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Questioning the Iditarod

Here in Alaska a famous dog race is held yearly called the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Basically it is based on a commemoration of a diphtheria outbreak in an Alaskan village called Nome and the serum that got transported there from a place called Nenana by dog sled to save the sick. Today's race stretches about 1100 miles between Anchorage and Nome. The musher (the person driving the dogs) that wins the race gets a hefty check and a brand new Dodge truck. Every musher that participates in the Iditarod gets some kind of money. The dogs run in very harsh Alaskan winter conditions - cold, windy, icy with little rest and sleep. I totally understand why groups like PETA and others that care about animals are so against this race. I AM TOO against it. When I first came to Alaska and heard about the Iditarod I thought it was a fun thing, I even watched the start of one in Anchorage. But then I found out more about the race. And I am questioning the Iditarod now. I do not think that dogs should be subjected to a race like this. It is all about winning the money, the truck and bring more business to downtown Anchorage during the race, selling merchandise like t-shirts and postcards and filling restaurants. It seems like there are dogs dying every year either during the race or while being transported to or from the race. Not to mention the injuries the dogs can and will sustain from the race. There are also plenty of proven examples of mushers abusing their dogs and/or neglecting them and not giving them proper care. MAJOR thumbs down! It is a constant competition to win the race and in the shortest time possible. The dogs are pushed relentlessly. And no, I do not think that the sled dogs that run the race were born to do this. No more than you or I were born to run 1100 miles through deep snow in cold windy weather. I suggest that if you want to win that new Dodge truck and all that cash YOU gather up a gang of your buddies that need to work off some of that extra winter chunk. Strap them in front of a sled and take off running day and night through the icy cold with destination Nome. Don't subject an animal to this solely to feed your ego and your wallet. I don't care that this was done in 1925 because of a diphtheria outbreak. That was a one time event and people's lives were saved. There are no lives at stake today, only a title, cash and a brand new truck. To me the Iditarod IS animal cruelty. As are other long and grueling races/competitions that involve animals.
How can you treat a beautiful sensitive being like that? I would never ever run Chhaya so hard that she could potentially die or get injured. I want her to enjoy her life. Because she gives me so much.





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Kevin on :

Didn't Ellen run the Iditarod?

Tatiana on :

Ellen who? Degeneres? I don't know.....maybe she did. I am against the Iditarod, even if somebody that I like or admire participated in the race......or not.

Mr B on :

Questioning the Iditarod is a good blog. You tell a compelling story that people can follow, understand, and emote with. You are telling it the way you see it. It is difficult to get an endorsement from the Chamber of Commerce with what you said but you are not looking for one nor would you accept one for marathon dog racing. You send a powerful message that is not trite or blowing smoke. What a beautiful creation.

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