Sunday, April 19, 2015

Is the Iditarod ethical?




We have read Gary Paulsen’s account of preparing for and taking part in the 1,049 mile long Iditarod race in Alaska. We have also read two articles about the race with respect to the treatment of dogs. Those articles are:






Using the prompt of ethics, what do you think about the running of the dogs in the Iditarod. Think of how Paulsen’s dogs reacted to the race and think of the two articles we read. You may research further, if you wish. 



Write your blog post explaining your ideas about using dogs to run the Iditarod. Your big idea should be your opinion, and then offer many details as proof of your big idea. Be sure you edit for spelling and conventions to make your post as clean as possible. Remember, people all over the world are reading your work! This is an opinion piece, so if you feel strongly, develop ideas that will stick with your reader. Convince your reader of you side of the issue. 

107 comments:

  1. I support the idea of dogs competing in the Iditarod. Its a great way of discipline and exercising for dogs. Most dogs racing in the Iditarod have been training for many months prior to the race for so long, it's almost like they want to race. During that Iditarod racing there are several checkpoints where someone is there to check or inspect the dogs making sure they can continue to race. Both rookies and dogs work very hard for the Iditarod race; they form a close bond, which makes it rewarding altogether.

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    1. I like your last sentence with the reward of a bond. I agree with that.

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    2. I like your last sentence, too, Nimi. Gary Paulsen sure seemed to have a strong bond with his dogs!

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    3. I like your post. WELL DONE

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    4. I really like your point Nimi

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  2. It is fine to have dogs run the Iditarod. The Iditarod requires health exams for the musher and the dogs. They are picky so only the strong ones proceed into the race. There is also a medic and vet at every checkpoint, so the dogs can be examined if necessary. Luckily, it’s not only the dogs that have to be tested, but the musher also has to so the hosts know that that the musher is experienced. For example, the musher has to do little pre- Iditarod races and if a musher gets a good report he or she will be able to attend the Iditarod. Also, most people think it would be super hard to pull the sled, those people must think it’s huge, but really it’s small. Also, Alaska’s most used transportation is dogs so the people of Alaska would probably know the best way to care for the dogs. Therefore, I think the dogs are fine in the Iditarod.

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    1. You have cited some good proof, Trevor. From what you've said here, it seems perfectly fine to run the dogs. You have pointed out some good safeguards.

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    2. I think I just found a side to argue on.

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    3. It's not the side that matters; it's the amount of proof that does!

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  3. Casey ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)April 27, 2015 at 7:43 PM

    I think it’s alright to use the dogs in the Iditarod race. Before the race even start’s the administrators have to prepare the dogs and the mushers. The mushers get a informational letter from the Chief Veterinarian regarding topics of concern and dog care issues. The mushers have to read the rules of the Iditarod race and policies regarding dog care management. The dogs have to have a vaccination before they even go to the Iditarod race. Then the veterinarians read the document to let the dog proceed into the race. If a dog gets hurt there is a medic and vet at the checkpoints. The dogs might not even get hurt. Probably the only ways the dogs could get hurt is the musher is treating them badly or the dog just gets cold.
    At the end the dogs and the musher would have probably bonded a lot together so then they would do the Iditarod race next time.

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    1. Good points, Casey. But, how about those 144 dogs that have died over the course of the race? All the vets couldn't save them . . .

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    2. Yah I mean how many vets are at a checkpoint

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  4. I believe that the Iditarod should continue to run. Dog sled racing is a sport. Athletes are often injured during completion or training. The sled dogs are the athletes. What sparks the debate on this topic is the fact that the dogs have no real choice to run or not to run. If the dogs are owned by a decent musher and treated well, then I feel that dog sled racing is acceptable. There is risk in anything that we do. Yes, 144 dogs have died over the course of the races history, but every year over 1,000 dogs participate in the race. The race has been going on since 1973. Only a very small percentage of dogs have died in the race and in the last 4 years there have been no deaths. From reading Woodsong it is obvious that the dogs love to run, they were born for it. A caring musher would never abuse his/her dogs. The Iditarod is set up to protect the dogs. There are veterinarians to examine the dogs at every checkpoint, there are many health requirements to be met before the race begins, and ongoing research to constantly improve conditions for racing dogs. Accidents will always be a part of this race. It is up to the humans to keep sled dogs happy and healthy before, during, and after the Iditarod. I have two dogs at home. They are old now, only because we have treated them well and love them. Many dogs are abused by bad people. I think that the mushers who abuse and possibly kill their dogs should be banned from the race for life. Dogs only want to please their owners and should never be victims of abuse.

