By Norman Chad, Washington Post, June 25, 2017
I love dogs – Toni will tell you I don’t need a wife by my side, I just need a Weimaraner – and every year, my favorite column to write is a canine diary from the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race or the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
However, I will never pen either of those columns again and apologize to readers – particularly Iditarod-wise – for my poor judgment.
The thing is, I get along with dogs better than with people; they are more dependable and less deceitful. And in writing a weekly humor column – well, in theory it’s a humor column – I’ve always relished the annual opportunity to look for laughs from a dog’s perspective.
But in searching for the funny, I lost sight of the facts:
Sled dog racing is cruel, unusual and unacceptable punishment for the animals.
The Iditarod is a rugged 1,000-mile trek over nine days. Only about 50 percent of the dogs reach the finish line, and since its inception in 1973, at least 150 dogs have died in the race.
Short of perishing, Iditarod dogs suffer horrifically along the trail – diarrhea, bleeding ulcers, lung damage, pneumonia, ruptured discs, viral diseases, broken bones, torn muscles and frostbite.