Tag Archives: dog

Iditarod Diary

6 Feb

Every winter, dog-lovers and sled-enthusiasts the world over unite in collective excitement for the world’s longest dog race. Every year, the musher’s roster is an interesting collection of foreign adrenaline junkies, dog lovers who severely overestimate the companionship canines can provide, and Alaskans who think the thousand mile journey is nothing compared to their usual sled trip to the nearest cell tower. Should the unending hours of sunlight not give the musher’s snow blindness, they often keep a journal of their experience. This is the diary of Austrian racer Klaüsus “Klaus” Von Klaüsenberg from his 2012 trek.

DAY 2:

I never saw so much snow. Every direction, as far as the eye can see, there’s more snow. It’s kind of humbling, really. You truly are alone out here. There’s no way to know if you’re going in the right direction. Everything else is just so far away.  I haven’t seen color in two days. It’s just a never-ending sea of white. It’s like that Kenny G concert I went to in Vienna. Anyway, the dogs are barking. I’ll write the next time something eventful happens.


Well, I guess I vastly overestimated how often things happen around here. Today was a blizzard. That’s eventful, I guess. I don’t think I’ve ever been colder. I try to breathe on my hands to warm them up but I think my lungs are frozen. I’d huddle with the dogs, but they’re cold also and feeling bitey. Hold on, my GPS is beeping. I don’t know why it’s beeping. It’s not supposed to beep like that.


It’s been thirteen hours since the GPS stopped working. I have absolutely no way of knowing which to go now, and I have not seen humans in five days. I am unhappy. I fear I may run out of food, so I’ve started rationing. I mark the time between meals in blizzards. I ate a can of peas two blizzards ago. I think one of the dogs smelled it. He’s giving me a scary look. I am very unhappy.


Twelve blizzards since I last saw any kind of a landmark (it was an unusually-shaped mound of snow). I think the mean-looking dog has attracted several others from the pack to his cause. I’m starting to hear words in their barks. Last night, they talked of mutiny. I distinctively heard the phrase, “Let’s drink human’s blood.” I’d kill the dogs preemptively, but then I’d be disqualified from the race. I am scared and very, very unhappy.

DAY 12

I want to go home. The two preceding pages of illegible scribbles are fault of my constant shivering. I couldn’t stay warm long enough to write. All of the dogs are now firmly rooted in confederacy against me. They are stockpiling food and crafting crude weapons out of their leather harnesses. I’d stop feeding them if there were another way for me to travel around this icy hellhole. The boredom is going to kill me before anything else. Just kidding. It will be the cold. I’m very cold.

A rescue party was sent out when Klaus did not arrive at the finish line. He was found ten days later, alone, attempting to eat his backpack. His dogs had run off and abandoned him. After a short recovery period, Klaus changed paths and became an impassioned spokesperson for the benefits and taste of dogmeat. He did not participate in another Iditarod.

Puppy Love

6 Jan

(A first-time pet owner walks into the vet with a puppy to get its shots. She goes up to the counter to check in.)

CLIENT: Hello, I’m here for the two o’clock appointment

RECEPTIONIST: Hi, your name?

CLIENT: Hopkins. Laura Hopk-

RECEPTIONIST: No, ma’am. Your dog’s name, please. The puppies come first in this office, Laura.

LAURA: Um, ok. This is Sugarplum.

RECEPTIONIST: What a cute name. And how old is Sugarplum?

LAURA: I think around, like, two months. My friend’s dog had puppies and she gave me one.

RECEPTIONIST: So is that like two months? Or two months exactly?

LAURA: Around two months, I don’t know.

RECEPTIONIST (condescending): Ok. Can you tell us anything more about Sugarplum? Any prior medications or treatments? Temperament? Allergies? Fecal texture? Sexual orientation? Anything else we should know?

LAURA: Nope. Just a normal dog.

RECEPTIONIST: Great. The vet will see you in just a minute if you’d like to wait over there. Would you like anything to drink while you wait?

LAURA: No, I’m fine, tha-

RECEPTIONIST (matter-of-factly): I was asking the dog!

This Post is Not About the Election

6 Nov

This post is not about the election. Nor is it about Hurricane Sandy. This is about the thing most antithetical to the pertinent, future-molding events of our week.

Dog sweaters are by far my favorite part of fall. For the first time since spring, it’s chilly enough to put your pooch in a cozy woolen sweater. Halloween is past and with it the tacky tuxedoes and princess costumes that owners put their pets in. Now, you get to do your animal a favor and style it with some warm clothes. If your dog is relentlessly pulling at his sweater and tearing it to shreds, don’t worry! This is just your friend expressing his gratitude for his new threads. So, this autumn, escape the holidays, political brouhaha, and natural disasters with a little bit of doggy dress-up.

If only dogs had some adaptation to stay warm without a sweater, like, say, fur.

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