SP Kennel is a premier sled dog racing kennel in Two Rivers, Alaska, dedicated to the individual dog through excellent health, nutrition, training and specialized care.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Chipper Wins Dog Fan Club Draw

Congratulations to Mary Duffy who has won today's Dog Fan Club draw. Mary is a fan of CHIPPER.

As you saw earlier... IT'S SNOWING!!! And, it's been pretty chilly in Two River this week also! So, in celebration of that, Mary will receive an SP Kennel beanie to keep her ears warm plus some other kennel goodies.



For such a wee little dog, Chipper is a handful! If we can keep her from losing her 'beans' and focusing when she needs to… she will again be the Rock Star that we know she can be.

Our next draw will be December 16th and everyone who hasn't already won and joined by then will be in to win!

Click the button below for more information about how to join:


Click this button to take you directly to the Dog Fan Page.

It's Snowing!

We have 2 inches of fresh powder snow on the ground and more is coming down.

This is ~ by far ~ the biggest snow storm that we have had this season. It's not falling at a 'blizzard rate' but if this keeps up, Alaska might look like Alaska by Christmas!

We are headed out on sleds today.

Needless to say... everyone is a little bit excited!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Training in the Cold

It has still been "chilly" in Two Rivers the last few days. Often times in the thick of winter, there is an inversion layer where warmer air rises in the hills -- so we go train the teams where it's warmer. We tried that a day ago only to find that it wasn't any toastier up high.



Many of the dogs have protective jackets and all of them have booties on their feet. You'll notice they are nibbling on frozen salmon -- YUMMY. Several dogs have on neck lines. That is because we must cross a highway and travel several miles down a logging road. The dogs wearing necklines tend to have extra energy when we 'stand still' waiting for traffic. So this additional leash adds security that these guys won't go play in that traffic.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Alaska's Youth

I love this video. I posted it several years ago and I have thought about it often over the last week. This video was put together by the kids from the village of Shaktoolik. I spent very little time in Shak this year on Iditarod 2016 - but there's always next year.



The Iditarod, the Yukon Quest and many of our shorter races travel through many villages like Shaktoolik. We cross the state (and the Yukon Territory) traveling from one village to the next. These small communities that dot our great state are tremendously supportive of our sport and understand our lifestyle. When I tell to a youth in Ruby that I was standing under the Northern Lights in the middle of the frozen river when I heard a snowmachine behind me... that kid knows what I'm talking about!

The youth in rural Alaska are like the youth in the rest of the world, they have their own 'growing up' issues, as well as family, peer and community problems. Every kid across the planet has had them and every one will. But, the youth in rural Alaska don't always have the educational network and extended social programs that kids in more populated centers can find. I have seen this first hand in the 25 years that I have lived in small Alaskan communities and traveled through villages.

But, how does a dog musher try to help?

I certainly don't have the education, skills or knowledge to help youth deal with their issues. I can't bring any helpful tools or educational curriculum with me as I travel down the race trail. I don't have hours during a race to truly listen to anyone and I wouldn't assume that I could help when I struggle at times to help my self. So, the answer remained a mystery to me for many years.

Matson is a primary sponsor of SP Kennel and our dog mushing races. They support the Iditarod as well and even sponsor the 'Most Improved Musher' Award given at the banquet in Nome. Matson has also demonstrated its commitment to supporting organizations that seek to improve the quality of life in communities in which their employees live and work. Therefore when the Alaska arm of Matson decided to invest in Alaska's youth by supporting The Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (ANDVSA) I wanted to become involved.

I met with the fantastic ANDVSA staff in August for the first time. They had an idea. Why not connect me with the Lead On conference? Lead On is a yearly youth leadership conference focused on violence prevention. It has three main goals:
1) to increase youth leadership skills
2) increase healthy relationships
3) to promote social change through community youth led projects

This year's conference was held November 18-20 in Anchorage. I went to the conference simply to see if it was all the it seemed to be. It was! A total of 93 youth and 38 adult community partners from all across the state came together. I listened and learned. I talked to youth and to chaperones. And I thought "Wouldn't it be neat if I could help recruit more youth from even more remote parts of Alaska?"

I had a small part in a workshop titled “Knowing Who you Are”. Myself, along with a Lead On youth alumni, Jennesy, spoke briefly about issues that we have faced and how we dealt with them. The workshop focused on the power of the self. The large group of youth listened intently to our stories and then explored their own personality traits, identities and strengths.

