Thursday, February 26, 2009
Sled dog racing is a controversial sport because some people think it’s cruel to race dogs. Yes, sometimes dogs get injured and the truth is that sometimes accidents happen and a dog dies. Everyone hates this and mushers and vets are constantly studying how to keep the dogs safe and healthy. Because of these unfortunate happenings, it is a very controversial sport with heated angry objections. BUT I have learned that: 1.) the dogs LOVE to run. Musher Martin Buser constucted these giant "hamster wheel" things in his dog yard. They’re not for training purposes; he did it because the dogs love to run. They get in there on their own and just run and run. 2.) The mushers LOVE their dogs and take the most excellent care of them. To hear Lance Mackey talk about his dogs and see him interact with them, you can just tell he adores them as do other mushers I’ve seen on video clips. 3.) The most common reason I’ve heard as to why a musher gets into racing is that they love dogs and nature, and love being in nature with their dogs. They’re not in it for the money. Mushing is definitely not a lucrative professional sport. The costs often far outweigh any race winnings. A lot of professional mushers take on summer jobs to make ends meet. Some offer tours of their kennels as a means of additional income. As for glory seeking? People are naturally competive. These men and women are athletes, but they ALL give credit where credit is due and claim their dogs are the true athletes.