Monday, December 31, 2012

Race Week Countdown

New Year's Eve
Training in Knik
Photo by Julia Redington

     The weather in Alaska has not exactly been the best for dog mushing. It was in the high 30's today and the sun was shining. Everyone but the mushers love this weather ! We are all holding our breath that the Knik 200 Race will not be cancelled. The race organizers are waiting to see what the weather is going to do before they make an official decision. 

Early in the week, our team did a 72 mile run. We started at Deshka Landing on the Big Susitna River and headed north 36 miles to Yentna Station, on the Yentna River. This happens to be the first check point for the Iditarod and also the checkpoint for the Knik 200.  It was great to be able to run part of the race trail to become somewhat familiar with it. I am guessing our average speed was 10 miles per hour as it took us about 7 hours to finish the entire run. When we got to Yentna we had a good long snack/rest break. But, the dogs got antsy and wanted to get moving. We left Yentna at 4 pm which made most of our run back to the Deshka in the dark. It was a great training run for this neophyte !

By the way, the dogs would really love to move faster than the 10 mph. If it were left up to the dogs we would be roaring around corners with the sled careening through the turns teetering on one runner. We keep them paced at this slowspeed in order to build strength and stamina. They pull into the harnesses hard and a musher has to work hard to hold them back by keeping pressure on the brake lever with their feet. The brake lever is a bar with two sharp tine type bars which drag and scratch, cut and dig into the snow and ice. The harder you push down, the deeper these dig in and hopefully the slower or more control you have. The power of a 12 dog team is staggering to experience. My first experience with 12 dogs was daunting as I could not stop them whatsoever....a humbling experience indeed. My thoughts immediately go to wondering what in the world will it be like to stand on the runners of a sled being pulled by 16 Iditarod dogs. 

  People often ask what breed are these dogs as they all look so different; different sizes, different colors, different coats and a variety of body types. The fact of the matter is, an Alaskan sled dog is a mutt, a pure full on mutt. Over the years, mushers have bred huskies with many other dog breeds in an effort to infuse more speed into the breed. Some of the other breeds introduced into the husky bloodlines have been a variety of pointers and hound type dogs.  You can see by this short video taken a week ago that my team looks like a mixed bag of breeds. I suppose you would be right in making a statement like that. But the one thing the dogs all have in common is they LOVE to pull.

This video makes it all look so peaceful, relaxing and easy. But, I am here to tell that when it all looks smooth and easy it is because lots of successful training has taken place. During those training days chaos has ensued with crashing sleds, runaway teams,  and perhaps even some dog fights. It is what one musher friend referred to it as "controlled chaos". Suffice it to say, there is a lot more going on than meets the eye. 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Trials and Tribulations; Do Not Let Go !

What ever you do, don't let go !

  The learning curve continues to be steep for me in this new endeavor ! When I wake up in the morning I seem to have a pit in the bottom of my stomach. That feeling of nerves on edge, anticipating some level of impending doom of sorts, burns in the bottom of my belly. Here is a story of why .....

The 10 dogs were having a great run, pulling hard up the hills and surging across the wide open expanses of frozen lakes. I was having a wonderful time as we skimmed along, effortlessly smooth 40 mile trip on this cold, minus 20 degrees, but sunny afternoon.

About 10 miles from home, the trail makes a hard left turn, descends a short, but steep hill and then emerges out on what is known as 7 Mile Lake. It is not that the lake is 7 miles long, it is because the lake is 7 miles from the the beginning of the trail. The team surged with speed and power as they anticipated the turn. I stomped my foot on the brake bar which did not seem to have much of an effect on the speed. Round the turn we went, fast. I held my foot on the brake as the sled cracked up against the tree, rocked back and forth on the runners, then turned over on its side. I hung on to the handle for dear life as my body bounced along down the hill, plowing snow with my face the whole way. For those who do not know, when you fall off the sled or tip over, the team does not stop. They just keep on pulling and pulling. Doing exactly what they have been bred and trained to do. 

At the bottom of the hill, the team stopped, no longer able to pull the sled, they turned their heads to look back as to inquire on what the problem was. I pulled myself up to my knees, ever so grateful to have been able hang on.  One, and I underscore one, of my biggest fears, as there are so many fears, is that I would lose my team out on the trial. I have heard these stories and they make me feel such doom. 

