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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 06:14 PM
Original message
Dogs of the Iditarod - some portraits
for you dog lovers out there (and you know who you are). :)













Some six-month-old Iditapups along for the ride


No, this is NOT a mounted head. :rofl:


The nose knows
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 06:16 PM
Response to Original message
1. The Ididtarod is an atrocity.
Edited on Sat Mar-03-07 06:16 PM by mycritters2
No true dog lover would have anything to do with it.
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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 06:18 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Whatever...
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Radio_Lady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 11:23 PM
Response to Reply #4
50. Have any of you thought about the lives led by the dogs on the confirmation show circuit?
Edited on Sat Mar-03-07 11:24 PM by Radio_Lady
Lives are lived in cages, in cars, trucks, airplanes, cargo holds... whipsawed around over the country even the whole world. Different climates, different accommodations almost every day and night. Dogs are left alone for long periods while the "handler" is working with other dogs. Dogs have constant approved (and disapproved -- tattooing and worse...) bathing and grooming before their moment in the ring.

The only time they shine is the few minutes they are in a show ring. Then it's back in a cage and out to another show. That can go on for several years.

I observed this as a teenager on the Florida show circuit. I thought it was disgusting, but continued in a small way with local obedience shows until I got to college.

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SKKY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 06:25 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. Yea, these are some of the best treated animals in the world...
Edited on Sat Mar-03-07 06:47 PM by ALiberalSailor
...I'm sure no true dog-lover would have anything to do with it. :sarcasm:
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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 06:37 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Looks like love to me
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Radio_Lady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 11:29 PM
Response to Reply #8
56. Here is a web site that shocked the heck out of me:
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idgiehkt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 11:37 PM
Response to Reply #56
62. that is awful, radio lady
I only read about three of the cases and I just couldn't take any more.

Thank you for posting that link though. Most people don't expose themselves to this kind of thing and therefore can go on believing these things don't happen or are very rare. That just is not true.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 09:29 PM
Response to Reply #1
19. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 10:36 PM
Response to Reply #1
26. that's where you are wrong. apparently, you don't know much
about these kinds of dogs, the mushers and the people who love them both. I adore dogs. I have five. I would tell you that the ONLY THING these dogs like to do is run. The people who have them adore them. They get better treatment than the people. You should attend the race before you make these kinds of blanket statements. Its easy to run it down when you don't know.
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Blue-Jay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 10:44 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. In her defense;
Mushers broke into her car and peed on her tires. Who can blame her for being a bit wary?
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 10:45 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. heh-heh-heh. Egged on by their dogs of course. ;)
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 10:48 PM
Response to Reply #30
33. How many dogs died in last year's Iditarod?
I'm sure they were happy and healthy, right up to the moment when they stopped breathing.
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 11:03 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. I'm looking for the statistic. Of the hundreds of dogs that go, I am
sure its there to be found. Just for curiosity's sake, have you ever been to a dog race like this?
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 11:07 PM
Response to Reply #34
36. Yes, not the Iditarod, but a couple in northern Minnesota nt
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 11:10 PM
Response to Reply #36
39. Minnesota sleds. They have gorgeous dogs there too. Most
Idita-dogs are mutts. A curious mix of lean and mean running machines. When a friend of mine would run theirs, there had to be a person holding each pair of dogs because they just jump and jump until you let them go. Amazing athletes, these beautiful guys. People from all over the world come to race this race. Lots of midwesterners and people from Europe.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 11:12 PM
Response to Reply #39
41. 130 dogs have died in the history of the Iditarod
I'd rather not see that, myself.
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-04-07 01:02 PM
Response to Reply #41
79. then don't.
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ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-08-07 10:01 PM
Response to Reply #41
102. Who cares?

This is taking our attention away from The War.






Oh...my mistake...I guess this concept only applies when the dead is a tall blonde model.




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Blue-Jay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 11:13 PM
Response to Reply #33
42. Why don't you tell us how many died?
Certainly you have the statistics handy, or else you wouldn't make such a fuss, right?
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 11:15 PM
Response to Reply #42
44. 130 dog deaths have been documented
but that's not the whole story. No stats were kept for the early years of the race, and some deaths have been kept secret. Also doesn't include those who were injured during but died after the race.

