Spence’s appearance today at the Snow (yes) Library in Orleans Mass. is not happening. Some other time.



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This entry was posted on Friday, March 10th, 2017 at 7:47 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.

57 Responses to “Cancellation”

  1. dawson
    7:56 am on March 10th, 2017

    So…the Snow Library is aptly named?

    Dr. Joe and the Snowhook team are at mile 363 heading to mile 396 and the Galena checkpoint.

  2. BearSpiritDog
    8:13 am on March 10th, 2017

    A Snow Day for OFA?

    Top of the Morning to Dawson and All.

  3. BearSpiritDog
    8:20 am on March 10th, 2017

    Belle Starr: We Here have a Question. Is the Mandatory Layover in White Mountain considered one of the Required Eight Hour Layovers, or is it an Extra Layover? Which would make the total layovers 2 eights and a 24. Or…are we Barking Up the Wrong Tree?

  4. Masquers
    8:22 am on March 10th, 2017

    One would think, after 7 or 8 years, someone would have the race rules down pat. Heh.

  5. dawson
    8:48 am on March 10th, 2017

    BSD: Rule 13. In addition to the mandatory 24 hour stop, a musher must take one 8-hour stop on the Yukon River, including Shageluk in odd numbered years, and one 8 hour stop at White Mountain.

  6. dawson
    8:52 am on March 10th, 2017

    Another Giant Sighting!
    AJ checks in Dallas Seavey at Galena. In and out in 9 minutes.

  7. BearSpiritDog
    8:56 am on March 10th, 2017

    Thanks, Dawson! And for the Giant Sighting too.

  8. Masquers
    8:56 am on March 10th, 2017

    Martin Buser is the only musher who has done both his required 8 and 24. Will this strategy give him the edge he needs? Only time will tell.
    Our bet is still on Nic Petit to give the rest of the pack a run for their money this year.

  9. SnowBella
    9:21 am on March 10th, 2017

    Awesome: You are correct on the background and up close and personal Giant sightings. I know the Thieves! plan was to blur Rio and all that he packed to the checkpoint before Rio woke up for the day so I am now on the lookout for sightings of a Giant, two Thieves! and an evil pug. I think there might be a punchline there…

    Joe will take his 24 in Galena.

  10. BearSpiritDog
    9:24 am on March 10th, 2017

    SnowBella: Thanks for that Timely Update. That last Giant Sighting was the Best! Up close and personal.

  11. B.Stover
    9:38 am on March 10th, 2017

    An appropriate name for the library apparently.

    I didn’t have electricity for over 25 hours. No snow here but the winds got to gusts of 51 mph and apparently knocked out some power grids in a large area here. It’s amazing how much we rely on electricity. I had to have tea yesterday for breakfast because I couldn’t grind the coffee beans…and it got down to 57 degrees inside. Glad it’s back on.

    Go Snowhook and good morning all.

  12. B.Stover
    9:42 am on March 10th, 2017

    I’m sorry to hear about beautiful Bluecat.

  13. Charlie
    9:46 am on March 10th, 2017

    B: I will be right over so we keep your easy chair warm.

  14. HOH's mom
    10:05 am on March 10th, 2017

    Good morning everyone! Thanks for the news. Back to bed. Will check in later with glacier fotos!

  15. B.Stover
    10:31 am on March 10th, 2017

    Thank you Charlie!

  16. Masquers
    10:36 am on March 10th, 2017

    Two hours to Galena and our 24 layover…looking forward to a Giant sighting too!

  17. Masquers
    10:39 am on March 10th, 2017

    B: Sorry about your power outage…never any fun. We have high wind warnings here also, but so far hardly a whisper.

  18. Masquers
    10:41 am on March 10th, 2017

    HOH: Why are you going back to bed…tough day yesterday?