As I pulled the sled upright, I was ready to hop quickly on the runners, when the team jerked in their harnesses, a jerk and surge of monumental force, ripping the handle of the sled from my hands and there I stood as I watched my team run out onto 7 Mile Lake. They were charging with the exuberant freedom with the featherweight load trailing behind. The image of the team rapidly diminishing in size made my heart sink as I walked in their direction. In the cold air, I was sweating, my hair soaked with perspiration, which froze immediately as I pulled my hat off. As I unzipped my arctic one piece suit steam rose and froze on my eyelashes making them stick together as I blinked in an attempt to focus on my now distant focal point. As I trudged along the trail, all I could hope for was that there would be another team coming down the trial and the musher would grab my team seeing the riderless sled, or that one of my snow hooks would jostle off the sled, setting itself as it is designed to do, deep and securely in the snow, stopping the team for me.

After crossing two lakes and a vast open expanse of frozen slough, my walk brought me into a piney woods and there I found my team stopped, frolicking in the deep snow with the lines snarled into total chaos. You can imagine my relief. I nearly cried tears of joy to find them there, stopped, safe and happy.

After unhooking many tug lines and reattaching neck lines, the snarl of lines came to order. The dogs, sensing things were getting organized, started yelping and leaping to get going. Me too, I said to them. Standing firmly on the runners, my left hand gripping the sled handle tight, I reached down with my right hand to grasp the handle of the snow hook. With a strong yanking pull on the handle it came free and off we went. A gratefully giddy musher and her team coursing over Alaskan hill and dale, arriving in the dog yard finally to end another epic day.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sheep Mtn 150 Cancelled/ Alaska Excursions 120 instead

Shred and Right Eye in Lead

The Sheep Mountain 150 which was scheduled for December 15, 2012 was cancelled due to lack of snow. It seems there are lots of other types of sled dog races going on, one of which seemed like a good idea to enter. The Alaska Excursion 120 was on Saturday 12/15 and Sunday 12/16. This was a sprint race with two heats of 40 miles each,.

The race took place at Happy Trails Kennel which is the home of Iditarod Champion Martin Buser. He and his wife, Cathy generously let the race take place there as the home of the Alaska Excursion 120 Race trail was not ready.

Thank you to Lori Egge for letting me use her dog box trailer. The team of 10 dogs rode in style and were toasty warm in the straw filled boxes on such cold mornings as the temperatures were well below zero. Also thank you to Nick Petit for helping me get my team safely to the starting line !

My first heat was not very successful as I missed a turn, and went about 15 miles out of my way. During the run, which went in the wrong direction, I nearly lost my team as I lost my balance going down a steep hill. I was on the "Big Lake Trail" at this point, which is wide snow machine trail, that looks like a super highway. I don't even want to think about what would happen if the team got away from me. They probably wouldn't have been seen again for a long time. Not a happy thought.

I got turned around, when I finally realized I was on the wrong trail and went all the way back to the start. The happy folks there said I could turn around, go the right direction and finish the heat, which I did. Needless to say, I was in last place.

Sunday was as cold as Saturday, maybe even more so. I did not get lost and passed by several teams to finish the 42 mile heat under 4 hours. The dogs were great and finished in excellent form. I couldn't have been more proud of them

My wonderful husband, Dave Bogart was my intrepid dog handler who had to sort out drop lines, harnesses, booties, unload the sled and keep order among the troops, not to mention scooping a few poops too !

Photo taken by Barb Redington

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Traveling Partners; Early Training Days


Three Sleds and an ATV 20 miles into the Alaskan Wilderness

As you can see from the photo's, there is not much snow yet here in Alaska. Last year at this time there was more than 36 inches. The trails are rough, icy and hard. Please keep your fingers crossed for snow !
From left to right, Kevin, Ben, Ray and me

