You may recall that we recently took 40 dogs into town for their mandatory pre-Iditarod Blood Tests & EKGs. We are delighted to report that all of them passed with flying colors!
The dogs' medical examination requirements didn't end there, however, as each dog must also have a mandatory pre-Iditarod full medical exam. Dr. Jean Battig of the Chena Ridge Veterinary Clinic is SP Kennel's "family doctor" and she came out to spend the better part of a day checking each dog from "nose to toes" and reviewing their condition with Aliy and Allen. (Here you can see her sizing up the lovely and talented young Bonita!) Again, all of the dogs got a good report and are now -- finally! -- officially cleared as "Okay to race!" That's the last of the big pre-Iditarod "Logistics" hurdles, so you can imagine that we are all pretty relieved -- and happy -- around here!
No matter how you slice it, moving 40 dogs through an examination process is a big job. Despite being pretty efficient at it -- with me bringing the dogs in from the yard and taking them back out, Aliy weighing them and doing paperwork, and Allen holding the dogs on the table for Dr. Battig -- there wasn't much opportunity for me to shoot video. I did try at one point, but only got this clip which -- for reasons that will become obvious -- I'm posting as an outtake.
Most of the older dogs have been through these medical exams many times and are pretty laid back about it, but it's still kind of new to the younger dogs and they're not all so cool with it. Nacho is just such a young dog, a two year old male who also happens to be one of the largest dogs in the Kennel. He is a real sweetheart but let's face it, who likes going to the doctor, right? As you will see, despite their size and power, these dogs are lightning quick. You will also see why it takes the vigilance and strength of a guy like Allen to handle them. Keep your eyes peeled, it happens in a flash!