  19. HOH's mom
    12:07 pm on March 10th, 2017

    Masquers, mom is a lazy bum who likes to sleep until 7.
    Ok, on to the Matanuska Glacier about an hour and a half northeast of Anchorage. We ate at a lovely little lodge called Long Rifle Lodge over looking the glacier. First, a professional foto:

  20. HOH's mom
    12:09 pm on March 10th, 2017

    Now several shots as we had dinner and watched the sun set.

  21. HOH's mom
    12:12 pm on March 10th, 2017

    The sequence took about place over 2 hours and was far better than the fotos.

  22. HOH's mom
    12:14 pm on March 10th, 2017

    Some fotos were taken from the deck and some from in the lodge.

  23. HOH's mom
    12:16 pm on March 10th, 2017

    The snow and sky changed colors!

  24. HOH's mom
    12:17 pm on March 10th, 2017

    Until the sun was down.

  25. Masquers
    12:18 pm on March 10th, 2017

    HOH: Must say…your fotos are even better than the professional version…although that one would make a nice painting.

  26. Masquers
    1:01 pm on March 10th, 2017

    Our team reached Galena a few minutes ago…now for a well deserved and long rest for the musher and team. They will be heading out tomorrow about this same time.

  27. c.hobbitz
    1:02 pm on March 10th, 2017

    Digger has been chef at the Hobbit Hotel and serving us delicious breakfasts and dinners. I upped the game by driving us 97 miles to the Long Rifle Lodge overlooking the Matanuska Glacer. The menu had a nice variety and the environment was very Alaskan. Digger back on duty tonight. I may take a photo of the dinner plate. Stay tuned

  28. HOH's mom
    1:03 pm on March 10th, 2017

    Sure wish that they would update the standings based on the live videos. I’ve watched people check in and then check the standings here and it’s not there for about an hour, Carpola!

  29. BearSpiritDog
    1:07 pm on March 10th, 2017

    And let us Hope there will be a Video of the Giant checking Dr. Joe and the Team into Galena. It’s a Popular Place right now…half the pack is resting there.

  30. Wee Nigel atop Belle Starr atop Ole Doc in proximity to Beaumez with information intercepted by the Thieves!
    2:17 pm on March 10th, 2017

    Before the Thieves hauled Rio and all of his worldly belongings less his warm, soft bed, they managed to intercept the following message from the desk of our Lady:

    In the days leading up to the pre-race festivities, at the starting line in Fairbanks and even at the first checkpoint of Nenana, I heard comments and questions all with the same theme. “You’re not racing?” usually with a “I bet you’re going to miss it,” or “You’ll be back,” chaser. His responses evolved from explaining that he would not be racing in Iditarod, that he has spent the past two seasons coaching Joe in qualifying for and running the race, that he is a race judge this year in Galena, to finally stating to one musher in Nenana as temperatures were close to thirty degrees below zero and falling, “I’ll be thinking of you as we turn up the heat in the truck on our way home tonight.” Insert evil laugh here.

    When it comes to racing, AJ has done his time. He is a veteran of the trail. But, he is a rookie at watching the team leave the starting line without being on the runners. He is does not have the uncelebrated race watching record I have, no. He does not have a belt buckle signifying that he understands the rhythm of completing tasks in five minute increments—the time it takes for the GPS tracker to update. He still has the (r) by his name when it comes to waiting, watching and wondering.

    With Joe on the runners at the restart, AJ and I held the lead dogs from the truck, through the starting chute and to the starting line. Thanks to the ten volunteer dog handlers we requested from the race and three additional handlers we adopted in the staging area, AJ and I were able to chat with each other as we took a Sunday stroll to the starting line. There were other teams, the fans, the guy on the runners and the race officials. But, there was also just us. “This is difficult,” he said.

    “Yep,” I controlled my voice. At least I thought I had. I was wrong. “It will be fine. The dogs will be fine.” I confirmed, insisting my voice bend instead of break as the announcers counted down the team.

    Five…four…three…two…welcome to my world, AJ. Welcome to my world.

    I tried to impart my years of wisdom and experience in the spectator sport of spectating. At least I had a student that understood the fundamentals of racing, best laid plans, those plans changing, and calculated guesses. I still started with a few basics lessons that I did not want him to learn on the streets.

