Pig knew and she wouldn’t look at me.
“Hey Piggie-girl,” I whispered softly in her ear. “Do you need more heat packs?”
I slipped my hand under her dog blanket feeling for the heat of the chemical hand-warmers placed in pockets against her shoulders. The temperature outside was nearing -20 degrees, but Pig’s body, wrapped in blankets and nestled under a mound of dry straw, was toasty warm. She rested her chin on Gnome’s back and stared down the Yukon River.
My dog team and I had been at the Iditarod checkpoint of Tanana since late afternoon of the previous day. I knew I had to keep my spirits high around my team even though I was worried about our situation. We were only at the 3rd checkpoint, just over 200 miles into a 1100 mile race, and I was down to 10 dogs. I had already sent six dogs back to Anchorage due to minor injuries or illness.
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