Chevelle, who loves to bark

A dog looks at a connect four set
Chevelle plays Connect Four four with friends the night before the 2022 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. (Squid Acres Kennel)

Chevelle is eight years old and she loves to bark, said musher Paige Drobny.

“If the team slows down too much, then she starts barking to get them to go faster,” said Drobny. “If we’re going too slow on a hill or if she sees a team ahead, she loves to race, and she’s like, ‘Hey, I see you!’ and she starts barking like, ‘Hey, let’s catch them! Let’s catch them! Let’s catch them!’ And so she adds a lot of energy to the team.”

Drobny said she’s usually cool with all the barking. It makes her laugh.

But she could go for, say, 50% less barking in icy conditions.

“She’ll bark and make everyone go faster,” said Drobny. “So it can be a little dangerous also sometimes.”

A woman and two dogs inside
Musher Paige Drobny with Chevelle, relaxing on the bed, and Turkey, standing up. (Squid Acres Kennel)

Chevelle is no stranger to a 1,000-mile race and often runs in lead. She has finished multiple Yukon Quests and Iditarods.

“She’s probably run 30,000-plus in her life, and she still gets excited about all the same little things,” said Drobny. It’s really cool. The energy that she brings to it is really awesome.”

Chevelle is part of our “Dog of the Day” Iditarod series. Previously we met Nala, the peppy cheerleader, Butcher, who needs her space, Sherlock, just a big doofus, Tundra, an unpredictable captain, Steve, who’s kind of a jerk, Viva, an unflappable navigator, Stealie, who loves hugs, and Zeke the rescue dog.

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Tegan Hanlon is the deputy digital editor at Alaska Public Media. Reach her at thanlon@alaskapublic.org.

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