Well it has been a wonderful winter, with a lot of time and effort spent working toward our goal of the 2015 Iditarod. One of the hardest pre-race tasks I faced was trying to decide which of our awesome dogs would be joining me on the trail to Nome.
Recently we had the opportunity to have our race dogs fully examined at a pre-race vet check. They also underwent EKG testing and had blood drawn to be analyzed. All the dogs I was considering passed with flying colors, which did not make my job of narrowing down the team to the 20 finalists any easier.
But as of 4 PM today I needed to have my final roster of 20 dogs submitted to the head veterinarian of the Iditarod Trail Committee. Not only have all these dogs passed the required pre-race health screenings; they have all been micro-chipped and can be identified by their own unique number. Meaning the list I turned in today will for sure, without change, absolutely, be my final choice for the Iditarod Team. From these 20 I will be able to pick 12 to run the ceremonial start through downtown Anchorage. And then 16 that will be the team I start from Fairbanks with when the race starts on March 9th.
And so here we have the Dew Claw Iditarod Dogs for 2015 (in no particular order)
This was the spreadsheet I have been working with this year to track dogs, the printed weights were what I estimated the dogs to be, and the handwritten ones were what they actually weighted at our vet check. In addition to this information we keep track of worming and vaccinations on all the dogs. On additional sheets we also track general health & condition, note any special observations, and chart total mileage over time. All this information was used to make, what I hope will be, the best decision of who should get to make the team.
This year I am very excited to have veteran leaders Orchid, Sparrow, and ChaseUm. They will be joined in lead by Ms. Thistle, Topaz, and Gremlin.
Next major decision comes Sunday night when I do my last soul searching and answer the question: and the chosen 16 are?
Mush Thanks to Photographer Joe Albee for the great shots of the Dew Claw dogs, taken near the Tanana River on the Fairbanks Iditarod trail.