So, basically this is what I told my audience:
I fit no conventional mold. I never have. This doesn't bother me now. I tried to fit a normal mold when I was a teen, at least for a year or two. But I pretty much failed to pull that off.
People might tell you how you should feel or act, as they did me. Some people will be helpful and some will be way off base. It's okay to listen. You will mess up here and there and then you will find your path. Remember, it's your path... so ultimately it's up to you to find it. You can start by following the herd, there is no shame in that, or you can set out alone and try different routes, or you might just sit and watch for a while, then make a choice. Most of all, I believe, that you will be happy if you are true to your self. Find who you are... take your time because it's important... and then do your best to live the life that you deserve with your friends, your family or your loved ones.


I can say for certain that: I know who I am. Of course, there have been 'bumps in the road' (for all of us) while we find the path that best suits our self. For some of us, the teenage years were challenging and for others we jumped hurdles in our 20's, 30's or even 40's. Some of you might be reading this now in your 50's, 60's and 70's and wondering Who am I? But, I am fortunate. At this point in my life. I Know. It begins with 'dog' and ends with 'musher'. There is probably a bit more to it than that but I need to keep a few secrets.

I hope to have a future working with ANDVSA. I envision that Matson and I will work together to promote Lead On - to support the concept, to recruit sponsors, to increase participation, to advertise successes. This could be part of my game plan during and after the 2017 Iditarod.

Thanks, Alaska's Youth, for supporting me and SP during my racing career. Your successes are the successes of all that live in this great state of Alaska that I call home.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Bonus Thanksgiving Dog Fan Club Draw

We do have a lot to be thankful for! We are thankful for all our supporters, fans and sponsors, our friends and family and, of course, all our amazing canine family.

Today we celebrate our Dog Fan Club members by holding a bonus Dog Fan Club draw.

Congratulations to the students of the Northern Lights Academy right here in Fairbanks who are fans of BEAN.



Bean has finally calmed down a little, at least enough to wrangle her into a harness. That pup is certainly meant to pull and we are so excited to have her part of the team. She has been partnered with her sister Creamer for many of the training runs and they work very nicely together. The two blue eyed beauties replicate their Mamma Olivia.

The students' winning packet includes some fun and interesting stuff for the classroom plus a photo print portrait of Bean. We hope you enjoy your packet!

Our next regular draw will be December 2nd and everyone who hasn't already won and joined by then will be in to win!

Click the button below for more information about how to join:


Click this button to take you directly to the Dog Fan Page.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Yukon Quest Fundraiser


The Yukon Quest has several fundraisers throughout the year. This past weekend the 'Bunny Boots and Bids' was held in Fairbanks.

Believe it or not... Allen wore a tuxedo to the event -- which was sponsored by Alaskan Floral And Wedding. He was not alone with his attire selection. He was joined by YQ veteran mushers Hugh Neff, Paige Drobny, Mike Ellis, Matt Hall, Ryne Olson and Cody Strathe. Rookie mushers Jeff Deeter, Ben Good, Noah Pereira and YQ300 musher Chase Tingle all looked sharp as they served appetizers prepared by the UAF Community & Technical College Culinary Arts students and staff.

Beer and wine tasting was courtesy of sponsors Alaskan Brewing Co. and K&L Distributors.

A fun night had by all!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

New Puppy Portraits!

When Jeanne was here in October to take the 'formal' portraits of the racing dogs and yearlings, she also took the puppies' first portraits. Check out our updated Puppies page for some details about each one!

They were not quite ready to stand nicely for a full body shot like the grown ups, so we employed special tactics to get them to pose: dressing Aliy in a black sheet while she cuddled them and Jeanne clicked the shutter! You will agree they are fantastic portraits of our newest family members.


Bronze (not that is totally not Aliy's arm in the picture... well... okay, yes it is)


Prata in for a cuddle


Gold looking wise

Friday, November 18, 2016

Nelson Wins Dog Fan Club Draw!

Thanks again to everyone who has joined the Dog Fan Club. Congratulations to Joanne Jacobs who is a fan of NELSON!



Nelson looks good!! He is so excited this season, he gets truly ecstatic when you walk up to him with a harness. The "sweetheart" that you can cuddle with vanishes and he becomes a possessed sled dog. He's ready for a big season. 

Following on from Aliy's post earlier in the week, Joanne wins a Pleasant Valley Store T-shirt plus some other kennel goodies. Joanne, we'll be in touch to choose your colour!

Joanne will also receive a glossy "glam" shot of Nelson! Who wouldn't love that?

Also for those that asked, here (left) is the store quilt Aliy mentioned in her post. Click on the picture to make it larger.

We will have a bonus Thanksgiving draw next Friday and everyone who has joined by then and haven't already won will be in the draw to win!

Click the button below for more information about how to join:


Click this button to take you directly to the Dog Fan Page.