, there could be more pictures of you meeting me me me and that stupid Loulou. Just stowaway in Dawson’s luggage.

  118. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:38 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Photos!…People believe photos…sniff!…You don’t have any, so there!…grunt!…Now let me IN!IN!IN!..wheeze!

  119. Princess Sam
    9:38 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Rio, and you could visit Niagara Falls!

  120. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:38 pm on March 3rd, 2014
  121. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:40 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Lil’ Sammie!….That is very tempting, but it is damned cold there too…sniff!…I need to go home for awhile and see my friend. And maybe even say Hi to Beau…grunt!

  122. Diane C.
    9:45 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    O’H Mom–I asked for Louisa May and I thank you posting the photo. Pretty girl with a very serious and noble look…

  123. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:45 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Surprise!…Dawson is away right now to parts unknown so I took the opportunity to leave a little surprise in her suitcase…heh!heh!

  124. Herd's Mom
    9:48 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Oh RIo, think about Niagara falls and MA! What a well traveled puglet you would be, and we could share more dinner adventures!

  125. BooBear
    9:48 pm on March 3rd, 2014


    Thank you, Melanie, for being our friend. You are loved!

  126. Diane C.
    9:48 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    …and I add my own “Amen” and those of Pretty, Edgar and Conan.

  127. Herd's Mom
    9:53 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Think I saw Natasha’s purple heel at the 5th Street mall but the foto remains elusive. Will try again later.

  128. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:56 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    HoHo!…You are going to Niagra Falls?…wheeze!….Is Daddy Digger Dawg going also?…sniff!

  129. Herd's Mom
    10:01 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Rio, No Niagara Falls for me since no choo choo in Chattanooga. but am flying to Conn then have an Amalia shuttle to MA in March (3/13-3/16). DDD must stay home to care for the HOH but I can lose at cards as well as the next guy.

  130. Dawson
    10:01 pm on March 3rd, 2014


    I have many pictures on my digital camera but I cannot upload them to my Ipad. They can be uploaded onto the O’Howlers ipad but mine doesn’t have the proper thingeemagig.

    We brought cheesecake to SnowBella, had lunch and heard many fascinating dog stories. Now we are contemplating one last supper before we begin dispersing to our various destinations.

  131. Riö – The Evil Pug
    10:02 pm on March 3rd, 2014


  132. Oley Howlers' Pop
    10:04 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Stopped an eagle after lunch in Wasilla with Rebecca, Dawson, Macy and Eileen

  133. O'Howlers' Mom
    10:04 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Amen. Thank you Golinka and Storyteller.

  134. Oley Howlers' Pop
    10:06 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Actually he was already stopped and then we spotted him.

  135. Dawson
    10:06 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    The eagle was having a conversation with a raven. They were on the same branch but I didn’t click the camera in time.

  136. SnowBella
    10:08 pm on March 3rd, 2014


  137. Barb & Maggie
    10:16 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Love to Melanie, and thank you again Amalia for the evening prayer.

    We were wondering how you stopped the eagle. And now good night all.

  138. Tupper and Gilly
    10:34 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    We are off to bed too – Special thanks to the Plunderfest in Alaska. You have all given us a real inside look at the race, and made us laugh in the process.
    It was a grand adventure, and we got to live it and still keep our feet warm and dry.

    G’night all

  139. Riö – The Evil Pug
    10:36 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Shudder!…I just learned The Giant and the A-Team are heading into a treacherous part of the trail…yeeeeep!…Rebecca just sent me a text message on my little Go-Phone…snuffle!

    Worrit!…He five miles out of Rainy Pass and heading towards Dalzell Gorge. It is Couch-Cushion Chewing time gang…wheeze! Yeeep!

  140. Herd's Mom
    10:45 pm on March 3rd, 2014
  141. BearSpiritDog
    10:49 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Amen. Amalia, Thank You for another Perfect Prayer that expresses the Love we feel in our Hearts for Melanie, who is Our Treasure.

    Good Runnings for Team Snowhook and Safe Travels for those returning home tonight.

  142. Oley Howlers' Pop
    10:51 pm on March 3rd, 2014
  143. O'Howlers' Mom
    10:57 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Dima is running with our team now, and Buddy will be out to meet them. No worries.

  144. Masquers
    10:58 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Dawson: An eagle and a raven…we would loved to have eavesdropped on that conversation.
    Great shot Oley Howlers’ Pop!
    Yeep! Pass me one of those couch cushions and quick!

  145. SnowBella
    11:00 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Are you going to eat all of that cushion? I don’t think I’ll exhale until the team is safely in Rohn.

  146. Patsy Anne
    11:15 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Bear (a.k.a. Mr. Howlers’ Pop): I have a birthday present for you. Me! I have decided that I will sit between you and Howlers’ Maw on the plane ride home. Truth be told, I have no idea how my tail works, but it can come with me.