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    1. You have very strong evidence for your claims Ty. You do a nice job of examining ideas that are counter to your Big Idea, and you are able to explain them with excellent analysis. Impressive analysis of the topic!

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    2. I think every single post has been on the, its OK for dogs to run side.

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  5. I think sled dogs should be able to run the Iditarod. The dogs have been training for about ten years, so running should be normal for them. Take Woodsong, for example. Wilson was falling asleep while running, because running was like laying down for him. But what about all those dogs that died? Well, that is a good reason to not let sled dogs run the big race, but what about the millions of dogs who didn't die? What about the dogs who survived and had a good life? There may have been 144 dogs who have died in the Iditarod, but millions other who didn't. So, in conclusion, I think sled dogs should be able to run the Iditarod.

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    1. It is true that for Wilson, it sure didn't seem to be a challenge to run!

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    2. You're right Sami, there are still the millions of dogs that survived. I guess PETA just wants to highlight the small amount of deaths out of the millions that survived.

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  6. I truly believe that the Iditarod is humane to the dogs. First of all, this is what the dogs are trained to do. When they are starting the race, the are pulling on the lines so hard there is no slack. These dogs enjoy the race truly. Second, the Iditarod dog care measures are extremely superb. The medics are required to have a minimum of 5 years of experience. The mushers have to have a plethora of experience through completing qualifying races. The dogs go through a lot of health tests and preparations. Most complaints by organizations like PETA are exaggerated to bring out the “dark side” and twist the reality so people will think the race is not humane to the dogs. They might argue that even though the healthcare standards are high, there have been 144 deaths over the race’s existence. Even though that is true, there have been no deaths in the last four out of five years, so the race’s healthcare is very good.

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    1. Good, strong post, Cooper. Your opening sets the tone for the rest of the blog. I love the use of the word "plethora"!

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    2. Nice vocabulary Cooper!

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  7. I think it is alright to use the sled dogs for the Iditarod. At the starting of the race, Gary Paulsen's dogs were very excited and was eager to start the race. Before these dogs can run in the race, they have to be tested and checked if there is any issues of the dogs. If they pass, the dogs can run in the race. Whenever there is a problem or an accident, the Iditarod would add a rule to prevent the cause of the problem that had happened in the Iditarod. If a dog is injured, the vets in the check points will heal it's wound. The dog's body is made to run in the ice. They can face gruesome races and finish them. The dogs are happy if you ran them. Their body is adapted to ran far distances. This race is not entertainment for humans; it is a challenge only for strong, big, brave dogs. Some have died in the Iditarod, only known as a hero or champion who tried the best to pass the challenge. After running the Iditarod, the dogs get a good night's sleep and some food . Every year the race is starting to be less gruesome, more kindness to the dogs each year. Even the Alaska Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, allow this race, and a little better treatment for the dogs. The last past years, no dog had died in the challenge. PETA is just exaggerating to convince people to fight against the Iditarod; Making the event sound worse than the race truly is. I think it is alright to use the sled dogs for the challenging race.

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    1. NIce job of working in the Alaska Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in your argument, Elissa!

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  8. I support the idea of dogs racing in the Iditarod. In the Iditarod I know there is some dangers in doing it but in most checkpoints there are going to be veterinary examinations of every dog to make sure the dogs are ok. The dogs prepare for this race for years and if they are not ready they don’t have to go. There have been deaths in the Iditarod but in the last 4 years there has been no deaths. Dogs that race in the Iditarod are born for running and it is fun for them. It is clear that the dogs love to run. If there are first time racers (rookies) they have to read the rules of the Iditarod first and they have to get approved by the Iditarod Trail Committee in order to race. Also the dogs have to go through certain tests and they have to pass the tests in order to run. The Iditarod is also a good fun exercise the dogs can do. Iditarod mushers and dogs can bond during the run and they might consider doing it again. From reading Woodsong Gary seems to have a strong bond with his dogs and they said they would do the run again and this might happen to other mushers and dogs too. To me, I think the Iditarod seems under control and fun.

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    1. I take it 'most checkpoints' means almost every checkpoint?

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    2. You have a nice mix of proof Shaun-you use the Internet articles and Woodsong to support your Big Idea.

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    3. I totally agree with you, Oscar.