More info....helpsleddogs.org Also good info at hsus.org

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Blue-Jay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 11:25 PM
Response to Reply #44
51. 130 last year?
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 11:27 PM
Response to Reply #51
53. In the history of the race.
Here's more info....helpsleddogs.org
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Blue-Jay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 11:28 PM
Response to Reply #53
54. How many last year?
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 11:29 PM
Response to Reply #54
57. 4 during the race. The race doesn't release info on those injured
during the race who die afterward.
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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 11:21 PM
Response to Reply #33
47. Three, from what I can determine...
http://www.adn.com/iditarod/race_2006/news/story/751823...

Assuming 82 teams of 12-16 dogs a piece, that's three deaths out of somewhere between 984 and 1312 dogs, or somewhere between .2-.3 percent of the total field. While no one wants a dog to die, the fact is athletes in ALL sports sometimes die while doing what they love. This doesn't make it cruelty.

Read the article carefully to see how the owner of one of the deceased dogs reacted. There is no doubt that much love is shared between the dogs and the mushers.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 11:26 PM
Response to Reply #47
52. In human sports, the athletes choose to compete,
and can choose not to when they are not feeling well. This man sensed the dog was not feeling well, but ran it anyway.

"...sensed something was wrong with a dog in his team Tuesday but he didn't find out what until too late..."


Also interesting that this animal is referred to as "the first dog to die" in this year's race, assuming, I guess, that there will be more.
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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 11:35 PM
Response to Reply #52
61. That was last year's race.
There were three deaths last year. This year's race doesn't start until tomorrow.

To say these dogs don't choose to compete is ridiculous. They love nothing more than to run, and they can't wait to get going. I've been watching this race since I first moved up here in 1975, and I haven't yet seen a dog team that wasn't raring to go.

But I don't wish to dispute with you any more about this. You're entitled to your opinion, and we're entitled to ours. Whatever you may think, this is a great race, and the dogs are the stars -- and they know it.

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idgiehkt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 11:45 PM
Response to Reply #61
63. it's great that they love to run but why run them to death?
If the race is so prolonged and strenuous that the animals suffer from myopathy to the point that it kills some of them why not just shorten the race, if the welfare of the animals is really a concern and they love to race so much...I mean, now that we accept that there is such a thing as cruelty to animals why not admit there is something wrong with a sport that kills it's athletes on a consistent enough basis for them to have references to "the first dog to die", etc. It seems silly to deny there is a problem.

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idgiehkt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 11:29 PM
Response to Reply #47
58. there is the issue of choice
"the fact is athletes in ALL sports sometimes die while doing what they love."

Human athletes choose. These dogs don't. That is a weak point and they really need to work on that one, lol. I have a friend whose relative lost a hunting dog recently and was frantically searching for it's radio collar signal. When they found the upper half of the dog on the bank (in alligator country, FL) the friends relative broke down and cried, not because of his emotion for the dog but because of the investment he had made in it. Apparently he was quite broken up about losing the dog, which had cost him a mint, not to mention what he'd paid to have it trained, and he wept openly.
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MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 10:47 PM
Response to Reply #29
32. no silly
that was moshers:


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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 11:06 PM
Response to Reply #32
35. snort! teenaged boys are a hoot. :)
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idgiehkt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 11:12 PM
Response to Reply #26
40. from what I've read about this sport
the treatment of the animals seems to vary depending upon the owner. Some have great owners who and are treated well (as well as being chained outside to a doghouse with a chain year-round can be considered, anyway) and some have crappy owners who beat them and mistreat them and don't give them proper care. Saying that all these animals are well treated is as much as a blanket statement as saying that they are all mistreated. I personally don't agree with this sport, but then I don't agree with any sport that uses animals for human entertainment. To me it is the same as horse racing or dog racing. Greyhounds and racehorses are very attractive animals and look cute in pictures too.
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-04-07 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #26
81. Good post -- and everything I've seen and read agrees with what you say
I hate animal abuse -- I can't even stand to read cases posted on here. I would be the first (after maybe Flvegan) on here to decry how these dogs are treated if it warranted it.
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Dave Reynolds Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-08-07 10:10 PM
Response to Reply #26
104. Hell,
don't try to talk reason with the knee-jerk causeheads.