Saturday, November 24, 2012

November Press Release

Gwenn Bogart Sets Goal to Race the Legendary Iditarod:
Qualifying Races Start with the Sheep Mountain 150 Sled Dog Race
Gwenn Bogart, of Wasilla, Alaska, is entered in the 2013 Sheep Mountain 150 Sled Dog Race, as she formally begins her quest to compete in the 2014 legendary Iditarod. The challenging race, which begins December 15, 2012, is considered the sled-dog race opener for the season and attracts Alaska’s top mushers to a remote area located between the Tahneta Pass and Matanuska Glacier. Bogart will also compete in a number of other sled dog races, including the 2013 Knik 200, the 2013 Copper Basin 300 and the 2013 Northern Lights 300, in order to qualify for the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
A well-known and accomplished outdoorswoman, Bogart will spend two years training, competing, and qualifying to achieve her long-standing goal of participating in the adventure known as The Last Great Race on Earth. The Iditarod attracts the most famous names in dog mushing to contend in a race against time and extreme arctic winter conditions, on a trail of more than 1,000 miles over some of the most remote and severe wilderness terrain in the nation. Televised around the globe, the Iditarod is the most popular sporting event in Alaska; it is committed to traditional culture and the preservation of this historical race that traces its roots to the most famous event in Alaskan mushing. The “Great Race of Mercy”, was the 1925 dog-relay run from Seward to Nome, to deliver serum, when a diphtheria epidemic threatened this isolated town, located on the edge of the Bering Sea. Today, the race travels from Anchorage to Nome and attracts world-wide press and sponsorship from the world’s top brands.
Following professional careers in horsemanship and fly fishing, Bogart co-founded Casting for Recovery (CFR) a breast cancer support group headquartered in Manchester, Vermont, that uses fly fishing for mental and physical healing. Bogart will be raising awareness and support for CFR during her preliminary races as well as the Iditarod. Bogart also has a private pilot’s license; the Vermont-native recently flew a Cessna 150 from the Green Mountains to the Last Frontier, where she now makes her home, with her husband, David Bogart.
A fundraising event will be held for Bogart at the Manchester Rod and Gun Club, on February 2, 2013.
For further information and to make donations: Go to Gwenn’s Mush Puppies:; Contributions to Casting for Recovery (CFR):
Media Manager: Sue Mead:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Trials and Tribulations: Chapter One and Two

    General Raven

   We left the yard with our teams at 9:20 a.m. Ray (my mentor/coach) with his team of 16 dogs, Ben (my training partner) with his team of 12 and me, with my team of 12. I had General and Brother in lead. I was the last to roll down the drive (training with ATV's as we still don't have snow) and eventually came up behind Ben, who's team was traveling at a slower rate of speed. I decided to pass in an effort to catch up with Ray. Ray's team of 16 dogs was traveling much faster and I could not catch up with him and eventually lost sight of him. I was suppose to follow him but, at this point all I could do was guess where he had gone. I hung a left (haw) down Hazel Road, went to the very end at which point I got turned around and came all the way back to the Knik-Goosebay Road (KGB). Once at this intersection, I wanted to go left but General had his own idea. He wanted to go home and I did not. We had not gone enough miles yet for it to be a successful training run.

   General did not want to go left.  He momentarily glanced at me over his shoulder and then succinctly pulled the whole team around 180 degrees. I thought, "oh no, not this again". General had pulled this move on me during other training runs and at this point I had had enough of this trick of his. I walked to the front and pulled the two leaders with the rest of the team in tow back around in the direction we were originally facing.  As soon as I got the team pulled around and turned to walk back to the get on the ATV, General did the same 180, the gangline hitting me behind the knees, knocking me down and dragging the whole team trampling over my back.  I was not hurt, just really ticked off at defiant General ! Raymie (Rays dad) and Ryan (Rays brother) saw the whole thing happen as they happened to be driving up the road. They jumped out of the car to assist me and told me they had seen the whole thing. Raymie said "that General will screw you up every time". They helped pull the team around again, unsnarled the lines and I jumped back on the ATV. You will never guess what happened got it ! General did it again, he pulled the team around in a 180. Bad dog ! The leader days are OVER for my pal General. Shred was switched with General and lead the remainder of the training run. Never again, General !