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  9. I am okay with dogs running in the Iditarod. They love to run and are truly made for pulling. There have been no deaths in the last five years. The Iditarod officials take great care to make sure the race is safe, as seen at the Iditarod Dog Care Measures. The checkpoints have specially trained veterinarians. I am fine with sled dogs continuing to compete in the Iditarod Sled Race.

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    1. I agree with you Oscar but especially with the part that it says that the dogs have to pull.

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  10. I disagree with PETA I think dogs should be able to run the Iditarod if they want to, but if some dogs do not want to run the 1049-mile marathon for dogs they should not have to do it. Dogs should be able to run the Iditarod because it is good exercise for the dogs, the veterinarians do a lot of tests on the dogs before they are able to run, and because there are 35 veterinarians and five of the veterinarians are rookies. The rooky veterinarians have to start training in December when the race is in March. I think dogs that run the Iditarod build up strong muscles for their bodies. If a dog looks like it does not want to run the freezing, long, and windy race, then the musher should not make it run the race. The reason for that is maybe the dog might be suffering from dehydration, disease, muscle injuries, or bleeding insides. It would be good for dogs to run the Iditarod.

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    1. How would you be able to know if the dog wants to run or doesn't want to run? I agree that they get strong muscles!

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    2. I definitely agree ben, that dogs build up strong muscles during the race.

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    3. You're right Mr. LaMarr, how would you tell if the dog wanted to race or not?

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    4. I agree Ben. They should run the idea.

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  11. I disagree with PETA. I think dogs should run the Iditarod. I mean, it’s in their blood to run and pull the sled, and most of the time I say let the dogs do what they want to do, unless it’s bad. Even my dad says that dogs should run the Iditarod, it’s what they’re bred and born for, pretty much. If you look at the Iditarod website, even they say they take care of the dogs. They get all kinds of checkups and shots in the beginning, they’ll be just fine. Most of the deaths that PETA talk about is probably just the really old dogs, or it was an accident. It’s kind of a benefit for the dogs, because they're getting stronger every time they run. The dogs even want to run themselves. That is why I disagree with PETA and think that dogs should run the Iditarod.

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    1. Ya! because if they didn't, i think there would be more deaths!

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    2. I do think that the dogs want to run; Gary Paulsen's book makes it sound like they all love it. I wonder if that's true.

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    3. I like that they have medical care too. If they didn't, that would be a game changer. What if a dog did got hurt and there was no vet? Thats when the dog is in trouble.

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    4. I really like your reasons for why dogs should run the Iditarod Matthew

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  12. Dogs should be allowed to run in the Iditarod. I believe this for several reasons. First of all, several people take many precautions regarding the mushers' dogs and ensuring their safety. The dogs are checked very thoroughly for disease or abnormalities many days before the actual race begins. Every dog running the race is given a veterinary examination at each checkpoint so that the veterinarians can take care of the dog if it is necessary. Secondly, the rookies competing in the race are given special training and suggestions on how to be able to run the Iditarod safely, without endangering the dogs. This training occurs almost three months before the actual race. Third of all, I also think that running the Iditarod exposes ''newbie'' sled dogs to the hardships of life from a different point of view. This is most likely the hardest and most challenging race the dogs will ever run. So on completing the race, the musher and his dogs feel proud that they have accomplished such a difficult and grueling race. This is why I feel that dogs should have the right to run in the Iditarod.

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    1. Well organized flow of ideas to prove your point, Lia!

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  13. I think dogs should run the Iditarod. There are many tests many tests to make sure the dogs the dogs are healthy enough to run the race. But it is unethical to kill a dog directly, abandon it or just to leave it for another musher to take care of, which has happened in the Iditarod. The dogs have been training for the Iditarod their whole life, and there is medical service in every checkpoint. And with that many precautions I think the Iditarod is safe for dogs.

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    1. It does seem like there are a number of precautions, Nithin. All that information is coming from the Iditarod website. I wonder if other websites say the same things.

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  14. Hey 4th graders:

    We only looked at two websites, but there is a lot more information on this issue out there. Take a look at this video. It has both sides of the issue.

    http://adventure.howstuffworks.com/30802-the-iditarod-dog-safety-video.htm

    Does that change your mind either way?

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    1. YES IT DID! SO MUCH! It's why I'm the only one is the class who thinks the Iditarod!

