For the majority of dog owners, their cuddly companions enjoy a life of leisure and treats...
However, lets not forget all the dogs out there who carry out very important jobs and work hard everyday to fulfill that very purpose.
Blair Braverman, writer and Dogsledder, owns huskies who are very proud of their job in life: training to compete in the famous Alaskan Iditorad race that runs a 1,000 mile course!
Together, Blair lives and trains her team of twenty-one Alaskan huskies in the northern region of Wisconsin.
To introduce her star athletes to the world, Blair took to Twitter to share the progress of these delightful pups who hope to compete in this incredible snowy race.
This event is carried out by sled teams consisting of 16 dogs, and often takes as long as eight to fifteen days to finish.
Blair shared her plan to divide her competitors into two groups that will each compete in this winter's 400-mile Beargrease competition acting as the number one Iditarod qualifier.
If they perform well, the results with confirm a place for Blair and her pack to race in the 2019 Iditarod competition.
Blair pointed out:
"I’m also starting to see personality patterns that will affect them this winter. It’s not just athleticism, although that’s a lot of it. Long-distance dogs need to rest well, to have an easy gait, and to EAT well".
Now its time to meet a few of the adorable star athlete sled dogs!
1. This is four-year-old Pepe
"Pepe is our leader extraordinaire. Sets a fast pace, passes other teams easily, turns on a dime, always leaping to go forward. She used to have a poor appetite but is a much better eater now" Blair said. Pepe has such great experience having raced in the previous yet shorter Beargrease race.
2. Meet four-year-old Jenga
"Jenga’s my girl. Cranky, determined, and loyal. She’ll run forever and give you the stink eye when you ask her to stop. She either loves or hates everything — no middle ground. Surprisingly assertive," she explained.
In the picture above, Jenga and Pepe are chugging some water after training hard.
3. Next up is Flame, another four-year-old champion
"Flame is so good at being a porch husky and chicken mama that I can almost forget she’s a badass sled dog to boot. She’s a solid team player and she’ll lead the other dogs through anything as long as you walk beside her," Blair says.
4. Frisky Maggie in action at age two
"Maggie is combative, wiggly af, and gnaws on human flesh. But put her in wheel (the position behind the rest of the team) and she will use every ounce of muscle in her short legs to run for-e-ver." Another great aspect about Maggie, Blair mentioned, is that she eats well and metabolizes slowly, which is considered a "win-win" for competitors.
5. Friendly three-year-old Boudica having some fun
This tenderhearted team member is known to be a great lead dog who is a champ at endurance and one of the more affectionate members of the gang. "She’s particularly good at befriending the yearlings and keeping them in line when they need extra guidance," Blair says.
6. Five-year-old Gabby hard at work
"It’s weird to say, but Gabby’s the closest I’ve met to a dogsledding machine. She runs, she eats, she rests, she has a slow metabolism, she never stops working," she says. On the flip side, this little pooch doesn't care much for cuddles, but instead focuses all her energy on the race to come.
7. Hari, blind but brilliant, at age nine
Even though he's blind, Hari never let that stop him from being a great sled dog. His keen sense of smell came in handy during one unexpected blizzard, leading his team to safety just by sniffing his way home!
8. Refried, the golden 9-year-old
"Hari’s sister Refried has ridiculous endurance and the best attitude of any dog (or person) I’ve ever met," stated Blair who values her contribution to the team everyday. "She brings happiness to all of us when we need it most."
9. One-year-old Xander is just too cute
Xander’ is part of the group of young teenager males in the group that Blair nicknamed, Team Axe Body Spray. However he is an old soul in nature and according to Blair, possesses "the buoyant cheer of his aunt Refried."
10. Slick one-year-old Talese
As one of the pups from Jenga's litter, Talese is a good eater, large in size, and doesn't suffer from any of the social anxieties that the rest of his brothers do. Talese is a real team player who gets on well with the pack and enthusiastic about every new adventure.
11.The beautiful Clem, age one year
This little guy is of medium size, great build, and gorgeous looks! Clem is known for being lovable and friendly with new people he meets. In the eyes of most mushers, Clem is an “honest dog”, which stands for one of their highest forms of praise.
Blair continues on to introduce her choice of strong maybes:
"Ok, those are the dogs I think are almost certain to make my Iditarod-qualifier team. Here are a few maybes." These guys might need an adjusted training track for the remainder of the year!
12. Adorable Spike one year of age
You may recognize Spike just by his extremely large head, but Blair sees him as her lead-dog-in-training. He’s massive, meaning it will be more difficult for Spike to manage endurance, but hes been keeping a great pace with the rest of the team.
13. This hyper one-year-old is named Boo
Here's another teen from Blair's Team Axe Body Spray, named Boo. Although his fur coat is very thin, this guy has a major appetite and even though he doesn't add much force to the sled, he can run endlessly without breaking a sweat.
14. The skinny one, Matt Power age one
Matt Power is one of the top athletes in the group but is also known for being among the skinniest. Blair explained that "If he can gain weight he’ll make the team this year; if not, we’ll hope his metabolism slows as he gets older."
15.The glamorous young Hunter at age one
Representing the teenage team's females is Hunter who Blair says is very similar to her mother! According to Blair, "She’s determined, suspicious, and brilliant. She’s shy off-leash but instantly bold when she gets in harness." Blair only worries that as she hasn't been spayed yet, it may have an effect on her racing.
16. The very gentle Brewtus, five-year-old
Brewtus, known as the gentle giant shown here on the left hand side steadily trots at a pace of 9 mph without speeding or slowing down. Blair says "We’ll have to gauge weather conditions to see how he’ll fit with the team at that pace. He’s also conservative and prefers trails he already knows." Lets Hope Brewtus makes the cut!
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