SuperDogs: Dallas Seavey
Dallas' dogs were featured in the May/June 2011 issue of Mushing Magazine, just a couple of months after winning the Yukon Quest. Dallas also won the 2012 Iditarod, as the youngest musher, and just a couple of days ago won the most difficult Iditarod in memory, breaking the speed record. From this group of dogs, Beetle was in his team this year, and it is interesting to read what he said about him back in 2011. Enjoy, GSDerbyMale, 6 years old, 60 lbs.Derby is probably the best athlete in my team.He’s got a smooth gait, and makes even thehardest runs seem effortless. Generally your bestathletes become your lead dogs, but Derby is theexception. He prefers to run in the middle of theteam, and seems happiest in wheel. I wonder if awheel dog has ever earned a Golden Harness.DieselMale, 4 years old, 59 lbs.Diesel finished in lead in this year’s Yukon Questchampion team. He did most of the leading onthat race which was a nice surprise consideringthat he’s never been a confi dent dog and generallyruns in swing. We got Diesel when he didn’tmake the cut in my dad’s “Puppy Team” the yearmy wife Jen ran the Iditarod. Jen claims Dieselbelongs to her and keeps threatening to chargeme a lease fee to race him. TaterMale, 3 years old, 52 lbs.Tater is the spitting image of his dad Fridge, my main leadersince 2007. He was a gift from my dad after Fridge diedunexpectedly last year. He’s a phenomenal athlete who likesto lead. He’s got a tough guy attitude and can be obstinate attimes, but I believe that that stubborn streak is a good qualityin an Iditarod lead dog.D-2Female, 4 years old, 65 lbs.I never expected the biggest dog on my team to be a female.D-2 has surprised me in more ways than one. She barely mademy team in 2010, but ended fi nishing with me. She is a big,hardworking dog who consistently fi nishes tough races.ElimMale, 5 years old, 47 lbs.Elim is a solid leader who rarely loses hiscomposure. He’s got several personality traitsthat defi nitely seem more feline than canine. Hetends to be moody and only likes attention if heinitiates it. Even his features are cat-like includingpointed ears and four tiny feet that wearsize small booties.ClutchMale, 5 years old, 64 lbs.Clutch has the heart of a champion. Despite his awkward gait,and limited athletic ability, he has become a key member in myteam and one of my favorites. He is always eager and barkingto go, even when his body is too tired to continue. He nevermisses a meal, and I usually feed him two smaller portions tominimize spillage.UrsusFemale, 8 years old, 52 lbs.As the oldest dog on the team, Ursus has run more Iditarodsthan I have. She seems to have decided that her extensiveracing experience exempts her from leading and pulling duringtraining runs. However, she always steps up during races andis one of my main fi nishing leaders.GattMale, 4 years old, 56 lbs.Out of harness Gatt has a quiet, apologetic personality. Youwould never guess that he’s the cheer leader in the team,keeping up a steady, ear piercing bark during every hook up.His enthusiasm can be a real upper on a thousand mile race.Gatt fi nished the Yukon Quest in single swing.ShelbyFemale, 6 years old, 41 lbs.Shelby, a litter mate to Derby, has fi nished in lead for me in the2009 and 2010 Iditarods. She was a 2 year old in the “PuppyTeam” that I ran for my dad in 2007. She didn’t fi nish that yeardue to a broken foot presumably from stepping in a crack inthe sea ice. The injury wasn’t discovered until we reached thecheckpoint; she had been driving hard in swing the entire run.CrazyFemale, 5 years old, 44 lbs.Crazy is a small, quiet dog thatnever really stands out in theteam. She is great at camping,and generally beds down in thenearest snow bank whenever theteam stops for more than 30 seconds.She also has an affi nity forsleeping in my sled, and will loadherself if given the chance.GuinnessFemale, 7 years old, 40 lbs.Guinness is the smallest dog in my team by far. She’s also mymain lead dog. I don’t know how she does it! Her short littlelegs never seem to get tired, and she’s always barking to go.She excels in lead on and off the trail. She led me through thestorm on American Summit in this year’s Quest. I didn’t haveto lead her once. She is out of the same breeding (one yearearlier) as Shelby and Derby.BeetleMale, 3 years old, 57 lbs.Beetle started out the year as one of my bottom dogs. Hehung in there through training and made my Quest team. Onthe Quest he steadily improved and ended up crossing the fi nishline in lead with Diesel. It was only his 5th time in lead!MangoFemale, 6 years old, 46 lbs.Mango is a professional swing dog. She drives hard, and has abeautiful rolling lope. She takes commands and sets the pacefrom swing, but doesn’t care for running in lead. Mango is oneof my key fi nishing dogs, helping to keep the speed up for thelast few runs.ChungMale, 8 years old , 52 lbs.Chung is probably the happiest dog in the team. Every time we stopout on the trail or at the end of the run, he rolls around on his backmaking little doggie snow angels. He’s a core dog who will lead if Ineed him to, but usually cruises along in the team pulling just the rightamount. Whatever the conditions, Chung is happy to run, happy to rest,and happy to eat.TysonMale, 7 years old, 52 lbs.When I fi rst started working with Tyson 3 years ago, he had a“survivor” mentality. He was an exceptional athlete but rarelypulled unless he knew that it was going to be a short run. Hewas the kind of dog who was always holding back and nevergiving 100%. After 2 years of racing and training together, he’sstarted to trust me and really puts it on the line. He’s now anhonest, hardworking dog who loves his job.CessnaMale, 5 years old, 68 lbs.Cessna is kind of a work-a-holic and more often than not runs out ofgas before the fi nish line. That being said, he is a valuable member ofmy team. With him in the team, I can afford to let a few of my smallerlead dogs catch their breath in the sled. I generally run him towards theback of the team. He’s happy to run in lead, but still hasn’t learned topoop on the run.TyboMale, 5 years old, 48 lbs.This last winter, Tybo has gone from being my happiest swingdog to a hard core leader. He is a habitual rock eater. He hashad 4 expensive surgeries to remove the rocks from his digestivetract. The last one was swallowed while running the YukonQuest. My handler had to rush him to a vet clinic in Fairbanksfor emergency surgery.HeavyFemale, 8 years old, 55 lbs.Heavy is now retired from racing, and is one of my main breeding dogs.She has been a phenomenal leader throughout her career. Heavy is oneof the toughest, both mentally and physically, dogs that I’ve ever run.She’s led me through some pretty nasty conditions and she has mygratitude for that.