During the summer, our dogs tend to live a more relaxing life, basking in the sun, playing with siblings and romping through field and stream. But Aliy and Allen continue their blazing pace of mushing related activities, often as 'royal ambassadors' of the sport of dog mushing. The past 48 hours are a prime example.
On Wednesday afternoon, Aliy and Allen arrived at Denali National Park to make their bi-weekly visit with tourists traveling on Princess Cruises' Denali Express sightseeing train. Here they introduced 600 tourists to Alaska's state sport and SP Kennel, by way of Aliy's and Allen's frank and entertaining trail stories.
|Aliy is greeted by the conductor on Princess Cruises' Denali Express.|
On Wednesday night, Aliy and Allen caught a few hours of sleep at the Clarion Suites in Downtown Anchorage (a major SP Kennel's sponsor) before a planning breakfast with Dr. Mike Davis of Oklahoma State University. Dr. Davis is a leading expert on long distance sled dog health and performance. Recently he has collaborated with SP Kennel to study insulin absorption rates as they relate to fitness levels. Today he introduced our mushers to veterinarians attached to British Armed Forces K-9 units. Could there be more research projects in the pipeline?
By mid morning on Thursday, Aliy and Allen were making a motivational presentation to 27 education professionals attending the 'Iditarod Summer Camp for Teachers'. This 9-day adventure program introduces teachers to dog mushing and to the educational opportunities inherent in following the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. And yes, the teachers had a blast with our SP mushers.
Next was a sponsor planning session with Barbara and Linda, from Chenega Hotels, parent company of the Clarion Suites Downtown Anchorage. And following that was a 'thank you' dinner with yet another major Iditarod supporter.
Are we exhausted yet? I am, just writing about it. The 48 hour marathon ended this morning with a visit to the offices of Horizon Lines of Alaska, long time SP Kennel supporter and corporate friend. The SP gang is always welcomed there with open arms.
Our mushers took a nap this afternoon.
Saturday the pace quickens again. Tomorrow morning, Aliy and Allen will arrive at the Iditarod Trail Committee Headquarters in Wasilla, Alaska (about 50 miles north of Anchorage) for:
- The Iditarod Board of Directors Annual Meeting
- The Iditarod Annual Volunteer Appreciation Picnic
- The Iditarod 2013 Musher Sign-Ups
How many people's lives have Aliy and Allen touched in just the past few days? How many folks have heard their message of long distance sled dog mushing with an emphasis on health, nutrition and the individual canine athlete? How many have heard stories of adventure in our spectacular Alaskan wilderness? Conservative estimate is more than 1000 people in just over 2 days.
The weather may be too warm to run dogs, but the work of keeping the sport and the kennel on solid ground is always there. Our 'royal ambassadors' of the sport of dog mushing keep on trucking!