We are delighted that you are exploring the world of sled dog racing in your classrooms. Although many of you may be focusing on the historic Iditarod Sled Dog Race, there is so much more we hope you will discover.
For example, not only is a dog sled still the only way to get to some of the most remote areas of Alaska -- including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) -- but dogs remain an essential mode of transportation throughout much of the state. Sled dog racing isn't just the area's predominant winter sport, it is a celebration of this enduring part of the region's culture.
Special note to students: We really appreciate those of you who have choosen us as your team to research, follow and report on! If you have questions about SP Kennel, our dogs or our mushers, we strongly encourage you to search this website before writing to ask us. We have provided as much information as possible, and you can probably find the answers you seek right here. Although we will eventually respond to your inquiry, it is very unlikely that we will be able to respond in time for your report deadline.Sled dogs are far more than pets around here, they are partners in Alaskan life. Beyond that, they are stunning examples of the unique relationship between humans and canines. As Maurice Maeterlinck wrote:
"We -- human beings -- are utterly alone. Of all the millions of species on Earth, none has formed an alliance with us... Except the dog."It is this unique, ancient alliance that reaches us at our very core. It is what bonds us with our pets, and it is what makes "working dogs" so fascinating.
Alaskan Husky Sled Dogs are the finest working dogs in the world, and the work they do with their mushers is both awesome and inspiring.
Did you know that a man named Joe Redington once mushed a team of sled dogs to the 20,000 foot peak of Mt. McKinley?
But, there's even more to the appeal of sled dog racing than just the dogs. People are also universally drawn to examples of human performance and endurance. Even with what little can be gleaned from watching a video or reading an article, people know that mushers are the world's toughest extreme outdoor endurance athletes. While they can't possibly know the true reality of it all as an outsider looking in, they can relate to the fact, for example, that fewer people have completed the Iditarod than have reached the top of Mt. Everest.
These are just a few of the things we hope you explore as part of your studies, and we hope that you will find The SP Kennel Dog Log both informative and entertaining. We try to post a very broad range of topics and media. You can learn about our dogs, of course, but not just about their training and racing. You can also learn about their personalities and daily life. You can learn about races like the Iditarod and the Copper Basin, but you can also get in-depth information about what it takes for a musher to organize and outfit for racing. Besides learning about the "dog life" of our mushers -- Aliy Zirkle and Allen Moore -- you can learn about their "Alaskan life" as well.
Check out our Dog Mushing Basics page for more information!
You are welcome to use anything you find on this website in your classroom, syllabus, reports, etc. This includes all media -- photo, video and audio -- so feel free to download, cut, paste, share and present anything you want. Our only request is that you credit the Dog Log -- www.SPKDogLog.com -- when you do, so that others can easily find the Dog Log as well.
Best of luck in all your studies, and thanks again for visiting!