From Kyle Hopkins in Anchorage --
Whistler, a lead dog for German Iditarod rookie Silvia Furtwangler, was found this morning in Anchorage near the Chester Creek Trail. He had been missing since early Thursday morning, when he escaped from a dog truck.
Blue-eyed and mottled, the unmistakable 3-year-old had been spotted in the area over the weekend. Searchers say he resisted their attempts to lure him to safety using moose steak and fake German accents.
Furtwangler played a recording of Whistlers' teammates barking and whining -- blasting from the tinny speakers of her iPhone -- as she walked the greenbelt, hoping the sound would coax him from hiding. No luck.
That all changed this morning, when employees at the Arc of Anchorage offered Whistler an enchilada breakfast in the parking lot and coaxed him into the garage with roast beef.
Whistler is a country dog, Furtwangler said, and looked spooked following several days lost in the city.
"We live really outside in the wilderness. We have no roads, nothing, and then we traveled all the way from Norway to here," she said. "I think it was a little bit, kind of shock for the dogs."
Named for the ski town in British Columbia, Whistler is the son of a shelter dog named Sharkey. Furtwangler acquired Sharkey several years ago from Paxson musher John Schandelmeier and his wife, Iditarod veteran Zoya DeNure, she says.
Check out the family resemblance in this pic of Sharkey and DeNure.
Furtwangler is training in the Willow area and plans to return Whistler to the team as early as tomorrow. “You’ll see him on the starting line," she said.