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25 April 1999 Issue
USA Today Article

On March 3rd, USA Today ran an article called "Grueling Iditarod Not Even
Fit For Dogs" by Jon Saraceno. He pointed out that these dogs, bred for
"unbridled endurance, strength and spirit" would run themselves to death, if
allowed.

This article asks us to imagine ourselves in the position of these dogs, being
shipped to the race in a wooden box with an opening only large enough for
our nose. He asks us to imagine running more than 1,000 miles, the rough
equivalent from Boston to St. Louis, for two weeks over frozen rocky ground
at temperatures below zero, even in the middle of the night. Imagine being
handed Super Glue to seal off oozing sores and being given drugs to mask
injury and improve performance. Imagine being tied to 15 other runners and
being dragged if you fall. Imagine watching while weaker runners are shot in
the head or beaten to death. Imagine having only straw to sleep on at the end
of your race. Imagine being forced to do all of this, only to win a race.

This article points out that this marathon of dog misery is called the "Last
Great Race on Earth" and is considered sport by the perpetrators and the
media. Eight dogs have died in the last 2 years, and statistically the report
says this would be as if 290 human deaths had occurred in the Boston
Marathon during the last decade. Would we call that sport? There hasn't
been a year when at least one dog hasn't died during the race.

To read the complete copywritten article, ask your librarian for a back issue
of USA Today.

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