Sunday, March 11, 2012

iditarod 2012, bibs 19-24

this guy just has a cute face. have been seeing and getting pics of loads of moose around town...lots of dogs still though so the moose will wait. of course, this race seems to be flying faster than most. the top contenders are pretty bunched up at the front. aliy zirkle is back in lead last i checked. i think she was in kaltag and going to rest a bit. baker and the seaveys not far behind. lance mackey was interviewed and his team just is feeling like going at a slower pace this year, more like a walk than a run. he mentioned he was cool with any of em winning except dallas seavey, which was funny. not sure why he would say that. he's not one to beat around the bush, but he also tends to be a bit sly. 4 scratches now total. zoya scratched for third year in a row. last year a dog went down in the harness, it lived, but she stopped to stay with the dog. the mushing mortician of anchorage had a dog collapse this year, he did cpr and brought the dog back and it's doing okay last i checked. it's a long race with alot of dogs. the dogs love to run, but that run can be stressful to a body. it's amazing to see what these animals are capable of. i'm always saying a few prayers for safe travel for all though. it's a risk. #24 is sigrid ekran out of norway. she went to university here in alaska at UAF. she has returned to run this race. so 2 pink sleds in the race. most of the early teams have finished both thier 24 hour and 8 hour required stop. a few at the mid to back of the run still have an 8 hour stop to go. every team will have a last required 8 hour break at white mountain, just 77 miles to nome. will still be some jostling for positions. this race is totally not a done deal. the 71 year old lanier got the gold at the halfway point, cripple. not sure who got the gourmet meal in ruby. it's a sit down, multicourse meal. this is also the place where the teams begin to run on the yukon river and will run the river for 150 miles. kaltag is the end of the yukon river and that is where i last saw aliy was. just love all the action of the dogs. so fun to try and capture the joy as they run. was talking a bit about the risks to the dogs with my friend, natalie and i think she made good points. the dogs are out there running and doing what they love. many dogs are abused, or just not walked at all. these dogs are bred for this but they also would be miserable doing anything else. mackey mentioned he was having issues with a dog or two in heat. many of these dogs are not altered. if you have a team that wins the iditarod, the dogs on that team will be in high demand for stud fee's and such. this is a specialized, non-recognized breed that is being developed by those in the sports. some are bred for qualities for long distance running and others for sprint racing.
was watching a program about how diverse the dog breeds are and with the akc it actually has slowed down the rate of new breeds being developed. it's amazing how fast one can breed dogs to creat one for specific purposes. people make fun of the doodles, like i have, but it began as a quest to creat a better service animal. labs are great, but shed alot. poodles shed less but require expensive grooming. watched a video clip of a musher. can't recall which one but he was saying his lead dog's name and it was a checkpoint. he then explained that on a previous iditarod run out of rainy pass he had an accidental breeding. the puppies that resulted were named after checkpoints along the trail and several of them were on his current team. woke and took my dogs to the university dog lake. often i go right after watching the teams go by midtown as the teams run through the park. obviously, it's closed to dogs for race day. post race though my dogs enjoy getting a sniff of all those dogs. today was another beautiful day there. there were a few moose out there. it's that time of year. i see them as i drive home from work, on the trails. they are everywhere. saw a mom and calf in the bog the other day. will post those pictures after all these dogs. gotta see the dogs though. after our walk i took the dogs to petsmart. partly, the just love to go in and visit with all and party to check in on my friends dogs, austin and cooper. after i checked out i left rio and blossom in the car and they put me in the play room with the boys. i'd forgotten how rambunscious that cooper is. took him a few minutes to settle down. he was quite excited for a visitor. they are both malemutes and cooper likes to rub his face by rushing between your legs. that about throws you off your feet. he ain't small. he chased the ball around and ran about. he loved the big windows and that people were stopping by to look in with thier kids and dogs. he could bark and jump at the windows without fear of reprisal. they looked okay. i'm sure they'd rather be home and i think austin is more chill about it all than cooper. austin seemed to have the routine down. cooper wasn't liking the idea of playtime ending and he did many loops around the play room before getting captured. the place was busy. will have to stop by again and check on them. if for no other reason than getting them some extra time in the playroom! these dogs are pretty close as they run past you out there. i had to lean back to get the zoom at an okay spot.the other night there was a huge solar flare and the northern lights were supposed to be spectacular. i was working of course and missed the show though they were visible in anchorage. with our city lights that isn't always possible, but these