Musher: DeeDee Jonrowe, Willow
Genders: Trig and Track are male. Willow is a female.
Position: The Palins run a mix of lead and team dog.
“This litter was born in 2008. In June of 2008,” Jonrowe said as she fed the dogs a stew of brown salmon, ground beef and rice Wednesday in Takotna.
“It happened to be that that is when Sarah was tapped for McCain’s campaign,” she said. “So, I always use themes. And it seemed like, ‘Well, we’ll just name them after the Palin kids.’”
Jonrowe gave one of the puppies to the family of her mother’s friend, who had died of pancreatic cancer that year. “They chose Piper,” she said.
Trig and Track finished the Iditarod as 2-year-olds with Jonrowe in 2011. The brothers join Willow on the trail this year.
“This is Willow’s first race. Not only is she a pretty girl, but she’s given me a nice bit of leadership too,” Jonrowe said. “Trig will lead as well. Track has shown himself to be more of the workhorse. He’s not necessarily interested in being the decision maker.”
Not all of the Palin clan are named for a Jonrowe dog. The musher finished second in the Iditarod with a leader named “Bristol” – named for Bristol Bay, like the Palin daughter – that later died of old age. Jonrowe retired the name.
The 58-year-old musher began racing the Iditarod more than 30 years ago, naming litter after litter by various themes. Some litters all have names that start with a D. Some are named after cheeses.
“In our yard we’ll say, OK, who is going on our team? We say, 'Well, we’ll take the Palins,'” Jonrowe said. “’You go get the Palins and I’ll get the Pokemons.’”
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