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
Florence Ion
By
Caitlin Crawshaw
By
Sassafras Lowrey
More in Guest Posts:
Herding in Glacier National Park
Volunteering is a Family Tradition
Dogs Are Marathoners, Cat Are Sprinters
How Sleepypod Protected My Dog in an Accident
Tail Docking and Ear Cropping Affect Dogs, and Not Just Physically
Free the Animal, Don’t get Sued
When it Comes to Crates, Think Outside the Box
Dangers to Dogs Hiking in Heat
Dogs Provide Unique Comfort to Hospice Patients
Secret Life of Pets