From AJ

Here’s a comment from AJ (Justin Savidis) musher and co-owner of Snowhook Kennel, our team in the greatest sled dog race on earth. It came in late last night and Admin wanted to make it easier to find.

Hello All,

A little over a month ago I sat on my couch for the first time in days with nothing to do for a couple of hours. Well that’s not exactly true, I had things to do but I was watching tv pretending without a lot of success that work and mushing didn’t occupy every spare minute of my life.

What I’m getting at with all this though is that at that moment I couldn’t believe how fast a season had flown by and I was staring Iditarod in the face. And then through quite a race it was over.

Now that I’ve had a chance to recover and before another month passes before I know it; the first order of business is to say a simple and significant thank you to all of you. Rebecca and I are extremely grateful that you share in our collective adventure. We just can’t say enough about what your support means.

Mushing at its heart is about musher and the team. You could say it’s a selfish endeavor. However, from the first night on the trail this race was different in that all of you were there in one way or another. Without getting too sentimental it made this race better knowing you all were there. Thank you.

Looking forward to 2014 we look forward to having you along side us again.

Highlights from this year’s race:

Started out great
Team got sick
Midnight river crossings in waist deep water near Iditarod
Musher got sick
Team and musher pulled it together and finished 27 hours faster than last year
Dogs are just heroic in my opinion
Looking forward to carving out another 24 hours next year
Looking forward to sharing this adventure with you again

See you on the trail….



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This entry was posted on Monday, March 25th, 2013 at 7:02 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.

90 Responses to “From AJ”

  1. BearSpiritDog
    7:44 am on March 25th, 2013

    All I can say is…That was a Very Nice Way to Start the Day.
    Thank you, AJ.

  2. bluecat
    7:53 am on March 25th, 2013

    Hi, Bear.

    Thank you, AJ. It was our pleasure.

    Siber-H & Howlers – we have at least 6″ of snow on the ground and it’s still falling…

  3. Basil and Sage
    7:56 am on March 25th, 2013

    And all we can say is that this team is the greatest – even if they ARE just a bunch of dogs.

    And that everyone here is very proud of our connection with Snowhook.

  4. Masquers
    8:05 am on March 25th, 2013

    Thank you, Spence & Admin, for making AJ’s wonderful
    comments from last night easier to find.

    You may be wondering why we are up with the birds. We
    are asking ourselves the same thing. It was not the annoying beep of an alarm at 3 am this time, but the shrill ringing of the land line. And not the friendly tones of family and friends either, but that of a stranger. After abruptly being jarred awake and looking closer we see the ill-timed call was from the Federal Deposit. Looks as though some poor customer won’t be
    having the usual automatic deposit transferred into his bank account this morning.

    Good morning everyone.

  5. Barb & Maggie
    8:05 am on March 25th, 2013

    Thank you AJ, and Spence for posting it. Excellent reporting! Can’t imagine how you go thru waist deep water and not freeze afterwards. And how do the dogs manage it?

    We got just a dusting ov snow here in northern Ill. Barb’s sis in St. Louis is right in the heart of the blizzard. They were expecting close to a foot down there.

    Barb is just glad it is cold enough to keep Gus from getting muddy. This morning he went out and decided to lie down right under the bird feeder. Then when he got up he had snow and bird seed imbeded all over one side. Barb is glad I don’t do stuff like that!

  6. B. Stover
    8:19 am on March 25th, 2013

    Thank you AJ.

    Good morning all.

  7. Melanie
    8:36 am on March 25th, 2013

    I can’t believe it. We’re not getting this snowstorm. But, then again, they have been wrong before.

    AJ, you are welcome. I brag about Snowhook constantly.
    Love your succinct briefing!

  8. Riö – The Evil Pug
    8:44 am on March 25th, 2013

    Giant!…A Giant of a Man….snorkel!…I’m already excited about Iditarod 2014!…chuffle!

  9. Rose
    8:55 am on March 25th, 2013

    Thank you, AJ. The Plunderers are always with you.

    I am very happy to say donations for “Clothe the Giant” are already coming in. Youse guys are amazing!

    RIO! I will make up a spreadsheet here at work to keep track of funds.

