The varsity team
January 1, 2019 10:38 PM   Subscribe

Dogsled racer Blair Braverman introduces the world to her next Iditarod team. Braverman, the "21st century feminist reincarnation of Jack London," gives elaborate details on each pup! Threadreader version
posted by k8t (32 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite
 
Previously
posted by k8t at 10:38 PM on January 1


Braverman on moose and the Iditarod
posted by frimble at 10:50 PM on January 1 [5 favorites]


i love these very good puppers they are perfect
posted by poffin boffin at 11:06 PM on January 1 [7 favorites]


"Fun fact: Flame is terrified of human babies but loves baby animals."

Same.
posted by frogstar42 at 11:11 PM on January 1 [19 favorites]


This is the only team I am willing to root for.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:43 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]


The "reincarnation of Jack London" is not a curse I would wish on anyone. London was a remarkable man, but his life was troubled and his death painful. I cheer Blair Braverman and wish her the best, for she surely deserves it. Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube!
posted by SPrintF at 3:03 AM on January 2 [3 favorites]


Also, Colbert is Catholic. The rest of our dogs are Jewish.

I laughed loud enough at this that my cat woke up and bit my ankles in response
posted by Hermione Granger at 5:22 AM on January 2 [17 favorites]




If you're trying to include more lightness into your Twitter feed, definitely give Blair Braverman a follow.

Also although I aspire to be a Jenga or a Pepe, I'm more of a Grinch so I was glad to see he made the Varsity team.
posted by kimberussell at 5:58 AM on January 2 [9 favorites]


Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube! was very good.
posted by doctornemo at 6:58 AM on January 2


Fanfare Post for Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube.

(It is very good, but also contains a lot of sexual assault)
posted by dinty_moore at 7:24 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]


The whole thing was a joy to read, but I lost it at the description of Grinch.
Grinch has a heart of gold and a brain like a box of rocks. He is extremely strong, maybe our strongest dog, but is easily confused. He loves attention. He loves giving hugs. He has a significant overbite and his limbs are fitted together like off-brand LEGOs.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 7:47 AM on January 2 [17 favorites]


Thank you for sharing this!
posted by crush at 8:07 AM on January 2


He has a significant overbite and his limbs are fitted together like off-brand LEGOs.

My wife, who has dislocated just about every joint in her body, sometimes in very medically interesting ways, was once told by a doctor that it was as if she was put together with brass fasteners.

Blair Braverman is one of the (few) reasons I stay on Twitter.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:31 AM on January 2 [4 favorites]


I always think it's interesting to see dogs bred for something other than the AKC standards. Siberian huskies are what I used to expect to see pulling sleds and at one time I think that was the case. But the AKC cares about appearance and not much else so that's what the dogs are bred towards and the health of the breed suffers for it.

But when winning a sled race is your goal you end up with dogs that look VERY different than what I think of as a classic "sled dog" to the point where they're highly specialized mutts rather than any kind of pure bred dog. Though referring to them as a separate breed is more accurate now that I think about it.

I hope that these dogs tend to live longer, healthier lives than their AKC pure bred relatives. Does anyone know if that's the case?
posted by VTX at 9:52 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


While on a cruise to Alaska, we visited a sled dog training camp. The camps raise money for their program by charging tourists to be pulled around the camp on training carts. People who have spent the last week at the 24 hour buffet make excellent ballast for the dogs to pull, so we were the source of both income and dead weight.

It was a pretty great experience. Something you might not expect if you've just seen it on video -- those dogs seriously fast and while they start at the drop of a hat, they are less inclined to stop. It makes the whole process feel a bit like a roller coaster without a firm grip on the track.

And then, after we were done riding around, we got to play with the new puppies.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:02 AM on January 2 [12 favorites]


I hope that these dogs tend to live longer, healthier lives than their AKC pure bred relatives. Does anyone know if that's the case?

Blair Braverman's talked about this a few times (you can see a tweet thread about it here), but all of these dogs are Alaskan Huskies. So they're all relatively closely related, it's just that the genetic differences are more in the external appearances than their internal workings. One of the cool weirder things about Alaskan Huskies is that their metabolism can work in a way that's different from other dogs, making them able to be better at long distance running. (most animals are horrible at marathons - humans have endurance as their special feat)

There are Siberian Huskies that are more working dogs than pet dogs, too - and they tend to have more coat variation than the pet version. Apparently siberian huskies are slower?
posted by dinty_moore at 10:02 AM on January 2 [3 favorites]


Sled dog twitter is the best twitter.
posted by suelac at 11:16 AM on January 2 [4 favorites]


I am smarter than Grinch (I think) but I like him because my body is also made out of off-brand Legos.
posted by matildaben at 11:39 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]


excellent ballast for the dogs to pull, so we were the source of both income and dead weight.