  147. Masquers
    11:46 pm on March 3rd, 2014

    Staff: Stan & Ollie & Carlos…love them all but never thought of them jivin together. Heh.
    Dawson will be there soon…as soon as tomorrow afternoon.
    The sisters three…together again…let the good times roll!

  148. Wolfie
    1:35 am on March 4th, 2014

    Beautiful prayer, Golinka. Thank you. Blessings and peace to all.

  149. O'Howlers' Mom
    2:14 am on March 4th, 2014

    We just returned from our last Plunderer Dinner at Plunderfest 2014 (Alaska Division). Sob

  150. Oley Howlers' Pop
    2:14 am on March 4th, 2014

    Patsy Ann our plane leaves at 6:10 am. I’ll wait for you at the gate. Please bring your tail. ❤️

  151. Staff
    2:20 am on March 4th, 2014

    The Catty Librarian is home and safe in the little room we alot her hat the top of the stairs. She says she is going to bed now.

    Say goodnight Gracie…

  152. Staff
    2:21 am on March 4th, 2014

    allot..cough cough ?

  153. Masquers
    2:44 am on March 4th, 2014

    All alone…everyone is in their warm, soft beds…except our Bella, her eyes fixed on the tracking device. I am waiting up with her for news of the team’s arrival in Rohn.
    Dawson leaves on the Red Eye for MSP in less than 3 hours.
    The Howlers’ mom & pop at 6 am.

    WoooHooo! Our team has checked into Rohn!!!

  154. Whitey-Lance
    3:01 am on March 4th, 2014

    Masquers: My Lady and I are here. You are correct—we have been watching the GPS tracker. She exhaled and I wagged my tail when the team arrived in Rohn. What a relief. But, the bumps and bruises of the trail aren’t over. He still has the run to Nikolai. It is in the upcoming section of trail that has damaged his sled the past two years. Yeep!

  155. Masquers
    3:05 am on March 4th, 2014

    Dawson: Are you are the airport yet? I will be tracking you.
    O’Howlers’ Mom & Pop: Youse too. 7 hrs. to go.
    Smooth flights everyone.

  156. Masquers
    3:06 am on March 4th, 2014

    Whitey-Lance: Is that the Farewell Burn?
    Did you see the photo of Rohn? Yeep!

  157. ML
    3:07 am on March 4th, 2014

    Ah, Plundererfest 14 (Alaska Division) is winding down, sob. So many great memories. Such an amazing hostess. Take a bow CHobbit. Putting real faces with virtual friends. And so many pictures that didn’t make the blog. Such as:

    Rio on a road trip

  158. c.hobbit
    3:58 am on March 4th, 2014

    Just back from dropping Dawson at the airport and taking Sharon and Digger back to their hotel. We had a Last Supper and then, of course, Dawson & Digger had to play more cut-throat games of cards before leaving. The O’Howlers get to get up at the crack of dark and head to the airport in the Plundermobile. Then I drive ML back to Chugiak tomorrow. It seems like the days have flown by.

  159. Dawson
    4:07 am on March 4th, 2014

    We are boarding the airplane now. I won’t see the magnificent mountains in the dark. Good bye Alaska! You’ve been good to me. Thank you CHobbit! It’s been great meeting the Plunderer’s.

  160. c.hobbit
    4:09 am on March 4th, 2014

    Not that Rio has overstayed his welcome, no he has not, but who is on blurring duty these days? Rio’s Friend says she and Beau misses him.

    I am imagining SnowBella glued to the computer and 40+ other dogs psychically tuned into AJ and the 16 dogs away from home. I wonder who will want to peel themselves away to make sure Rio gets home. Tomorrow will be a special day for the doggies–there are leftovers from the Last Supper for Rio & Sadie to split and the last pee-mail to be checked and answered.

  161. c.hobbit
    4:11 am on March 4th, 2014

    Back at you Awesome Dawson! Safe travels

  162. Masquers
    4:20 am on March 4th, 2014

    Hey, Riö!
    Bye Dawson!
    Nite everyone.

  163. Oley Howlers' Pop
    7:27 am on March 4th, 2014

    Off to the Airport. Thank you C. Hobbit. We had a great time. We stayed at the 7 star Hobbit Hotel and it not disappoint.

  164. Oley Howlers' Pop
    7:28 am on March 4th, 2014

    Off to the Airport. Thank you C. Hobbit. We had a great time. We stayed at the 7 star Hobbit Hotel and it did not disappoint. Too early!

  165. Masquers
    9:38 am on March 4th, 2014

    Good morning (yawn)
    The Howlers’ Mom & Pop leaving soon for the Twin Cities.
    Dawson has already boarded her plane for the same destination.
    Our fabulous Snowhook team just checked out of Rohn a few minutes ago.
    (hey, Bear, where’s my cafe au lait?)

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