  10. Herd of Hounds
    9:10 am on March 25th, 2013

    Good morning to everyone, AJ especially. Been flurry-ing here all night & a.m., but as usual it doesn’t stick.
    AJ’s comments brought back lots of thoughts from the race. What a time!

  11. OleyHowlers
    9:19 am on March 25th, 2013

    Good morning. It was our pleasure, AJ. Thanks for taking us on that sled. You and the team make us proud.
    Mom said she did not like her drive in to work. We said, “Well, why did you go”.

  12. OleyHowlers
    9:30 am on March 25th, 2013

    Question for AJ: How did you like the music on your Plunderer playlist?

  13. Alice M. Johnson
    9:34 am on March 25th, 2013

    Oh Ho such a night. Snow down south but we only had about 6 flakes here yesterday afternoon. We still have over 12 inches on the ground.

    Meanwhile I am happy to announce that the Minnesota Women’s hockey team capped an undefeated season (41-0) by beating Boston U’s hockey team 6to3 in the frozen four NCAA hockey tournament. (Sorry Our Favorite Author) snicker

  14. Masquers
    9:45 am on March 25th, 2013

    Alice! You are up early. Me too. sigh.

  15. Melanie
    9:48 am on March 25th, 2013

    Alice, did you help guide that puck with your mesmerizing eyes?

    I found out about Sand Kats this morning. They are desert Kats found in Asia and North Africa.

    I’m considering introducing them to a desert around Riö. .

  16. Masquers
    9:52 am on March 25th, 2013

    Sand Kats! How cute is that? Heh.

  17. BearSpiritDog
    9:54 am on March 25th, 2013

    (whispering) I have a feeling someone is pulling our leg. Snicker.

  18. Rose
    10:08 am on March 25th, 2013

    Masquers and Alice: Egads, I too was up early…4:30am early. you could always e-mail me.

  19. Rose
    10:10 am on March 25th, 2013

    Out of kat curiosity, I googled sand cats. They are so adorable. I love their big ears.

  20. Siber-H
    10:34 am on March 25th, 2013

    Thank you Spence and AJ.

    AJ, You and the dogs are our heroes. That was one tough Iditarod.
    What was waist-high water on the Giant would have been up to my mom’s neck. Me, personally…I would have resigned from being a sled dog then and there.
    In spite of all the problems in this year’s Iditarod, AJ and the dogs really increased their time from last year. All of you did good!!!

  21. Siber-H
    10:37 am on March 25th, 2013

    Sand Kats.. We have enough sand that they might love it here except I think the coyotes would make meals out of them.

    Bluecat, Enjoy the snow for me. We have nothing but sun.

  22. Alice M. Johnson
    10:49 am on March 25th, 2013

    Wow I love those ears. Almost as useful as my mesmerizing eyes…snicker.

  23. dawson
    10:50 am on March 25th, 2013

    Thanks Admin. I’m assuming you are keeping Spencer busy at the keyboard writing our next e-story.

    AJ: Thanks to you and the dogs for a great race and a new record time to try to beat for next year. What a race! A mite warm for our liking and not as healthy all around as we would like but we made it home healthy and happy.

    Sand kats are seriously cute.

  24. Kat
    11:07 am on March 25th, 2013

    Dearest Bluecat,
    Can I please come live with you?

  25. T.C.
    11:09 am on March 25th, 2013

    N-O Mommy! NO MORE CATS!!!! Sand ones or otherwise.

  26. O'Howlers
    11:13 am on March 25th, 2013

    Our cousin Sara played on Yale’s Ice Hockey team and later coached women’s ice hockey in Connecticut. She was very upset that none of the espn channels chose to broadcast the championship game yesterday. Women athletes get no respect.

  27. Rose
    11:46 am on March 25th, 2013

    Snow is a many splendored thing

  28. Masquers
    12:38 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Sand Kats seem to have the luxury of a gigantic litter-box.

    Rose: Our early (3-4) would be a reasonable hour for you.
    And emails are an excellent idea…it won’t be so lonely. ^..^

    Have to go…Mom’s freak’n out this morning for some reason…she says it’s work related.

  29. Barb & Maggie
    1:03 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Back from p.t. and the library. Barb requested a new Jodi Picoult book, The Storyteller. They said the have several copies in the system, but Barb is #40 on the waiting list!!! Must be good.

    Those sand cats are adorable. Love the ears.

