27 February 2014

They Run In The Family

Lisbet Skogen Norris
Iditarod rookie Lisbet Skogen Norris, 26, trains from the home of her late grandfather legendary Siberian husky musher Earl Norris in Willow on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2014. View Full Gallery BILL ROTH — Anchorage Daily News

WILLOW -- Looking through the living room window, next to a painting of her late husband mushing dogs, 92-year-old Natalie Norris has watched this winter as her granddaughter prepared a team to run the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

It's a familiar scene outside in the dog yard, where the rookie, 26-year-old Lisbet Skogen Norris, recently dished up a rich, brown broth to the 35 dogs in the lot, including the 16 that will make up this year's Team Anadyr. Some barked and howled, tugging at their chains. Others waited in quiet anticipation of the training run to follow.

"I've never in my life so single-mindedly pursued something," Lisbet said. "I've never, ever been so focused on one goal."
 ... "I just think it's part of our family tradition, competing in a race of some kind," grandmother Natalie said over coffee inside the house she and Lisbet share in Willow. "I think it's nice that she's carrying on a tradition, that somebody's carrying on a tradition in the family."

Dog mushing seems to be in the Norris family's blood. Natalie calls it "being doggy" and said it would bother her if none of her grandkids were interested in mushing.

Natalie and her husband, Earl Norris, who died in 2001 at the age of 81, were Alaska mushing pioneers.

Read the whole story at the link. 


Stephen said...

That is great, isn't it. I've noticed of late that many dog teams seemed to be comprised of what we refer to as 'mutts.' Has the Husky been reserved to special races or certain families/race teams? Or, are they just too expensive a dog to race? Whey are there no cats in the mixture....?

Rev. Paul said...

What they've said at the races is that pure-bred Huskies are smaller, and less able to withstand the rigors of the longer races. Malamutes or Malamute/Husky mixes do better, they said.

Stephen said...

Me so dumb....'bout dogs. Thanks, my friend.

Rev. Paul said...

Stephen, I'm certainly no expert, but I listen when experts around me start talking.