To Mrs. Updike’s Homeschool History Class:
I’m sorry I can’t share any updates about my own dogs, especially the puppies, but I’ve been at work so Tiffany has been caring for them while I’m away. I’ll be home in just a few days and I’m sure I’ll post some more pictures of the puppies. They turned 14 weeks old today.
Dog mushing isn’t just for adults. A lot of kids enjoy running sled dogs, too. You don’t have to be old to love having fun with dogs. This weekend has been very exciting for young mushers here in Alaska. 12 kids between the ages of 14 and 17 years old are racing in the 2012 Junior Iditarod.
The Junior Iditarod is very similar to the Last Great Race, but is designed to give young mushers a safe yet challenging taste of what long distance sled dog racing or sled dog travel is like. Several of this year’s Junior Iditarod mushers are home schooled, just like you guys.
Next weekend will also be special for young mushers because the Fairbanks Junior Dog Musher’s Association will be hosting the Junior North American Championships March 2nd through 4th. The Junior North American Championships are limited class sprint races, in which a specified number of dogs run a relatively short distance, just as fast as they possibly can.
The number of dogs each junior musher runs in the FJDMA races is determined by the musher’s age. Mushers between 3 and 6 years old run one dog, those between 7 and 9 years old run two dogs. 10 and 11 year old mushers run 3 dogs, 12 and 13 year old mushers run 4 dogs, and on up to eight dogs for mushers who are 16 and 17 years old.
That’s all I have for today, but I’ll be going home from work on Tuesday and will probably post some new puppy pictures later in the week.