It’s All About The Dogs

Hello friends,

Day 3 has brought a few new frontrunners. I have seen Brent Sass, Jessie Royer, Pete Kiser, and Richie Diehl switching places in the lead throughout the day. Awwwwooooo! What a race! Teams will soon be in Ophir where the trail splits. This year, being an even number year, teams will be following the Northern Route. The weather continues to be cold, -30°F in Takotna this morning, and as teams head north the cold weather will linger. Sled dogs LOVE the cold.

This race is all about the dogs. The mushers are secondary and their primary job is to care for the dogs. Care for themselves? Not so much. Unless they stop at a village checkpoint, there is no running water for toilets or showers. So, Mrs. Hartman’s class in Indiana, mushers will shower once they get to Nome. (We dogs use our long tails when we sleep to tuck our noses into the fur – this keeps our noses warm and keeps away the smell of the musher. 🙂 ) As far as technology on the trail, Rule #35 states that mushers may carry and use any 2-way communication devices such as cell or satellite phone. (You can read the rule here to clarify further.) Finally, dropped dogs remain in the checkpoint under the care of volunteer veterinarians until they can be flown either back to Anchorage or on to Nome, whichever is closer. They will remain the the care of Iditarod until they can be picked up. Thanks for the great questions 6th graders!

Do you have a question? Email me at I’ll try to keep up and answer as many here in this post as I can.

Tail wags,