Serum Run 2011: Dropped dogs are still part of the team


As I was driving to pick up one of the dogs that was dropped from the Serum Run expedition by my friend Erin at the Anchorage Airport last night a funny thing occurred to me…

Sled dogs don’t know that you are going to a place called Nome. They have no idea how long it will be before you get there or when they will be back “home” to the familiar surroundings of their dog house, the sights and sounds of their own dog yard or the welcoming hug of those that care so much about them here in Willow.

All they care about is waking up every morning on the picket line, shaking off the nights frost, stretch, and get ready for another day on the trail.

You see, that is what sled dogs love to do. They are born to pull, and pull and pull some more. It’s us mere humans that have a quest for the end. In this case the end of an exciting journey that started on a cold Sunday morning in Nenana, Alaska in mid-February.

I remember going up to each dog right before they left and whispering in their ear– I will see you when you get back. I don’t know if they understood what I was saying or not but I wanted to give them that bit of encouragement to keep with them on the journey.

That journey may only be one day on the trail or many days when they mush into Nome.

But one thing is certain, Shrike did his part for over two weeks on the trail. He pulled hard and got to experience things that most sled dogs never will…

With that, we are proud of all of the sled dogs out there on the Serum Run Expedition, whether they were dropped and sent home or not–they are, and will always be, a part of the team.

Never fear to the remaining friends on Shrike’s team,

He will see you when you get back!

Robert Forto | Team Ineka | Alaska Dog Works | Mushing Radio | Dog Works Radio | Denver Dog Works | Daily Post


Robert Forto is a musher training for his first Iditarod under the Team Ineka banner and the host of the popular radio shows, Mush! You Huskies and Dog Works Radio Shows