The Iditerod Sled Dog Race is on; with mushers and their sled dogs competing in this grueling race which commemorates a 1925 rescue mission that carried diptheria serum by sled dog relay to the coastal community of Nome. It has been an official race since 1978, and draws mushers and their teams from all over the world to test themselves and the stamina of their dogs.

Competing for the second time this year is a plucky little fifty pound blind dog named Laura. Her owner and handler, Kelly Maixner, a pediatric dentist, says that rather than being a liability she is a cheerleader for the rest of the team and
is comfortable running in any position except the lead. The sweet-faced dog is a victim of an eye disease called pannus for which there is no cure. It is a family affair this year as her family is running with her; her father Shane, and siblings Big Mike and Flo are part of the team.


The 1,049 mile race beginning in Anchorage and which varies according to which route they take, generally takes 9-15 days as teams race through blizzards and whiteouts over trails running into the sparsely populated interior of native villages and along the shore of the Bering Sea, finally reaching Nome. As it takes the teams through harsh landscapes and over hills and mountain passes, the Iditerod symbolizes a link to early history.
In Alaska “Mush” means more than hot oatmeal, it’s a rallying cry to “Get Going!”

Author: kaytisweetlandrasmussen83

I am a retired fine arts teacher, sculptor/painter, writer, and a native Californian. I love my family,dogs, horses, movies, reading and music, probably in that order. I have been married forever to a very nice man who is nice to old ladies, dogs and children.


  1. It’s interesting that you should post this just as Tandi re-emerges with her tale of The Spaniard and his friend taking off of their own “mushy” experience. And I didn’t know about the origin of the race: the dipthermia serum.

    Funny, too, that you should be posting about a blind dog. I’m in the process of doing this and that to get ready for eye surgery (cataracts, laser) and it’s gotten complicated for a couple of reasons. It all can be worked out, but I must be experiencing more anxiety than I realized, as I dreamed last night that I went blind. I was vastly relieved to wake and discover that I wasn’t blind at all, although it’s rather nice to think that running in the middle of the pack can make up for such a disability!


    1. I laughed when I read Tandi last night to see she was writing about mushing too! What a trip they’ll have.

      You will do fine with the cataract surgery though any time they mess around with our eyes is scary. I’ve had both eyes done, but now I’m flirting with macular degeneration which is also scary.

      You will NEVER run in the middle of the pack! You are a front runner.


      1. I’m not worried about the surgery. I’ve just run into some complications with the presurgery requirements. Since I’ve worn hard contacts for years, I have to be out of them for some time, so accurate measurements can be made. That means glasses. The pair I picked up yesterday just aren’t right, AND we sort of forgot that I’ve worn readers with my contacts. So, there’s much to sort out before the right measurements can be taken. It’s more a hassle than a real worry — but I’m impatient for Monday morning, so I can begin sorting it all out.


  2. I have had to wear glasses since 12 years old, but went without most of the time. The last pair I got with the large dark frames I probably wear most of the time now. I have computer glasses too, so I’m constantly exchanging them when at the computer. One to read with and one to write with! Crazy. I bought another pair right after, not so big and noticeable, but they make me look older—-vanity again. I got the dark ones after I saw a picture of my idol Dorothy Parker wearing them. I thought it might make me a better writer!

    Will you now have to wait or have you been waiting for the measurements?


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