Beargrease sled dogs are gearing up for the big marathon

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With the John Beargease sled dog marathon right around the corner, Saturday was the day for the all the canine racers to get their checkups.

Mushers were excited as this marked the beginning stages of the race. Musher Liza Weaver says, "It’s basically the ritual that starts the race weekend you know this is kind of the first thing that you do when you get to a race and have fun."

The vet checks are used to make sure the dogs are ready for the start of the race. And the data collected will also be used at checkpoints across the race.

"It helps us track them and how they are doing; handling the miles in the race”, says Head Veterinarian Katie Neshek.

She continued saying, “we are comparing how they are doing at that checkpoint to how they did at the beginning and checking to make sure they are recovering well and looking at their baseline."

And with all the dog, mushers, and people around there’s an added benefit to the vet checks.

Weaver says, "We like to give them the socialization of seeing other people and other teams. It just kind of calms them down and it’s like a Zen like ‘okay we are here we’re getting our routine done.’"

And with all the excitement in the air everyone is ready for the races to start on Sunday.

"We all work as a team and our biggest and our most important goal is the welfare and the health of these dogs. And they are the stars of the show really”, says Neshek.