Working Like Dogs

What a jam-packed, action-filled couple of days we’ve had. In the days leading to the great Quest, schedules are filled with meetings, physical exams, and photo ops. This in addition to the usual time-absorbing activity of sled dog training. Yesterday’s big event (aside from the annual “Meet & Greet”) was the Vet-Check, where all participating dogs are weighed, measured, poked and prodded by a group of dedicated, volunteer veterinarians. Outside of the race itself, this is the most stressful of the pre-race activites for the beasties.

Dog Doc meets Doc, the dog.

 Led by Dr Alan Hallman and members of the International Sled Dog Veterinary Medical Association, the staff examines over 350 dogs during a two day period. The exams are done in a local warehouse and it’s obvious the animals are uncomfortable amongst large crowds of strangers. Since most of their time is spent on the lonely trails with their own pack (and musher.) This is clearly an unnatural situation for them. Still, they manage to make it through in fine shape as you would expect from this group of super athletes.

Read more: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner – Vet check means mushers are one step closer to starting 2011 Yukon Quest 

Next up was a stop at Whitehorse Elementary school where Dave and the gang had a chance to meet the class of Ms. Heather Combs and a curious bunch they were. Most of the children were dog owners, themselves and many were skijorers and aspiring mushers who were thrilled by Dave’s stories about the trail. Coming up: the Mushers Meet & Greet…