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  15. I believe it is ok to have dogs run the Iditarod. The dogs and mushers have to take many tests and an examined race in order to participate. The dogs that are chosen to race in the Iditarod are always wanting to run the race in the beginning and happy at the end. Dallas Seavey, the 2015 Iditarod winner said, “Every time they trusted me and put everything on the line and got us there fast, I trusted them and gave them more rest and I knew they would give it back to me on the next run. It kept going back and forth that volley…” This shows that the mushers are nice to their dogs. Sure that might just be a couple of mushers though. The Iditarod people make sure there is a dog check up at every check point with Veterinarian. Yes bad things have happened in the past. 144 dogs have died along the trail. Most likely very few of those were the mushers fault. Most people who run the Iditarod love dogs. Others problably do it for the money. First place gets $50,000.To keep the dogs and mushers safe, there is a meeting for the rookies in advance of the race. Some people and dogs love it so much they run it again. Gary Paulsen did this. Gary Paulsen finished his first race but almost turned around. He scratched his second race though. Scratched is similar to disqualified but it usually means you got sick or hurt or something like that. This is why I think dogs are ok to run the Iditarod.

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    1. Excellent use of a quote from the winner of the past two years' races to help support your case, Tanner!

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    2. Thanks! I really like the quote too.

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    3. I agree with Mr. La Marr, Tanner. I definitely like you using a quote!

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  16. I think sled dogs should run the Iditarod. I think this because In Gary Paulsen’s book, Woodsong, it says that sled dogs biologically need to pull. I think it is safe because no dogs have died in the last five years. Also the mushers that are rookies get a special training before the race to ensure that the dogs and the musher are safe. At every checkpoint each musher has a trained veterinarian to keep the dogs healthy. The vet examines the dogs at every checkpoint. Again, I think sled dogs should run the Iditarod.

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    1. I totally agree with you. Sled dogs have the need for pulling speed!

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    2. Can't dogs pull outside of the Iditarod without being forced?

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    3. They may want to, but when they are harnessed and directed to run in an Iditarod, do they have a choice as to where they can pull. It would be interesting if the dogs could actually tell us what they think. I wonder what they'd say . . .

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    4. Cooper, you don't know that.

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  17. I think that dogs should still continue to race in the Iditarod. During the Iditarod a lot of the times the leader and the dogs develop a strong bond between themselves. The next benefit of the Iditarod is that those breeds of dogs like to travel in packs. This impacts their connection and helps them work together more efficiently. Many of the dogs that participate are very competitive and were bred to succeed in the challenge. It also is a great workout for the dogs. It is bound that along the way some dogs get hurt. But at every checkpoint there are veterinarians to help the dog get back up on its feet and continue to Iditarod race. The thing that really helps the idea of the Iditarod being okay for the dogs is that they have training for the rookies before the race. Plus, no dogs have died in the last five years. Some dogs, like in Gary Paulsen’s book Woodsong, just need to pull. Therefore, I think that it is okay for dogs to keep participating in the Iditarod.

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    1. I agree with you too Sierra. It's okay if dogs join the Iditarod. Also, nice blog!!!

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  18. Iditarod blog- should sled dogs run the Iditarod
    I think that sled dogs should run the Iditarod. The dogs really like running the race, first of all. The dogs want to pull and they want to stop at some checkpoints to rest and eat. They have been trained for several years. Second of all,in Woodsong, Gary Paulsen's point of view is running the race with his dogs without any of them dying. In the mushers point of view, this is a very responsible risk to the dogs. It would be a responsible risk if the mushers took care of them while racing like putting booties on cut feet and feeding them when they are hungry,also letting them rest at checkpoints. Again, sled dogs should run the Iditarod.
    Links

    There's some yes's and no's from mushers that have run the Iditarod videos linked on http://adventure.howstuffworks.com/30802-the-iditarod-dog-safety-video.htm. Also, there is more info about the sled dogs on Iditatrod Sled Dog Race 2015: Is the Race Humane to the Dogs? including PETA's blog post and Iditarod Dog Care Measures for how the Iditarod cares for and takes care of the sled dogs. For Dallas Seavy quotes, use this link: http://www.quotetimes.com/people/138272/dallas-seavey .


    P.S.:If I were Wilson, running the Iditarod would be like being bored.

