“This is going to be very formal,” Mitch Seavey joked as he spoke to the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce today. The current Iditarod champion scored his second win this year, after two decades in the race.
Seavey: “Well I understand the way that my dogs are so eager to please and they drive so hard and pull so hard that I understand more and more now how responsible I am to rest them enough and take care of them, because they don’t want to slow down or ease off on their own. So that’s something that has become more and more in focus. There’s always the concept with all the sled dogs that you have to rest them appropriately, but some dogs just work harder, and need to be cared for a little bit more in that way, so that’s one of the things. And I think about myself, we’ve definitely tried to create a much more positive environment.”
Seavey said the dogs pick up a lot from the attitude of the musher, and one thing which helped boost morale this year was his wife Janine’s quick thinking…
Seavey: “The dog food bags that we send out on the trail are pre-printed with the names of the checkpoints on them, and someone made a special order and on mine it also said ‘Old Man Seavey’ on every bag, and I kinda’ didn’t like the idea of coming into a checkpoint and being reminded that I’m an old man, so I was kind of not too pleased with it and didn’t know really what to do, and so Janine took every one of those bags and crossed out ‘ol’ and kept ‘d’ and then put an ‘a’ in front of it, so instead of ‘Old Man,’ it said ‘Da Man Seavey’ and that was really actually inspiring and I appreciated the support, so we really kinda’ got the last laugh on that joke.”
Seavey was well received by the Chamber, as members took full advantage of question time, asking Seavey about satellite tracking, dog personalities and summer exercises.