Iditarod (5)

Inside baseball, Iditarod-wise from Snowhook’s CEO, Rebecca:

When deciding which dogs to run in the race, many factors are considered. Who holds weight well, the age and health of the dog, who has the mental maturity, the training miles, who has performed well throughout the season, and who might surprise you. All these factors come into play when finalizing your race roster. Another factor considered is who can and does run lead.

The deeper your bench is with lead dogs the better. A football team does not suit up just one quarterback and hope for the best. The more lead dogs a team has when they leave the starting line, the greater the opportunity the team has to recover if a lead dog is dropped. Many races have been cut short because they had no front end after dropping the small number of lead dogs on their team. The greater number of lead dogs on the team also allows the musher the luxury of rotating dogs in the lead position to give them a break or to draw on his or her leading strengths or preferences.

When it comes to lead dogs, it takes all kinds of kinds. Take Snowhook’s old alpha, Fargo. He perked at the prospect of running hills and navigating twists and turns, yet river miles bored him. However, Bridger, Snowhook’s second in command of long ago loved the river. He had two settings—-forward and off. His drive to run and run forward served the team well on long ribbons of river.

On Friday afternoon, the team reached Ruby, the first checkpoint on the Yukon River. As the team runs the many river miles, checking in at Galena, Nulato and Kaltag before heading for the coast, it is likely that AJ will swap who is running in lead. He will do this to nod to the dogs’ strengths, to give respite, and to develop a team member who shows promise as a lead dog.

Onward Snowhook!

Here are Abe and Garrett (from yesterday’s post) now resting at HQ (thanks, BooBear). As of right now, we have Snowhook at 31 – out of 80 still running. Not too shabby!



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This entry was posted on Saturday, March 12th, 2016 at 8:03 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.

108 Responses to “Iditarod (5)”

  1. Linda
    8:19 am on March 12th, 2016

    Another fine report. Thank you!

    Congratulations to Macy’s Mom.

    Good morning all.


  2. Howlers
    8:39 am on March 12th, 2016

    Good morning. Thanks for the scoop, Snowbella.
    Onward Snowhook!

  3. B.Stover
    10:00 am on March 12th, 2016

    The Insider sent an email stating that AJ left Ruby at 00:49 Alaska time.

    I’ve been having trouble connecting to this blog this morning.

    Good morning all.

  4. Tupper and Gilly
    10:12 am on March 12th, 2016

    Good morning everyone –
    Bee, like you we are having a tough time connecting this morning. Our cable/internet seems to be in and out.
    Very interesting perspective on lead dogs – we never thought about it. Sure glad AJ is in charge!

  5. dawson
    10:30 am on March 12th, 2016

    Good morning all.

    Thanks for the report.
    I wonder which dogs will being running in lead along the river.

    While I slept the Snowhook team got some rest then traveled most of the way from Ruby to Notaalee Denh (Galena).

    Ruby is the checkpoint sponsored for…Ruby of course, along with LizF and Cricket from Oz. The Koyukon name is Tl’aa’ologhe.

    Galena is the checkpoint sponsored for the Herd of Hounds, past and present.

  6. Rio - The Evil Pug
    10:39 am on March 12th, 2016

    Nulato!…YEEEP!…Both Allie and Jeff king were hit by a snow mobile outside of Nulato…grump!…Has anyone heard the full story? I hope AJ is very careful when he is near there.

  7. Rio - The Evil Pug
    10:44 am on March 12th, 2016

    Galena!…Our team is 10 miles away from Galena!…snort!

  8. Masquers
    10:56 am on March 12th, 2016

    Saturday, March 12, 2016
    ID: Nulato Update
    Firstly, Aliy and the dogs are okay.

    We are hearing horrible reports about incidents with a drunk snow-machiner harassing dog teams between Koyukuk and Nulato and that Aliy had a scary and distressing encounter with him before she got to the checkpoint.

    We had a call from the Iditraod Race Marshall early this morning to say that Aliy is okay, her dogs have been thoroughly checked out by the veterinarian team at the checkpoint and they are okay too. Aliy took some time in the checkpoint to regroup and the mushers involved got good support from the team at the checkpoint and the Iditarod organisation.

