Who we are and what make us tick:
Hi, I’m Linwood and I would like to invite you to my world. Those that follow the Iditarod and other sled dog races know me by my 25 runs in the Iditarod and all the great finishes I’ve had. We’ve not won yet, but we have finished in second place and have had many top ten finishes. Of the many awards won by my dogs and myself, the dearest to me is the Humanitarian Award for best cared for team.
Behind the races and trophies there is another story.
First, I could never have finished any Iditarod without the support of my dear wife Kathi. She has been the constant pillar that has held me up when times have been difficult not only in sled dog races but also in the twists and turns that life brings. Kathi brings me joy and has been a wonderful friend that has often put the loose pieces together, so I could go race the Iditarod. She’s the one person I most want to see when I cross the finish line.
Second, I just love these amazing animals we call Alaskan Huskies. I consider myself one of the luckiest people on earth in that I’ve been able to encompass my life around these animals that give so much back to me. Their ability to demonstrate devotion, courage, endurance and humility has made me a better person. There has not been one winter or Iditarod race that these animals have not helped me be a better person.
All our dogs are bred and raised in our kennel. As soon as they are born, they are held in our hands near our mouth and face. We want them to smell our breath so they can imprint on us as caregiver and friend. Before they ever see a harness, the goal is for them is to develop trust and security towards us. Trust and security are constant themes throughout their life. As you know trust is easily lost and hard to gain. So, we never ask of our dogs more than what they can do. In return they give us back much more than we ever thought they could.
When you come visit us it’s our goal to share with you the amazing attributes of our dogs. To go for a sled dog ride with us is an adventure in itself. To get in touch our dogs’ essence and joy of running will take you to another world.
To have your team of dogs charge through a blinding blizzard with total trust in your calls or for you to be reliant on them to find the trail you can’t see is the bond we have together. It’s a bond that takes time, nurture and perseverance but the end result is one that often brings tears to my eyes.
Foot note: Several years ago, after discovering the need to help autistic children in Alaska, Linwood and Kathi founded Arctic Paws for Service, a service dog non-profit for needy Alaskans. “We know dogs, and with our social work and teaching backgrounds we just couldn’t stand idle.” To date, Linwood and Kathi have placed several service dogs to Alaskans with disabilities.