Sled dog lessons

Becky Vargo • Dec 22, 2017 at 10:00 AM

SPRING LAKE — The first day of the holiday break was a good time for students from Spring Lake Public Schools to connect with sled dogs during a program at their local public library.

Tun-Dra Kennels owner Dan Anderson conducted lessons in history, science, math and singing while teaching the children — and their parents and grandparents — about sled dogs, mushing equipment and the Iditarod sled dog race Thursday morning at Spring Lake District Library.

Gus Hill, 7, of Spring Lake said that trying on the musher’s gear was the highlight of the event for him.

“I like the dogs a lot,” said Grand Haven resident Sidney Barton, 9, after the group moved outside to see the animals.

RELATED: See more photos of the event at the Tribune photo gallery.

Anderson answered questions about dog food and training, and emphasized the importance of caring for the dogs.

“The secret of winning the Iditarod is whoever takes the best care of their dogs wins the race,” he said.

The Iditarod is a thousand-mile sled dog race in Alaska. People have to qualify to compete in that race, just as they would have to qualify for a marathon or automobile race, Anderson said.

Anderson also brought along three dog sleds and explained the different uses to the large group in attendance at Thursday’s program.

Anderson is conducting more events at the following times and locations:

— Kent District Libraries: Plainfield Township, Jan. 4 at 10 a.m.; Alpine, Jan. 6 at 10 a.m.; Kentwood, Jan. 6 at 2 p.m.

— American Legion Post 179 (Grand Rapids): Feb. 3 at 9:30 a.m.

— Grant District Library: Feb. 27 at 6:30 p.m.

Tun-Dra Kennels is located at 16438 96th Ave. in Nunica.


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