The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race starts Saturday in Anchorage, but snow is in short supply so, for the first time ever, they are importing tons and tons of the stuff by train, and spreading it on a 3-mile track for the photo-opportunity that is always the start of the race.
In the interim, the hundreds of dogs to be used by the 85 mushers in the race are getting their vet checks.
Don't look for too many American Kennel Club dogs in the Iditarod. If you want to win, you breed for performance and that means out crossing on occasion, and ignoring almost every single criteria valued by sniffing pretenders in the show ring.
Color of nose? Nope. Lay of ear? Nope. Placement of tail? Nope. Color of coat? Nope. Length of coat? Nope. Expression? Nope. "Movement" (whatever that is)? Nope.
You look for strength, drive, muscle tone, stamina, biddability, and tolerance. You look for a strong heart, clear lungs, and feet that can take a pounding.
What you don't look for is Kennel Club papers.