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  19. It’s okay and fine if dogs run the Iditarod. It’s not as dangerous as you think it might be. Some people think it is very dangerous because dogs might die, it might be too cold, dogs might get sick, hurt, and maybe even die. That’s not true. It is sad that 144 dogs have died in the history of the Iditarod, even 23 since 2004, but no dogs have died in the past five years. However, every year, if something bad happens in the Iditarod, like mushers killing dogs, they may make up new rules like for this example, “You may not kill your own dog.” Also, people make sure dogs are safe and ready for the Iditarod. The mushers and dogs have lots of training and take many tests before they can run the Iditarod. It takes 3 months of training and practicing to run the Iditarod. To keep the dogs healthy, there will be veterinarians at every checkpoint to make sure dogs are healthy and if any bad injury had healed. Dog care diaries must be carried by the mushers and presented to veterinarians at each checkpoint, to make sure if anything bad happened. Rules are much safer and better now than before. Why stop dogs running if they love it? I think it is perfectly fine if dogs join the Iditarod.

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  20. I think that dogs should continue to race the Iditarod. It gives the musher and his dogs an opportunity to bond and to get to know each other even more. It also gives the dogs an opportunity to get all their energy out and to run as fast as they want. I feel that if I ever try to race in the Iditarod, which I probably wouldn’t win, it would still be a great experience and a one in a life time experience also because even if I were raced in it again it wouldn’t be the same as the first time. It is also a great way for the dogs to workout. It’s a great way for the dogs to bond and to learn how to work together in a team. All in all, I think that dogs should continue to race in the Iditarod.

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  21. I think racing dogs in the Iditarod is fine. Running is what sled dogs are bred to do. They love it. They want to pull and if they get hurt they don’t care. In Gary Paulsen’s book Woodsong, Storm, the sled dog, sprayed blood out of his rear end. He didn’t even pay any attention to it and he just kept on pulling. He did what they wanted to do: to run. These dogs are true athletes. Usually mushers care for their dogs, they love them and the dogs love them back. I don’t think many mushers will hurt their dogs. Only 144 out of about 1,000 dogs have died and the race has been going on for 32 years. Experienced veterinarians at each checkpoint to make sure they do not have any problems check the dogs. The dogs also go through a series of medical tests before the race begins. If the dogs are not healthy enough to race, they are not allowed to run. Many rules and regulations have been made because of mistakes and accidents in the past. The Iditarod has changed over time and those requirements have made the Iditarod much safer and much more humane to animals.

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    1. I agree with you, Clara. I don't think that many mushers will hurt their dogs.

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    2. Your right Clara!

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  22. I think dogs should run in the Iditarod. They want to run. In Woodsong, Gary Paulsen’s dog, Storm, was an “honest” dog which means a dog that pulls when it is really resting. Only 144 dogs have died in the Iditarod, but in the last four years there weren’t any deaths. If the dogs get wounded there will be veterinarians at the checkpoints to take help the dogs with their injuries and take examines. This race is a challenge for the dogs and the mushers. Some people liked the race so much that they do it again. Gary Paulsen liked it so much that he turned around because he liked seeing the beauty of nature. So that’s why I think dogs should run in the Iditarod.

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  23. I support the idea of dogs running the Iditarod because the dogs were bred to run and pull. If a sled dog lived in a home their whole life, they might go crazy because they aren't pulling anything. In that picture on that webpage we went on, the camera man took the picture right when the dog was wanting to pull so it looked like people were torturing the dog and it want to escape but really it was doing what is was supposed to do. I think that letting dogs run the Iditarod is ethical.

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    1. I agree all the way through, Raymond!

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  24. Believe it or not, but I thought about this situation for this whole week. At the begining I coudn't make up my mind, but I finally found a side to join. I think that they should keep the Iditorod and the fact that sled dogs have to do this race. PETA takes about how dogs have died, but they didn't talk about how dogs survived and did it year after year. Dogs survived, and some dogs didn't. Thats how some things work. For obvious reasons poeple shoudn't kill there dogs them selves, but they may die of something else. Everyone talks about how the dogs need to live, but its not always going to be that way, the way everyone wants it. Its like how people die. There is nothing you can do about it. Another way to think about is that these dogs were went to run and pull sleds. It would be like taking away what they love to do. In class we saw that picture of the dog wanting to run, but it made it look like someone was pulling or torturing the dog to run. Letting these dogs run in the Iditorod is ethical.

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    1. Your blog has many of your own thoughts, Zoey. Great to see!

