Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod

by Gary Paulsen | Pets & Animals | This book has not been rated.
ISBN: 0156001454 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingArvoreswing of Porto Santo (ilha), Madeira Portugal on 11/10/2018
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This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!
3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingArvoreswing from Porto Santo (ilha), Madeira Portugal on Saturday, November 10, 2018
A second copy, generously given to me by ghir.
It will soon be shared.

Journal Entry 2 by wingArvoreswing at Porto Santo (ilha), Madeira Portugal on Monday, December 03, 2018
Off it goes to a new land (and what a BEAUTIFUL land it is!)
This is not a Secret Santa parcel. Just a surprise RABCK to make someone happy (eventually).
Hyvää Joulua, anyway :-)


Journal Entry 3 by wingkirjakkowing at Sipoo, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Monday, December 10, 2018
Thank you for the lovely surprise! It did brighten my day. My first dog was a husky, but I was hopeless as a musher (sled driver). I am the only person known to make the sled fell on its side BEFORE it had moved anywhere, dogs still waiting for a MUSH-command...
Will read this after Christmas. My Mom passed away two weeks ago and I decided to spend Christmas elsewhere. I hate crowded airports and that is what they are at Christmas time, so I am taking a freight ship to Germany. One sea-day both ways and a day (jouluaatto, 24th Dec) in Hamburg. The programme said we can either take part in the Christmas mass at the Finnish Seamen's Church or go to a sight-seeing tour. You can guess where this pagan is going, but I know that ex-pat Finns hold these churches as meeting-points (non-believers as well), so I mailed them and asked if they would like to have a donation of Finnish Bookcrossing books for their library's exchange shelf. The person who answered me said a) yes, please (without the please, as she wrote in Finnish and we don't have a word for please) b) that she was my cousin once removed who I didn't even know existed! How cool is that? Her father's name I did recognize, so she wasn't pulling my leg. She won't be there at Christmas, but we've now made connection and if Hamburg is nice, I can always go back to visit family as well. So it pays to do good deeds. I'm sure something nice will happen to Arvores for sending this.
Edit: After that long explanation I forgot to say that I am now busy reading Finnish books so I can pass them on. A freight ship does not have a weight limit for luggage...

Journal Entry 4 by wingkirjakkowing at Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Thursday, February 11, 2021
Oops, I said I would read this after Christmas, but not which Christmas... Now at least the atmosphere is correct, lots of snow, circa -20 outside and +9 C in my loo...
Paulsen is a masochist and a good story-teller. Loved the story about the beaver who sat on his hindlegs and bared his teeth to the team of eight huskies - who just sat in half-circle and stared at it. Huskies have a very strong hunting instinct and anything which moves can and will trigger it off. But the beaver was obviously in command of the situation and they left it alone.
I had to leave for work in the morning when Paulsen had made camp and counted having nine dogs when he remembered he actually had only come with eight, so it remains to be seen after work if the ninth was a wolf. My workmate once went out in the night with four dogs, but counted five pair of eyes responding to her flashlight. She did a double-check, still five pair of eyes. She called her dogs and four came, the fifth pair of eyes disappeared.

Journal Entry 5 by wingkirjakkowing at Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Friday, February 12, 2021
I'm not holding you i suspense for longer, the ninth was a preerie wolf (coyote) in season and mated with one of the dogs. It also followed the team for three days and its grouse-hunting must have been a sight!
Once, when my dog was on heat I walked it in a park in the middle of Helsinki. We had lots of snow also then, it was getting dark and I saw a loose dog coming towards us. I was a bit annoyed as there was no owner to be seen. It came closer, presenting all those playful and a bit flirty gestures especially young dogs show, but... but... it was a FOX! My dog was furious and wanted to show him what terriers are made of, but it just kept showing her the steps of Riverdance. It was only five meters or so away from us and when it believed it had no chance to woo Doggie Dearest it sat nearby all calm and collected. Only when other people showed up and wanted to take photos it moved further and disappeared.
We have a client who lives in the middle of forest and breeds shibas. She said that often when her bitches are on heat foxes come to the other side of their pen.
If I were Mrs Paulsen I would hit my husband with a heavy object as he goes out with his team for days without telling her that he will be away for longer than a normal spun. Anything can happen - and has happened - with a team of dogs in the wilderness, so how is she to know when to get worried? He explains it by saying he feels togetherness with his dogs and nature, I call it pure selfishness. If I were Mrs P., I would disappear for a week to a place where she likes to stay and see what hubby dearest says on her return. The trouble is there is no money for Mrs P. to take a hike.

