DaDane Of DaWeek

"Iditarod / Idanerod"

March 6, 1999, marked the beginning of the 26th Annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. This grueling 1,100-mile Anchorage-to-Nome race across the frozen Alaskan tundra places man and his dogs in exciting (and sometimes frightening) competition with the forces of nature.

While the mushers were racing across Alaska last week, a series of late winter storms rolled in across the rest of the United States, blanketing many parts of the country in deep snow. My hometown of Rochester, New York, for example, received a whopping 43" of snow! Heavy snow buried many other cities as well, from the central US to the Northeast and even dipping into the Southeast.

For the thousands of Great Danes living in the path of these snowstorms, a simple visit to the backyard becomes an adventure. Pushing through the shoulder-high snow that separates them from their favorite tree at the end of the property line (where most favorite trees are located) requires courage, skill, and determination. We call this the backyard Idanerod. Although it requires less stamina than a true Iditarod, the backyard Idanerod is an important measure of a Great Dane's intelligence and physical condition.

The smartest Danes pick a tree closer to the house.

(DaDane of the week is updated every Monday with a new illustration and story.)

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©1999 by Ginnie Saunders  
PO Box 50314, Columbia, SC 29250  
(803) 783-3169  

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