Saturday, 1 March 2008

March 1, 2008 Spider Is Back In!

Those of you watching the Ceremonial Start might have noticed that little Spidey Pants (as she is affectionately called) was running lead with superstar Dasher this morning. Now, some of you may be saying how nice that is that Spidey was able to participate in some way in the Race - however, no dog that has not cleared the pre race screening tests is allowed to participate in the Race in any way. So what gives, you ask??? WELL - I got a phone call from a rather stressed Dr. Baetsle at the Big Lake Clinic yesterday after the Open House. As impossible as this all seems - there is NOTHING wrong with Spider!!!! Never was!!! It seems that there was a glitch in their blood machine that caused Spider's results to appear abnormal. Thankfully, the Clinic had also forwarded some of Spidey's blood to an outside lab and when the tests didn't agree with the in house works, investigations began. It's a long story, but Dr. Baetsle felt completely confident approving Spider to run Iditarod after all the new information was gathered.  He phoned Dr. Stu Nelson, head vet for Iditarod and explained the whole situation to him. Stu felt an exception was mandated in this situation (all dogs need to be 'declared' as part of the team the Wednesday before the race) and this morning gave Spider approval to race. I did the 'happy dance' the whole way back to the dog truck!!

Of course, X is bummed, but he is a young boy and there will be many races for him down the road. He also did a great job on the Ceremonial run today, which he thought was a blast. He was making the most bizarre noises as the team was lead up into the chute today!! He was very excited by the crowds and excitement.

We had a blast today. Lots of friends and family were around to help out. Jamie West road my second sled for me. The dogs roared out of the chute. Unfortunately, we did run over a race volunteer 3 blocks into the run, but what was she thinking run out in front of charging dog team? I honestly didn't think she was really going to run across in front of me, so I didn't get on my brake till the last second.  Spider and Dasher each went a different direction around her, knocking her off her feet. I stopped to find out if she was okay and all reports were she was! Thank goodness. 

The rest of the run was pretty uneventful, just fun. We stopped lots and visited, let the dogs roll in the snow a number of times and I smiled for all 11 miles. We never saw another team, as we caught no one and no one caught us.

There was one moment early in the day that brought tears to my eyes. As we were still on 4th Avenue I went to offer my leaders a word of encouragement as we approached one of the road crossings. But what slipped out of my mouth was 'On By Snicks'. I don't think I've made that slip once since I lost her. Seems very appropriate that today was the day.

Too soon the run was over. The dogs were loaded into the truck and now it is time to get ready for the real deal. Tomorrow the real fun begins!


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