“It all just happened all of a sudden,” Nicolas Petit says about a very strange moment for his dog team, on the trail just shy of Unalakleet.
“All of a sudden, there was some strange stepping going on, weird slipping on surfaces that don’t slip… It looked like they were on ice, when they weren’t.”
Petit talked with KNOM’s Laureli Kinneen a handful of miles outside Unalakleet, at a section of trail where the musher stopped with his team and was eventually picked up by Iditarod crews on snowmachine (or snowmobile). He was taken back to Unalakleet and scratched from the 2014 race.
While the cause for the incident is unknown at this time, Petit shared with Laureli that he’d recently fed the dogs horse meat – something he’d never done before but that he’d heard would be good for the dogs’ hydration. Petit explained that he regularly gave his dogs different types of food to bring variety to their diet. “I like to change it up for them.”
As Petit described it to KNOM, his dogs had been healthy but seemed to deteriorate both strangely and quickly. “The dogs were cruising along, and then they started looking weird after stopping. These dogs (had been) very healthy; they were heavy, they were comparable to house dogs. They were fat. All of a sudden, they got skinny in no time.”
Hear Nicolas Petit, outside Unalakleet, just before scratching from Iditarod 42: