Dan Anderson of Tundra Kennels in Nunica taught a packed conference room of children about sled dog equipment, the Iditarod, race attire and more Tuesday morning.
A boy from the audience served as a model for the race gear. Anderson decked him out in a huge parka, hat, gloves, goggles and massive $300 boots that keep feet warm to 100 degrees below zero.
But the highlight of the event was when the kids stepped outside for a meet-and-greet with the dogs. Children laughed and squealed as the dogs wagged their tales as they licked the kids’ faces.
“This reminds me of our dog,” said Luke Soave, 12, of Spring Lake Township. “We had a huge Siberian husky (named Maggie) — and when I was really little, our dog actually pulled me around in a sled.”
Dana Parsons, 18, of Grand Haven played kissy-face with one of the sled dogs.
“I love the dogs, that's all I can say,” she said.
Would Parsons like to try dog-sledding some day? “If I lived somewhere where there was constant snow, like Alaska,” she said.
Anderson, who brought six sled dogs to the event, said he loves educating people about the sport.
“The kids are smiling, so I'm happy,” he said.