Friday, 21 January 2005

January 21, 2005 Mushing Mecca

I don’t think anyone can disagree with the fact that Alaska is the hub of the mushing world. That has it drawbacks and it’s pluses. We experienced one of the real big pluses this morning – the support community that thrives up here.

As I mentioned in one of my last entries, Chester is still battling injuries sustained during the Copper Basin. I tried running him a couple days ago, but he was still too sore. I’ve been massaging and ‘sweating out’ his shoulders with a shoulder jacket and things are definitely improving, but not as quickly as I’d like. He just can't afford to be out of training for too much longer. I was bemoaning the fact to Jamie yesterday and she recommended that I call Susan Whiton. Now why didn’t I think of that?? Susan, herself an experienced musher and Iditarod veteran, is Vern Halter’s wife and lives just 2 doors down from here. She is a DVM that also does a lot of work with ‘alternative’ medicine and healing. I probably didn’t think about it because such knowledge cannot be found within a 4 or 5-hour drive of Perryvale. Not that my vet’s at home aren’t good – I think they are the greatest – but the high level of specialty knowledge that Susan has is not feasible for them to work towards, as they only have 1 or 2 mushing clients.

I called Susan and made an appointment. This morning I snapped on Chester’s leash and we strolled down the road to see her. In a wonderful and extremely educational hour appointment, Chester had chiropractic, massage and acupuncture work done. Susan took the time to show me some problem areas for Chester and some massage techniques to help him. With the exception of two problem areas in his back, Ches happily and comfortably tolerated the needles for the acupuncture. He’s braver then I.

There was an obvious improvement in Chester on our walk home. The normal ‘bounce’ in his step was much more evident as he strutted his way back up the driveway. He’s still a long way from being ‘Nome bound’ but thanks to the ‘Alaska factor’ he is much closer then he would have been back home in Perryvale.

Not only is Chester heading in for a follow-up appointment next week, Gus and Grover will be heading over too. I figure those ‘seniors’ in the team can use every advantage I can give them.

Thanks Susan – Thanks Alaska!!!!


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