    Lesson #1: A watched GPS tracker never moves. It is true. I have tested this theory over the years. I have not done a side by side comparison to a pot of water boiling or not boiling, but I still remain confident in my assessment. Don’t judge me. I was too busy clicking refresh on my computer.

    Lesson #2: This is a deeper dive into lesson one. Novice race watchers should be warned that shaking your laptop like an etch-a-sketch, willing the team to move on the next refresh (swearing is optional), and tapping the flag on the computer screen is not going to make the team move any faster. It is a rookie mistake. If it helps you feel better, great, do it. But, do not fall into the trap that many race watching veterans have learned the hard way. None of those methods boots dogs, massages the team, or makes mutts and musher rest better. If it did, I would not have developed a taste for New York style cheesecake in AJ’s first Iditarod. That brings us to lesson three.

    Lesson #3: Stock up. Think of it like prepping musher meals for drop bags. Over the years, I have told AJ to deny himself his favorite meals and treats leading up to the race, but to send those items out in his drop bags so he has something to look forward to on the trail. The same goes for race watching. Have supplies on hand that you can eat as you do all those things in lesson #2 that you promised yourself you were not going to do, and do not be afraid to throw in a few unusual suspects into your dietary mix. Last year, I did not touch the cheesecakes given to me until well into the race. My race watching vice of choice last year?—blow pops and cream soda provided to me by a dear friend. I am convinced that as AJ’s race resume grew, my appetite matured last year into my version of cigarettes and whiskey. AJ was a quick study on this lesson. Before we left Fairbanks, he bought two small cartons of ice cream. He ate them both. When we returned home in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, he ate the half gallon of ice cream we had at in the freezer. Stock up—You need to keep your strength up for 1000 miles.

    Despite my best intentions, I missed some key lessons. I am not going to apologize—It was a lot of knowledge to impart. I forgot to tell him that it does not get easier, at least not until you see the team hang a right at Safety and head for Nome. I thought this was a given so when the GPS showed something out of the ordinary before the team reached Nenana, I should have known better than to say it out loud. I was dealing with a newbie. I know to give the GPS a couple of refreshes, but did he? No. It was a long live and learn ten minutes for both of us. Two refreshes later and all was right with the world.

    I also forgot to tell him that race watching becomes an addiction. He found that out easy enough on his own. The recovery program for this affliction does not involve twelve steps. It involves a twelve day race plan instead.

    “Am I getting in the way of you watching the race?” He asked on Wednesday morning. He fell asleep late the night before and was up early for one small reason—flag #12. Would it move? Would it not move? How fast would it go? When would it take a break?

    “No,” I played it cool. I would turn into a pumpkin of a human being soon enough. AJ left for Galena—the checkpoint where he is serving as a race judge—Wednesday afternoon.

    I watched on Monday as he switched from coaching Joe to the starting line to that of race judge. Off went the whistle and on went the judge badge. It was a graceful enough transition. As race judge he will be champion and cheerleader, motivational speaker, reality check, hall monitor, and, and, and…

    While Joe runs the race, AJ judges the race, I watch the race.



  31. Macy the racing min pin
    2:55 pm on March 10th, 2017

    BDHW thank you for the excellent coverage of the behind the scenes. Did we sniffle a little? Mums the word.

  32. BearSpiritDog
    3:24 pm on March 10th, 2017

    Wee Nigel ET AL.: Good Interception of that Excellent Race Report by the BDHW!

  33. BooBear
    4:03 pm on March 10th, 2017

    Snowbella, is it easier watching the race with AJ by your side and the worry only for the dogs (and Dr Joe, I guess) or easier when you knew AJ was with your dogs the whole way?

    Inquiring minds….

  34. HOH's mom
    4:43 pm on March 10th, 2017

    Three huskies walk into a bar, the bartender asks,”What do you want?”
    The lead dog said, “We’ll have a musher to go.”

