Settling In

                                                                                         Hello friends,

Rainy Pass Checkpoint

Day 2 of the race and teams are settling into a routine. The weather has changed from snowy conditions to clear blue skies and cold temperatures. Perfect for my canine friends out on the trail. The teams are still somewhat packed together, but will be spreading out soon. At this point it’s anybody’s race.  In fact, one of my favorite things about the Iditarod is that men and women compete at an even level. (Paws crossed for a female winner this year.)

As teams left the starting line on Sunday, many people noticed that Zoya DeNure wasn’t one of them. Zoya had a medical emergency and after a ruling from Race Marshal, Mark Nordman, her husband, John Schandeimeier, was able to step on the runners and take her place. Mrs. VanWyk’s class from Iowa wants to know why he is listed as a rookie when he has run the race in the past. According to the Race Archives, John competed in the 1993 Iditarod, but he never posted a time, meaning that he scratched. Being that he has not completed the race, he is still a rookie. BowWow! What a great question.

Aliy Zirkle

My second grade friends in Vale, Oregon want to know if the dogs enjoy running in the freezing cold. YES! It’s our FAVORITE time to run. We have many adaptations to keep us warm such as 2 layers of fur, extra tough paw pads, and a circulation system that warms our blood faster than most dogs. (Here is a post from Teacher on the Trail, Kelly Villar to explain that a little better:

If you have a question for me, send me an e-mail at 

Tail wags,