Blind Sled Dog Completes 100-Mile Race in Minnesota — and a 300-Mile Race Is on His Agenda Next
Indy the sled dog’s lack of vision isn’t holding him back in the slightest.
The 7-year-old Alaskan husky lost his sight in one eye three years ago, his owner Frank Moe told MPR News. From there, Moe began training him to run in Minnesota alongside Popcorn, another canine on the his sled dog team.
However, Indy soon lost vision in his second eye, Moe said. But after a year of adjustment, Indy began running once again, this time in some recreational races to get comfortable running blind.
“He’s such a happy-go-lucky dog,” said Moe, a former state legislator. “We almost turned him into a house pet. But he just wants to run. It’s all he wants to do.”
Last season, Indy began to take on some longer races, and soon enough he became as strong as the rest of the dogs, Moe said.
Moe explained that Indy’s role is called the wheel in dogsled parlance, which means he runs behind the rest of the dogs, right in front of the musher — a wheel is also one of the strongest dogs on a sled team.
This past weekend, Indy completed the 100-mile Gunflint Mail Run in Cook County, Moe told the outlet. The race consists of two 50-mile legs with a few hours of rest between them.
“He was as strong as any of the other dogs,” Moe said. “We just thought, ‘Oh my gosh, Indy’s back!’ ”
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Next up for Indy? The John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon: a 300-mile race up the state’s North Shore.
And Moe insisted that he is not concerned about Indy keeping up during this strenuous race.
“As long as he gets some love and attention and some treats at the end,” Moe said, “that’s all he cares about.”