Home
Guest Posts
Print|Text Size: ||
Two Dogs Down
After two dogs freeze to death, is it time to rethink the Iditarod?

A few days before cancer-survivor Lance Mackey became the third person to win the Iditarod three years in a row, two dogs belonging to rookie racer Lou Packer died from exposure to high-winds and 50-below-zero temperatures. The story of Grasshopper and Dizzy’s demise is as harrowing as it is provocative. Already the questions are tumbling down. Was Packer a rookie who took unnecessary risks or is he to be admired for helping a fellow competitor earlier in the race and falling behind? Should race officials checked on him sooner?

Like a lot of people, I have mixed feelings about dogsled racing, and I generally don’t follow the big events. I know neglect and cruelty are often a byproduct of competitions involving animals. But I’ve also driven small recreational teams before—in Minnesota and Alaska—and it seemed clear the dogs relished the run. But I wonder is it right to celebrate competitions and provide cash incentives for events that can exact this price?

Print

Lisa Wogan lives in Seattle and is the author of, most recently, Dog Park Wisdom.

Order Dog Park Wisdom

More From The Bark

By
Lisa Wogan
By
Lisa Wogan
By
Julia Kamysz Lane
More in Guest Posts:
Study Finds BPA in Canned Dog Food—and Dogs
A Lost Dog Spent the Night
Biff the Boxer Stars in John Lewis Ad
Service Dog Kicked Off Flight For Being Too Big
Greek Café Hosts Stray Dogs
Dogs Remember More Than You Think
Co-Star of “Cooking With Dog” Dies
Failed Fosters Dog Adoption
New Toys and Chews
For the Love of a Ball: Dogs as Conservation Biologists