About the musher: Jennifer Freking, Finland MN (USA)
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a veterinarian as long as I can remember – and completed vet school by 23 years of age. I greatly enjoy caring for our 4 legged friends, and the occasional with scales or wings, at the Ely Veterinary Clinic since 2004.
How did you start running dogs? Was it hard to get started?
I started mushing by 8 years of age, after years of begging for my own sled and huskies. My mother had a team since she was a teenager, but had sold the team when I was a baby. I suppose it was in my blood! I can’t imagine life without running sled dogs.
What leisure time activities are you involved with?
I enjoy playing with my daughters, hiking, gardening, camping, and horseback riding when I find the opportunity.
What are your greatest accomplishments in the dog mushing field?
Iditarod 2008 – 60th & voted Most Inspirational Musher by other mushers
UP200 2006 4th – Tom Cooley Challenge Award
Beargrease Marathon 2005 – 2nd place & Rookie Of the Year
Beargrease MidDistance 2003 – 4th & Rookie of the Year
Jr Iditarod 1998 7th place
If you had to pick a favorite, and only one of your dogs could be your favorite, which one would you choose and why? Which dog is the most playful?
I don’t think I can pick a favorite – they are all such unique and amazing animals!
Booboo is my daughters’ dog who is very clever, playful, and funny. And a good sled dog, at least when running for Elena!
How can you tell your dogs are smart? Which one is the smartest, and how can you tell?
Frosty – she is a foxy dog! She only likes people after she has had some time to check you out, then she is one of the friendliest dogs in the kennel. Very smart and naughty!! But a great leader and very fun.
What are you known for professionally? What do you have a knack for?
I am known for my diagnostic veterinary skills – my ability to see/feel where a dog’s health issues, such as pain, a mass, arthritis, or lameness is.
What do you do to support your “dog habit”?
Go to work!
If money was no object, what would be the most fantastic alteration you think you might make to your sleigh?
A heater sounds nice!
What advice would you give to a kid that wants to run dogs when they get older?
Find a good experienced mentor and learn
What is your favorite thing about being on the trail with your dogs?
I love traveling with the dogs and the simple nature of what we do. Concerned mostly with what is around the next corner, how fast to travel, and when to take our next break. It is very peaceful!
If dogs couldn’t pull a sleigh, what animal do you think you would like to try hitching up to your line?
Moose! definitely moose.