were impressive so they were easily sited all across town. the acc folks said they could see them from one of the rooms. i was kinda busy with my crew. not that they were that bad off, but sometimes non-vented patients can be more time consuming. had a very chatty parent too. lots of work getting out of conversations. the one mom looked like one of our docs. of course, she looked like the doc if she lived a rough life. i decided that she was valley b.j....kinda like malibu barbie. work it, work it...i also discovered i had to get my ACLS completed this month. this is an advanced training course to regular basic life support. you have to run what we call mega codes. we can now do this on the computer in a simulated form. it's not that easy to get into the different tabs to do all you need to do so you kinda have to focus on it to get through the 10 scenario's you have. it went much smoother than the first time i did it on the computer. still lots of distractions to work with when you are in an icu. bibs 22 and 23...gerry willomitzer. he is originally from germany but currently lives in the yukon territory. hasn't won a long race but has been in several. the other is santo's. he may have been the one with the accidental breeding. i think he also mentioned on that video that he wouldn't be running again and then i thought i heard tears. he is from back east originally, lives in cantwell. he read alot about artic adventures and dog teams as a kid and it took him awhile to get to the land he felt he belonged in. not as bad as being born female and feeling you are male, but i get that feeling that the place you were raised just wasn't your destiny. i was raised in the metropolis of los angeles and it really never felt like home to me. always love a good spit and snow shotwade marrs also scratched so 4 are out now. more black and white. maybe next year all black and white...i do like the variety though.summer is fast approaching and i had better get myself planning these trips! they come up fast. have a price for the boat to round island. sent emails again to the plane companies. trying to collect money for the boat trip. he hasnt' told me where to send it yet though. still should be much easier trip to plan than an iditarod run to nome. i'm thinking there is alot of planning and that first time there would be so many things that you would have to try and figure out. looks like a great adventure. i know the temps up there have dropped below 20 and they haven't hit the coast yet, which is known for winds and cold temps. the cold is not so bad, but you add that wind and there is no escape. this guy is adorable, just saying. this is bib #21, ramey smyth. he made the run to nome in record breaking time last year, but unfortunately for him baker broke the record just a bit better. he's 36 years old and has already ran this race 17 times. lucky 18? his up in the main pack i think top 15 at least. he and his dogs looked nice in black and white.a bit ago the dogs were sleeping in the office here with me and suddenly rio jumped up and started barking. never saw what she sensed or heard, neither did blossom. it made us both a bit nervous though. she just doesn't do stuff like that. i really should be cleaning the kitty litter. now it's 1am though so can't vacuum. will have to try again tomorrow. #20 is kelley griffin out of willow. dang i forgot it's spring forward. that means it's really 2am. yikes! last female to win the iditarod by the way was susan butcher in 1990. yes it is time again!!a few volcano's are spitting and sputtering. cleveland had a small eruption and iliamna is showing signs of activity. was just reading more about the amorous life on the trail...apparently, ramstad who runs a team of siberian huskies has had issues this run as 7 of her team members are in heat. the other members are distracted by those in heat. she has the girls in the lead positions and the male dogs back towards the sled in chase. she's had to stop a few times due to dog's having sex on the trail...who says sled dogs don't love the run to nome!! apparently rainy pass had another good year for a few sled dogs on neff and mackey's team. perhaps it was all the northern lights activities. people vacation here in the winter in hopes of not just seeing the northern lights but for having sex under the spell of the lights. something about fertility i believe.#19 is travis cooper, a rookie out of big lake. the twins are running together, taking turns breaking trail. i suspect as twins it could be tough to not run together when you are the type of twins who do everything else together. looked like they were having a fun time of it.who couldn't love these mugs!!muscle shirt...! i always love when the dogs are sporting a cool muscle shirt. this year a new dog fashion has turned up. little dog leg warmers. i've noted them mostly on the front legs. not every dog will have them on but they are probably kinda testing them out and seeing if they help the dogs. i think the idea is to keep those legs warmer. now that i'm realizing this is an hour later than i thought i'm thinking a wrap up is in order. always so strange to do this whole time change thing. doesn't mean much up here really. i mean the length of the day changes every day. i think most times it's like 5 minutes change per day so 30 min/week. we are headed to the light now though, which everyone is happy it was awesome out there on the trail this week with that major lights display. will end on that serious drool shot! drool happens. good night.

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