Since 1973, the annual Iditarod Sled Dog Race has consisted of groups of canines, sometimes Siberian Huskies, and one musher who compete to see who could make the 938-mile trek from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska, the quickest. 

So when a sled canine named Leon by accident escaped from his collar at a checkpoint and was pressured to face Alaska’s icy, unforgiving wilderness all on his personal, they weren’t positive whether or not or not he would even survive.

The Iditarod is basically the “Super Bowl” for sled canines. Not simply any pup is suited to outlive in excessive climate or endure the cruel Alaskan panorama. The race encompasses wilderness, together with two mountain ranges, the frozen Yukon River, and the ice from the Bering Sea. Alaska doesn’t precisely encompass the coziest, most comfy situations.

So when one of many 14 canines on musher Sébastien Dos Santos Borges’s group by accident escaped, they weren’t positive they might ever see him once more. Individual canines are sometimes positioned within the care {of professional} handlers at checkpoints, the place they will relaxation and obtain medical care if wanted. Leon was ready at a checkpoint in Ruby, Alaska, when he wriggled out of his harness and made a mad sprint into the wilderness.

Sled Dog

But it wasn’t lengthy earlier than phrase of what occurred unfold across the city of Ruby, and the neighborhood got here collectively to seek for Leon. Even a helicopter circled the world to see if they may spot the stealthy sled canine. But sadly, by the point the race was accomplished, there was nonetheless no signal of Leon. 

“It went on and on. And we’d hear, you know, maybe this was the dog, maybe it was wolf tracks — back and forth,” mentioned Mark Nordman, the Iditarod’s race director.

Sled Dog Race

Days was weeks, and earlier than lengthy, it had been three months that Leon was misplaced within the untamed Alaskan wilderness. Come spring, phrase of a Husky that had been noticed a number of occasions close to a cabin 121 miles south of the checkpoint made its means again to city. Together, the cabin resident and an area musher baited the world with meals and have been lastly capable of determine and seize the misplaced sled canine.

“I don’t know if you’d say it’s a miracle or not, but it just shows how people work together and how tough these sled dogs can be,” Nordman mentioned.

Sled Dog Team

Leon is now again collectively together with his doggy dad, and it was an incredible reunion. Not solely was Leon’s happiness palpable, however Sebastian shared that he was completely elated to be again collectively together with his pup.

“Everybody’s saying, if only Leon could talk because I’m sure he’d have a good story to tell!”


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