The Iditarod Sled Dog Race®…very much the ultimate in quality time together with your dog.
The front pack of competitors is marching unstoppably toward Nome, and the race will be won within the next couple of hours. That feeling of finishing a huge challenge/dream such as Iditarod is certainly bittersweet. Wonderful yes, but you don’t quite want the experience s to be over. Even when it’not a magic carpet ride, it’s still magic…because of that incredible connection with your dogs.
Funny, when I got close to Nome, I wasn’t even sure where I was. I mean, I knew I was on the beach, and I knew it had to be close, but I wasn’t sure where and I had no idea what really to look for…kind of a surreal out of body experience. Then the siren sounded and that’s when I lost it. I choked out “That’s for you guys, that one is for you guys” and I was so damn proud of those dogs. I still get choked up every time I try to tell that story.
The dogs and I were motoring along at something like 13mph on the beach outside of Nome, and it was over far too fast. But the burled arch beckoned, and the dogs were their professional let’s-go selves, and we were fated to finish…for once I wanted to slow time down, but I couldn’t. I knew, beyond words, how special this experience was, courtesy of those amazing dogs who pulled me through…mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and yes, physically…and I knew I would never be here again with these dogs, in this special space.
I tell ya though, that siren is pretty awesome special when you’re a musher coming in! The siren was the highlight of my race finish, the arch was an afterthought. What the dogs and I accomplished, together, is so special, I wish everyone on the planet could experience that feeling, that intimacy, that sense of accomplishment that comes from simply doing things together.
Most people don’t get the chance to try something like Iditarod with their own dogs. But GO FOR that feeling…you CAN experience that intimacy, bond, connection and sense of accomplishment. Your dog can look at you like mine look at me, as the center of their universe. All you have to do is ask…your dog will gladly participate with you.
Have you asked your dog what you two will accomplish today?