BULLIES come in all ages

BULLIES come in all ages
(click to see movie trailer)

Surround yourself with positive people,
energy, and situations;
always avoid negativity.


Life is too short to wake up with regrets.
So, love the people who treat you right.

Forgive, and then forget about the ones who don't.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday's Musher

Harry Alexie, 31, was born in Kwethluk, Alaska. In 1995 he went to Ft. Benning, Georgia for basic training for the army. He also attended AUTEL in Seward, Alaska and worked as a power plant operator for six years. He's now a staff sergeant in the Army National Guard and has been full time Army National Guard for 13 years. He started mushing in 1990 and became interested in running the Iditarod when he was contacted by Alaska National Guard Recruiting. By running the Iditarod, he wants to spread the word about the Army National Guard. Alexie is married to Sharon and they have two children, Raymond, 5 and Joette, 3. (Iditarod)

Harry's mentor is 2 time Yukon Quest and Iditarod champion Lance Mackey.
From Lance Mackey's Comeback Kennel webpage:

Welcome Harry Alexie to our team!Harry Alexie comes to us from Kwethluk, Alaska. He and the National Guard have teamed up to run the 2009 Iditarod. Harry has leased a dog team from us, not as an adventure but a challenge. He will be training and running races with us all season, please be sure to make him feel welcome and encourage him in his Iditarod journey.
Harry is no stranger to mushing, he has been mushing most of his life. He attended the Kwethluk Community School and the Alaska Vocational Technical Center and has been with the Alaska Army National Guard for 13 years, working as the Personnel Service NCO for the 2nd Battalion 297th Infantry in Bethel, AK. He enjoys traditional hunting and fishing, and reading. He is married to Sharon and they have two children, Raymond and Joette.
The Mackey Kennel is honored to help Harry and the Alaska Army National Guard reach their goals. In the Alaska Army National Guard - YOU CAN!

Alaska Army National Guard Staff Sgt. Harry Alexie runs 10 sled dogs on an 18-mile practice run near two-time Iditarod champion Lance Mackey’s Comeback Kennel training facility in Fairbanks, Alaska, October 2008.

Source: U.S. Army photo by Spc. Paizley Ramsey

The really cool thing about Harry is that my friend and Idita-Sista, Janet will be Harry's Idita-Rider this year. Idita-Riders are those adventure-seekers who are the highest online bidders, winning an exclusive ride in the sled basket of an Iditarod musher for the first 11 miles of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. For the past 2 years Janet has been Lance's Idita-Rider!

As the final days of this year's auction approached, Janet had decided to wait until the last few minutes to start bidding on Harry. This is her account of that evening:

Life got frantic in the "T" household when the computer froze just 8 minutes before the bidding for Harry Alexie, the musher I wanted to ride with in this year's Ceremonial Start.
As fate would have it he was listed as the last musher to be auctioned.
If we failed to win with our bid on him there would be no Idita-ride this year.

No problem. We've done this successfully for two years. Third time should be just business as usual.

We talked to Kit hours earlier when the auction started to share the excitement. We had a lovely chat explaining how the bidding worked and together we watched a couple of mushers get bid on and closed out. We said our good-byes. Little did we know how crucial a role she would play just hours later in our bidding.

Waiting....waiting....pizza....beer.....waiting.....waiting.....down to the last 4 mushers.

Then a Norton Update struck and froze our computer!
NOTHING would kick start it.
There went the 2009 Idita-ride.

But NO, WAIT......Kit knows all about this now.We phoned Kit who was still at her computer watching the auction.
After a mini-freeze on her computer, she was able to open our account and bid on Harry!

OK, we're in and we're the high bid. But wait...someone else outbid us.
No problem. We upped it by the required $100.

No...it told Kit our bid did not outbid the current bid. So we had to up it by $200.
That worked. We were high bid again.

Then the REAL agony started. After a bid has been made, the countdown clock on that musher is reset for three minutes.
Can you hold your breath for 3 minutes?
So she had to keep refreshing the page to see those three agonizingly slow minutes tick down.

Nothing.....no other bid....2 minutes....still no higher bid....1 minute....30 seconds...........................................................10 seconds...............WE DID IT!

Screaming in PA and GA.
Such teamwork.

It was my pleasure to be a part of the excitement!
Besides, I've always enjoyed spending someone else's money! (chuckle)

I can't wait to watch Harry and Janet ride off down 4th Ave!

Janet held an Idita-Skate event in Bethlehem, PA last week.
Read all about it here:


I spent the weekend worrying about the story concerning Coco and Cookie. I sent a message to the "owner" listed on the email I received. I never had a reply, so I did a Google search and discovered that this same story is circulating all over the country, indicating that the dogs live in different areas of the country, from coast to coast.
At this point I am skeptical. I have read a report stating that the dogs found a home in So. Cal...I do hope that much is true!
I'll keep you posted if I get more info on this confusing situation.
If you can offer any additional info, please leave me a comment.


Joey said...

That's really crazy about the uncertainly of the Coco and Cookie story. How could that happen, and why? I'm glad you're looking into it, though it sounds like it may be impossible to find out the real truth. Well, hopefully the dogs involved in the original story are all right.

Love the picture of your mother on the last post - it's got that great 1950's technicolor innocence.

See ya!
Joey (and mom)

Anonymous said...

My heart still races and my palms sweat just rereading our unique bidding teamwork. Just like in mushing the lead dog sometimes has to change to pull the team though the race. HUGE thanks to you, Kit. I'm in full mental preparation mode now and the spare bedroom looks like a drop bag staging area. Thanks for featuring Harry. He's a class guy.

Liz said...

Because of your excitement about the Iditarod, I have become interested in the race, too. I will do my best to keep up with it. Are you going to be starting out on someone's team for the ceremonial start?

Karen Snyder said...

Hi there, yes, the Coco and Cookie story is strange. I received an email last Thursday that made it appear as if the dogs were local here in VA. I posted their story on my blog and my Facebook page. My college roommate saw my Facebook update and let me know that these dogs are from Northern California and that they recently found a home together through Lab Rescue. She volunteers as a "foster mom" for lab rescue in Northern California.

It's bizarre how their story keeps cropping up all over the country, I think it resonates with people, especially at this time when so many people are losing their homes.

Anonymous said...

What a great review of the bid by teamwork! I love it! So exciting! SH