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  25. I think the dogs should race in the Iditarod. That's what their breed of dog is called, sled dogs. If you have a sled dog as a pet it wouldn't go so well. Has anyone from PETA been in the Iditarod, probably not and never. Why do they care if 1 dog dies its just the way of life PETA. Plus in the Iditarod website it says that the mushers need 5 years of training before doing the Iditarod and there is a vet examination at every checkpoint. PETA, nobody is perfect you can't keep your pet alive for eternity or a least for as long as you live, unless your a witch or wizard. I think keeping the Iditarod is fine.

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    1. I don't think that PETA people would run the Iditarod as they are opposed to it. I also think they care about 1 dog dying because it could be prevented had the dog not run the race. Interesting perspective, Zach!

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  26. I think that sled dogs should be allowed to run the Iditarod, but I think the race should be shorter. The race should be 349-549 miles, not 1,049 miles. A shorter distance means there would be less stress on the dog's muscles because of running days on end.

    I also think that there should be full medical checks throughout the race to see if the dog teams are hurt, or have other medical issues that would affect the dog/dogs in any way. The medics should always have another dog with them. If there is a dog with a medical issue than they can replace him/her with a new dog. This new dog won’t have any medical problems. Once the dog that has been hurt is seen fit to race again, the once injured dog will replace the “spare dog.”

    I also think there should be a minimum number of days of training that the dogs and mushers have to go through in the previous year. Running is in the dog's blood, and they run almost every day. I think that sled dogs should run a shorter race, not 1,049 miles, that is like us running around 2,600 miles in about two and a half weeks!

    It has been reported that 144 dogs have died during the 42 years of the Iditarod, probably most of those deaths have been from old or “rusty” dogs that weren’t ready for the race for multiple reasons:


    Reason 1. The dog was overly fed and had too much weight on him (he was too fat)
    Reason 2. The dog hadn’t trained enough, so the dog didn’t have enough endurance or speed
    Reason 3. The dog had just shed its coat so it was not warm enough for the adventure
    Reason 4. The dog had been injured, and this may affect his/her running style and the dog’s endurance or speed
    Reason 5. The dog had been pregnant in the last year (this only applies to girl dogs)

    For the reasons explained above, this is why I think sled dogs should be able to run...The Iditarod.

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    1. Nice job Nate! I agree!

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    2. Nice to see an original idea, Nate. Why not shorten the race? I like the idea.

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  27. I think it is NOT okay for dogs to run the Iditarod. I believe this because even though the dogs go through a lot of tests, it is still dangerous for the dogs. The dogs could catch a sickness like hypothermia. The dogs could also catch frostbite. I have watch the video that Mr. LaMarr put on a blog and found out that 100 at the most dogs come to the vet each day because of injuries and sour mussels during the Iditarod. That is way to many dogs coming to the vet each day for the race to be safe. It is dangerous for the humans too. The video says that no human has died from the Iditarod, but I do not want to experience a first. Another danger to humans is hallucinating. If a person hallucinates a path when they are in the middle of nowhere, they could easily get lost, unless they already are. I have noticed a trend throughout the writing of other students. They are saying that dogs have to run and pull. This is true. However, dogs are able to do this outside of the Iditarod too. Dogs should not be forced to run the Iditarod when they are able to run without being in the Iditarod. These are many reasons dogs should not run the Iditarod.

    I know I am the only student with this case, but this does not concern me. Like I said before, a trend in other blog posts is that dogs have to pull. Another trend is that people are saying that dogs go through many tests for safety. This is also true. But did those people ever think of all the other bad things that could happen on the trails that tests cannot stop? For an example, getting hurt. A test cannot prevent dogs getting hurt on the trails. A team could also get lost. If a team gets lost, whether or not they know it, they may not find their way back. This is another example of a problem tests can’t fix. These are plenty of examples of why the Iditarod should stop.

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    1. I thought about the safety of the dogs on the trail.

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    2. There are a lot more safety rules on the Iditarod website. It doesn't JUST talk about taking many tests for safety.

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    3. Excellent job, Julia! It isn't easy to be the only one with a different opinion, and you stated yours very well. You raise great points, and you clearly have a strong belief which comes through in the writing. Great blog!

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    4. Indirect quote from Zach: Sled dogs will not live an eternity. So what if one dog dies? It's just the way of life!

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    5. Must they die in an Iditarod? Naturally, like Storm, would be fitting!

