Boondocks has moved house! We are very, very happy and sad at the same time.

Boonie has an exceptional history with SPK and is a Yukon Quest and Copper Basin 300 champion. She’s finished second in the Iditarod twice.

She is feisty and confident and always amazed other mushers and spectators with her small size but giant-size spirit. She doesn’t know she’s small and often enjoyed running with the big guys – Mac, Mismo and Driver. There are several incongruous photos of her with the big boys. Once at McCabe Creek hospitality stop during the Yukon Quest she was running next to Mac. While Allen had the team stopped to check-in, Boonie was standing actually UNDERNEATH Mac’s belly. Even in the middle of everything else that was going on, Allen stopped to look and laugh.

Boonie is one of those dogs that would choose to sleep outside on the cold nights then inside her house on the warm evenings. When we put fresh straw in her house she would dig some of it back out again and make a nest alongside. We never did figure out why. She was extremely vocal and any time we did any videoing out in the yard you can hear her giving her two cents worth. Someone getting treats from the Fan Club biscuit barrel? Boonie wants one too!

Boonie and Rosie are ladies at leisure

At eight years old it was time for her to move on to the next chapter in her life. Boonie has moved to Washington State to live with Lynne along with old SPK friend, and Spice Girl, Rose.

Boonie rides the ferry to work; making new friends

Boonie has never really been an “inside” dog so she had some acclimatising lessons before heading to her new home and she is settling in very well. Boonie and Rosie spend lots of time together, (right: out hiking) no doubt reminiscing about their racing days and congratulating each other on their new amazing home.

Thank you also to Yo-Lynne and Kotzee for sponsoring Boonie for so many years. We appreciate the support you gave to Boonie and the kennel as a whole.

Boonie: we will miss your attitude, quirkiness, opinions and sweet face terribly but we’re all so pleased for you! So long little lady.


It is interesting that we get some comments from the general public and other mushers that might not understand the bond between SP Kennel mushers and our dogs. If it’s not clear – we always do what we think is best for our dogs. These decisions are not made quickly and emotionally. Sometimes we have to curb our emotions and logically think: what is truly best?

Let’s be honest, when our dogs retire, it is simple: They deserve more quality time than we can give them. We are incredibly busy people. To think that we could keep all our dogs at SP Kennel in a coveted ‘retired yard’ and daily promise to take them on walks, bring them to the couch or make some cuddle time for each of them … but only after after we finish all our chores, training, cleaning and oh yea, racing… that is simply a lie. So, why lie to your self and your dogs?

The thing is, each individual musher must decide what is best for them self and their dogs — the same goes for every pet owner in the world. We are not in a competition of who can respect your dog the most. Our competition is out on the race course. We have enough to do at the kennel with our own dogs that we will not micro manage others musher’s kennels. All we can do is hope that everyone does what is truly best for their dogs. — Aliy

16 Responses

  • Oh Boonie you look so happy and great to see Rosie too. Thanks Aliy, Allen and all the Sponsors. You all have such caring attitudes. You make great dog parents and hosts. We love them all. Noooo apologies for great Dog care! Miss Boo around the kennel, she certainly got everyone's attention, dogs and humans.
    Great job Lynne she looks so happy..
    Padee Faribanks

  • Aw, congrats Boonie!! You were my very first Fan Club pup and will always hold a special place in my heart! Aliy, Allen and all of SPK, you guys are amazing at caring for the dogs above all else (even when someone should have had surgery earlier than she did, cough, cough, wink, wink) and it shows in your races. You guys are amazing and I'm proud to support to whole-heartedly in every way I can from across the continent in little old CT.

  • Boonie you have been a super little super star!

    SPK does an amazing job placing their dogs. I'm happy for Boondocks that she gets to spend retirement years with Rosie, and at the same time I'm happy for her adoptive family. Boonie will keep them on their toes for many more years!