   Once I got Shred in lead, we went left along KGB, towards Wasilla. At about mile marker 11, I saw a woman next to the trail with a large black dog. As I got closer, I could see the dog, a black lab, was loose and did not have a collar. The woman was yelling, asking me if I knew who the dog belinged to. I shook my head and continued on. Suddenly, my dogs were turning their heads looking behind and there the lab was gallivanting along behind us. Literally, frolicking the miles away the lab seemed to think this was lots of fun. All I could think of was that the dog left alone would wander out into the busy road and most certainly be hit by a car.
   I had to do something. I stopped the team and coaxed the lab up onto the back of the ATV. That silly dog rode with me all the way back to Rays on the back of the ATV which was a rough, bumpy ride to say the very least. Once back at the yard, I put the lab in a crate. Once my team was unharnessed I took the dog to the closest veterinary office to scan the dog for a chip. A chip was found and we discovered this labs name was Raven. The owners information was there as well, so the vet called and told her we had the dog. Ever grateful the owner said a profuse thank you and was very happy to have her dog back.
All in a Day
   Ray had taken his team out just a half hour before us. We usually pass him along the trail, smiling and waving as we pass each other. In preparation for our daily dog run, like I do most days, I back the ATV and park it behind Rays truck. Then, I attach the tie-down cable to the ball of his hitch and fasten it to the ATV. It is a jerry-rigged sort of affair but, has proven effective to hold the team in place. A team of 16 fresh dogs can pull the ATV all over the place even with the brakes locked. A tie  down is a must.
While, I was waiting for Ben to get home from school, I did the usual pre-run preparations. I backed the ATV and attached it to Rays truck and attached the tie down cable. The gang-line attaches to a "bridle" afixed on the front end of the ATV is attached by a carabineer. With the gang-line attached, I stretched it out and straightened all the neck and tug lines. Getting this all set up saves time and also gets Ben to hurry up and finish his post-school snack faster. A 40 milerun is a long trip, especiallyat this late time of day, so I am always anxious to get rolling.
We had nearly finished harnessing up the team so the gang-line was nearly full with only one place open.Gso (pronounces "So") gets put on the line last these days as she is "in season". It saves lots of aggrevation this way. Ben was in the feed shed getting some salmon for snacking the dogs during the run and I was on my way there, walking by the ATV. It happened so quickly. Apparently, the tie-down cable slipped and was no longer attached to the ATV It started to roll, picking up speed exponentially, as the 16 dogs careened down the driveway. As fast as I could run, with my hand just inches away from the handlebar and brake handle, I stumbled and fell. Down the driveway, went the ATV, the team at full speed, with a riderless ATV in tow. The ATV didn't make the turn. At top speed, it skidded sideways, caught the edge of the tire and flipped up, high into the air, flipping and rolling and crashed, upside down over the embankment into the trees. That stopped the team and no dogs were hurt.
 Ben reacted to the action like a pro. He got his ATV, attached a cable to the gang-line and then cut the bridle on the crashed ATV. We had detached all the tug lines so the dogs could not pull while we made this clever transfer. With lots of scrambling, I held the brakes on his ATV, as Ben made quick order of fetching our heavy coats, hats and gloves that were strewn all over the driveway as they were piled high on the back of the now crashed ATV and off we went.
The run was fairly uneventful with the exception of a rough engine sound coming from Bens ATV. I had visions of us, 20 miles out on the old Iditarod Trail in the darkness with a dead ATV. Oh well, I thought, worse comes to worse the dogs will pull us home. We met Ray and his team along the trail. He immediately asked why we were not on the red ATV. I told him I had wrecked it and quicky told what had happened. Ben and I were so worried he would be angry, but he just grinned his funny "ate the canary" grin and off he went down the road. I later learned he had done the same thing a year earlier. Takes one to know one, I suppose !

We were less than a mile from home when it happened. The trail at this point of our run, runs parallel to the road. There are many side road crossings along this section of the road. People who live in Knik seem very patient and courteous as they know dog teams are everywhere and they must keep a vigilant eye out on the crossings. I always wave and mouth the words, thank you, as we roll on by.

We were moving along the trail and came upon a car parked on the trail, with its lights on blocking the trail. The headlight on the ATV was on and Ben and I both had our powerful LED Lenser halagen head lamps on as well. These headlamps are so very bright that they can cast a bright cone of light on the trail in front of your 16 dog team. Ben stopped the team well before getting to the parked car. Moments of assessment passed and Ben made the decision to send the team on around the front to the car. At the moment the leaders were in front of the car it started moving. Ben and I screamed as the car wheel literally ran over Shred. Brother, the other leader was under the car as well. The car bumped up over Shreds body and continued to drive off into the darkness, never to be seen again.

I ran up to the front of the team. Brother and Shred were both standing and appeared to be o.k. Miraculously, they appeared to be fine. There we stood, Ben and I, in the darkness, in total shock. We just could not believe the car just drove off. We both agreed, there was no way they could not know they had run over something as we both saw the car "bump" as it went over the dog. About 5 minutes passed as we watched the dogs and decided we could make it the last mile home to the dog yard.