    We feel very far away right now but she knows we are with her in spirit and so are you all. We understand she has revamped her race plan but will continue down the trail.

    There is a plan to keep Allen in the loop also.

    This is a developing story and we have very little information so please check with the Iditarod and other news sources as they will have the information first. We’ll update when we can.
    SP Kennel Crew at 6:27 AM

  9. dawson
    10:56 am on March 12th, 2016

    Rio: Oh no! Are Aliy and Jeff ok? I’ve heard nothing.

  10. Rio - The Evil Pug
    10:57 am on March 12th, 2016

    Dead!…The person on the snow machine KILLED on of Jeff Kings dogs!…sob!…And injured two of them. Allie uses a trail marker to protect herself. The manic on the maching made about 3 swipes at her and her team….gulp!…This is just awful!

  11. B.Stover
    11:03 am on March 12th, 2016

    One of Jeff King’s dogs was killed by the snowmobile and two other of his dogs were injured. I hope they catch that guy.

  12. Tupper and Gilly
    11:07 am on March 12th, 2016

    BREAKING NEWS from the Iditarod Trail:
    Aliy Zirkle and Jeff King were assaulted by a snowmobiler and his snowobile while on the trail, with Jeff losing one of his dogs ‘Nash’ *killed in attack, and another 2 injured, Crosby and Banjo. Aily defended herself with a trail marker. Both mushers safe back in Nulato. Alaskan State Troopers report situation is neutralized. Update: Aliy is now out of the checkpoint and back on the trail.

  13. Tupper and Gilly
    11:08 am on March 12th, 2016

    More from this horrible situation:

    in the wee hours a snow machiner tryed to harm aliy and Jeff they are both ok unfortunately Jeff King team took the brunt end of this horrible situation end with a expired dog and several hurt…the troopers got the guy and I sure hope they nail him with a number of counts

  14. Tupper and Gilly
    11:10 am on March 12th, 2016

    Our hearts are just sick with grief.

    We are sending prayers for all the mushers – they are simply out there to run the race. Why would someone commit such and atrocity?

  15. Rio - The Evil Pug
    11:12 am on March 12th, 2016

    Natasha!…Where were your spiked heels when Allie needed them?…gah!

  16. Rio - The Evil Pug
    11:13 am on March 12th, 2016

    Taxes!…Someone and someone else have to go get their taxes done so therefore Beau and I will be on our own this morning…grunt!

  17. BearSpiritDog
    11:20 am on March 12th, 2016

    We cannot believe this Latest News from the Trail! This is one time we are glad OFM is not in the lead. Hope they Throw the Book at that Horrible Person. Snowmobiles have caused problems before But Never Like This.
    Our Thoughts and Prayers go out to Jeff King and His Team. Sob.

  18. Masquers
    11:26 am on March 12th, 2016
  19. Herd's Mom
    11:35 am on March 12th, 2016

    Morning everyone. AJ did just as we thought, looks and then took off in the crew of night.
    The news about the snowmobile attack is shocking. Think the key is drunken snowmobiler. Obvioisly not in his right mind and seriously in need of punishment and help in that order.

  20. Barb, Maggie and Lucy
    11:38 am on March 12th, 2016

    What is wrong with people. The older I get, the more I dislike them. This is heartbreaking and disgusting.

  21. dawson
    11:47 am on March 12th, 2016

    Prayers for all the mushers and dogs and especially for Jeff King and his team.

    AJ is just a couple miles out of Galena. Go Snowhook!

    Here’s a quality video from one of the Norway mushers, Sigrid Ekran:

  22. Howlers
    11:50 am on March 12th, 2016

    This is horrible. We are grief-stricken. Wish we were ther to grab pant legs.
    The sled teams are defenseless out there, aren’t they?
    It says Aliy defended herself with a trail marker. What is that?
    The more we know people, the more we only love animals.

  23. dawson
    12:07 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Trail markers are the (wooden, I think) sticks with reflector tape on top that are pounded into the ground at intervals so the mushers can stay on the trail.

  24. B.Stover
    12:08 pm on March 12th, 2016

    The Insider sent an email that AJ checked into Galena at 07:51 Alaska time.

    Every time I refresh this page I have a hard time getting back on. I’m not having problems with any other site so it’s a problem with this blog.

  25. SnowBella
    12:22 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Dear Creator, Please bless and keep Nash’s spirit. Please bless he didn’t suffer. Please comfort those who are grieving his loss whether they are animal or human. Please bless he will know he was thought of in his passing. Thank you for him. Amen.

  26. Barb, Maggie and Lucy
    12:38 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Amen. Such a senseless a loss. When someone does something like this, I always wonder what is going on in their head.

  27. Howlers
    12:40 pm on March 12th, 2016


  28. Tupper and Gilly
    12:44 pm on March 12th, 2016


  29. Masquers
    12:46 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Amen. Sob.

  30. bluecat
    12:49 pm on March 12th, 2016


  31. c.hobbit
    12:50 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Such sad news. Alcohol is such a problem in Alaska and brings a lot of suffering to families–lots of death and injuries are attributed to alcohol.
    Now that a world class sporting event has been impacted and dogs killed or injured, maybe it will serve as another needed wake up call.

    Some villages are “dry” but that just means that alcohol can’t be sold; alcohol can still be ordered and flown into villages as cargo to people for private use.

    There needs to be a way for mushers to communicate to the Iditarod in emergency situations such as this without “pushing the button” to exit the race.

  32. BearSpiritDog
    12:56 pm on March 12th, 2016

    C.Hobbit: This Horrific Event will no doubt Change many things about the Race.

    B: Blog Problems here also.

  33. Herd's Mom
    1:00 pm on March 12th, 2016

    And darn that mother forklifting otter for messing up my first post. πŸ™

  34. Belle Starr, Ole Doc & Ole Doc's Pillow
    1:11 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Report of the past! The cliff note version! I can report years ago when that Damn Pixie still ran dogs, she had a similar experience. In a snow storm she called out the right command on the wrong trail resulting in her getting the team very lost. Fargo was her lead dog—he adored her and she him. As she tried to figure out where she was, Fargo kept trying to turn the team. She was frustrated, but it was dark and she was lost. She set the hook and walked to the front of the team. She scratched Fargo behind the ears and said, “It’s your team now. Take us home.” He did just that. Not long after, he had led the team to a trail that Damn Pixie knew. They were lost no more. Oh, was she grateful for that lead dog who adored her and merely tolerated AJ. As the team headed for home, she could see several snowmachiners in the distance. They were stopped near a road the team needed to cross to get home. As she neared the group, it was clear that they had been drinking. She intended to make it pass them without talking to them. That was her hope. One of them got on his machine and started driving toward the team. Faster and faster! He drove right up to Fargo and turned at the very last moment like a game of chicken. That Damn Pixie lost it! She had two snowhooks on her sled. She set one to hold the team and unhooked the other. Her temper screamed passed livid and fury to something that still doesn’t have a name. How dare he?!?! As she neared the group of snowmachiners with snowhook in hand, she was ready to hurt someone. However, she realized that there were more of them than her—you can usually count on her to get simple math correct. After a few choice words that not only insulted them, but their families, she pulled the hook and made it passed the jack asses.

  35. Howlers
    1:21 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Wow. That is a very scary story in light of today’s happening.
    Someday, but not today, we will need a prayer to lead us past the outrageous anger we are now feeling. Today we will hold onto our anger though.

  36. ALR
    1:34 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Oh my, Amen to the prayer for Nash and his crossing and for his musher and the injured dogs, for Allie and her having to protect with a trail marker and for all the teams that this is the end of the violence on the trail. Snowbella once again must feel the fear and fury of her encounter some time back. This incident today is not something we can get over easily, may all the horror of it be washed away and may the thugs be dealt with most appropriately. And we Plunder On.

  37. Tupper and Gilly
    1:39 pm on March 12th, 2016

    We are kind of hoping that AJ does not hear about this incident – he has enough on his mind with the race, and should not have angry thoughts carried on his shoulders.

    The thought of a Furious Pixie armed with a snowhook…well, we would certainly have second thoughts about messing with her dogs. We would be willing to bet that adrenaline made her twice as big as the Giant – and 10 times scarier!

  38. B.Stover
    2:04 pm on March 12th, 2016

    I’m interested in the words “snowmachiners” and “snowmobilers.” I’m assuming they refer to the same thing and are perhaps regional uses. Someone in an interview said that the snowmachine is used like a car in Alaska.

  39. BearSpiritDog
    2:26 pm on March 12th, 2016

    I have been know to Puff Up twice my size when confronted by a Huge Snowplow. This is how we picture Our Pixie with Snowhook in Paw.

  40. c.hobbitz
    2:28 pm on March 12th, 2016

    B. Stover: you are correct. Two words for the same thing. There are regional differences.

  41. B.Stover
    2:31 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Thank you Hobbit. Snowmobiles are used in the winter in northern Michigan and the UP but never down here…far too much traffic and freeway usage.

  42. Teddy Ruff Rider
    2:46 pm on March 12th, 2016

    What an awlful thing to have happened. Just watched the Jeff King interview about the attack. So very, very sad.

  43. Masquers
    2:57 pm on March 12th, 2016

    More sad news from Battle Dawgs: Rick Casillo just officially scratched from the race in Ruby due to lack of leaders. He went into the race short two of his main leaders, one due to an injury and another to being in heat. His last main leader, Nick, was bit on the wrist on the trail into Ruby. He tried every combo of the dogs he has left, and he said all the dogs look amazing and have great attitudes, but he just doesn’t have a leader left with the skill to tackle the Yukon and the coast. He isn’t making this decision lightly, he is devastated as this is the first time he has ever had to scratch from a race.

  44. Linda
    3:37 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Thank you for the prayer, Snowbella. I find that I was needing it dreadfully.

    Please bless that we receive only good news for the rest of the day!

  45. Masquers
    4:12 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Bella’s prayer makes our heart glad.

  46. Thieves!
    4:26 pm on March 12th, 2016

    B: The term snow-go is commonly used in bush communitites.

    More to B: Instead of being interested in the terms snowmachiners vs. snowmobilers, we thought you’d be curious why Belle Starr was allowed to describe the snowmachiners our Lady encountered as jack asses instead of how she really feels. That is an easy answer—Rio. We are ever mindful of his delicate sensibilities.

  47. Rose-the small and meek
    4:44 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Grizz and I just returned home from dinner and the movies…

    I am very upset to hear of this horrible incident at the Iditarod. Every day I ask myself what is happening to people in today’s world. Sending prayers to Aily and Jeff, and to all the mushers on the trail…Please stay safe and may God go with you all.

  48. BearSpiritDog
    4:47 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Rio Jr. Poodled Up

  49. Wolfie
    4:56 pm on March 12th, 2016

    I am so angry!!!!!

    I don’t hate many things, but I do hate drunk drivers of any kind.

  50. Linda
    5:01 pm on March 12th, 2016

    I’m with you, Wolfie Dear.

    I don’t have anything against a Strengthening Cocktail (or two) but NEVER before driving, and NEVER trying to hurt anyone. I guess, if this snowmobile driver was indeed intoxicated, he is the epitome of the term “mean drunk.”

  51. c.hobbitz
    5:09 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Thank you Thieves. I was going to mention the term sno-go but got distracted.
    Digger and Herd’s Mom becoming natives…door is open letting the sunshine in and they are walking around NOT bundled up. Herd’s Mom felt an earthquake a few minutes ago at the same time Mr. Big did. Sadie and I ignored it.

  52. c.hobbitz
    5:12 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Earlier I was toasting sliced almonds in the toaster oven downstairs. Lacking a pot holder downstairs, I folded up paper towels and made a potholder. There was a wee flame to alert me to my stupidity. I think I should visit my neighborhood fire station and introduce myself.

  53. c.hobbitz
    5:19 pm on March 12th, 2016

    This is from the Alaska Dispatch News:
    ….In the cafeteria, King ate a burrito and drank a cup of coffee. He ended up dropping four dogs β€” Nash, Crosby and Banjo, plus another dog that he said was “lame” by the time he arrived. He didn’t know if that was because of the crash or not.

    Nulato reacts
    Arnold Demoski, 26, said in a phone interview Saturday that he struck the dog teams and was blacked out when it happened after drinking hard liquor in a nearby village. He said it was not an attack as the media has reported.

