Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Comment Moderation

Lance Mackey won the Iditarod! 4 times, back to back... he is amazing. I was sad that I couldn't see it, but will catch it on the news here in a bit. Congratulations to him and his pups.

I have never had to moderate comments on my blog. I've actually never thought about it. I don't think that my blog is one that is widely read, or even in a big deal. My last post, however, had a comment left that I felt needed to be addressed (it is still up for the time being, but I'm not sure how long I plan on leaving it up).

The comment was left by someone in charge of an organization based out of Florida that believes that mushing is evil and sled dogs are being tortured. There are many studies cited that "prove" that mushing is bad for dogs. Now, I don't have a TON of experience with mushers (but, I might counter that I probably have more than the organization... I do live here, and it is part of our heritage and life) but the experience I have counters most of the comments this person left.

Mushers take excellent care of their dogs. It is true that dogs get hurt and die while mushing, but that is the same in any sport. People in sports get hurt and sometimes the injuries are life threatening. If anyone has ever seen a sled dog, these dogs LIVE to run. They are bred to run, that is their life. Owning a sled dog and not running it is torture. It would be like telling me I could never do any crafts again my entire life. I would die. Mushers are incredibly concerned with the health of their dogs. When one of their dogs gets hurt, they don't make it keep running, it will get into the sled and be dropped at the next checkpoint. Because they care. When a sled dog dies, the musher is crushed. These are their friends.

And, yes, when they aren't running they are kept on chains. BUT, I know people who leave their dogs tied up ALL day EVERY day and never exercise them. THAT is far worse, in my mind, than running your dogs and lovingly caring for them.  I have never heard of a musher killing dogs they do not want... clearly, the mushers I have met, do have dogs that aren't the best sled dogs, but they are often adopted as pets (like I was going to, but found my Snickers instead).

The musher the person cites as beating their dogs (Ramey Brooks) was shunned by the mushing community and fined. It was a HUGE deal, and the state of AK was upset and embarrassed. Things like that do happen, sadly, but they are not the norm and these people are not accepted by the mushing community.

The comment made me incredibly upset and irate, which I am sure this is how that person feels about the Iditarod. People always protest the sled dog race, but I don't believe they have all of the information. I could call myself an alligator activist and read a ton about alligators and make all sorts of claims based on what I read. But, I have never lived in a place with alligators. I have no idea what really happens with alligators. If anyone has seen any dog sledding in person, they see the love and care that is put in to the dogs. They are cared for better than most people's pets. They also would see the love the dogs have for mushing.

So, in conclusion, I don't think dog mushing is evil. And, I don't think my blog is a place for other people to post propaganda. If anyone is going to do that, it's me. :) And, I'm sorry if you don't like what I have to say, but there are plenty of other blogs to read....

Enjoy your win Lance, I hope to see you again at the fair!

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