Yesterday morning I hustled into Athabasca very early to see my chiropractor, Dr. Deutscher (don’t you just love a chiropractor that is open at 7 am on a Saturday??).Kurt did a few adjustments and pronounced my back, which has been annoying me for a while this fall, as on the mend. He even gave me the go ahead to get back to my workouts. Good news!
I hurried back home, because staying overnight in ‘The Nook’ was the ‘A’ team’s personal chiropractor, Veronica Devall, DVM. As well as being certified in ‘conventional’ practice, Veronica is certified by the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society and the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association. Some of you might remember that Veronica was the guest speaker at our Fall Warm Up Weekend this year. She is a very knowledgeable and interesting woman.
I first met up with her on the Iditarod Trail (I think in Skwentna in ’01). Being one of a small group of Canadians on the Trail, we immediately struck up a working friendship. Over the years it has been always been a treat to pull into a checkpoint and find Veronica there. The last couple years Veronica has come up to the kennel for a few visits and even ended up taking home her very own NorthWapiti dog – NorthWapiti Dot Com, now known as ‘Willow’.
On one of those visits this spring we got chatting about what each of us were planning for next season. By the end of the conversation, the NorthWapiti ‘Team’ had a new member!
Veronica is going to be working with the main string dogs through out training and will be coming up to Dawson City for our 36 hour Quest layover to take charge of dog care (Unlike Iditarod, Quest allows handlers to care for the team during the mandatory layover). I couldn’t be more pleased. Veronica’s specialized training and over 10 years experience working with sled dogs (both on the Iditarod and Yukon Quest Trail) will allow us to take our dog care to a whole new level.
Working with the dogs over the years, Veronica has gotten to know many of them, but yesterday’s visit was primarily to let them get comfortable with her handling and ‘adjusting’ them. A few of the dogs were extra wiggly and more interested in washing faces then standing still for their checkup, but in time (and with more miles under their ‘belts’) they will learn to appreciate and enjoy their massage and treatment.
Moses, being the ‘professional’ he is, already had it down pat, he stood completely still with his head up and eyes closed as Veronica checked his neck and spine and made a few minor corrections!
Veronica and I also discussed my vet kit for Quest. With longer stretches between checkpoints, a Quest vet kit need to be a little more ‘skookum’ then the one I carried on Iditarod. We are also playing with and will be using some homeopathic treatments recommended by Veronica in training and on the trail this year.
All and all, an interesting, informative and relaxing day!