From Kyle Hopkins in Takotna --
Meet Houston, the linchpin in Kasilof rookie Kristy Berington's team.
On a squad of puppies, 10-year-old Houston is the role model. When Berington starts packing her sled, Houston begins leaping and barking. Before long, the younger dogs are "hooping and hollering" too, Berington said.
Houston used to run with Iditarod veteran Paul Gebhardt and has finished the Iditarod seven times, Berington said today.
The puppies are getting the hang of the race too. "I think the other day they were wondering what they got themselves into, but now they're happy."