I am as big an animal lover as they come. I can’t even watch the movie Bambi because I get hysterical every time the mom dies. So when I say that I think the Iditarod is a great race and a great athletic competition for both humans and dogs, I mean it sincerely and not because I’m an Alaskan.  Are there dogs mistreated by bad mushers? Probably. There are dogs mistreated all over this country and world. But that doesn’t make the race or the vast majority of the mushers bad. Most are people who live for their dogs.  You don’t get a winning team pulling you 1000 miles to Nome through Arctic conditions unless you and your dogs have formed a coherent unit of mutual respect and love.

So to PETA and all those groups who would stop this race, know this. Most of those dogs are better cared for than a lot of kids in this country. They are part of their musher’s family. They work as a unit, they run as true athletes, and when they make it to Front Street in Nome, they are all celebrating their achievement.  It’s the team that matters, and every member of that team.