The dogs enjoyed their post-run snack of salmon steaks as we told Ray the story of what had happened. Shred got a week off so he could be closely monitored to be sure he was fit to continue work.  A week later, Shred was in lead, as I had my first 40 mile run on a sled over marginal snow cover. That is a story for another day.

Introducing some of the team !

There are more than 50 dogs in the dog yard at the time of writing this post. Some have run to Nome in past Iditarod races. Some have not been to Nome, but have competed in other races and may be included in a future Iditarod team. Here are some of the unique dogs I am currently training. There are many more who I will introduce in later posts.
A little education in sled dog position lingo
The pair of dogs who hold the position immediately in front of the sled are called wheel dogs. Wheel is a position for the bigger, most powerful dogs. Leaders are just that, leaders. They may not be a big, powerful dog, in fact they are often small.  Desirable lead dogs show great confidence, listen well and follows verbal commands. Swing dogs are the pair placed immediately behind the leaders. Swing dogs also show strong leader characteristics and help the front pair lead the team. All the other positions are referred to as team positions.

An Iditarod team is made up of 16 dogs. Most all other races, a musher will have up to 12 dogs. The difference of power of a 16 dog team compared to a 12 dog team is remarkably different, which I will tell you about in the Trials and Tribulations posts. 
Cosmo is a scrappy dog and he is Mr. Tough Guy. He is always excited to run and loves to play. When he is in his harness, hitched up to the gangline he growls like a "tough guy". He has never done anything aggressive other than growl like a "tough guy". He leaps, spins and barks whenever I come to see him. While Cosmo is not a big dog, he is strong and is great "team" dog. 
As you can see from the photo, there is an obvious reason this guy is named Socks. Socks has been on several Iditarod teams. He has a sweet disposition and is always ready to get hitched up for a run. He is vocal when I call him by name and loves to nuzzle and play whenever given the opportunity. Socks best position is wheel, but he has been in lead as well.

Felix is a BIG dog. When I lead Felix from his house to the gangline I am always challenged as he is so very strong. If I do not get his front feet up, off the ground he can easily drag me wherever he wants to go. Felix is a happy dog and if he were a person, he would be the type of guy that would be everyones friend. Felix is  a wheel dog and does a great job at it.
When I first met Copper he seemed quiet and reserved. But, now that we have gotten to know each other, he is any thing but that. He is such an affectionate guy and when I kneel down to give him a scratch, he acts as if he cannot get close enough. He puts his head on my shoulder and leans against me with all his weight. Then he changes shoulders and groans in sheer delight as I rub his back and shoulder muscles. Copper is usually the one who leads all 50 + dogs in a daily group howl.
"Stonewall Jackson"
Stonewall Jackson, aka, Stone is a quiet, reserved fellow but don't let that reserved personality trick you into thinking he is not a team player. Stone pulls like a truck and is all muscle, bone and sinew !
He loves one-on-one attention and will practically turn himself inside out when I talk to him and give him a good scratchin'.  Stone and Felix are litter mates.
Others who may be introduced at a later time, in no particular order; Shred, Brother, Patsy, General, Rommell, Angus, Straight, Katara, Right Eye, Left Eye, Broker, Benny, Bullseye, Elmo and  so many more...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

October = Dry Land Training. Photos by Barb Redington

October is the time of year that dry land training takes place. The dogs get "legged up" so to speak at this time. The four wheelers we use have 5 gears and the dogs literally pull the four wheeler along. We help them out by using a little throttle going up the steep hills and of course lots of brake going down.
 Here is young Ben Harper, my training partner, taking the lead up one of the steep hills. Ben is training for the Jr Iditarod. Last year he placed third. This year he has his sights on the big WIN. Go Ben !!!!
I love this photo because of the Joe Redington Trail road sign. Joe Sr. started the Iditarod in 1972 to promote the lifestyle and sport of mushing. He felt the way of life of mushing was being lost with the introduction of snow mobiles. So he started the race as a way of keeping the sport alive. If he could see it all now, he would be so proud. I know his family certainly is !

This big puddle is a welcome sight for the dogs. It is a chance for them to cool off and get a drink during a long hard run. However, this darn puddle has posed many a mushing snarl for me as sometimes the dogs just want to set up camp in the water. Gangline, tug and necklines get tangled as the dogs twist and spin and make a huge snarl. It takes only seconds to create this mess and many minutes to untangle, make some semblance of order and head on back up the trail !

