Lance Mackey and Dogs' Feet

Filed under: Iditarod! — iditalearn2010 @ 8:31 pm

A note on Lance Mackey and love for dogs from Gary Paulsen:IMG_0481

I was privileged to watch Lance care for his dogs at the Nikolai checkpoint as he arrived and slept a short time and then left and I realized as he worked on them that he was the essential dog driver. He rubbed ointment into their feet and put booties on and gave them shoulder rubs and it became evident that he was in some kind of beautiful zone where nothing, absolutely nothing–including his own welfare–mattered to him except the bond he had with his dogs and their welfare. I was not four feet away watching him and I might as well have been on another planet. He saw only his dogs, only his dogs feet, only his dogs toes, and when it was apparent that he could not rub the ointment in their feet with his gloves on he took them off, though the windchill was perhaps thirty below, and worked on them barehanded. The circulation in his hands was damaged by his earlier surgery and he could only do about eight feet, booties and ointment, before his hands stiffened and he had to warm them, then back to work, every foot, every toe, every ankle flexed and worked to be supple and ready for the next run and there was nothing else in the world, not the snow or the race or the checkpoint or the broken runner on his sled, which he had been running for over a hundred miles, none of that mattered, none of that was even there.

Just Lance.

And his dogs.


  1. Wow-he really loves those dogs. We can’t imagine what -30 degrees must feel like.
    Mrs. Birno and Mrs. Deans class

    Comment by Mrs. Deans/Mrs. Birno — 03/12/2007 @ 9:41 am

  2. hi i wanted to know how you are.I am having a lot of looking at I’am
    looking up bill pinkham didyou see him


    Comment by colette — 03/12/2007 @ 10:02 am

  3. Hi Mrs. Cater! It must have been really cool watching Lance Mackey care for the dogs. Who knew caring for dog’s feet could be so much work! Keep writing! I’m really interested in your adventures in Alaska!

    Comment by caitlin — 03/12/2007 @ 10:05 am

  4. Hi Mrs. Cater! Was it cool watching Lance Mackey put booties on the dogs? Must have been relaxing for the dogs to get shoulder rubs! Have fun and keep writing!

    Comment by chelsie and caitlin — 03/12/2007 @ 10:12 am

  5. hi mrs.cater are you having fun.your really lucky to be following on the Iditarod trail!

    Comment by haley n — 03/12/2007 @ 10:13 am

  6. How has the weather been so far along the trail? Do you have a lot of sunshine? How are the temps in the day compared to the overnight temps? Are you staying warm there? What is it like taking off, riding in and landing in the K2 airplane? We are looking forward to skyping with you again. take care–Mr. Brown’s class

    Comment by Mr. Brown's class — 03/12/2007 @ 10:51 am

  7. Hello from White Mountain. A beautiful village on the the Bering Sea.
    Weather is about – 25 and windy. I have wonderful clothing to keep me warm.
    The airplane is a bit like riding a rollarcoaster sometimes but most of the time the ride is smooth.
    Rick is a great pilot who takes no chances.

    Lance Mackey is all about Dogs and only Dogs. It has been a pleasure watching the love and care he gives to those amazing athletes. I really hope his team wins this race. Should be really close.
    Love to all of you!
    Mrs Cater

    Comment by Mrs. Cater — 03/12/2007 @ 1:31 pm

  8. Hi I thought that how mach lance card for his dogs is cool and all the work for dogs is amasing and so sweet he is very nice!

    Comment by erin eden lake — 03/14/2007 @ 8:19 am

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