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Posts Tagged ‘Alaska’

Through unknown circumstances and perhaps some odd twist of six degrees of separation, I’m on a hate-e-mail list of people opposed to the Iditarod sled dog race held annually in Alaska – and of sled dog racing in general.

Members of this hate group have sent me, and more than 100 other people on “the list,” approximately 300 e-mails in the past two weeks asking me to stop sponsoring and/or supporting the Iditarod.

For the record, I assure everyone publicly I’ve never made a financial contribution to the Iditarod or any of its participants. Although the event sounds like a fun one – and, if pushed, I may have to go to Alaska just to watch. Perhaps this hate-group could send me cash for airfare and hotel accommodations so I can travel 2,000 miles to witness first hand the sled dog racing atrocities and the bottomless pit of suffering the dogs are put through, which I allegedly support.

It’s also important to note that I’ve never even made a positive comment to a sled dog race team owner. Not so much as a pat on the back or a hearty, “Well done” have slipped from my lips to anyone who harnesses dogs to a sled and commences mushing. That’s not because I have anything against the Iditarod. Afterall all, I’ve never even watched the race on TV, let alone EVEN MET a musher or his/her mushees.

Notably, there’s a storied history of sled dogs and how the phenomena started as well as its popularity today. I’m not going to provide the link here, however, because in doing so someone in the hate group might view it as supporting the activity, which I don’t – although I’m leaning more toward that side of the fence after reading up on the hobby.

I will, however, post the form letter I’ve received via e-mail some 300-plus times (see below).  It’s ironic, isn’t it, that those professing my sponsorship and abuse of sled dogs are abusing my e-mail address to convey a point in which I’ve now sided with their very opposition (almost)…to a point (because I have not, nor plan to make a financial contribution or send a shout out to any sled dog owner).

I might pet a dog though, once they’re done with their work day.

What’s more ironic to me is that within the United States, 1 in 50 children are homeless every day. Let’s not even think about how many of these children didn’t eat a meal last night or didn’t get a goodnight kiss from their mom or dad, because mom and/or dad work two jobs and still must decide whether to pay rent or buy groceries. And let’s not factor in the clear and present danger that exists when these children go to school each day, unable to learn at their full capacity because they are running on empty, wearing clothes found in the garbage and getting short-shrifted by teachers who view them as lost causes.

Yeah, instead, let’s put our money and interests on the abused sled dogs of America because, as we all know, dogs should receive far better treatment than do our own children. Dogs deserve to be placed on the doggie pedestal and revered from afar. Kids are resilient. They’ll bounce back from adversity. Dogs, though, they deserve much, much more.

Note from hate-group e-mailer (N. Pennington in Seattle, WA). Pennington has no idea who I am or why she is e-mailing me. Moreover, she has no proof that I’ve supported sled dog racing or the Iditarod.

Dear Iditarod Supporter:
Please end your organization’s support of the Iditarod dog sled race. For the dogs, this event is a bottomless pit of suffering. What happens to the dogs during the Iditarod includes death, paralysis, frostbite (where it hurts the most!), bleeding ulcers, bloody diarrhea, lung damage, pneumonia, ruptured discs, viral diseases, broken bones, torn muscles and tendons and sprains. At least 136 dogs have died in the race. No one knows how many dogs die after this tortuous ordeal or during training. For more facts about the Iditarod, visit the Sled Dog Action Coalition website, http://www.helpsleddogs.org.

Sincerely,
N. Pennington
Seattle, WA 98136

Thanks N. Pennington from Seattle, WA.  Your points are so heartfelt and human that I almost wish I cared. I’m sure that right in your own backyard of Seattle some homeless, starving child with no dad and a mother strung out on meth is wishing he or she could join your cause and make a difference in the life of just one sled dog. Why not start recruiting now? My guess is the line of petitioners would grow if you just offered a hot meal and a cot in a warm, dry garage.

Those of you interested can catch coverage of the Iditarod on Versus.

-end-

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From a Real Alaskan

A recent guest column in the Seattle Post Intelligencer is definitely worth a read.  Seth Kanter, an Alaskan native, does an informative (and humorous) job explaining how people in our 50th state advance in business and in politics.

Here’s an excerpt…

That Sarah Palin is one unreal Alaskan

By SETH KANTNER
GUEST COLUMNIST

I’m sitting on my bearskin chair beside the woodstove, in Kotzebue, Alaska, 50 miles above the Arctic Circle, while outside the ocean begins to freeze over. Inside I have about 49 things piling up to say to you, America.

I’m an Alaskan — born in an igloo, enjoy whale muktuk, all that — and in case you aren’t sick of our state by now, I’ll start off with an apology for one of our residents: Sarah Palin.

We Alaskans are not generally so magazine-pretty like her, nor are we so confrontational and vapid. Most of us don’t have those peachy cheeks — we have sunburn, windburn and frostbite. Our fingernails are dirty from actually gutting moose, not yakking about it. Our hands are chapped from picking thousands of salmon out of nets, not holding one up for the camera.

Having said that, here in Alaska we are accustomed to getting jobs we’re not qualified to fill. In our far-flung villages and towns we have big money surrounded by big wilderness; the combination causes warped career opportunities. Sort of an Edge of Nowhere phenomenon — cousin to the Bridge to Nowhere one.

For example, in the village closest to the wilderness homestead where I was raised, I remember standing in my friend’s cabin when his dad got a call on the CB radio: “People are writing you in for mayor.”

“Nope!” my friend’s dad transmitted. “Tell ’em no, I ain’t doing that.” He spit in a can, peered out the door at his Honda generator — idling rough — an extension cord running up the hill and under his door, to power the rerun of “Dukes of Hazzard” he was watching.

If he’d lived in Wasilla 25 years later, he could have responded, “Call Sarah, she’ll want it.”

-end-

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