  30. Siber-H
    1:24 pm on March 25th, 2013

    The sand kats make me think of the movie, “Gremlins”

  31. Rose
    1:29 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Maggie, has Barb read any other books by Jodi Picoult? She is one of my favorites.

  32. Mollypop's Mom
    1:53 pm on March 25th, 2013

    One of my favorite ski slope events is the dummy downhill. To win, the dummy must make it down the hill, over the jump, and land upright. This year’s video isn’t out there so this is from 2011.

  33. BearSpiritDog
    1:55 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Whitey-Lance: We have the Same Question as the O’Howlers.
    How did the Giant like our Plunderer Play List?

  34. Mollypop's Mom
    1:57 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Here is the dummy of Michael Vick being chased down the hill and over a cliff by dogs.

  35. Wookie's dad
    2:07 pm on March 25th, 2013

    AJ, others have already said it so very well, but here in Chevy Chase we consider it to be an honor and privilege to be associated with Snowhook Kennel. We are so proud of your accomplishments and are just looking forward with great anticipation to Iditarod 2014.

  36. BearSpiritDog
    2:07 pm on March 25th, 2013

    MollyPop’s Mom: Dummy Downhill…Michael Vick, Mr. Bill (remember him?), snow bars and party squads. What Fun!

  37. Gus and BooBear
    2:08 pm on March 25th, 2013

    AJ, we can’t wait until next years race!! We are very proud to be associated with Snowhook. We would be lost if you decided to stop mushing!! Considering all you went through with the bad weather and trail conditions, and poor health for both you and the dogs, it’s truly remarkable that you were able to shorten your race time that much. Next year, who knows what incredible accomplishments will be had!

  38. O'Howlers
    2:10 pm on March 25th, 2013

    O my Dawg! Those videos are excellent!!!we even saw Bella’s Dancing Giraffe. The Vick-chasing dogs are the best!

  39. Melanie
    2:11 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Loved the dummy downhill. Looked remarkable like the times I tried to go down the bunny hill.

  40. BearSpiritDog
    2:12 pm on March 25th, 2013

    The others have said it well.
    We All Are So Proud of AJ & the Team!!!
    Big things are in Snowhook’s future. We just know it.

  41. Mollypop's Mom
    2:18 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Bear – Sammie is here in ski country with me and she doesn’t think this is any fun at all. Her feet get too cold when she walks in the snow. Here she is in her ski jacket, wearing her new boots and refusing to walk. We did manage a small walk. Many treats were involved.

  42. bluecat
    2:38 pm on March 25th, 2013

    MPM – I happen to think Sam’s being very intelligent. I’m waiting for the sun and warm to come back.

    Kat – come live with us soon. The snow’s already starting to melt. See above – waiting for the sun…

    The sand kats are so cute, maybe even cuter than Rio. Is that possible?

  43. Belle Starr
    2:41 pm on March 25th, 2013

    All I see is a dog jacket and booties. Princess Sam is as white as the snow.

    My Two-legged went to bed with no notion that the Giant was tip-tap-typing away to all youse. He is something even if he didn’t share his pancake with me this morning.

  44. Wookie of Chevy Chase
    2:42 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Whispering. Maybe with some bling on that jacket or a bright pink color things would be better according to Ms Sammie! Just a suggestion LOL. Wookie’s Mom

  45. Riö – The Evil Pug
    2:49 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Sammie!…HA!…snort!…I laughed out loud when I saw this…chorkel!

  46. Melanie
    2:50 pm on March 25th, 2013

    I think Sammie looks great. She is wearing booties just like the dogs of Snowhook. The jacket has a fine fit and the hood finishes the ensemble.

  47. Riö – The Evil Pug
    2:59 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Sammie!…She looks finished that’s for sure….heh!heh!

  48. Kat
    3:02 pm on March 25th, 2013

    My friend The Princess looks like Snow Royalty.

  49. Barb & Maggie
    3:32 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Sammy looks chic in anything she wears. That jacket is just more tailored what what she usually wears.

    Rose, we have read several of her books. One we picked up and put down was ___ seconds, about a school shooting. Couldn’t do that one. What are your favorites?

    Too bad they couldn’t send Michael Vick over a cliff for real. Barb would be honored to give the final push!

