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Donna: Day 5 – Part 2!!

I just spoke with Jeff from Ruby. He and the dogs were already fed and, after working on their feet, he was headed in for a nap. Though he didn’t say it, I’m sure that he is taking his 8-hour break there.

He has taken to calling his team “Fine China”. He admitted that he is amazingly happy with them overall. They are all sound, carrying the correct weight and (every musher’s dream) their stools are firm “just like in the yard at home”. He has been feeding out a full cooler of food on every run. He said that when he stops on the trail, the team starts turning back to the sled in “attack mode”. He has to rush out in front with the chow to avoid a big tangle. Bronte and Kilarney, along with others, were barking to leave Cripple last night/this morning. The team has a lot of energy left, so much so that every time they see something along the trail that interests them, they bolt like a Fur Rendezvous (the big sprint race held in Anchorage in February) team. They did just that in the last mile or so coming into Ruby when they saw a cameraman hiding in the brush.

Angus is having a great race. “Jon’s dogs are all studs” was Jeff’s report. Dublin is also a “stud” but not much fun. He is like a hard- pulling robot. The Vets hate him because he bites! (Not a typical behavior here at home but many dogs do become wired when racing and getting poked by Vets can be a nuisance….). Deets (from the Lonesome Dove litter, brother Call is also in the team) has fulfilled Jeff’s expectations of being tireless. He loves to lead and is perfect gee/haw. Deets and Dickens made a brilliant trail decision this morning on a winding trail where Jeff couldn’t see what was happening around the corner up ahead. They made the correct choice of trails on their own avoiding a deep area of overflow.

I told Jeff how cool it was to see him leave Cripple with 16 dogs.
“Well, I’ll be leaving Ruby with 16.” he replied.


  1. Thank you for keeping so us all so up to date.

  2. Yippee!!!! Go Jeff, Go Dogs!!!
    Thanks for the updates!

  3. That is awesome to hear. Thanks for the updates. We wish you the best of luck from down here in Logan, Utah

  4. Day five- already!! Where does the time go? I am sure that the game plan is in motion…! Hit the play button….!!! Go seventeen, go!!!

  5. Thanks so much for the updates. How many of Jeff’s dogs have been in the race in previous years?

    Denise in SC

  6. Donna, I have to say that reading your updates really gives a sense of being on the trail with Jeff and the team! Thank you for realizing that there are many of us waiting for the next update and your analysis of the race. I also appreciate your kindness and respect when writing about the other teams. You and Jeff are a “class act”! I am so pulling for win #5 for ya’ll. Everytime I check the stats, my stomach has butterflies…I can only imagine what you are feeling:-)
    What a great race!!!
    Debbie in Houston.

  7. What a race! I am gripped just looking at the race updates and reading your inside story! Fantastic he still has all 16 dogs, a credit to your amazing training program. Go Jeff!

  8. YEEEE- HAW!!!!!

  9. Looking at the Iditarod Insider video from Ruby of the dogs and Jeff, the dogs look great! They are sharp and standing and attentive. These dogs are really a special team this year!

  10. Awesome Job Jeff!! Thank you for the updates!

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