The other day, while visiting Iditarod Headquarters, I had the opportunity to witness a vet check. Cim Smyth was there with his dogs getting their pre-race check-up. This included having blood drawn and getting an EKG – the dogs, not Cim. A few of the dogs were skittish about coming into the vet trailer, but the technicians were calm and comforting and each dog settled right in. As one dog was getting blood drawn, the other was laying on the table having an EKG.
While the technicians drew the blood, Cim sat at the head of the EKG dogs, petting them and keeping them reassured as other techs attached the leads needed to run an EKG. The dogs calmly laid on the table enjoying all the pets and attention. They were amazing during the process; I was impressed with their trust in the techs and relaxed demeanor.
This dedicated group of veteranarian technician volunteers will continue the same process for every dog in this year’s race. 66 mushers x 16 dogs = 1,056 check-ups. They do it with smiles on their faces and a devotion to the animals they work with. Excellent job!