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  28. I think that the Iditarod is not humane to runner dogs. Firstly, the dog must have 5 years of training before it can be tested. Secondly, the dog must be inspected, vaccinated, de-wormed within 10 days before the race, pre-race veterinary physical exams within 14 days of the race start, pre-race ECG’s (a test that records the electrical activity of the heart) within 14 days of the race, and pre-race blood measures which are taken the same time as the ECGs. Each musher are also required to sign Dog Care Agreements. Even in the race there are veterinarians at every checkpoint waiting to see sweet dogs faces to prepare them to run the next day/night.

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  29. I think it is ethical for dogs to run in the Iditarod. It is ethical for dogs to run because of the many tests that the hosts are performing on the dogs. At every check point there is a veterinarian there to help a dog in need. The hosts are taking very good care of the dogs. They also have mandatory stopping points so the dogs can rest. I think some dogs would be sad and depressed if not allowed to participate. This is true because these dogs are bred to run. Even if they are in pain, they will run. An example of this is in the book, Woodsong, when storm was bleeding from his bottom and he kept persisting. These dogs are also ancestors of wolves, and wolves are meant to have lots of stamina. Sled dogs also have lots of stamina or they wouldn't run. Only 144 dogs have died. In recent years, the Iditarod hosts have made it much safer. People should also not believe everything Peta or any other organization's negative comments. Those groups might be over exaggerating too much. It's ok for the negative groups to think that but I do not agree. I think dogs should definitely run in the Iditarod.

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  30. Because of many reasons, I believe that dogs running in the Iditarod is ethical. According to the website, http://iditarod.com/about/history/, the Iditarod race was created to save sled dogs from disappearing from the Alaskan cultures. Less and less families were raising sled dogs because the snowmobiles were being used for tasks that sled dogs used to perform.

    At the beginning of the race, there were many unexpected problems that led to dogs’ deaths and injuries. But, with mistakes made and lessons learned, better racing procedures were put in place. As the result, less dogs have been hurt. Before the race starts, the dogs are checked by veterinarians to make sure that they are healthy and fit for the race. Also, there is good veterinary care at every checkpoint. In fact, for the last four out of five years, no dog has died. Another complaint about the Iditarod race was that some dogs were being pushed too hard by their musher. However, these dogs are bred and love to run. Appropriate mandatory rest periods between checkpoints can help make sure that aggressive musher allow their dogs enough rest. Running together not only allows the dogs to do what they enjoy, but it also creates a strong bond between the dogs and their musher that stays with them for a long time. I believe that the Iditarod should continue because it allows people and dogs to enjoy the true Alaskan wildness and keep sled dogs from disappearing from Alaskan way of life.

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    1. Nice job of adding some new research, Ashley. You have also taken that research and built good thoughts around it. Thank you for a new perspective!

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  31. I go against dogs running the Iditarod because when they have to pull the dogsled, their muscles get tired and they're all like "I am super tired. I want to quit!" but there is no quitting in the Iditarod, so the owners will have to go without the dog and leave the dog to die. Sometimes, the dogs will be pushed to hard by their musher and sometimes the musher might do something bad to the dog, which may cause a chance that the dog may get injured and not be able to run very good. Once again, I go against dogs running the Iditarod.

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  32. I think dogs are okay to run in the Iditarod. Iditarod vets care about these dogs and they give them great medical care, like blood tests and deworming before the race. Throughout the race mushers are required to keep a medical diary about their dogs. There are checkpoints where vets review the diary and then check the dogs’ conditions. At these checkpoints, mushers are also required to rest their teams. Each morning a recorder writes down where the musher is before the musher leaves the checkpoint.
    For the musher, the musher has to have experience racing dogs. Mushers also take training classes some months ahead of the competition. Before the actual Iditarod, they have qualifying races. These determine if the musher is able to run in the Iditarod.
    Many dogs like to race and this is good exercise for them. Huskies were bred to be sled dogs and help people. These dogs like to have a job and help people carry things on sleds. The Iditarod organizers also said that this is a great time for dogs to bond with their owners.

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  33. I think dogs should not race in the Iditarod. If they do I think that they should go through a lot of tests. I also think that dogs should not race in the Iditarod because dogs will get tired and then stop then the master will get mad and then hurt the dogs. Here is one more reason why I do not want doges to race in the Iditarod they will get frostbite.

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    1. The dogs do take lots of tests.

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    2. What if the musher is Gary, he cared about his dogs

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    3. I agree for the most part.

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