Did you know that for several years, the Iditarod sled race included Poodles?
The idea first struck John Suter when “Fluette,” his father-in-law’s Miniature Poodle, easily kept up with Suter’s snowmobile when both were visiting Suter. Sutter wondered: “Could a bigger Poodle pull a sled?” It was an idea that got Suter the object of ridicule: Sneering Alaskans would say: “Alaska: Where woman win the Iditarod and men mush Poodles.”
Suter easily spent $250,000 of his own money over the course of 14 years to prove that the dogs could get the job done. By 1991, he had raced Poodles in hundreds of dog-sledding competition, and four times in the Iditarod finishing in the lower middle of the pack. Race officials ultimately banned Poodles citing concern ice balls forming between their foot pads (which Suter solved with booties) and their coats. Suter and his dogs got an additional “15 minutes of fame” when they appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson: