On the Iditarod Trail (More)

Here’s an insider’s take on line-up strategy. Thanks, Rebecca, Snowhook’s generalissimo, for this overnight report:

AJ dropped Quigley, a lead dog before mushing the long stretch between Kaltag and Unalakleet. He has dropped two lead dogs thus far. He started the race with several leaders to varying degrees of skill and preference. The more lead dogs the team can start the race, the better as once AJ drops a dog another cannot be added to the team. Lead dogs have different strengths and preferences. Some prefer the twists and turns of the wooded trail, others like the uphill and downhill of the race while other lead dogs pick up the pace on river runs. There is something for everybody.

The team isn’t just about lead dogs. The position immediately behind the lead dogs are referred to either as swing or point. Swing dogs may be lead dogs who are resting from the headlining position or leaders in training. The bulk of the team is made up of team dogs that are the engine of the team. Wheel dogs, the position directly in front of the sled are often thought of as the simplest members of any dog team. This is not true. They have the job of assisting AJ while he steers the sled past corners and other obstacles. Each dog has a position and a purpose. Knowing that each dog is an important and valued member of the team, AJ will coddle and care for each canine competitor.


We are grateful for the love and care Melanie’s family gives her just as AJ cares for the team.

Welcome new friend Buster.


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This entry was posted on Monday, March 10th, 2014 at 10:15 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.

201 Responses to “On the Iditarod Trail (More)”

  1. Masquers
    10:17 am on March 10th, 2014

    Good morning from Unalakleet!

  2. Herd of Hounds
    10:20 am on March 10th, 2014

    Good morning, everyone! Masquers is up EARLY! Love the insights Rebecca gives us. Mushing, marching, Monday…….GO SNOWHOOK! On the coast. AJ…dreamy and a mushing marvel.

  3. Diane C.
    10:23 am on March 10th, 2014

    Ahh–Here we are. It feels like the Team has turned a corner.

    Melanie, you’re still in my thoughts and prayers and heart.

    H’OH and others, this is for you, sent to me from a friend in Austria:

    A linguistics professor was lecturing his class: “In English a double negative forms a positive (‘You can’t not protect those birds!). In some languages, however, such as Russian, a double negative remains a negative. But there isn’t a single language, not one, in which a double positive can express a negative.”
    At which point a voice from the back of the room added: “Yeah, right.”

  4. Herd of Hounds
    10:24 am on March 10th, 2014

    Diane: Sooooo right!

  5. Masquers
    10:25 am on March 10th, 2014

    Diane: That is a classic! Love it.

  6. Tupper's Mama
    10:25 am on March 10th, 2014

    Good morning all.
    You did a marvelous job on the prayer last night. No one could have done better.

  7. BearSpiritDog
    10:34 am on March 10th, 2014

    Royal Mum: High Praise from one such as you, who writes the most Beautiful Prayers we have ever seen.

  8. B. Stover
    10:36 am on March 10th, 2014

    I’m wondering how the wheel dogs “assist” the musher. Do they communicate to the dogs in front?

    Diane: I’m not familiar with Idols of Perversity so I ordered it from Amazon. This will be fun.

    HOH: Yes, the Lady of the Lake. There are many versions of the story and many names for the lady. My favorite is Morgan le Fay. I also like the Burne-Jones painting, The Beguiling of Merlin.


    According to the Insider, AJ is down to twelve dogs.

    Good morning all.

  9. Wose-the small and meek
    10:45 am on March 10th, 2014

    Diane, I love that post!

    Staff, Thanks for linking the photos last night.

    Masquers, You sly SnowKat. Hope you, Dima, and BSD are enjoying the pizza.

    Royal Mum, Our prayers could never be as beautiful and moving as yours.
    Sorry about my mistake last night. How is your father’s friend.

    Loving on our Purple Princess, our Pixie, and our most handsome musher today.

  10. O'Howlers
    11:06 am on March 10th, 2014

    Oh no! Quigley dropped!! But wait, we still don’t know who the third dropped dog was.
    Bear and Masquers, by now you know that Dima is wild about pizza. He is probably singing his heart out.
    Meashka and Siber-H are the Plunderer team’s Wheel Dogs. They muscle our sled around corners and past obstacles.

    King is ahead of Aliy. 🙁

  11. Masquers
    11:11 am on March 10th, 2014

    B: My mom remembers a movie based on the book Possession by A.S. Bryant, which features that wonderful painting, The Beguiling of Merlin, on the cover.
    Howlers: Sob. Yes, we know.

  12. Diane C.
    11:30 am on March 10th, 2014

    B. Stover–You’ll like the book, I think. Love The Beguiling of Merlin (love all the Arthurian stuff, like H’OH Mom). Combine Arthurian, Medieval-Victorian pre-Raphaelite art and you have a recipe for bliss.
    Masquers–I’m interested in this book–thanks for the tip.
    Wose, O’H–Still trying to stay abreast of which dogs are where, so please know I appreciate the updates. Is the Pixie lady OK?

    I’m off to do one of my day jobs for an extended period today. Thinking of and appreciating you all.

  13. Masquers
    11:36 am on March 10th, 2014

    Our team is currently in 32nd place with 5 rookies ahead of us. We anticipate a strong move towards the end of the race as AJ & the team get closer and closer to Nome and into the arms of she who loves them.

  14. Diane C.
    11:39 am on March 10th, 2014

    Not exactly in the same vein, here’s Waterhouse’s “Ophelia” but she looks very Lady of the Lake to me (I understand the model spent some time lying submerged in a bathtub while he painted this).

  15. Wose-the small and meek
    11:40 am on March 10th, 2014

    O’Howlers: I believe it was Natty who was dropped.

  16. Herd of Hounds
    11:43 am on March 10th, 2014

    AJ…keep the furry side up! Rebecca, love your posts

  17. BooBear
    12:03 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Wose, Natty was the 2nd dog dropped. There was a 3rd one. We haven’t heard who the 3rd one was yet.

    Hope Jem and his nose are still trucking along in the team position!

  18. B. Stover
    12:06 pm on March 10th, 2014

    I love that Ophelia. It’s by Millais and Elizabeth Siddal was the model. She caught a severe cold.

    Masquers: I loved the movie Possession. I also enjoyed the book and movie, French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles. Apparently Byatt wrote Possession in response to it though I’m not sure what the “response” is.

    Aliy is in White Mountain where, as I understand it, all mushers have to take an eight hour layover.

  19. Barb & Maggie
    12:09 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Good morning all. Just returned from some last minute errands before our departure tomorrow. Needed to get a couple more purple items.

    My doggie sitter is coming over in a minute to go over schedule.

    Diane, loved the post.

    Staff, the photos from last night were great. Thanks for posting them.

  20. B. Stover
    12:20 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Sam: Casillo arrived at Unalakleet a few minutes ago according to the Insider.

  21. Whitey-Lance
    12:23 pm on March 10th, 2014

    My Lady was in lurking mode yesterday and may be again today. She is taking care of sick pups that require a lot as well as caring for dropped dogs. She is mentally, emotionally and physically tired, but she wants you to know she is grateful for all the support from our family on this here blog.

    My Lady and I are in full race watching mode which means she watches the damn GPS update or not update and I nap. Our division of duties is a fair one.

  22. O'Howlers
    12:30 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Thanks for checking in, W-L . Hope your lady gets to nap too.

  23. Riö -The Evil Pug
    12:39 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Whitey!….Sit on her so she lays down and sleeps…snort!

  24. BooBear
    12:41 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Poor puppies. Glad they have the Pixie to take care of them.


  25. BearSpiritDog
    12:42 pm on March 10th, 2014

    BooBear: A Gem of a Nose!

  26. Masquers
    12:49 pm on March 10th, 2014

    B: We here loved, loved, loved The French Lieutenant’s Woman!
    Whitey-Lance: Tell your Lady to lurk away, but also to hit the hay somewhere between nursing duties & tracker updates.
    Riö has the right idea…sit on her if you have to!

  27. O'Howlers
    12:51 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Ugh! Why isn’t this damn tracker updating? !! ??

  28. Riö -The Evil Pug
    1:02 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Ahhh-Haaa!….It is not just MY trakker that does not work…grunt!

  29. O'Howlers
    1:04 pm on March 10th, 2014

    We keep trying to SDD this photo to Awesome, but it keeps bouncing back. Mom says she knew it wouldn’t come out well, with all that sunlight behind them, but here it is:

  30. BooBear
    1:12 pm on March 10th, 2014

    BSD, Mom just loves that picture of Jem!!

  31. Barb & Maggie
    1:39 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Howlers, who is the person in the front?

  32. O'Howlers
    1:51 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Maggie, that is the famous Sebastian Schnuelle, photographer/blogger/iditarod expert extroadinaire.

  33. O'Howlers
    2:03 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Moving! Wooo!!!,

  34. Masquers
    2:06 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Howlers: Wow, wow, that is a a great photo of Awesome Dawson with Sebastian Schnuelle. The sun in the background just makes it more awesome.

  35. Riö -The Evil Pug
    2:07 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Famous!…Never heard of him…grunt!

  36. Riö -The Evil Pug
    2:12 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Goodie!…My Trakker is not updating #34 again…grump!

  37. Herd of Hounds
    2:19 pm on March 10th, 2014

    we dislike trackker, too. So much tracker drama.

  38. BearSpiritDog
    2:24 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Wowzer! It’s Mushing Monday and Off We Go!! Onward SnowHook!!!

  39. BearSpiritDog
    2:26 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Mine is Now Working. Maybe you have to “make friends with it”. Heh.

  40. Teddy Ruff Rider
    2:29 pm on March 10th, 2014

    This just in via email (I personally prefer pee-mail, but this works fine too):

    MUSHER ALERT: Justin Savidis checks out of Unalakleet at 11:20 (AKDT) on March 10

  41. Herd of Hounds
    2:30 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Justin…keep the furry side up!

  42. Masquers
    2:31 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Too bad that new feature called replay time that the Insider is bragging about isn’t working…it would be really kool if it was.
    Teddy: Thanks for the update!

  43. Riö -The Evil Pug
    2:42 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Gizmos!…I wish they would quit trying to come up with fancy new gizmos on the trakker and just get the basic functionality to work correctly…grumble!

  44. Masquers
    2:48 pm on March 10th, 2014

    My question is…why SOME trakkers update more often than others…namely our team’s.

  45. Masquers
    2:59 pm on March 10th, 2014

    I’m trying to make friends with the *&!#)*& thing like Bear says, but just when we think it is working it isn’t.
    Siber: You have the right idea…don’t follow that little flag or you will go stark raving mad.
    Okay, there…see what I mean?…it just now updated.

  46. Dawson
    3:02 pm on March 10th, 2014

    O’Howler’s: The sun is a bit bright but Masquers is right. It is still a cool photo and you can tell Sebastian by his hair even if you can’t see his face clearly.
    I’m going to try the tricky tracker again to see if I can see AJ crossing the ice.

  47. Wose-the small and meek
    3:21 pm on March 10th, 2014

    O’Howlers: I do believe these are the dropped dogs: Orion! Natty, and Quig.

  48. BearSpiritDog
    3:21 pm on March 10th, 2014

    O’Howler’s Mom: This is Weird. Nana says she keeps hearing your voice saying: You Have to Eat!
    Heh, heh. You sure Don’t Have to Remind ME.

    Dawson! Crossing the Ice. Yeep! That Insider Photo of the Sound was sure Beautiful though.

  49. Wose-the small and meek
    3:25 pm on March 10th, 2014

    How could you not love Jem’s nose.

    Thanks for the 411, Teddy.

  50. Herd of Hounds
    3:45 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Jem’s nose is perfecf!

  51. Siber-H
    4:08 pm on March 10th, 2014

    We like Sebastian Schnuelle…always have back in the day when he was running both the Quest and the Iditarod.

    Dawson? Where is Dawson?
    I have a question for her…did you like Sebastian?

    That picture of Jem’s nose is a classic and should be in a book about Alaskan Huskies.

  52. Princess Sam
    4:09 pm on March 10th, 2014

    B, thanks for the update on Casillo. Mommy will pass that on to Josie.

  53. Siber-H
    4:11 pm on March 10th, 2014

    It is 1 degree in Unalakleet
    feels like -14

  54. Herd of Hounds
    4:20 pm on March 10th, 2014


  55. O'Howlers
    4:36 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Thank dog the team is seeing somewhat colder temps.
    Wose, there were 3 dropped dogs, first was Orion 2nd was Nattie, and 4th was Quigley. We still don’t know who the third was, nor why each was dropped. We heard mom say that AJ did not expect Orion to run the entire race, but nattie and Quig are a surprise, at least to us.
    If Clyde makes it the whole way, can he be Rookie of the Year? We love that guy!

  56. O'Howlers' Mom
    4:36 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Nana, EAT!

  57. Dawson
    4:37 pm on March 10th, 2014

    I love Sebastian but I didn’t really meet him. He was interviewing Justin and I stood close to him for the picture, heh!

  58. O'Howlers' Mom
    4:42 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Heh heh! That’s why I couldn’t move them to better (less) sunlight. Although I do agree that kind of came out cool with his hair in the sunlight.

  59. Tupper's Mama
    4:50 pm on March 10th, 2014

    We think that Staff and The Awesome One may be on the train HEADED THIS WAY! We know Barb gets on the train tomorrow.
    We have also heard an ugly rumor that we are going for baths, butt clips and toenail cutting tomorrow, but we never believer rumors.

    And then Thursday, they will be here! And we will get hundreds of pets and scritches and tummies. Woo hooooo.

    Rio – tell your friend to jump on a plane and bring you too.

  60. Riö -The Evil Pug
    5:02 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Dawson!…You sly dawg, you!…snort!snort!

  61. Dawson
    5:05 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Staff and I are packing because we leave at 7 tomorrow on the train. We will meet up with Barb at 5 pm and have some supper then get back on the train and travel overnight to Buffalo. That is where MP & Loulou’s Mom will pick us up and take us to her posh digs! The next day we will meet up with Amalia,T&G, the HerbKats and the whole fandamily and HOH is coming in from Tennesee.

  62. Riö -The Evil Pug
    5:11 pm on March 10th, 2014


  63. Wose-the small and meek
    5:13 pm on March 10th, 2014

    O’Howlers: Thanks for setting me straight with the dogs. I need to due some investigating….

  64. Tupper's Mama
    5:19 pm on March 10th, 2014

    We repeat – woo Hoo!

  65. Mollypop's Mom
    5:26 pm on March 10th, 2014

    This time difference on the blog is going to be with us for a while. It won’t change to our correct daylight savings time until Sunday, April 6.

  66. Mollypop's Mom
    5:31 pm on March 10th, 2014

    I’ll pick up the PIGs at the station. We’ll go to Niagara Falls and later Tyb and his Dad will join us for a pizza and wing dinner. Woo hoo.

  67. c.hobbit
    5:56 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Back from the store. Picked up a single slice of NY cheesecake in the bakery section. Just one more way I am willing to show my support for Snowhook. heh. Standing in solidarity with Rebecca with spoon in paw…

    Jealous of those making the trip east and meeting more Plunderers but wish everyone safe travels.

  68. Dawson
    5:57 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Real Buffalo wings! I can hardly wait!

  69. Herd of Hounds
    6:04 pm on March 10th, 2014

    MPMs will TYB be coming to MA ?

  70. Masquers
    6:20 pm on March 10th, 2014

    It’s me ,me, me up top!!! heh, heh sorry about that……..
    Dawson, Staff & Barb! WoooHoooo for the train trip tomorrow!
    Jeff King out of White Mountain.

  71. Wose-the small and meek
    6:22 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Sounds like Plunderfest, East Coast is going to be fun, fun, fun.

  72. Mollypop's Mom
    6:25 pm on March 10th, 2014

    HOH, Tyb won’t be making the East trip. He’s just coming for dinner. It would be great fun if he would decide to come along with us.

  73. Basil and Sage
    7:02 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Hey – how ’bout inviting a Pug? We haven’t had anyone to harass for days and days..


  74. O'Howlers' Mom
    7:03 pm on March 10th, 2014

    I am also jealous of those doing the train trip. I love train travel. Here I am, from Reading, home of The Reading Railroad, and we no longer have any trains close by. Sniff

    I will also be having more Solidarity Cheesecake again tonight, Hobbit.

  75. Barb & Maggie
    7:06 pm on March 10th, 2014

    MPM, Do you pronounce Tyb as Tib?

    Barb met a lady who said her daughter’s friend is Patrick Kanes’s girl friend. Said she has been dating him for a couple of years. Know you are a big hockey fan, does that sound right?

  76. Masquers
    7:13 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Gasp. Why hasn’t Aliy checked out of White Mountain?

  77. Mollypop's Mom
    7:16 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Barb, Tyb is pronounced Tibe. Like tribe.

    I have followed Patrick Kane in hockey since he was a real youngster but I don’t know much about his personal life. His grandfather died about a month ago here in Buffalo and Pat came back for the funeral.

  78. Siber-H
    7:18 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Masquers, Let me know, please, if you learn more about Aliy. Could it be that the tracker isn’t working. They can be slow to update the standings board.

  79. Masquers
    7:19 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Finally! Our girl is on the move.

  80. BooBear
    7:19 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Mom had entertained the thought of flying east for the Plunder meeting after she had to cancel her Alaska trip but then she found out y’all were meeting on Friday and going home on Saturday. She would have had to fly on Friday evening so would miss the party. So she will wait for another time to meet and greet.

  81. O'Howlers
    7:24 pm on March 10th, 2014

    The next leg of the race is the one that scares us so bad. We will be hiding under the covers for that one.

  82. B. Stover
    7:24 pm on March 10th, 2014

    I received a musher alert that Aliy left White Mountain about twenty minutes ago.

  83. Beau - The Black Pug
    7:24 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Trains!…You couldn’t get me on a train if my tail depended on it….grunt!

  84. Riö – The Evil Pug
    7:26 pm on March 10th, 2014

    TrainLoad!…Me Either….grunt!

  85. BearSpiritDog
    7:31 pm on March 10th, 2014

    But, Rio, Couldn’t you Fly With the Herd’s Mom?

  86. Riö – The Evil Pug
    7:34 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Bear!…You gotta be kidding me…sniff!…We parted ways in Alaska. I have no plans to see HoHo ever again…grunt!

  87. Masquers
    7:35 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Rats! She’s a hour behind King and they’re both just off an 8 hr. rest stop.
    Go Aliy Go!!

  88. O'Howlers
    7:36 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Somebody needs to run out and trip King.

  89. Riö – The Evil Pug
    7:42 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Martin!…What the heck happened to Buser?…sniff!

  90. Barb & Maggie
    7:42 pm on March 10th, 2014

    What is wrong with train travel? Seems like it would be safer than flying.

  91. Basil and Sage
    7:53 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Rio – Buser is now in 7th place. Sprinter out of the gate – trailer at the end.

    Now if he was running a team of Kats…well, now that might be different.

  92. Riö – The Evil Pug
    7:56 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Moving!….The Team is less than two miles outside of the next Checkpoint….snort!…Hard to tell with my Trakker…sniff!

  93. O'Howlers
    7:57 pm on March 10th, 2014

    The Finish is going to happen while we are in our warm soft bed fast asleep. Drat it all.

  94. O'Howlers
    7:59 pm on March 10th, 2014

    It looks like only one mile now, Rio. Our tracker made up with us. 🙂

  95. Tupper and Gilly
    8:00 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Creator – we thank you for all the gifts you bring to us every day of our lives. We breathe in the sweet air; our feet feel the sacred earth below us. The rivers and the rains bring life giving waters; the plants make our lives sweet. How lucky we are to share this earth with all of your children. We thank you for this gift.
    Creator – tonight AJ will make his way across the frozen sea. His sled will glide over the home of our family of the water. Mighty Whales will sing beneath his feet. Graceful Seals will hear the runners over the ice. Playful Otters will watch as he passes by. Tonight we ask those water ones to be with AJ and lend him their strengths
    We ask for endurance of a long journey, just as the Whales ones travel from one end of the earth to the other, we ask them to lend AJ that ability to continue, even when the journey seems too long. We also ask for the guidance of the Whale in direction that AJ’s path may never go wrong. And we ask for the songs, the wonderful songs of the Whales to guide him on.
    From the Seal people, we ask for the lightness and agility of their kind. Let there be a grace in the running tonight, a grace that speeds AJ and the team effortlessly across the ice. Let their legs move in harmony, in a dance together under the Northern Lights.
    And we ask for joy. We ask the Otter people to fill AJ’s heart, to fill the hearts of the team with joy. Let their run be as laughter in the forest, let each step be happiness surrounded by the light of stars, the song of running paws and the freedom of their spirits.
    Creator – we ask these things for this honorable man. AJ has pledged his race to Melanie, for she is a good and kind woman who has faced her journey bravely. Let him draw from her courage, let him learn from her determination, and let him feel the love and support that we all feel for him.
    As AJ turns his journey toward home, we ask to also guide Melanie on her journey to her destination. Each day she is less of this earth than she is of your sky. Creator, we ask you to open the sky for her, and show her the path of freedom and joy. Let her have the wings of the sky creatures that she may travel on, and never look back to the bonds of earth.
    Creator – we thank you for all the gifts you bring to us every day of our lives. We breathe in the sweet air; our feet feel the sacred earth below us. The rivers and the rains bring life giving waters; the plants make our lives sweet. How lucky we are to share this earth with all of your children. We thank you for this gift.

  96. Herd of Hounds
    8:01 pm on March 10th, 2014

    no Tyb…got it.

  97. O'Howlers
    8:03 pm on March 10th, 2014


  98. O'Howlers
    8:04 pm on March 10th, 2014

    AJ checked in 16:58

  99. Wose-the small and meek
    8:07 pm on March 10th, 2014



  100. Riö – The Evil Pug
    8:10 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Golinka!…Another wonderful prayer tonight…snuffle!…I look forward to the time when AJ is home safe and reading your prayers….snorkel!

  101. Masquers
    8:11 pm on March 10th, 2014

    MUSHER ALERT: Justin Savidis checks into Shaktoolik at 16:58 (AKDT) on March 10

  102. Herd of Hounds
    8:18 pm on March 10th, 2014

    no Tyb…got it.Amen and amen.

  103. Dawson
    8:22 pm on March 10th, 2014


  104. Riö – The Evil Pug
    8:26 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Mr.Tibbs!….What is wrong with HoHo? She can’t seem to get a simple name down-pat..grunt!….OUT!OUT!OUT!…I need to go OUT!…wheeze!

  105. Barb & Maggie
    8:26 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Amen and thank you.

  106. Mollypop's Mom
    8:26 pm on March 10th, 2014

    HOH, also no Loulou and no Sammie.

  107. Sage
    8:34 pm on March 10th, 2014

    (whispering) Bas – do you have the Slim Jims? I told you to bring Slim Jims! We need something for bait…

  108. Basil
    8:35 pm on March 10th, 2014

    urp….I thought those were for traveling snacks. uuurrrrpppppp!

  109. Sage
    8:36 pm on March 10th, 2014

    You idiot kitten….now how do we tempt Rio out into his backyard where we can get at him?

  110. Basil
    8:37 pm on March 10th, 2014

    How about if we just hang around til he has to go OUT OUT OUT! Then we quick like a bunny, snatch him up and blur him to Massachusetts for the Plunder Party

  111. BSD & Masquers
    8:37 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Amen. Amen.
    Thank You.

  112. Sage
    8:37 pm on March 10th, 2014

    OK – make sure you get a good grip on him – we don’t need to lose him halfway.

  113. Masquers
    8:40 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Bear late to the prayer.
    How rude, how rude.

  114. Sage
    8:57 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Got him – hold onto him, Basil! Ok, now remember your blurring lessons, one two three – GO!

    Basil ! Pay attention! He is one heavy Pug!

    Oh no – he’s slipping, he’s slipping…….

  115. Riö – The Evil Pug
    8:57 pm on March 10th, 2014


  116. Dawson
    8:59 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Uh oh. Basil and Sage are up to no good with a capital Pug!

    I hope our musher gets a good rest before he goes out on the sea ice.

    Go Aliy! Phooey on Jeff King.
    Go Snowhook!

    I’m going to try to get to sleep now for the early start tomorrow. I can hear the sound of water dripping from the snow melting off the roof. It was a springlike day.

  117. Billy's Buddy
    9:01 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Amen and thank you.

  118. c.hobbit
    9:05 pm on March 10th, 2014

    I was just thinking, “I didn’t know cats could blur…” I guess I am right. heh

  119. Basil and Sage
    9:08 pm on March 10th, 2014

    oops. Oh well – happy landings Pug

    Maybe he can hitch a ride from here.

  120. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:11 pm on March 10th, 2014

    OUCH!….GRUNT!…grump!…Damned Herbed Kats…wheeze!…Where the hell am I? ….GAH!….I smell a Kat. I smell a really really Big Kat….gasp!….It’s HUGE!…..Aaaarrrrrgh!

    AbbieTheKat! …..Help me! Help. I landed on my flat face…wheeze!….Sit on my butt and maybe I will pop-up right side up…gurgle!

  121. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:13 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Abbie!…It’s me Rio….gurgle!wheeze!…Do NOT FREAK OUT…snort!

  122. c.hobbit
    9:16 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Oh Boy. Rio amongst kats. This is bad, very bad. Doesn’t he call Abbie fat al the time?

    The standings show AJ with 12 dogs…does that mean another one was dropped?

  123. bluecat
    9:17 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Amen, with tears.

    (we were late too, Bear)

    Have fun out east, Plunderers.

  124. Staff
    9:18 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Dawson, What is all that noise in there? Do you have bats in the closet again??? I thought you were going to bed.

  125. Siber-H
    9:19 pm on March 10th, 2014

    err, umm, Rio, Do you need help?

  126. Dawson
    9:20 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Bat!! I think I hear a bat in my closet!
    What the!
    Somebody please tell me I’m having a nightmare!

  127. Alice M. Johnson
    9:21 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Abbie, Get out of that closet. You don’t want to get bit by a bat do you? What? It is too big for a bat? hmmmm.

    you know it doesn’t sound like a bat. Lots of whining and groaning….yeep

  128. Basil and Sage
    9:21 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Dawson – go back to sleep – you are just dreaming….dreaming….dreaming….
    There is no fat, smelly Pug in your closet….


  129. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:23 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Alice!….I was able to right myself, no help from AbbieTheKat, and I immediately jumped on the first Big Bed I saw…sniff!…Then all of a sudden Alice and AbbieTheKat jumped up on the big bed too….wheeze!…I did not know Abbie could actually “jump”…heh!heh!

    Spy!…Alice immediately tried to hypnotize me but luckily I had a pair of my special sunglasses hidden behind my left paw…wheeze!….I was able to distract her and run away…gasp!….HELP!

  130. Alice M. Johnson
    9:24 pm on March 10th, 2014

    I don’t think this is a dream. More like a nightmare…

  131. Dawson
    9:25 pm on March 10th, 2014

    You better come see what the kat drug in! I hope I’m losing my mind.

  132. Basil and Sage
    9:27 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Alice – we do think maybe we may owe you an apology.

    We thought we could blur Rio all the way home, but we did have to skip Wolfie’s blurring lessons 4 though 6. They may have had something to do with safe landings.

    At least he ended up in “friendly” territory

  133. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:27 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Running!….I ran right into the living room where …SNORT!…Oh my dawg. Staff and My other Hero, The Turtleman are playing cards…snuffle!…I smell beer. I smell a good card game…wheeze!…I can take these guys, I know it!…heh!heh!

  134. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:29 pm on March 10th, 2014

    OooooOOOOO- Staff!….Can I join your game?…chorkel!…I am here visiting. Just so you know. I have no idea when I will leave. So you are stuck with Me!Me!Me!…snort!…I want to sit by the Turtleman. He is one of my heros…heh!heh!

  135. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:34 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Cards!…Staff never answered my begging and pleading looks, so I just joined the game without her approval…heh!heh!…I had a few tricks up my paw and won the first poker game with 4 Aces and a King…snorkel!

  136. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:36 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Hero!…Did I mention that the Turtle Man is my hero!…slurp!guzzle!burp!

  137. Dawson
    9:39 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Whew! I’m sure that was all a bad dream. I’m going back to bed.

  138. Staff
    9:44 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Dawson has gone back to bed and the Turtleman and I are trapped down here with that Pug. I wonder how long he is going to stay? I need to get to sleep too.
    I have not even finished packing.
    I wonder if there will be any help from the people in Alaska who had to put up with this Pug for many days. CHobbit? Do you have any suggestions?

    Thank Dog I am leaving here tomorrow. The turtleman and his wife seem to be enjoying the Pug….Little do they know.

  139. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:51 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Staffie!…You cannot get away from me …heh!heh!…I need to use your computer. So quit posting on the blog and go Pack for your trip tomorrow. I think you know I will use my vast supply of toxic gas to get my way…chuffle!

  140. c.hobbit
    9:53 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Staff: there was a reason why he was outside a lot wanting to be let IN, IN, IN.

  141. c.hobbit
    9:55 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Staff: Sadie’s bed and toys seemed to help. Don’t know how he would feel about a kitty bed or kitty toys.

  142. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:55 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Out!….Oh no. Staff made me go OUT!OUT!OUT! and I found this strange looking ghost thing out here…gasp!…What the hell is it?….wheeze!

  143. Riö – The Evil Pug
    9:57 pm on March 10th, 2014

    All Sides!….I’ve looked at it from all sides and I still do not know what it is…wheeze!…Strange goings on in Minnasota, let me tell youse…gasp!

  144. c.hobbit
    9:59 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Rio: gorgeous photo but you sure must be getting tired of snow and ice no matter how pretty it is.

  145. BearSpiritDog
    9:59 pm on March 10th, 2014

    The Adventures of Rio Volume II
    A PUG Plunders Across America.

  146. Basil and Sage
    10:00 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Rio – did we forget to blur your Alaskan clothes with you? Awwww – pooah widdle puggy


  147. Staff
    10:01 pm on March 10th, 2014

    I don’t know what that Pug is going to do but I am going to go finish packing for tomorrow a.m.

    good night Pug Stay out of my bedroom…eep.

  148. Alice M. Johnson
    10:03 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Basil and Sage you are going to pay. This is one smelly Pug! Staff is very annoyed. Dawson is snoring….

  149. Tupper and Gilly
    10:04 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Uh oh – Mama just banished those Wrotten Kats to their beds. Seems they managed to get out tonight, and they refuse to say where they have been.

    Hope they weren’t getting into any trouble. You know how they can get.

    Anyway, we need to say g’night to youse guys. G’night

  150. Riö – The Evil Pug
    10:04 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Scratch!…Scratch!…Scratch!…..Let me in Staff!…wheeze!…Else I will have to sleep with Dawson or AbbietheKat or Alice….shudder!…scratch!scratch!

  151. Riö – The Evil Pug
    10:07 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Gah!….I lost my sunglasses in the poker game….grump!…Turtleman took them from me…sniff!…Now Alice is luring me to her lair…I have no choice but to go see what she wants…sniffel!…helpmehelpmehelpme…wheeeze!

  152. Riö – The Evil Pug
    10:20 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Alice!…She says she will make sure I am on that train tomorrow with Staff and Dawson….gasp!…She says I will go where they go or else…wheeze!…She says there is no way in hell I am staying here with her after tonight…grunt!…She says “Bon Voyage” and “Good Dawg Riddance” tomorrow morning…wheeze!

    Plan!…I will have to sneak into Dawson’s luggage…sniff!…The same luggage I left a “squishy surprise” in back during the Alaska trip…gurgle!…I hope Dawson cleaned out her bad…gah!

  153. Riö – The Evil Pug
    10:22 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Tonight!…Alice and I will be friends…sniff!

    Tomorrow!…We will once again be on opposite sides…sniff!snort!

  154. Barb & Maggie
    10:25 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Rio is having quite an adventure tonight. Poor Dawson, Staff, Abbey and Alice.

    Today the temps were in the 50s and we have major melting going on. Just got a total shock, better-sit-down shock. Tomorrow as Barb heads out, 40 degrees, but by Wednesday noon, we may have the biggest snow fall of the season. Depending on where it hits, we may get 15″ in Woodstock! Oh no, will it ever stop!

  155. Barb & Maggie
    10:28 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Oh oh, spoke too soon. Looks like Rio is joining the girls on the trip east. Good doggie, good doogie, be nice.

  156. c.hobbit
    10:39 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Oodles of noodles. At a pub theater about to see the Invisible Woman

  157. Herd of Hounds
    10:44 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Rio,to heck with nice. Here we go into the cold.

  158. Masquers
    11:04 pm on March 10th, 2014

    Oh look…isn’t that nice…Alice & Riö are friends.

  159. ML
    12:11 am on March 11th, 2014

    Oxymoron, seeing the invisible woman, heh. C hobbit we were by your street this afternoon. Did you see me wave?

    We just returned from Eagle River where we had fried ice cream, or so they tell me.

    The finish of the race will be covered live on two stations tonight, but their idea of the finish and mine are two different animals.

  160. Masquers
    12:24 am on March 11th, 2014

    Kaiser cam live in Nome: http://kaiserracing.com/nomecam/
    (just in case the insider crashes again)

  161. c.hobbit
    1:05 am on March 11th, 2014

    Thanks Masquers. Watching news now. 17 mushers out of race. Later

  162. Masquers
    1:31 am on March 11th, 2014

    OMK!!! Aliy just passed King!!! She’s FLYING down the trail and he’s not moving. WoooooHoooooo!!!

  163. Wolfie
    1:49 am on March 11th, 2014

    Go Aliy!

  164. c.hobbit
    1:53 am on March 11th, 2014

    Estimated finish is around 2 am AST. Too late for me but GO ALIY!

  165. Masquers
    1:54 am on March 11th, 2014

    Last musher to scratch…Kelly Maixner in Elim.
    Carpola..that Nome cam isn’t going to do us any good..it only refreshes every 5 minutes.
    Aily Just Checked Into Safety!!!!!

  166. Masquers
    3:01 am on March 11th, 2014

    Latest word is the wind is howling and blowing along the coast. Prayers for all the teams out on the trail.

  167. Masquers
    3:20 am on March 11th, 2014

    Joe Runyon reports the winds are so fierce around Cape Nome and into town that it would be absolutely foolhardy to go any further. He says in his opinion the race is shut down. Jeff King was blown off the trail before the checkpoint. Aliy is in the cabin at Safety waiting it out. Dallas Seavey is still advancing towards the last checkpoint.

  168. Dawson
    3:20 am on March 11th, 2014

    Masquers: Yeep! While Aliy is stopped at Safety and Jeff King stopped on the trail before Safety, Dallas Seavey is sneaking up from behind.

  169. Dawson
    3:29 am on March 11th, 2014

    Masquers: We have a race! Do I have time for a cat nap before the leaders start up again? I’m going to try for an hour.

  170. Masquers
    4:12 am on March 11th, 2014

    Safety, Alaska – Monday, March 10, 2014 – Jeff King (bib #17) of Denali Park,
    Alaska, scratched from Iditarod XLII at 11:50 p.m. this evening, approximately 3.7 miles before
    reaching Safety.
    King indicated to Race Officials that the wind is severe in the area and he was having
    difficulty navigating the trail. He stayed with his team for approximately two and one half hours
    before asking a snowmachiner to help him by taking him to the Safety checkpoint to contact race
    officials. Jeff and others are moving the team to the Safety checkpoint for the night.

  171. Masquers
    4:16 am on March 11th, 2014

    Dawson! What are you doing up?
    Is it time to leave for the train?
    Look at this latest Press Release.
    The winds are at 65 miles an hour now. Yeep!

  172. O'Howlers
    4:24 am on March 11th, 2014

    Jeff King scratched!!!!!
    Aliy in the lead with Dallas very close. OMD! What happened while I slept?

  173. Dawson
    4:35 am on March 11th, 2014

    Dallas has passes Aliy!
    Masquers: I can’t sleep.

  174. Masquers
    4:45 am on March 11th, 2014

    Can’t sleep either…think the race is shut down…the winds are life-threatening…last report Dallas one mile ahead of Aliy but tracker hasn’t updated. Gasp. what a night/morning!

  175. Dawson
    4:50 am on March 11th, 2014

    Masquers: My tracker updated and it says that Aliy is now on the move, 2 miles behind Dallas! I can only hope that the winds aren’t as strong as reported, otherwise they are both crazy. Mitch Seavey in 3rd place is still moving towards Safety, slowly but surely.

  176. Masquers
    4:52 am on March 11th, 2014

    Gasp. You’re right. They are both moving. I can’t believe they would take this chance!

  177. Dawson
    5:05 am on March 11th, 2014

    She’s gaining on him.

  178. Masquers
    5:08 am on March 11th, 2014


  179. Masquers
    5:11 am on March 11th, 2014

    Oh, no! Now he’s pulling away. Noooooo!!!

  180. Masquers
    5:26 am on March 11th, 2014

    Dawson! You’re right…she is right behind him…and coming up fast!

  181. Dawson
    6:17 am on March 11th, 2014

    Yikes! I think I fell asleep 15 minutes before the alarm went off. Ran down to take a shower and Mr. Staff told me the train is going to be 3 hours late. Thank dog!

    Aliy has 11 dogs. Dallas has 7 dogs. She is on his tail! Go Aliy!
    Meanwhile, our favorite musher has been safely hunkered down resting with a group of mushers preparing to go across the sea ice to Koyuk. Gulp.

  182. Masquers
    6:21 am on March 11th, 2014

    This race is neck in neck, nose to nose!!!
    (and my eyes are starting to cross)

  183. Masquers
    6:23 am on March 11th, 2014

    The crowds are lining up at the finish line…it won’t be long now!!

  184. BearSpiritDog
    6:31 am on March 11th, 2014

    OMD!!! We Cannot Believe the Crapola Insider HAS NOT GONE LIVE!!!

  185. BearSpiritDog
    6:46 am on March 11th, 2014

    Thank Dog! It Came On!

  186. Masquers
    7:12 am on March 11th, 2014

    Aliy. With all the cheering you would think she had won and in my mind she did. Sob.

  187. Dawson
    7:18 am on March 11th, 2014


  188. O'Howlers
    7:19 am on March 11th, 2014

    Sob. Sob.
    However, we would rather Dallas than King.

  189. Barb & Maggie
    7:29 am on March 11th, 2014

    Dawson, What time are you getting into Chicago? I assume closer to 6:30? If so, I am going to take a later train.

  190. Staff
    7:31 am on March 11th, 2014

    Barb, we won’t know our time for sure until later.

  191. Staff
    7:37 am on March 11th, 2014

    Barb, we won’t know our time for sure until later. We will text or phone you with the info.

  192. Barb & Maggie
    8:06 am on March 11th, 2014

    OK keep me posted, Staff. I have 2 choices from Woodstock – arrival at 3:30 or 6:30 into Chicago. I was planning to do the earlier one.

  193. O'Howlers
    8:33 am on March 11th, 2014

    We are worried about Katherine Keith.

  194. O'Howlers
    8:35 am on March 11th, 2014

    We are worried about rookie Katherine Keith.

  195. O'Howlers
    8:38 am on March 11th, 2014


  196. Diane C.
    9:08 am on March 11th, 2014

    Hello All–Amen to last evening’s prayer (to which I have come super-late) and thanks to everyone for the updates and photos. I’m thinking of Melanie and all of you even if you can’t read anything from me here (or on today’s page, when it finally goes up). Be safe and well.

  197. Forplayin
    9:28 pm on May 16th, 2014

    Bman,Do it. I got my private pilot’s lcsenie in 1970 in Palmer, Alaska. It’s a lot more expensive today, of course, but if you dream of something like this, do it.You will not be able to do it if you have serious physical problems, like diabetes, that will keep you from passing the physical.Keep in mind, though, it’s expensive. The lessons are expensive, the planes are, and the insurance is. Cheapest way has always been to join a flying club. They have club airplanes at a discount rental rate and have usually got members who are instructors. Also, memberships can sometimes be bought from current members at a discounted rate, especially in an economic downturn.It’s a kind of an elite group to belong to, but better than that is what you describe: the freedom. My wife and I used to fly up to Talkeetna, about 70 miles, for lunch. Great memories.

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  200. Jhonny
    7:47 am on February 21st, 2015

    You guys are lucky. I never had a grandfaehtr. My faehtr’s faehtr was killed in action on Okinawa 65 years ago this week. I have a copy of a letter to his sister he wrote the day before he was killed. In it, he spoke of my then two-year-old faehtr whom he had never seen, being in battle for three straight years and made a promise to never miss Mass again. He was killed by machine-gun fire leading his squad up a ridge the next day.When my mother was ten years old her faehtr had a bad headache. She kissed him goodbye one morning and went to school. When she came home from school her parents were not there. The neighbor Mrs. Novak was at the house to meet my mother and her sisters. Their faehtr had died suddenly of a brain tumor.

  201. Wendolyn Barbosa
    7:30 am on March 2nd, 2015

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