Pic: The fox that got turned down by a terrier in Kaivopuisto, Helsinki.

Journal Entry 6 by wingkirjakkowing at Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Sunday, February 14, 2021
I so like this book. It reminds me of Jack London, but with a sense of humour and self irony. And even Mrs Paulsen gets to laugh, when her husband acquired three vicious dogs from Alaska. And several times when he showed her the ungracious moves of a rookie musher. There were never skunks in Jack London's books. That's when Mrs P. told Gary to move to live in the kennels together with the dogs, which he did.
People in Minnesota must have hated him, why else would they have given so generously for him to compete in that merciless race? If he had been a Finn, somebody here would have alerted the inland revenue. You can have sponsors, but somebody has to pay tax for it. But the guy who gave him the wreckage of a truck and drove that awful journey to Alaska with him and on top of that, gave him their family savings as he didn't have money left to enter the race - wow. It nearly brought tears to my eyes.
It's misleading to have the face of a Siberian husky on the cover, because Paulsen's dogs and others competing in Iditarod weren't Siberian huskies. Siberian huskies used to be known for their good temperament which is said to be caused by the fact that it is so cold in Siberia that people often took their dogs into their huts or igloos or what had they - and used them as Brits would use hot water bottles. A dog which is used as a live blanket has to be good-natured and those which weren't were eaten and used as dead blankets. Eskimo dogs, malamutes and Alaskan huskies (cocktails of whatever will run fast and pull a sled) are known to be more aggressive, but they had never lived in as close contact with people as Siberian huskies used to live. Unfortunately modern people have done much damage to the kind temperament huskies used to had.

Arvores: I noticed you haven't read your other copy of this book. I highly recommend that you do!

Journal Entry 7 by wingkirjakkowing at Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Finished. I really enjoyed this book, although it was never the same after the murder. I have been to much smaller sled dog races, I've been a kennel-maid in a husky kennel (only eleven adult huskies), so I've seen a glimpse of that world and enough to know that Alaska is the Holy Land for all mushers great and small and Iditarod is like the journey to Santiago de Compostela to a faithful Catholic, a once-in-a-lifetime experience which not many undertake. I haven't followed the Finnish husky-circles in decades, but I know at least one Finn who took part in the Iditarod and I guess he was never the same afterwards, either. He moved to Lappland and has a husky-safari kennel there of around a hundred or so dogs. I wonder how all those safari kennels are doing now, as there are no tourists, but all those hungry mouths still need to be fed. Hopefully we won't have to read the screaming headlines one day of animal negligence among these entrepreneurs.
Paulsen tells his story well and there were times I laughed out loud.

Journal Entry 8 by wingkirjakkowing at Exeter, Devon United Kingdom on Monday, February 22, 2021

Released 2 mos ago (2/23/2021 UTC) at Exeter, Devon United Kingdom


Finally I get my second package going to my Valentine's Day partner. The first book about a rescue dog left in good time in January, but I hadn't realized Brexit Island needs nowadays a customs declaration form filled in...
Sorry you have had to wait. I've also sent somebody in Yorkshire a properly documented birthday package which has not arrived either, so corona might still slower all post.
I was tempted to send you a Moomin tin for those teabags, but due to its shape the mere postage would have been 30€!! Highway robbery, especially now that post is so slow.
Enjoy your arctic ride to Alaska!

Journal Entry 9 by Poppywalker at Exeter, Devon United Kingdom on Tuesday, March 30, 2021
Received as a swap. I'm interested in alaska but iffy on the subject of sled dogs and the Iditarod so will be interesting or maybe challenging to read. Perhaps it will decide me. Moomin tea !! Ill make sure I have a cup while reading it

Journal Entry 10 by Poppywalker at Countess wear in Exeter, Devon United Kingdom on Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Released 1 mo ago (4/13/2021 UTC) at Countess wear in Exeter, Devon United Kingdom


A different type of dog book

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