  35. Rio - The Evil Pug
    6:46 pm on March 10th, 2017

    Thieves!…Great job of Intercepting!…snorkel!…I almost laughed out loud but felt a bit sorry for AJ and his rookieness….chuffle!…Not having GPS this season has given my friend so much more time to pack!Pack!PACK! None of this work would get done if that little flag was on the screen…grunt!

  36. Rio - The Evil Pug
    6:50 pm on March 10th, 2017

    Galena!…I wonder if Joe is doing his 24 hour layover at Galena with AJ….snort!…That would make sense I guess. Get rest and some more pointers and medical help for his hands….wheeze!…AJ cannot help him with any of the chores though. But I bet he can talk to ole Joe and the team…snuffle!

  37. Rio - The Evil Pug
    6:57 pm on March 10th, 2017

    Awww!….It helps to read all the posts before posting…heh!heh!…I just confirmed my belief that Doc Joe will be taking his 24 hours in Galena…chorkel!

  38. Staff
    7:08 pm on March 10th, 2017

    Alice, Abbie, Keiko and Henry send condolences on the sudden loss of BlueCat. We are all sure that other plunderers were there on the other side to offer greetings.
    I know what a hole is in your daily life right now. Take care.

  39. HOH's mom
    9:18 pm on March 10th, 2017

    For you with feline friends put today on the calendar!
    Mr. Big walked up to the DDD and demanded scritchers. Will wonders never cease? I think it is because I told him his white whiskers were better looking than the DDD’s so he is checking it out.

  40. HOH's mom
    9:23 pm on March 10th, 2017

    Also, women in Alaska know where to keep the men ????

    P.S. Really like the shirt.

  41. BearSpiritDog
    9:45 pm on March 10th, 2017

    Digger: Good on you. Our Hobbit Deserves the Very Best.

  42. SnowBella
    9:50 pm on March 10th, 2017

    BooBear: That is a good question. AJ is on the trail serving as a race judge in Galena. He left on Wednesday so I’ve been at Race Watching Central by myself since then. The roving reporting team comes and goes, and often sleep when I can’t.

    When AJ was racing, I would not only worry about the dogs, but I worried about his race standings. One thing that the Plunderers may or may not know is that it has always been very important to us that he make you proud. It is something that he takes very seriously. He wanted to do the best he could for the dogs, for you and for us. There have been times when he crossed the finish line and one of the first questions he would ask was if the Plunderers would be proud or disappointed. Without youse all, we wouldn’t have had the races that we have. Our starting lines would have been even harder fought than they were, and our finish lines less celebrated. I would worry that he would worry about his race standings. In this respect, this year is different. I told Joe that his job is to finish, not to race and that I would be disappointed if he ran to win—I may have channeled Luna’s firm, but loving paw when I told him that.

    In all these years, people have asked me if I worried about the Giant and the dogs. It sounds hard hearted to say I don’t worry about AJ because I know he can handle himself. The most worried I have ever been about AJ during a race was in 2014 when the snow was non-existent for several miles. The race updates that year were few and far between and his tracker stopped working during the worst of it. AJ doesn’t scare easy, it’s not his way. But, when he does talk about that race, he knows he was blessed to make it through it with only a sled that looked like kindling, cracked ribs, black bruises and a hip that still bothers him to this day.

    AJ cares for the dogs like family because that is what they are to us. I trust in the care he gives to the dogs. To place our family in the hands of another is not something we do lightly, and it has been difficult for us both. We were both emotional as we made our way to the starting line. I had to keep my voice from cracking as I told him it would be fine. In the first few steps we took after the team left the starting line, we felt a bit lost. Our hearts had just left without us. In being lost, we were insulated in a bubble of the noise of the crowd and the announcers, the motion of teams going by, the light of the day. But, then, the bubble was popped as people recognized AJ. They wanted to chat about not racing, being a race judge and to catch up in general. AJ busied himself with helping other teams to the line and I readied the dog trailer to go to the first checkpoint.