In these photos, Brother and General are leading, followed by Sioux, Left Eye, Benny, Cosmo, Patsy, Copper, Patton, Stonewall, Socks, and Felix are building muscles, getting ready for the long winter runs.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Meet Bernie Willis: Sled Maker for the Famous Iditarod Mushers

Meet Bernie Willis. He makes dog sleds. Starting in October, Bernie will begin this years crop of sleds and will be performing minor repairs on others, made in years previous, in preparation for this winters mushing season. Bernie is a well known craftsman in the world of dog mushing. He has crafted sleds for many well known and successful Iditarod mushers, such as Lance Mackey, Dee Dee Jonrowe, Cym Smith and my mentor, Ray Redington Jr. just to name a few. Bernie's wife, Jeanette, makes the top quality sled bags and as I have found out first hand there are lots of choices when ordering one of Jeanette's hand made sled bags. Bernie and Jeanette raise and train Icelandic horses, have beautiful flower and vegetable gardens along with a fantastic jungle gym for their grandchildren to play on during their frequent visits.

Bernie is a retired captain from Alaska Airlines. He and Jeanette have done mission work on St. Lawrence Island. For those of you who may not know, St Lawrence Island is off the coast of the Alaska in the Bering Sea. It is actually closer to Siberia than Alaska. As Jeanette remarked "St Lawrence Island is where the weather is born". Well said, Jeanette !
In this photo Bernie is showing me various features on one of the sleds he made several years ago. This sled will under go some changes in order to make the sled 6 pounds lighter per the mushers request.

In this photo, we are looking at a sled, which belongs to a well known, very successful Iditarod musher. I am looking at the seat configuration on this sled as it looks like something I would like to have added to my sled. For a rookie musher, I learned it is not a good idea to have a full sit-down sled as it can be an ankle breaker if you have not had a lot of experience mushing. I will heed the advice.
Bernie is demonstrating, what I will refer to as the Yukon Squat. This is how you drop behind your sled to get out of the gusting winter winds that can howl for days.Getting low helps the dogs. Lowering the wind resistance, while traveling down such wind blown places like the long stretch of the Yukon River helps the dogs endure the many miles ahead.
In the background you see an airplane that Bernie is also building. He is a man of much knowledge, many talents and a very kind heart.
Thank you Bernie and Jeannette !

Buy a Zipper Pull. Help me along my journey to Nome

I am making these zipper pulls to sell as one of my many fund raising endeavors. The musher charm and paw print beads are unique very unique ! Not only are they a very creative zipper pull but are also great for backpacks and keyrings. Christmas is coming and these make an easy and thoughtful stocking stuffer. 

Zipper Pulls $22.95 ea.   or   $20.00 ea if you order 5 or more ! Shipping not included.

Send a message if you would like to order one or more.

Thank you for your support !

Monday, September 10, 2012

The temperatures in Knik, Alaska have finally dropped below 40 degrees F, which marks the beginning of dry land training for the mush puppies. Here Ben Harper, co-musher and I run a team of 8 youngsters. This is how we teach the young dogs (1-2 years) to follow directional call commands, "gee"(right) and "haw"(left). We encourage them with praise and give rest breaks. The season begins with a 3 mile run and the distance will slowly increase over the following months. Young dogs learn to adopt the energy saving trot, instead of the energy burning loping stride.

Race Schedule

Our tentative race schedule for 2013 is as follows,

January 1, 2013: Knik 200
January 12, 2013: Copper Basin 300
January 25-27, 2013: Northern Lights 300
*February 4, 2013 Paul Johnson Memorial 450

*I will enter this race only if the Copper Basin is cancelled.

Making Booties

Dog Booties are an important item to have for mushing dogs. They provide protection by eliminating snowballs in between the dogs pads. They also protect paw pads against abrasion from some types of snow. In the Iditarod, a musher's team of 16 dogs will use approximately 2000 booties throughout the race. Booties must be replaced often due to the fact that they wear out quickly. Booties cost about $1.25 each if you buy them in big quantities. I am decided to make my own. Cinthia Coburn in North Carolina and Suzie Founier in Arkansas are helping me make the several thousand booties I will need for training and racing for 2013 and for 2014. Check up our FaceBook page Bootie Brigade.