I did this too, and it was the highlight of the cruise for me! (Especially playing with 3 week old puppers at the end!).

One of the things that struck me the most was that the dogs lost their goddamned minds at seeing the sledding harnesses come out. And then while being harnessed. And then while waiting to run us up the road. The complete joy that they had for running was super clear: the dogs all seemed to absolutely love this job.
posted by TwoStride at 11:40 AM on January 2 [8 favorites]


I hope that these dogs tend to live longer, healthier lives than their AKC pure bred relatives. Does anyone know if that's the case?

I know that racing greyhounds, which are similarly bred for function rather than form, are pretty healthy for a large breed. For example, hip displaysia is virtually unheard of for greyhounds. (Their teeth, on the other hand, are often a disaster, and they do suffer from osteosarcoma at higher rates.) I don't know if anyone has compared AKC greyhounds with NGA (racing) greyhounds, and if that could even be statistically accurate given that the population of AKC greyhounds is so small, but it would be interesting to see.

I know for greyhounds and likely for sled dogs as well, their professional career does not last as long as their entire lifespan. So I assume breeding for function does help their health, especially when they are young, but maybe less so for their longevity? Greyhounds do live decently long for a large breed, but not SUPER long.
posted by misskaz at 11:51 AM on January 2


Braverman is as unlike London as it is possible for an author to be except they both write (wrote) about sled dogs . If she wrote 'To Build A Fire' it would end with snuggles and belly rubs all around. And that is fucking fantastic, just to be clear.
posted by iamnotangry at 1:00 PM on January 2 [7 favorites]


My dog can catch a ball thrown directly over her head 10% of the time. This is basically the same thing.
posted by East14thTaco at 3:33 PM on January 2 [3 favorites]


Blair Braverman's Twitter is a wonder to behold...and you behold a lot because she posts frequently and it's almost always something great.

Is Grinch the dog who got confused when they turned around the sled in the middle of practicing a few weeks ago? When they had to wait until he forgot he'd been running the one way, and finally wanted to run, so they convinced him it was like...new running? I would wear that dog's jersey.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:07 PM on January 2 [6 favorites]


Yep, Grinch is the dumb one all right.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:08 PM on January 2 [3 favorites]


Something you might not expect if you've just seen it on video -- those dogs seriously fast and while they start at the drop of a hat, they are less inclined to stop.

If you haven't already read it, here's the story of Blair's team running away from her in the middle of nowhere, in the dark, during a race. [Twitter thread]
posted by oneirodynia at 7:14 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


"ABBWABABAA," screamed Grinch.
posted by jburka at 7:53 PM on January 2 [5 favorites]


What I wouldn't give to be able to scream, "ABBWABABAA," at certain things in my life right now
posted by Hermione Granger at 9:08 PM on January 2 [6 favorites]


I found this amazing person's feed too, apparently they work alongside Ms. Braverman?

Some amazing pics of Pepe there, among other things!

https://twitter.com/ChrissieBodz
posted by dubitable at 10:50 PM on January 2 [1 favorite]


Yep, Grinch is the dumb one all right.

If you haven't already read it, here's the story of Blair's team running away from her in the middle of nowhere, in the dark, during a race. [Twitter thread]


You all are the reason that I'm late for work today, just so you know.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:43 AM on January 3 [6 favorites]


Okay, I really need to know the gossip re: Ebony and Lucy. What sort of drama could make sisters hate each other?
posted by meese at 10:42 PM on January 5


Came over here from the MeTa noting good posts from last week. I read on Braverman's Twitter how she'd deliver your letters from where she was to Anchorage by sled dog! So I totally got on that, sent a bunch of mail out to friends and family. And they showed up all cool. And then, a MeFite SENT ME A SLED DOG LETTER from Braverman's run. So great. So kismet. Such good dogs.
posted by jessamyn at 10:32 AM on January 12 [6 favorites]


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