    Oh, and here is a good one. Did anyone hear about the lady down south, Texas maybe, who burned up her house and part of her neighbors? Seems that she saw a poor little snake in the back yard and doused it with gasoline and then set it on fire. Evidently she thought that was a fitting end for a snake. The snake wiggled into a brush pile setting it on fire, and then poof, the house was next. I say it serves her right for animal abuse! No excuse for cruelty to any living thing.

  50. Riö – The Evil Pug
    3:40 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Barb!…She is ready to push a human being over a cliff but no snake should be harmed…heh!heh!….Oh the irony of it all.

  51. Tupper and Gilly
    3:42 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Sammie – cute, but rather plain for a Princess of your stature. Tell MP’sM that you need BLING!

  52. Wose
    4:14 pm on March 25th, 2013

    B&M: I just finished reading ” House Rules”. I have read all her books except for “Sing Me Home” ( I believe that is the title), and I haven’t gotten to ” Lone Wolf” yet. I’ve been a fan for quite some time.

  53. Wose
    4:17 pm on March 25th, 2013

    MPM : Was a soft-boiled egg involved in getting Sammie to put her winter parka on? She looks adorable.

  54. Barb & Maggie
    4:19 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Rio, Barb felt sorry for the snake, but putting Michael Vick in the same category is doing a disservice to the snake. The snake was innocent, Vick is evil. And that is her reasoning.

    Thank you Wose. Will look for House Rules.

  55. Riö – The Evil Pug
    4:31 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Barb!..I completely understand…snort!…It is ironic to me that they are both snakes…heh!

    AJ-Post!…Did you guys catch AJ’s very last post of the evening last night?….heh!…Pretty clever for a Giant…snort!

  56. OleyHowlers
    5:14 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Mom says she completely agrees about Vick the snake vs. the innocent snake. And she doesn’t even like snakes.
    Yes, Rio. We readAJ’s clever spin on the title of the eBook. heh heh

  57. Basil and Sage
    5:17 pm on March 25th, 2013

    This is the world the way it SHOULD be:

  58. T.C.
    5:24 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Basil and Sage, it looks like the feline in that video is taking the dog the wrong way. We don’t want to bring them home. We want to take them to the dump. If only I was allowed outside. {sigh}

  59. BearSpiritDog
    5:43 pm on March 25th, 2013

    We just saw our little Sammie up top in her college outfit.
    Now here she is Dressed to the Nines for the ski slopes booties and all.
    Sammie, You are a Princess through and through.

  60. Macy the min-pin
    5:49 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Basil and Sage, the rest of the story: The dog threw itself off the balcony in shame. (He landed on an awning, so all is well)

  61. Basil and Sage
    6:22 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Macy – heh heh heh

  62. dawson
    6:27 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Mollypop’s Mom: I, too, laughed aloud at your picture of Sammie. Her body language says “stubborn”.
    Fun times on the ski hill.
    Princess Sam: I think you look very chic, booties and all.

  63. Barb & Maggie
    6:30 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Barb has to agree, there is something unusual about her thought process. She would have no problems with doing away with Vick, yet she feels sorry for that burned up snake.

    Macy, Save the date, Nov 16th. Breakfast or brunch.

  64. BearSpiritDog
    6:48 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Barb&Magpie: We here Have to Agree with Barb. The little snake was an innocent victim. Vick, on the other paw, made a conscious choice to do his evil deeds.

  65. O'Howlers
    7:09 pm on March 25th, 2013

    We finished dinner and stall mucking, and we are now fading fast. We’re going to attempt to stay awake for one tv show (Mindy?). We wish you all a good night, except for you know who, Matey.

  66. Riö - The Evil Pug
    7:12 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Buurp!….Pizza!…snort!…What an unusual choice for a Monday night…sniff!…But a good one. Beau was in the zone when he was begging. Pure determination – nothing could distract him…chorkle!

  67. BearSpiritDog
    7:13 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Time For a bite of Supper here.
    See youse tomorrow – Bear

  68. Riö - The Evil Pug
    7:14 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Comfy!….Awww, now we can get comfy, pick our teeth, what is left of them, and watch those hillbillies on Justified…snort!snort!

  69. c.hobbit
    7:15 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Wookie’s Dad: check your SDD sooner rather than later.
    Rose: Ditto
    Rio: I’ll catch up with you later via SDD but not for a couple of hours.

