Thursday, March 8, 2012

Dropped Dogs

What does it mean when someone drops a dog?

The term ‘dropped dog’ refers to the canine athletes who have been taken out of the sled dog race.

Why would someone drop a dog?

Dog care is a top priority for mushers and race organizers. Stuart Nelson, chief veterinarian for the Iditarod Sled Dog Race describes the possible reasons for dropping dogs at:

What happens to the dog?
Dropped dogs at the Millennium Hotel in
Anchorage with Iditarod vets and volunteers
A musher ‘drops’ the dog at an official checkpoint in the care of veterinarians and volunteers who care for the animal. The Iditarod Air Force transports the dog from that particular checkpoint to Anchorage where a loving team of Dog Drop volunteers care for them until they are brought to the Hiland Mountain Correctional Center and the dogs are cared for by inmates until the musher’s kennel representative picks up the dog.

Team Baker Dropped Dogs

In the early part of the race John dropped two dogs. Race rookie, Angel, was dropped at Finger Lake and Sprocket at McGrath. These two are new to the team and have done an exceptional job so John is disappointed they will not be making the journey to Nome.

Angel watches as the team
moves on from Finger Lake

Sprocket says goodby to
the team in McGrath

Craig and Leslie host Team Baker
dropped dogs during the race
When the dogs arrive in Anchorage they are picked up by friends, Craig and Leslie, who give them lots of love and attention. For the dogs it's kind of like going to a doggie spa with treats, massages, and leisure walks. Then, they fly in style with Northern Air Cargo, to Kotzebue where they will be welcomed home by rest of the dogs and their handlers, Maret and Dan.

Angel and Sprocket both exhibit a love for racing and contributed greatly to the 2012 Iditarod team. They will be missed!

For photos of all the dogs see the team roster at:

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