See if you can tell which of our dogs thinks the snow is magical fun dust and which thinks the sky has collapsed into an icy deathscape. pic.twitter.com/Mj8Bu82eHB
— Alex Gertner (@setmoreoff) December 9, 2018
Here in the Boston area, we’ve had unnervingly little snow so far this winter — but the weathermedia are cheerfully predicting that we’ll double our seasonal tally by Tuesday. And right now, I have the barometric pressure headache to support that theory. On the other hand, if it’s the kind of light fluffy powder we got earlier this week, at least our 17-year-old rescue Zevon will enjoy himself hugely…
Not quite as much (or nearly as persistently) as Blair Braverman’s crew of professional athletes, of course!
Blair Braverman And Her 'Ugly Dogs' Compete In Their First Iditarod https://t.co/kP08PwU38B
— NPR (@NPR) March 1, 2019
… Braverman, a dog-sledder, author and correspondent for Outside magazine, is one of 17 women racing in this year’s Iditarod, a record 32.7 percent of the field.
“Mushing is one of the only sports where men and women compete together at elite level,” she says. “We are taken seriously as athletes because there’s no chance for people to tell themselves we’re not on the same playing field.”
But she doesn’t consider herself just an athlete. She’s also a coach, a nutritionist, a parent, even a veterinary tech for her team. All her dogs, 14 hand-picked racers from a group of 20 that she has been training, have undergone physicals as extensive as the preparations for any professional athlete in the NBA or NFL, from electrocardiograms to vaccinations.
The dogs are a sharp but motley crew of strong personalities. Pepe is the steady, “mature” head of the pack. Flame is Braverman’s “shadow” and has raced with her in every qualifier. Jenga, Flame’s half sister, “doesn’t suffer fools.”…
“People are getting to know these dogs as pets, as friends, and they’re also seeing them as elite athletes,” she says. “It’s like rooting for your favorite sports team, but they all happen to be dogs.”…
— Jessica Mullins (@Mullin_Around) February 21, 2019