    He apologized for the incident Saturday. He’s a longtime fan of the race who used to make signs welcoming the mushers. He said King was always his favorite.

    β€œI don’t care if people know if I was drinking and driving,” he said. β€œI’m really glad (Zirkle) and (King) are OK and I really feel sorry for Nash.”

    Demoski, a natural resources coordinator for the Nulato tribal council, said he came to after the collisions with his adrenaline pumping. He said he thinks he turned around to check on the teams, but was afraid to stop out of fear he would get in trouble for drinking and driving.

    β€œAs soon as I woke up this morning I heard about what happened,” he said. β€œI went to check my sno-go. The front panel was missing. I knew it was me right off bat. I called the (village public safety officer) right off, told him it was me. I told him I’d do whatever they want me to do. I’ll tell the troopers whatever they want to know. I feel really bad for what I did.”

    Nulato residents gathered into the gymnasium Saturday afternoon. Some posed for photographs with King, offering their condolences.

    Kathleen Sam, born and raised here, said the community will host a fundraiser Saturday night for King and Zirkle’s kennels. They will sell crafts like earrings and hats, she said.

    As news spread throughout the village this morning, she said residents were shocked.

    Alaska State Troopers said an officer is responding to continue the investigation.

    This is not the first time a musher has been hit by a snowmachine on the Iditarod trail. One dog was killed and another injured in a similar incident in 2008 involving a team belonging to Minnesota musher Jennifer Freking. Freking was parked on the Yukon River between Koyukuk and Nulato at night when a snowmachiner hit her team. Freking went on to finish the race in 50th place.

  54. Barb, Maggie and Lucy
    5:27 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Very, very sad. At least it wasn’t intentional malice, which is only slightly better. Intentional cruelty against animals (or people) is what bothers me most.

  55. dawson
    5:31 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Amen to Snowbella’s prayer.

    An inutterably sad situation.

  56. c.hobbitz
    5:32 pm on March 12th, 2016

    No mention of him giving up drinking or getting help

  57. Herd's Mom
    5:45 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Wowser (as the Herd would say) I feel right at home when “I feel the earth move under my feet”. Apologies to Carole King.

  58. Mpop and Loulou's Mom
    5:57 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Earthquake 6.3 SSE of Atka followed by two more in the 5 range.

  59. Masquers
    6:08 pm on March 12th, 2016

    We did not realize this has happened before. So why has nothing been done to prevent such occurrences?

  60. Herd's Mom
    6:21 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Masquers, there is nothing anyone person can do about someone with a substance-abuse who does not want help. There are laws about driving intoxicated but it will always happen.

  61. Mpop and Loulou's Mom
    6:21 pm on March 12th, 2016

    I don’t believe the ‘blackout’ part of the story.

  62. Herd's Mom
    6:22 pm on March 12th, 2016

    It may seem mean, But I still believe in punish first help second.

  63. ALR
    6:25 pm on March 12th, 2016

    The punishment is the first step of the help, agree.

    And Ha! I just recieved a post card from Alaska, and there is a dog up there that has a blue paw! Thanks! πŸ™‚

  64. Herd's Mom
    6:28 pm on March 12th, 2016

    The Alaska Three are going out for a nice dinner and then to the David Sandborn concert downtown. Should be a lovely evening and will let all the people on this here blog know about it tomorrow.

  65. Masquers
    6:31 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Snowmobiles have caused problems in the past by tearing up the trail and now this latest incident that is beyond comprehension. We do not believe a solution cannot be found to ban snowmobiles from the Iditarod Trail.

  66. Rio - The Evil Pug
    6:35 pm on March 12th, 2016

    MollysMaw!….We here are with you. Black-out Beau’s ass…grunt!

  67. Basil and Sage
    6:37 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Yeah, yeah, yeah…..
    We know fertilizer when we hear it.
    If the guy was unconscious, how come he make 3 passes at Aliy?

    Hey, we call em as we see em.

