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.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Happy 15th Birthday Pingo!

The oldest dog at the kennel turns 15 years old today.


Pingo leads the team in 2001 with Pedro


Pingo runs in the middle of the Iditarod team in 2005

Pingo's mother was a dog named Nugget. She was a tiny little gal that I got from Steven Bergman in Allakaket. She had a long successful career as a sprint dog and was sent to me to retire. I bred Nugget to Fats - who I also got from Steven as a pup three years earlier. Pingo was born on May 28th, 1998. He had four siblings: Nippers, Black-eyed Susie, Fattie Juns and Pointy Nose.


Pingo leads the Iditarod team in 2008; Aliy and Pingo bond in 2002

Pingo was a happy productive part of the kennel only 10 months later when he went on the Spring Adventure tours up on the North Slope of Alaska. I remembered we parked the dog teams for a snack break and hiked up a mound of earth-covered ice - a "Pingo". That young 10 month old pup named Fluff Ball made the climb with us and at the top of the hill he was renamed.

Pingo started his racing career on the Yukon Quest in 2000, but was dropped 100 miles into the race with a broken toe. After that, he raced every year until retiring after the Iditarod in 2008. Pingo raced everything: 20, 50, 100 and 200 mile Two Rivers races, Knik 200, Tustemena 200, Copper Basin 300, Kusko 300, YQ 300, Denali Dash, Yukon Quest, and Iditarod.

Pingo has sired four litters at SP Kennel. His first litter just turned 11 years old (Bullet), the second two litters turn 7 years old this summer (Dingle, Pud, Kipper AND Li'l Deb, Hunter, Moonpie), the final litter turns 6 years old this summer (Tug, Cutter.) His pups are mostly leaders who are happy and tough.

The last few years Pingo has lived inside during the cold winter months. However, during the summer he lives in a house just next to Teddy, his 12 year old niece. Thankfully, he is no longer frightened of thunder or fireworks because he can't hear and his vision is a little fuzzy, but he enjoys romping around every once in a while with a pup, grand pup, niece, nephew or cousin.


Pingo poses for his birthday shot!

17 comments:

Lourdes, VT said...

OMG!!! What a beautiful dog he is!!! I'm so happy to hear that he is still having a great life :)
My Golden Retriever also turned 15 years old this past St. Patrick's Day!!! and he is very much a 'grand and wise elder'
Senior dogs are the best!!!
GO PINGO!!!!

Margaret said...

Happy Birthday, Pingo!!

What a wonderful way to start the day!!! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

Melissa Krahmer said...

Congratulations and Happy Birthday, Pingo! What an amazing life!

Mrs. Edwards said...

Happy Birthday, Pingo! You are quite a dog.

Michelle K. said...

That is a GREAT 15-year old smile! Happy Birthday, Pingo! And wishing you many more happy old-dog days ahead.

My daughters are real dogs said...

Treasured times.......

Lynne D said...

Must be party time at the SP Kennel lot. Such a phenomenal history and legacy for a beautiful dog.

Julie said...

Such great dogs and happy birthday, dear Pingo! We have the photo on the wall of Pingo and Pedro leading that great team. Yea, SPK dogs, all of you! Pingo is looking GREAT!

Julie and dogs

Anonymous said...

Happy Happy Birthday Pingo!!

Holly Freeman said...

Hey Handsome, Happy Birthday! Here's to more adventures, happiness and health at SP.

Marilyn Cozzens said...

Happy Birthday Pingo. 15 is a great milestone! Enjoy this day. Thanks for giving us the history of Pingo, Aliy. What a great looking dog.

Nessmuk said...

Happy Birthday Pingo!! What an awesome résumé you can be proud of! Wow....15 years old....good fella!!

Dennis Nielsen-Wisconsin said...

Thank you for being so kind and respectful to such a wonderful athlete , friend, and love one! Sure does tell a lot about your character! What an honor and privilege to know such people!!

Anonymous said...

Pingo,
Happy b'day to you!
Thank you for sharing your SPK history with us.

Deka

Chris said...

Happy birthday, Pingo! Enjoy the lazy summer!

Lisa B said...

What a great birthday tribute to such a handsome senior! Thanks for sharing and giving a bit of the kennel lineage history too. Sending extra ear scritches to Pingo.

Linda Toth said...

Continue to live long, Pingo. We hope that Cutter has a happy, long life as you have.