You'll have better conversations with sticks and rocks.

All the bad things they know must be true, cuz they read it on the internet.
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-04-07 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #1
82. Sled dogs LOVE to work
they love to pull and run

they are unhappy when they can't do it.

My Siberian Husky is reminding me of that right this second. He's ready for his run. Pushy little guy!
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 05:18 PM
Response to Reply #82
97. How long and far will you run him?
Will his health be endangered?
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-04-07 09:05 PM
Response to Reply #1
86. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Maddy McCall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 06:17 PM
Response to Original message
2. I bet that Robb will post in this thread.
:D
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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. I hope he does.
I know he loves mushing.
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Maddy McCall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. Is that your clan?
They are gorgeous.
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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. No, they're not mine.
We were just downtown this morning for the ceremonial start of the Iditarod (the real race starts tomorrow from Willow north of here), so I took the opportunity to snap a few pictures. These were some of my favorites that I took while everybody was lounging around before heading out. There are 83 teams this year, averaging probably 12 dogs a piece - some more, some less - so there were close to 1000 sled dogs. I wish I could have photographed each one. They are amazing.

This was one of my favorite teams - all Siberian huskies.



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Maddy McCall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 09:31 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. My Dad has always wanted a Siberian Husky...
but I don't know how well the breed could handle Mississippi heat.

They ARE gorgeous dogs. Mesmerizing eyes.
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Shell Beau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-04-07 12:20 PM
Response to Reply #21
75. I know some who have them. They do quite well. Although they
are pretty much inside dogs and only go out when they want to. But they would probably prefer the real cold.
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 10:39 PM
Response to Reply #17
27. your pictures are wonderful as always, blue. was any all malemute
teams there? I will never forget the time I went. I've tried to go since but it is hard with five dogs. :) This race is amazing. Like your dog pictures. :)
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MonkeyFunk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 11:10 PM
Response to Reply #17
38. I love their little booties
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auntAgonist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 06:18 PM
Response to Original message
3. those are gorgeous portraits. I am truly torn though when it comes
to the Iditarod. I can't help but feel there is a cruelty involved.

aA
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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 06:21 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. If you could see these mushers with their dogs
you would know that there isn't.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 06:32 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. Actually, there is
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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Two sides to every story. n/t
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auntAgonist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 07:45 PM
Response to Reply #9
15. wow! That is an interesting link.
Thanks.

I just cannot see how Iditarod can be good for these gorgeous animals.

thank you again.

aA
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. You're welcome
Most people think it re-enacts a historical run, but that first run was a relay--the dogs weren't expected to go the whole way. They thought that would kill the dogs. They were right.

Again, it's an atrocity.
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 10:41 PM
Response to Reply #16
28. in your opinion. you have never seen these dogs and how they
are. there are vets all along the way and they helicopter out any that are in danger. they also take them off the team if they even LOOK sick and that is why some teams run large numbers.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 10:46 PM
Response to Reply #28
31. The Humane Society of the United States isn't a fan
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idgiehkt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 11:14 PM
Response to Reply #28
43. sigh
from the link posted above:

Causes of death during the last ten years have included strangulation in towlines, internal hemorrhaging after being gouged by a sled, liver injury, heart failure, and pneumonia. "Sudden death" and "external myopathy," a condition in which a dog's muscles and organs deteriorate during extreme or prolonged exercise, have also been blamed. In 1985 a musher kicked his dog to death. The 1975 Iditarod winner, Jerry Riley, was banned for life in 1990 after being accused of striking his dog with a snow hook (a large, sharp and heavy metal claw). In 1996 Rick Swenson's dog died while he mushed his team through waist-deep water and ice.

For more information, read Dog Deaths.

How many dogs die after the race?

The Iditarod Trail Committee does not release information about dogs who die after the race.

