Run doggie Run
February 3, 2005 8:05 PM   Subscribe

The 23rd -Beargrease sled dog race- running of the dogs. In just about three weeks 36+ teams will either run the near 390 full distance race, or short 145.6 mid distance race. Check out the legend behind John Beargrease through the left hand links on the spash page. Last year there was a young blind dog sledder Rachel Scdoris, who has caused some minor controversy in past . There was also a musher from... Florida, (who also ran in 2003) Dee Morris, her dogs had never run on snow before that 2003 race (didn't finish either 1/2 race). Should be fun.
posted by edgeways (10 comments total)

 
Searching Google News for Iditarod leads to this in the first or second hit:
The dogs are not the indomitable animals Iditarod lovers portray. What happens to the dogs during the race includes death, paralysis, penile frostbite, bleeding ulcers, broken bones, pneumonia, torn muscles and tendons, diarrhea, vomiting, hypothermia, ruptured discs, broken teeth, viral diseases, torn footpads, dehydration, dislocations, sprains, lung damage and tendinitis.
which leads to www.helpsleddogs.org .

Just sayin'.
posted by intermod at 8:23 PM on February 3, 2005


Yes, I know about the Iditarod health issues. However the Iditarod and the Beargrease are two very different races. The Id is over 1000 miles in very remote areas. The beargrease is about 400 in an area, while not suburbia, would not be considered nearly as remote.
Without getting into the Alaska race, I fail to see the direct relevance of the reply.

Sorry, I shouldn't be reactionary within my own post thread. I hear what you're saying but find little relevance in it.
posted by edgeways at 8:57 PM on February 3, 2005


intermod, I don’t doubt there is truth in those links but not all racers are like that. I knew an Iditarod racer, Bill Orazietti, and he took care of his dogs like they were his children. He died trying to save them when they crashed through thin ice. He got two out before he was overcome with hypothermia and died along with the other 7 dogs.
posted by arse_hat at 9:15 PM on February 3, 2005


You don't take your children out into a dangerous situation like that, do you?
posted by Vulpyne at 2:57 AM on February 4, 2005


depends how old those children are. Plenty of people take their children ice fishing or hunting.
posted by jnthnjng at 6:01 AM on February 4, 2005


Yes, older children are going to be able to assess the risks and decide if they want to go. A dog can't do that, therefore I would equate dogs with quite young children in this analogy.
posted by Vulpyne at 6:06 AM on February 4, 2005


Rachel Scdoris' attempt to compete in the Iditarod seems pig-headed to me.

(From the third link)
Her visual interpreter in most races rides a snowmobile, but the Iditarod has required an interpreter who will drive an independent sled-dog team

Rachael's eyes for the 2005 Iditarod will be Paul Ellering, a former professional wrestler and world weightlifting champion who is best known in his home state of Minnesota for body-slamming wrestler and former governor Jesse Ventura.


So not only is she risking her life and the life of her dogs, she is risking the lives of another man and his team.

That is like a marathoner asking a non-marathoner to run ahead of him. It doesn't make sense to me.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:15 AM on February 4, 2005


" You don't take your children out into a dangerous situation like that, do you? - In the North you sometimes do. With loose snow a wind can whip-up a white-out very fast. Thats what happened to Bill. As they tried to return home they vered a few degrees to the right and left land by just a few feet.
posted by arse_hat at 10:15 AM on February 4, 2005


I guess if we're going down this route.

1. The site www.helpsleddogs.org is pretty dodgy, in looking through it some of the things they say claim are just a little hyperbole. The picture on the first page.
A dog is being dragged on the ice. He may be dead or unconscious. The musher may be sleeping.
-or- the dogs are not running, the dog may have tripped, and the musher may be stopping anchoring the sled to attend to the dog. heck if we are talking "mays", perhaps the musher is doing a line of coke back there.

2. Dog deaths are the exception, bad mushers are the exception. if there is neglect or abuse then it should be treated that way, there have been mushers charged and convicted of animal cruelty. If there is a crime separate it out from the event. We don't suddenly say bike racing is hideous and evil when we discover major doping occurs regularly.

3. Again, *ahem* this was a post about the Beargrease, where I have not heard of a dog death, period. not he Id.

4. The analogy of dogs to children is anthocentric crap. The fact is sled dogs love to run, and to compete, they are much better designed to run and pull and deal with cold weather and snow then any human is. They are not children no matter how much we like to infantalize other species

5. It is easier to judge and damn a group of people from the outside rather then getting to know it.

forget it, I'm done with this thread, you win.
posted by edgeways at 10:33 AM on February 4, 2005


"4. The analogy of dogs to children is anthocentric crap. - a little harsh. I was trying to make the point that the racers I've known treat their dogs with care and affection. They don't treat them as tools to be consumed for a race.
posted by arse_hat at 10:39 AM on February 4, 2005


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