Friday, March 28, 2008

God Himself Tips His Hat for Governor's Last Run

Northern lights in Alaska, aka, the aurora borealis.

The sum total of what PETA knows about animals
in general, and dogs in particular, could be written on the head of a pin with a felt tip.

As Gina noted in a recent post on the Pet Connection blog, PETA expresses great concern whenever a well-loved pulling dog dies on the once-a-year Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, but we hear not a peep out of them about the ONE TON of dead animals that they kill every month and push out their back door for the incinerator man to haul away.

No matter. What are you going to do about morons and hypocrites, ignorants and self-aggrandizing goofs? They will always be with us.

And let us hope the men and women of the Iditarod will be as well. The Anchorage Daily News ran this wonderful article the other day which sums up how these folks feel about their dogs. Sometime a short story tells quite a lot:

By Kevin Klott March 11th, 2008

Lead Dog's Ashes Spread Where He Often Ran Best

Governor's last great race ends at Bishop Rock, where Gebhardt says goodbye.

UNALAKLEET -- Feeling melancholy from pouring the ashes of his dead lead dog on the Yukon River, Paul Gebhardt dug deep for happiness late Saturday when he watched green northern lights dance in the sky.

Traveling in and out of the fog banks between Nulato and Kaltag, the lights illuminated the sky so brightly that even Gebhardt's dogs took notice. Running with their ears pinned back from a slight headwind, all but one dog looked to the heavens and watched the aurora borealis show.

"I'd never seen them do that," Gebhardt said. "It was something out of a Disney movie.

"I was just laughing," he said. "It would have been a beautiful picture."

Hours before, Gebhardt had been mourning Governor, a 4-year-old that died suddenly four months ago at the musher's Kasilof kennel. Gebhardt took out a bag with ashes of his prized lead dog and spread them along the Iditarod Trail.

Governor was just reaching his prime when he died Nov. 2. He had led Gebhardt to a second-place finish in last year's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. But Governor, a rock eater all his life, swallowed a quarter-sized rock and it killed him.

Instead of burying him near the kennel, Gebhardt decided to spread Governor's ashes at Bishop Rock -- the halfway point between Ruby and Kaltag where Governor often ran best.

"He was always good on the river," Gebhardt said. "So it made sense."

With 13 dogs traveling by the glow of Gebhardt's headlamp, he cut a hole in the bottom of the bag and let Governor's ashes spill out as the team ran.

"Mitch (Seavey) was right behind me, so his team was running right through Governor," Gebhardt said. "That's probably why he's ahead of me now. He's got Governor dust." >> Read the rest

A musher rests with one of his dogs during the 2005 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.


Anonymous said...

I spent several years in Alaska and never missed the start of the Iditarod as well as kept track of the progress. Still follow the race, in fact.

Not only do fewer dogs die in the race than in PETA's shelter, but fewer die on the trail than in a similar population over the same time span. The racers take better care of their dogs than they do of themselves. The dogs are fed, watered and bedded down before the racer.

If PETA, HSUS, et. al. only had a clue...


Anonymous said...

That last photo certainly shows the cruelty of the race. That poor mistreated dog...

Bill Steele said...

Wow, the pics are too good, especially the scenary of the sky. And coming to the dogs, one should be careful with them while they are in the race.