    Just got back from an OSHER class in Fairbanks on how to play the harmonica. OSHER had expected only a few people to sign up (less than 10) but 26 signed up. heh The things retired people find to do in retirement. So at the next Plunderer party, I can join your band of misfitsmelodious players.

  70. Masquers
    7:21 pm on March 25th, 2013
  71. Riö - The Evil Pug
    7:22 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Wha!?….Hours? Harmonica training?…snort!…Well, hot-diggity-dawg Chobbit. We will be harmoninzing and drinking shine togething in my back yard this summer…chuffle!

  72. Riö - The Evil Pug
    7:23 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Phil!….Never say “never”…heh!heh!

  73. Barb & Maggie
    8:07 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Night all, we can’t stay awake either. Sweet dreams and nighty noodles.

  74. Belle Starr
    8:17 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Pug, oh pug is my two-legged bored. Her busy place was closed today so instead of doing something fun and enjoying her time with AJ or me, she stayed flat on her back. She started to watch the series ‘Family Ties.’ She remembered watching it when she was a pup.

    It snowed all day so the Giant cleared the driveway. Since Friday we’ve had about three feet of the white stuff fall.

    My mamas and I agree with Barb’s reasoning.

  75. Riö - The Evil Pug
    8:21 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Huh!…Did someone call me?…snort!

  76. c.hobbit
    8:40 pm on March 25th, 2013

    It has been snowing also up here. I don’t have the heart or the spirit to shovel my driveway tonight even though it is daylight for another 3.5 hours. Who knew that harmonica playing takes so much out of you? heh AND we are supposed to get more snow tomorrow. However, the weather report is saying that we are supposed to get into the 40s Thursday and Friday. So I am thinking that I’ll just count on it melting! 😉

    Of course, the weatherman has been known to be wrong….

  77. Riö - The Evil Pug
    8:44 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Storm!…The bad-ass storm we had this last weekend is moving across the country…sniff!…The cold air is still here though…shudder!…I freeze my kibbles off everytime they make me go outside…grump!

  78. Riö - The Evil Pug
    8:51 pm on March 25th, 2013

    CHobbit!…Check your lucky SDD…snort!

  79. Riö - The Evil Pug
    8:59 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Harmonica!…So what songs did you learn to play on that harmonica?…snort!snort!

  80. c.hobbit
    9:18 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Rio: “O Susana” today. But all the oldies coming up: Farmer in the Dell, Michael Row Your Boat Ashore, Mary Had a Little Lamb, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Frere Jacques, Three Blind Mice, Alouette, When the Saints Go Marching in, London Bridge, On Top of Old Smokey.

    All together now: one AND two AND three AND four

  81. Riö - The Evil Pug
    9:30 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Wow!…That’s a lot of tunes…sniff!…Us guys usually just jam and make up stuff as we go. SiberH always gets carried away on the tamborine…snort!

  82. Staff
    10:01 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Dawson called up to talk to us tonight. We told Dad the story about how she took back lots of Nut Goodies and her dear husband locked them in the safe because she was eating too many of them.
    Then he lost the combination.

    Times is tough up north.

    Time for beddy bye here. Night all. ‘Cept you know who, you know where.

  83. Belle Starr
    10:07 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Now, I have a song in my head—Oh, Susana don’t you cry for me. I have a pug, one that snorts, farts and likes to wheeze. Oh, Susana…

  84. Riö - The Evil Pug
    10:10 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Bellie!….Aren’t you supposed to be making sure someone does not get up?…sniff!

  85. Belle Starr
    10:37 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Rio: Yes, but it is so boring.

  86. Belle Starr
    10:58 pm on March 25th, 2013

    I hope Mr. Dawsonsdearhusband finds that key for his own sake.

  87. Wolfie Wigglebutt
    11:02 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Bella, you need to download ‘Words With Friends’. It is a back and forth Scrannle game. And it’s free!

  88. Macy the min-pin
    11:22 pm on March 25th, 2013

    Alternative definitions
    Avoidable \uh-voy’-duh-buhl\:
    What a bullfighter tries to do.

    Say goodnight Gracie.

  89. Wolfie Wigglebutt
    12:14 am on March 26th, 2013

    Good one, Macy!

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