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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 11:16 PM
Response to Reply #43
45. ..."kicked his dog to death"....
But the dogs love this!! :eyes:
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idgiehkt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 11:20 PM
Response to Reply #45
46. I remember one year some of Susan Butcher's dogs were killed by a moose
It's an extreme sport. I have no problem with people participating in extreme sports if they so choose. It seems wrong to force animals to compete in an extreme sport against their will. I was also pretty surprised to find out how many dogs they kill (in their terminology, "cull") in the process of builing a sled team. I think I saw that once in a story about Susan Butcher, how they breed the dogs and test them for whatever skills and then in her words they "start culling them down" according to which ones don't pass muster. It seems like such a waste....well, it IS a waste.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 11:21 PM
Response to Reply #46
48. Yeah, the culling is very disturbing nt
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-04-07 02:28 PM
Response to Reply #43
84. they all die after the race
eventually
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crim son Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 06:19 PM
Response to Original message
5. I'm 100% a cat person however
those dogs are beautiful.
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KurtNYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 07:17 PM
Response to Original message
12. Awesome creatures
Inspiring.
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Kajsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 07:25 PM
Response to Original message
13. Those are beautiful dogs.

Thanks so much for sharing them.

:hi:
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seemunkee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 09:26 PM
Response to Original message
18. Great pictures
Those are some handsome dogs. They look very serious.
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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 09:29 PM
Response to Original message
20. this doggie would put a whoopin on em :)
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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 09:34 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. Oh my God
What IS that???
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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 09:36 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Voted the world's ugliest dog several times, recently passed away
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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 09:43 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. I'm sorry he passed away
but I can sure see why he won the contest. I thought he was photoshopped.
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Frank Cannon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-04-07 09:02 AM
Response to Reply #23
68. GOOD LORD. I thought it one of those weird Charlie White pics
Edited on Sun Mar-04-07 09:03 AM by Frank Cannon
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-04-07 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #20
71. sam was the world's most WONDERFUL dog.
he's at the rainbow bridge now -- waiting for his people.

few dogs have brought as much laughter and joy as he has -- and he took it all in his doggy stride.
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-04-07 10:53 PM
Response to Reply #71
91. the lady who took him adored him. he's a chinese crested. a
sweet dog, that one.
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Shell Beau Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-04-07 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #20
77. How many claws does that thing have?
I guess I could love it!!! :scared:
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Nicole Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 09:46 PM
Response to Original message
25. Great pics of beautiful dogs.
I especially like #4, I would love to bring that one home with me. :loveya:
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 11:08 PM
Response to Reply #25
37. I went one year and someone brought a tiny sled pulled by a team
of dachshunds. :-D There also was a team of poodles that did a good job on the trail. Great big poodles. :)
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Nicole Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-04-07 10:05 PM
Response to Reply #37
89. I would love to see that.
A team of dachshunds pulling a sled would be too cute. :rofl:
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 11:22 PM
Response to Original message
49. The older I get, the more I think that enslaving animals for our entertainment is immoral
I'm torn on this one - I'm easily against dog racing, and Iditarod is basically just glorified dog racing... except that Iditarod dogs are definitely treated better, and they really do like to run.

But it's still enslavement... even zoos, aquariums (though not as much as zoos) and household pets are bothering me more and more as an ethical issue.

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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 11:28 PM
Response to Reply #49
55. Treated better? What makes you think so? nt
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 11:32 PM
Response to Reply #55
59. Treated better than greyhounds.
It's still a qualified statement - "better" versus "really good".

Just better.
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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 11:33 PM
Response to Reply #59
60. True, neither fare very well. nt
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 11:45 PM
Response to Original message
64. It's a question of what's a better life:
Racing with everything you've got, or being cooped up in a house or apartment like many pet dogs.

It's like raising kids: you can be really, really protective and never let them get hurt, or you can give them some freedom and hope they'll be okay.
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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-03-07 11:55 PM
Response to Reply #64
65. Thank you, XemaSab, for a voice of reason.
Edited on Sat Mar-03-07 11:56 PM by Blue_In_AK
And that's my last word on this. I merely wanted to share some photos of some strong beautiful animals that I thought you all might appreciate. My bad.

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HarukaTheTrophyWife Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-04-07 12:04 AM
Response to Reply #65
66. I appreciate them.
And those are amazing looking dogs. I want to take them all home.