    Aliy you set an amazing example in SOOOOO MANY ways. Critics just need to turn the mirror on themselves. That is where the change needs to happen.
    Keep on doing what you're doing.
    🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Ditto to all comments above, and props to the Honkey Tonk litter – she has made ChaCha proud!!!

    I too always identified with Boondocks – who says having a big attitude has anything to do with actual SIZE???!!!


    Thanks ever so much for "couch doggies" pic!!! So dear…



  • Yay for Boondocks! Boo for the nay-sayers. What part of "It's all about the dogs" don't they understand. We should all have such the loving retirement SPK dogs get!

  • Congrats Boondocks on your retirement!!!

    I must say…Boonie taught me a few things…the first time I made contact with SPK a little card of Boondocks came back with Aliys response….saying "check out the Dog Log and my lil Rock Star Boondocks"! Well, I did…and I have been a big fan of SPK AND Boondocks ever since! Then in 2015 when we made our way to Anchorage for the Ceremonial Start, I got to meet Boonie…I got some great pictures of me giving her a butt rub with Chipper waiting to be next! When I returned home I offered a butt rub to my German Shepherds…up to this point they have been "front" head rubs only type of dogs…and they LOVED the butt rub!! So THANK YOU Boondocks for showing me all dogs LOVE a butt rub!! I am sure you will get your share of all sorts of lovings at your new home! Well done Boondocks!

  • As I have said before, saying now and I'm sure will say many times to come….SPK is a CLASS ACT all the way, always putting the needs and best interest of the dogs first. While I'm sure it was difficult to say good bye to Boonie, you did with with a heart full of gratitude for all that she gave to SPK in her years with you and REWARDED her with a wonderful retirement. 'Nuff said!

    All our best,
    Lisa & Charlene
    Erie, PA

  • Enjoy your new life, Boonie. I'll miss you but you earned that lovely retirement. We all get there sooner or later.
    As for SPK, there is never a single doubt in my mind that they ALWAYS do what is best for their dogs and if it means letting them go to a 'pet home' when it is time, that's what they do. Of course you cannot keep them all and give them the attention they have earned. The main time has to go to the ones who are still working or working their way up to that state. So long as each dog gets its share in love and care somewhere, who can ask for a better winding down than that? I am sure no SPK dog ever goes to a shelter or gets dumped out; why could or would anyone ask for more than that? As when I worked with horses, it is a business and some practical concerns have to be met.

  • Happy Retirement Boondocks! The picture on the couch with Rosie shows you understand what retirement is all about. It is a very unselfish act to let your dogs go when it's time. The fact that you desire your dogs to have the attention they deserve after retirement shows you have their best interest in mind….even though it may be a hard thing to do.

  • Pretty girl gets a lovely new home and companion! It must be so hard to see them go with tremendous tugs on your heartstrings. This is such a great way to honor a dog in giving back to them when they might not be able to be included in the continued training and left behind. It has to be bitter sweet when seeing them go. I would cry buckets.

  • Boonie sure looks happy and very content relaxing on the couch with Rosie. I am sure she will settle into her new digs and life. Ferry rides, making new friends and being with Rosie…..sure sounds like a great life for a retired sled dog. Seattle is beautiful; the Northwest is my favorite area to visit.


  • The SPK approach appears to be a win-win-win-win solution!

    1. Dogs get to be the best racers they can be;
    2. Those who don't want to or can't compete at the highest level get resettled in non-competitive second homes;
    3. Up-and-comers replace older dogs in the line ups…and pass on knowledge;
    4. …Such as Rosie and Boondocks are doing! Last photo shows retired SPK racers training new mushers-to-be…

    Sounds like a plan!!!

  • Congrats Boondocks! Looks happy in her new home. A couch potato as she
    should be with a job well done. Of course she will be missed but SPK
    is genuine in the care of there dogs from pups, to adults to retired.
    The Humanitarian Award Aliy got on the Iditarod this year proves it
    and she Thanked Allen also. Alot of hard work! If the dogs could talk
    I think they would say Thanks! It is just reality.

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