  68. Rio - The Evil Pug
    6:39 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Beau!…Speaking of our black and white Beau it seems to me someone asked how he was doing….snort!…He is very well and is gaining weight again. We go on walks and he is all about leaving as much liquid and solids as possible all over the neighborhood as I am…heh!heh!…He is a cheerful fellow and likes to throw his toys about then hide them behind the chair thinking I won’t find them and hide them….chuffle!

  69. Herd's Mom
    6:41 pm on March 12th, 2016

    AJ has been in Notaalee Denh (Galena) for 6 hours. We hope the Hounds over the bridge have sung to him to keep him safe. We know by text messages that the hounds on this side are lazy lumps πŸ™‚

  70. BearSpiritDog
    6:47 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Dear Nash…RIP.

  71. Basil and Sage
    7:01 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Beau – has your Friend gotten used to sticking the gigsantic, huge, sharp needle into your skinny little butt?

  72. Rio - The Evil Pug
    7:03 pm on March 12th, 2016


  73. BearSpiritDog
    7:10 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Beau: We are Happy you are Gaining Weight again…not something many would like to hear, but Nana says she understands and is with you all the way.

  74. Wolfie
    7:13 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Has anyone heard from the Other Side of the Bridge yet? I’m sure that there was great rejoicing!

  75. Beyond the bridge
    7:24 pm on March 12th, 2016

    We are so glad to have Nash with us. We know he will be missed over there, but you should see him RUN!

  76. Martha
    7:30 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Folks like the snowmachiner make me mad and sad. I am mad for the stupidness of the act. I am sad for their children. Those kids carry lots of baggage into classrooms, making it hard for them to learn. Sigh.

  77. Mpop and Loulou's Mom
    7:39 pm on March 12th, 2016
  78. Rose-the small and meek
    8:30 pm on March 12th, 2016

    I have no sympathy for this Demoski guy.

    Nash was a beautiful dog; may he rest peacefully.

    RIO! I am very happy to hear that Beau is feeling better. I was very worrit about him.

  79. Rio - The Evil Pug
    8:33 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Demoski!…Spit!…Beau says I should forgive him but right now all I can do is hate him with a passion…grump!…I spit upon him with pug spittle….grrrr!

  80. dawson
    8:45 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Snowhook team is on the move! Go Snowhook!

  81. Herd's Mom
    8:48 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Watch out for that pug spittle! It is only delivered when it is deserved.

  82. Howlers
    8:56 pm on March 12th, 2016

    We hate that guy who shall remain nameless in this home.
    This morning, we watched video of Aliy arriving at Nulato. Mom a
    Said what is wrong with Aliy? She must have had a bad run this last stretch. She hardly said one word to the person checking her in, and that is so not like Aliy. She is always chipper and friendly to checkers, even after the most difficult stretches of trail. Now we know why. And we are very very angry.

  83. Tupper's Mama and the Storyteller
    9:00 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Creator – this night, we come to you in special thanks for the four legged companions who have given their hearts and souls to us. Truly one of the greatest gifts of this earth is the connection you have allowed between our lives.
    Creator – we ask to learn the lessons of the animal ones. Let us take the wisdom they offer, and become better humans for it. Let us learn to love, unquestioning and unconditionally. Let us greet our loved ones in ways that show our joy. Let us learn that time is only a man-made thing, that our lives should be in harmony with the rhythms of the earth. And Creator – we ask you to help us take the anger and hatred from our hearts. Let us live in this moment – appreciate the beauty around us, taste the fresh air, and watch the moon rise over the horizon. Let the universe lift our souls that we can be content.
    On this night, many hearts are heavy with the events of today. Through the foolishness of man, some of our four legged friends have been lost to us. We ask you to hold Jeff’s heart, and sooth his tears. We pray that Nash will dance along the Bridge to come to you, and we ask for healing for Banjo and Crosby. Let Aliy and Jeff, AJ and all the mushers feel your touch, comforting them, guiding them and protecting them on their journey. Let all the families of the ones on the trail feel your presence and protection.
    We sing for our companions
    They teach us about love
    They teach us compassion and trust
    Their bravery lifts them up
    We sing for our companions
    Barking their joy on their run
    Happy for the journey
    Content to be in the world
    We sing for our companions
    They forgive our foolish ways
    They forget our human weakness
    And still give their devotion freely
    We sing for our companions
    That they still believe us worthy
    And willingly work beside us
    Their hearts see only good.
    We sing for our companions
    We ask for their protection
    We pray they always receive
    The goodness that they give.