I'm against greyhound racing, but to me, this always seemed different.
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idgiehkt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-04-07 12:16 AM
Response to Reply #64
67. a better comparison would be
being cooped up in an apartment like many pet dogs, or being chained in the backyard like many other pet dogs. Because most of them spend the majority of their lives chained. I don't think it's much like raising kids, because these dogs aren't ever given any freedom. I doubt if any of them ever get to run free. They are either on a chain or on the sled harness, the ones that are actually allowed to live and aren't put down because they don't have what it takes.
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-04-07 10:03 AM
Response to Reply #67
70. What constitutes "freedom" for a dog?
Letting 12 or more big dogs run around loose presents a hazard for the dogs and for people and animals in the area. These are big animals and they are not socialized as pets.

My mom's current dogs are fortunate enough to have a yard to run around in, but when I was little we lived in an apartment and there was nowhere for the dogs to run around in. When they weren't inside they were chained outside, because it would have been impossible to secure the front "porch" area for them to be loose.

I deeply suspect that most dogs are never given "freedom" and that's something that we as a society are okay with.

Also, and I have never worked with sled dogs, I can't imagine they would be very competitive if they were chained all the time. They would have to be off chain in order to train. :shrug:
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idgiehkt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-04-07 11:08 PM
Response to Reply #70
93. the thing is
we don't have to resort to abstractions when talking about this. There are concrete examples of deaths every year, and those are just the recorded ones. If people love to watch the race, and the dogs supposedly love to participate in it, then shorten the race until it stops killing the dogs. Seems like a logical concession to me. I can't imagine what it must be like to be worked so hard that you die of myopathy...that is pure insanity. And I suspect probably a good deal more dogs die of this and pneumonia and other race-related illnesses afterwards and we never hear about them. I would prefer no race at all, because it supports this industry of breeding and culling and cruel confinement of such a number of dogs (not even mentioning what happens to the animals that outlive their prime racing condition) and the ends don't seem to justify the means at all.
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InvisibleTouch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-04-07 09:45 AM
Response to Original message
69. Beautiful pics!
I'm struck by the blue eyes on so many of them. Something to do with the glare of the snow, that gives some selective advantage to blue eyes in nordic breeds.

Most of these dogs are mixed-breed huskies, and many of them have some recent wolf ancestry. They've been shaped by eons of evolution (and nudged a bit by selective breeding) to run tirelessly for long distances. Wolves will cover many miles during a hunting trip. It should be noted that working breeds want to and need to work - in this case, they love to run. The same is true of Greyhounds and other sighthounds. I've been to lure coursing events where you could barely hold the dogs back, they were so eager to get out there and run.

My own breed is a gazelle hunter, and has been for thousands of years. Were dogs sometimes injured and killed during the hunt? Of course. Wolves are also sometimes injured and killed during a hunt. Of course it's sad, and downright tragic if it happens to be your own dog, but those are the statistics and the laws of nature. A horse could race across a field and break its leg - that doesn't mean horses don't need to and love to run.

Which is more cruel, I have to wonder: letting a working dog do what it was evolved and bred for, or keeping it locked inside, fattened to obesity on unhealthy food and exposed to toxins and other domestic dangers, to slowly go stir-crazy from boredom and energy it can't burn off?

There's a risk in practically everything we do. I've worked with some very dangerous animals. Is it a risk? Sure. But my life wouldn't have been worth living if I'd been denied that chance.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-04-07 11:30 AM
Response to Original message
72. thanks for the pics -- really gorgeous dogs!

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sasquatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-04-07 11:54 AM
Response to Original message
73. Are Iditarod dogs now up there with "Olive Garden" and "Cornflake Breaded fried chicken"?
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TexasThoughtCriminal Donating Member (890 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-04-07 12:20 PM
Response to Original message
74. Westminster Dog Show Finalists Form Elite Iditarod Team
The Onion (of course)

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hippiechick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-04-07 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #74
78. THAT is hilarious!!
:rofl: :hi: Thanks!
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MissB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-04-07 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #74
83. Perfect!
:rofl:
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hippiechick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-04-07 12:31 PM
Response to Original message
76. HippieDog Hank idolizes these guys!
Everytime we get outside and there's the slightest bit of snow on the ground, he starts to pull on his leash with all his might, rabbit-hopping thru the snowbanks and trying to take me for a ride (mind you, I'm NOT on a sled!) ...

