At the end of the mushing season there is one chore that is best to get done right away! That’s the sorting, laundering and packing up of all the gear.

While we send a LOT of gear out on the trail it is possible to return non-perishable items home in “return bags”. The Iditarod Airforce brought them all back to Iditarod HQ for mushers to pick up and once we got them home we all set to and sorted into piles of booties, dog jackets, fleece throws, human clothing, gloves and socks, vet supplies, hand warmer packets etc etc.

We have many, many dog jackets of different types that go out on the trial. Aliy and Allen carry wind jackets and insulated jackets with them but there are also fleece jackets and spare wind jackets at various checkpoints. All the dog jackets and fleece blankets were laundered, repaired if necessary and packed.

ALL the booties had to be sorted, one-by-one, and strung up to dry. We check every single bootie for holes, as they will not be reusable, and we set them aside for giveaways at specific events. We then sort the “good used” booties into their different sizes then we hang them to dry. As you can imagine, the garage is rather fragrant currently! Once dry we’ll put into sets of four and we use them for training next season. Booties can have a life of one wearing or up to perhaps even three or four depending on how long they were used for, the trail conditions and the dog.

Booties, booties everywhere…

Bags full of clean and dry gloves and socks to be packed and sent out in drop bags next season; We found the Yukon Quest fundraiser booties each with individual messages from supporters.

Fleece throws, jackets, booties… all ready to be packed away for the summer.

It’s a nice feeling to get it all done and we feel like we are ready to start the season on September 1st! That’s not far away!

11 Responses


    Thanks so much for reminded us that it is just four months plus a bit before the 2016-2017 training/racing season begins!!!

    Days must be getting really long now, and summer fun is just around the corner – your profession is a labor of love, for sure!!!

    All the best,


  • Wow…talk about organization! Thanks for all the updates, videos, and insights into the daily chores at SPKennel. Hope everyone, and the dogs, can have some fun this summer.

  • Man! What a job!! I agree with the response above: your sense of organization is incredible.

    I envy you your long summer daylight hours and your quality and fun times spent with the dogs without the intense training regimen. ….And, just maybe, by the end of the summer, we'll hear about some little additions to the SP family.

    Look forward to more blogs from SP Kennel. You're the greatest!

  • My goodness, its like coming home from a month long camping trip times 16 dogs!!!! Cant believe we have a whole summer yet to do until the booties can come back out for a run!

    September 1st….already starting the count down!

  • Fun for sure, and also some sleep. That's why they call it the Dog Days of Summer. Thank you Aliy, Allen, every team member at SPK, all the beloved dogs some of whom we got to know even better this season. (Schmoe) and to everyone who makes this dogblog so amazing – as though we are right there with you every step of every day.

  • Ditto to what Tom, CIndy, Beemer and Viper said. From Eastern PA to Western PA, we love watching the videos, reading the updates and catching glimpses into your world. Have a great summer!

  • Enjoy the summer fun 🌞 thanks for the insights woof woof 🐾🐾Denali and Joanne 🇦🇺

  • Wow–what a task but you are masters of it! What a wonderful view
    of your world and what you do. We love hearing and seeing every-
    thing that SPK does. Have some needed time off and great summer!

  • Incredible and amazing sizes to match when washing and drying makes me wonder how in the world when you are on the trail, you know what dog foot takes what size and where the bag is that contains that size!! If you had 10 kids you would only need to worry about 10 pairs of shoes but our canine team mates multiply that factor. Memory, organization and patience have to be added to the mix for sure.

  • Wow lots of dog booties. Great jpob getting it all finished. Enjoy the summer.

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