Dew Claw Kennel in Chatanika Alaska is home to Dan Kaduce, Jodi Bailey and their racing Alaskan Huskies. You can read more about Dan and Jodi in their race bio's below.
Dan moved to Alaska from Chippewa Falls WI, after spending a his college summers in Seward working at the fish plants. His experience with sled dogs started about 15 years ago as a way to explore the local winter trails of his new home, Fairbanks, Alaska. He had been a skier his whole life and a dog owner; but had no idea how great those two worked together. He got a couple of sled dogs from local mushers and recreationally enjoyed ski-joring for a few years. Dan's two dogs eventually turned into more and he was forced to leave skis for the relative safety of a dog sled. The addiction had begun.
Dan met Jodi, who was also a recreational ski-jorer. And together they began building what is now Dew Claw Kennel. The name comes from Dan's first sled dog. A sweet little brown dog named Jpers, who had both front and rear dew claws, rather rare. The big turning point that sent Dan over the line from a mushing enthusiast to full blown dog crazy, was in the winter of 97-98 when he handled for a musher in the Yukon Quest. That race introduced him to competitive dog racing and Dan was hooked. Less than 1 month later he took the entire kennel (all nine) to the Percy de Wolfe 200 and the racing life was born. Since then his entire life revolves around the especially good care of the dogs. Dew Claw Kennel's current home of ten years was purchased strictly because of its mushing attributes, giving up TV reception and toilets for free running dogs and remote cabins. Dan has built every sled we have ever raced, dog boxes for trucks, and pinched ganglines. His mom sews our booties, coats, and sled bags. Seasonal employment with TJ's Land Clearing allows Dan to spend winter months focused on the team and training. This has all paid off with many big, strong, happy teams at finish lines of races, including a Vet's Choice award in the 2003 Yukon Quest. In 2010 Dan competed in the Iditarod and was the Rookie of the Year. Dan is looking forward to new challenges and many more years of adventure with the Dew Claw dogs.
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Jodi was born in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. She went to school at Emory University in Atlanta, where she earned her BA in Theater and Anthropology. Jodi came to Alaska once she graduated. That was in 1991. She had spent summers here while she was in school and had "fallen in love with life in Alaska." Today she and Dan Kaduce call Dew Claw Kennel in Chatanika, AK home. Jodi began mushing in 1995 and has run the Copper Basin, GinGin, Denali Doubles, and Kobuk 440, in addition to other shorter races.
Jodi says, "I've been running dogs over a decade, and as I learn more and gain more confidence, I enjoy trying new challenges and trails with the kids-what we affectionately call the dogs at Dew Claw. When you are out there on the trail you don't have emails, or work, or laundry or anything, but you and them and the miles ahead of you. It is a wonderful feeling. When you travel by dog team you are really exposed to the world around you, experiencing it in all its beauty and extremes. I feel very fortunate to be able to do this." In 2011 Jodi became the first rookie in history to successfully complete both the Yukon Quest and Iditarod in the same year. She thoroughly enjoyed herself on the trail and is excited about the opportunity to return to the Iditarod in 2013 and hopes to learn from last years’ experience, improving her ability to care for her team over 1000 miles. Jodi is also a member of the Fairbanks Running Club and participates in their summer race series which ends with the Equinox Marathon in Sept. She says her hobbies are running, yoga, biking, and cooking. Jodi is married to Dan Kaduce, the Iditarod Rookie of the Year in 2010.
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