Guess he never got (or accepted) the memo that he's an Australian CATTLE dog, not an Alaskan SLED dog!! :rofl:


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GenDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-04-07 01:36 PM
Response to Original message
80. Pic's are beautiful, as usual
We have an old neighbor, Tim Mowry, who races -- or used to race. I believe that he writes for a newspaper in Fairbanks.
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northofdenali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-04-07 09:03 PM
Response to Original message
85. Blue, as usual, your photos are fabulous.
Any who think the dogs are abused should treat their kids as well.
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Fenris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-04-07 09:17 PM
Response to Original message
87. Gorgeous dogs! Thanks for sharing!
:hi:

Really, thanks a lot!
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-04-07 09:55 PM
Response to Original message
88. Dog lovers might not be so quick to cherish the race behind the pics.
I mean, okay, let's say that these dogs do love to run. And let's stipulate that they love the snow. I have to assume that the mushers also love the snow, the race, the running...I mean, the riding on the sled.

Okay, so, tell you what mushers...you get 6 or 8 of your pals, and I want you to drag my ass 1,200 miles across that terrain. Won't that be fun? I mean, you DO LOOOOOOOOOOOVE to do it, right?

Great pics, beautiful dogs, shitty treatment for our entertainment. It's the circus in the snow...the hounds at the track...the pits in the ring.
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-04-07 10:41 PM
Response to Reply #88
90. its too bad that blue's pics got socked by those who don't know
Edited on Sun Mar-04-07 10:42 PM by roguevalley
or appreciate how much these mutts love to run. I wish for blue that the people who have these concerns had started another thread. I love your pics, blue. I love these dogs. where else can mutts get the chance to show the world their great heart and soul? where else can they be so appreciated?
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idgiehkt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-04-07 11:03 PM
Response to Reply #88
92. thanks for this
worth waiting for.
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jpgray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-04-07 11:15 PM
Response to Reply #88
95. No problem! In terms of weight, between six people it'd be a light backpacking trip
I think this is a good comparison--for the dogs it's much like backcountry backpacking or mountaineering: weight to move a long way, slightly dangerous (I think upthread a .2% mortality rate was cited), but incredibly enjoyable even though it can be very hard work. And as for the freedom issue, no pet is free. Even the freest pets are restricted as to space and social behavior, neutered, spayed, etc. If you want to end dog sledding, may as well end all pet ownership--imposition on freedoms, dangers: pets face all these things whether they pull a sled or not. Comparing this to circus performance is a little ridiculous--it's more like a difficult and slightly dangerous hobby, like mountaineering.
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Richardo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 12:06 AM
Response to Reply #95
96. Excellent analysis, jpgray...thanks
...and lovely dogs, BlueinAK. :loveya:
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #95
101. Good
then pick 7 of your little buddies, chain yourselves together and run.

Let me know if you were, indeed correct.
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bicentennial_baby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 06:27 PM
Response to Reply #88
100. I understand you, but...
Having been the pet of several wonderful Huskies, both Siberian and Alaskan, I can tell you that whether they are trained or untrained, they *love* to run. Whether or not they truly enjoy the Iditarod or not, I can't say. Huskies are a strange breed, I do know that. This is my boy Buddy, rescued from the shelter 2 days before death:

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Dave Reynolds Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-08-07 10:18 PM
Response to Reply #88
105. Normally, I think your arguments are reasoned.
This time, you come across as a dick.
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Demoiselle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-04-07 11:12 PM
Response to Original message
94. What great looking dogs!
Those eyes...especially the first three dogs. All astonishingly intense..
The top pic makes me think of that Border Collie stare that has kept generations of sheep in line. (Speaking of dogs who love to work.)
Thank you.
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enigmatic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 05:26 PM
Response to Original message
98. What beautiful dogs
Thanks for this.
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WolverineDG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-05-07 06:22 PM
Response to Original message
99. Gorgeous dogs!
Thanks for sharing the pics!

dg
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Fran Kubelik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-08-07 10:09 PM
Response to Original message
103. You took some beautiful photos.
Thanks for sharing!
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janx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-11-07 04:28 PM
Response to Original message
106. YAY!
Hey Blue in AK, my son has been handling for some current top contenders in the race. I've been following it closely. Last summer he worked for the glacier tour circuit (Skagway), and I went there and spent some time with him, other mushers/handlers, and the DOGS.

There are always those knee-jerk people who read stuff on web sites and haven't known the mushers and their dogs.
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