    Our worry of AJ not being on the runners with the dogs is lessened for a few reasons. AJ being a race judge on the trail is chief amount those reasons. He requested Galena knowing that it is a good spot for Joe’s 24 hour layover. He may be called to other checkpoints depending on how the race unfolds. Plus, Joe has demonstrated his care for the dogs and his commitment to doing the less glamorous work it takes to run the race. If he does as AJ has trained him, the dogs will be fine, he will be fine and his race will be fine.

    Once we left the starting line to make our way to the first checkpoint, I did two things. I asked Leonard to include the team in his evening prayers. Then, I asked my parents to do the same. My father sent me the following text: We will pray for them. Have comfort that you trained them well. That’s how we felt when you and your brother left home.

  43. BearSpiritDog
    9:56 pm on March 10th, 2017

    SnowBella: Sniff.

  44. HOH's mom
    10:07 pm on March 10th, 2017

    Amen and more sniffs.

  45. Rio - The Evil Pug
    10:13 pm on March 10th, 2017

    Wheeze!…The Team and Old Doc Joe will be fine. I’m glad he is resting in Galena with AJ…snorkle!…March is always so emotional. March never used to mean much except maybe Spring is on its way, but now March has a whole new meaning and I’m always an emotional Pug during this time. In a good way of course!…yeeep!

  46. Rio - The Evil Pug
    10:17 pm on March 10th, 2017

    Rebecca!….Thank you so much for your heart felt thoughts and insights into what it feels to own and run a world class team…sniffle!…We are all rooting for your (our) Team to stay happy and healthy on the trail. They will glide into Nome with the wind beneath their booties…heh!heh!Wooooo!

  47. SnowBella
    10:27 pm on March 10th, 2017

    The Giant borrowed a phone earlier today and he called home. He reported that the dogs are fine and that Fritz may be dropped. He said he has been busy and is tired, such is the life of a race judge. His work load was made a little bit heavier with the arrival of a VIP in the wee hours. Being sled dogs, the Thieves! blended in at the checkpoint, but a pug does not blend so well. Rio was the yark of the town. When the Giant was finally able to get some shut eye, he found Rio ‘neath my parka, ‘neath the Giant’s parka ‘neath the Giant’s sleeping bag.

  48. BearSpiritDog
    10:34 pm on March 10th, 2017

    SnowBella: Yeep!

  49. Thieves!
    10:37 pm on March 10th, 2017

    We think the Giant knows how precious and delicate Rio is. When he found Rio in his sleeping bag, he started to back away and insisted that no one bring an open flame near Rio. He then cracked window—no idea why.

  50. Rio - The Evil Pug
    10:39 pm on March 10th, 2017

    Cozy!…This Galena Checkpoint is great!…snort!..I have yet to find the Vat O’ Beer, but I am sure tomorrow it will show up..chuffle!…Goodnight All!

  51. Rio - The Evil Pug
    10:44 pm on March 10th, 2017

    HEY!…Someone better close that window. It’s getting damned chilly in here. I’m digging deeper into this nice warm sleeping bag. It smells a lot like the Giant and ice cream…snuffle! Sweet Dreams!

  52. BearSpiritDog
    10:47 pm on March 10th, 2017

    Goodnight, Rio…Goodnight All.

  53. Wee Nigel atop Belle Starr atop Ole Doc in proximity to Beaumez with information intercepted by the Thieves!
    11:11 pm on March 10th, 2017

    We are going to make the most of our twenty-four and get some sleep.


  54. Macy the racing min pin
    11:13 pm on March 10th, 2017

    Goodnight my friends. Sleep well

  55. HOH's momo
    11:47 pm on March 10th, 2017

    Nighty night. A nice long sleep sounds good here too.

  56. HOH's momo
    11:49 pm on March 10th, 2017

    P.S. We are forwarding this in case anyone gets turned around.

  57. HOH's momo
    11:50 pm on March 10th, 2017

    P.S. We are forwarding this in case anyone gets turned around.

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