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!