    Creator – this night, we come to you in special thanks for the four legged companions who have given their hearts and souls to us. Truly one of the greatest gifts of this earth is the connection you have allowed between our lives. Help us to be worthy of their devotion. Let us to be as good as our dogs believe us to be.

  84. Staff
    9:04 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Purple Finches and a Pine Marten. If I do not have a Pine Marten soon I will be really really sad.

    Oh My Dog. Aliy and Jeff. So sad to hear that news.

  85. Staff
    9:07 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Thank you Amalia and Leonard. Amen.

  86. Teddy Ruff Rider
    9:07 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Amen. So very well said, as always

  87. Howlers
    9:13 pm on March 12th, 2016


  88. Rose-the small and meek
    9:14 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Amen…thank you Royal Mum and Storyteller for another beautiful prayer.

  89. dawson
    9:16 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Thank you for the prayer. Amen.

  90. Thieves!
    9:18 pm on March 12th, 2016


  91. bluecat
    10:04 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Thank you.

  92. c.hobbit
    10:17 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Amen (((sigh)))

  93. BooBear
    10:22 pm on March 12th, 2016


  94. BearSpiritDog
    10:24 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Amen and amen.

  95. Beyond the bridge
    10:27 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Amen and amen.

  96. Wolfie
    10:32 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Sniff and honk and amen. Excuse me while I find some tissues.

  97. ALR
    10:37 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Amen, and yes, may we be as good as our dogs believe us to be. And it sure is not an easy challenge! πŸ™‚

  98. BooBear
    10:46 pm on March 12th, 2016

    After watching the King interview and reading the article, I remember AJ telling us that he often does not run with his light/headlamp on. He just prefers the natural light of the night. What if that stupid snow-go driver had come up on him? He could have plowed right into AJ! And I don’t believe for a minute that it was an accident. It was an intentional prank that ended up causing a tragedy.

  99. Belle Starr, Ole Doc & Ole Doc's Pillow
    10:54 pm on March 12th, 2016

    BooBear: I can report that the Giant will turn on his head lamp when there is snowmachine traffic. He also has a light that he has on his sled. Both lights will be used to alert snowmachine traffic that the team is there.

  100. Tupper and Gilly
    11:00 pm on March 12th, 2016

    We think our Mama is most wonderful when she is holding milk bones

  101. BooBear
    11:02 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Belle, that is good to hear. But after listening to the King interview, you realize how quickly this all happened. That stupid driver could have been on AJ and the Snowhook dogs in a millisecond! It makes me very angry for all the dogs and mushers out there. He shouldn’t have to even think about it. AJ should be able to run his race like he wants!

  102. Belle Starr, Ole Doc & Ole Doc's Pillow
    11:09 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Lights wouldn’t have and didn’t stop that guy. The jack ass—no offense to the donkeys of the world—didn’t stop after encountering one team.

  103. The Donkeys of The World
    11:43 pm on March 12th, 2016

    Excuse us, but that guy was a human ass!
    (and from or point of view, those are not very attractive)

  104. Luna
    11:50 pm on March 12th, 2016

    I have Belle Starr writing lines: I will not insult donkeys.

    She should be done by Doc’s second nap of the evening.

  105. Beyond the bridge
    12:45 am on March 13th, 2016

    Lights only attract the terminally drunk. Oops back to the Sandborn concert…do we all look that old?

  106. Barb, Maggie and Lucy
    8:05 am on March 13th, 2016

    King made a comment that he was thankful that he was alive. He said 6″ closer and he wold probably have been killed, hit by a machine traveling 80 mps. That is so scary!

  107. Howlers
    8:51 am on March 13th, 2016

    Good morning, all. Mom was about as distraught as we have ever seen her yesterday. We made her take a warm bath with her smelly bath salts, and then get a good night’s sleep. This morning, she started on her new routine for beginning a day stress free. New beginnings, and the race goes on.

  108. Barb, Maggie and Lucy
    10:59 am on March 13th, 2016

    I can’t post on Sunday’s page. Anyone else having trouble?

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