In some circles they are known as “living legends” — retired Iditarod sled dogs that have moved on to a new phase in life.
The older dogs may no longer be in their athletic prime, but they have plenty of golden years left. A new organization is working to make sure these dogs find homes where they can settle into a comfortable life. It’s called The August Foundation. Founder Julie St. Louis said she started her quest to re-home retired racing dogs after adopting one herself.
“I took in one and I just fell in love with him,” St. Louis said. “It only took him about a month to realize that inside is pretty cool. He went from the carpet to the dog bed to the couch pretty fast.”
St. Louis said sled dogs can take a little patience to acclimate to household life, but most are smart and adapt very quickly. Not all are pet material, but people would be surprised at how well many do once they are separated from their teammates, she said.
“The ones that have run Iditarod and Yukon Quest are used to being touched and talked to by all different people, vets, volunteers, so they are very well socialized and very well trained,” she said. “We have learned that they adapt very quickly to your home, to going in and out and becoming a pet.”
The organization works with several well-known mushers who are looking for good homes for their older dogs. If you’d like more information you can find them online at www.theaugustfund.com.