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These Booties are Made for Mushin’

March 4, 2008

The 36th annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is underway this week in Alaska. Dog teams are comprised of 12 to 16 dogs, usually Alaskan Malamutes or Siberian Huskies (although Snoopy the Beagle once attempted the race — see video). This year, mushers are racing on the 1,112-mile Northern Trail from Anchorage to Nome. At the 25 checkpoints set up along the route, teams refill their supplies of food, sled equipment, batteries, and winter gear, including, of course, dog booties!

The typical dog bootie is made of Cordura nylon — a lightweight synthetic fabric that’s soft, tear-resistant, and quick-drying — and is fastened around the ankle with a Velcro strap. With 16 dogs to a team and each dog wearing 4 booties (plus backups), which are then replaced with a new set at each of the 25 checkpoints, a dog team will go through over 1,500 booties during the race!

Sled Dogs

2 Comments leave one →
  1. truce permalink
    March 10, 2008 7:51 pm

    I want to know what happens to the 1500 booties post-race. Are they gathered up and sent overseas to less fortunate working dogs??

  2. March 11, 2008 11:27 am

    It seems many of them wind up with a less charitable fate: eBay.

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