Each summer we retire select dogs from their SP Kennel racing careers. Our philosophy has always been and will always be: “the right home, for the right dog, at the right time”. We are never in a hurry to “move dogs” and they will stay here until the timing is correct for them to leave. Of course, some dogs will never leave. But, the fact is: “We only have one couch, and Allen has to fit on it too!” So we try to keep our retired dog population living at SP Kennel to a minimum. At this time we have six older, non competitive dogs: Bullet (15 years), Nutmeg (13 years), Biscuit (12 years), Quito (11 years), Nacho (11 years) and Tig (9 years). We also have brother and sister: Scout and Olivia (10 years) who may or may not race next year.

It is with a mixed blessing to retire any SP Kennel dog. But the fact of the matter is that we are a competitive racing kennel. When we are truthful with ourselves (and with our fans), that fact needs to override the desire to keep every one of our awesome dogs and turn our kennel into a Alaskan Husky Fun House. Sounds “fun” but not real competitive, huh?

It is only because I spend a great deal of time finding the correct home for each retiree, that I am able to let these dogs go. Of course you know how much time we spend with each dog, so it is very emotional when the perfect home comes along! The “right home at the right time” has come along for Hotshot.

L – R: Mal and Hotshot in Anchorage before flying to Nome; Husky “helping” with Homework!

With Hotshot’s move to his new home, he will be the center of the universe for a very neat young girl. Hotshot will bring great joy to Mallory and her family in Nome, Alaska. His life will be very different from his racing season earlier this year in which he competed in: the Cooper Basin 300, Two Rivers 200, Yukon Quest 300, Burger Run and Iditarod. Mallory and her Dad are very active skiers and enjoy the company of several huskys to pull them along. Mal’s Dad sent me a photo of the pair on an adventure in the Arctic last winter. In every photo, Mallory was far in front. I asked him if he could ever keep up with his daughter. He laughed! He has been skiing with one older dog and he said that most of the time Mallory has to wait for him. I thought… “Hummmmm. I might have the perfect dog for you guys!” My only fear now is that Mallory will add Hotshot to her skijor team and poor Dad will be left even farther behind!

A photo from last winter – Mal waiting for Dad.

As I write this (and lecture myself this morning) let’s all remember that it would be self-centered, and certainly not in the best interest of SP Kennel as a whole, to keep every dog all the time. So, hopefully you can smile at Hotshot’s retirement from SP Kennel.

We have a few dogs retiring from the kennel this summer. I promise to keep you up to date.

16 Responses

  • Oh Hotshot, you lucky dog! You are going to have so much fun pulling Mallory or maybe even her dad.

  • This is one of the things I admire most about this kennel. Enjoy your retirement, Hotshot! 😊

  • What a perfect retirement opportunity for everyone! I always love to read the many ways you teach us to love more.

  • Being a retiree myself, I know how long people work for and dream of an ideal retirement. Why should dogs be any different? Hotshot will be in familiar territory, still getting to go out and play/work and have a small pack to run with….what could be better? Enjoy your "golden" years, Hotshot.


    Hotshot scores!!!

    With a full resume, happy memories, and now fun fun fun – as someone has already said – "lucky dog!!!"

    And one more WOOF!!!

    Thanks for the off-season update!!!

  • Hotshot didn't retire, he had a career change! It looks like he is going to love his new job in Nome. What fun for both Hotshot and Mallory. Great job Aily for making this wonderful match.


  • Awww, I just love this! I know it's a tough, emotional decision for you all at SPKennel, but his life will be so full as he will still be able to run and pull on the snow…in Nome….and helping with homework is a very important job. I, too, love your dedication and consideration in making sure your retirees are placed well. Have a fantastic life Hotshot with your new family! Maybe we can catch a glimpse or two of you sometime along the way.

  • All of your posts are appreciated and enjoyed. You and everyone at SP Kennel are indeed the hallmark of how a kennel should be managed, the loving care all of the pups receive is beyond exemplary. It may be the right home, the right time, and the right dog but how you so unselfishly follow through must be gratifying and heartbreaking even though it is for the best for all concerned. Hotshot already looks like he is comfortable and enjoying his new role as tutor!

  • Have a wonderful new lifestyle Hotshot 🐾🐾 I n Nome with Mallory and her father πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜˜πŸ˜˜ β€οΈπŸ–€ . Denali 🐾🐾 and Joanne from Melbourne, Australia

  • Congrats Hotshot and Mal for a perfect forever home match!!! It has been nice watching Hotshot grow up on the Dog Log….but you are absolutely right….finding a forever home, for the right dog, at the right time is part of being a competitive "dog first" sled dog racing kennel. Its obvious you all care about your dogs through retirement…its got to be hard to let go, but at the same time its got to feel good seeing a match like Hotshot and Mal set off onto the start of an awesome life together!

    Skijor on, Mal and Hotshot!!

  • One of the things I admire most about SP Kennel is this very practice. Finding good homes for the dogs that don't or can't race. How many other racing kennels put this much effort and energy into the 'vetting process' of making sure that the dogs that leave their kennel go to safe and healthy and happy homes? With safe and healthy and happy 2-leggeds? THANK YOU Aliy and Allen for loving your dogs so much that you go through this effort. It must be so hard to say goodbye but hopefully you will get pictures and updates from Hotshot about his new life with Mal and family. Lucky dog, indeed.

  • Aliy,
    That is such a sweet story and a very heartwarming picture of Mallory and Hotshot doing homework. Love it! Congratulations to everyone and I think you will get to visit when you arrive at Nome next year. 🐾

  • Hard decision but always the right one. Hotshot and Mal look very
    Happy! Congrats to both!

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