Rogues of Alaska – WTF Moments!


Feb 4, 2010

The Kenai Peninsula’s Tustumena 200 (T-200) sled dog race held Jan 29th – 30th brought more attention to one of our favorite dog teams!

The Rogues Gallery Kennel team of Kasilof, Alaska

Wasn’t The Fastest,

Wowed The Fans,

Won T-200 Fame

by receiving two coveted, hard earned awards while also finishing in 4th place!

One of the team’s stars shows off  her goofy antics and racing spirit.  Metoo is a perfect name for this gregarious girl who loves to race,  train & play, then gets to sleep on the bed.  Let’s not forget about the couch she hangs out on, or the toys she covets.  God knows what else but I think this is a pretty darn good life.

Follow the link to RGK’s blog post T200 Finish to enjoy Amy G’s  impressions as a newly minted race volunteer which she wrote in the comments.  I’m sure she had a few WTF moments herself (purely conjecture – it’s just fun to say).


Colleen Robertia Wins T-200 Humanitarian and Sportsmanship Awards

By Joseph Robertia


Just a quick post with lots of pics. Usually after a big race weekend we hit a bit of post race depression, it’s hard to go back to work after three day of fun, excitement, anxiety, adrenaline, etc. However, we got a bit of great news last night at the T-200 finishing banquet that makes it impossible not to be happy.

In addition to placing 4th overall in the race, Cole was honored to receive the Humanitarian Award, which is presented by the race veterinarians to the musher who took the best care of their dogs through the race.

During the speech of why Cole was the recipient, they said in addition to her dog care, she had the best looking team at the finish line (see pic above [by Will Morrow] of them still steaming their way into the finish chute, Penny and Zoom leading the way) with several dogs still hammering their harness and barking to keep on going. This is a real honor to receive this award and it means more to us than any placement in the race ever could. But to be fair, the award should have gone to Metoo, Quigley and Zoom, for I’m sure their tireless antics helped the veterinarians make their final decision.

For her award win, Cole receive a beautiful engraved plaque with a photo of a sled dog on it (which I’ll edit this post later and add a photo of her with it. We got home too late last night to take a pic and she had to work early this morning). She also received a fur ruff to add to her parka to keep her warm in blowing snow storms, so she can continue to take great care of her dogs.

Winning one award is always special, but Cole was also humbled to win the Sportsmanship Award as well last night. This award is chosen by the other mushers in the race, and goes to a musher with a positive attitude who helps other mushers out. We never heard exactly what it was that earned Cole the award, but she was happy throughout the race, cheered for the Jr T and T-100 mushers when they went by on passes, and helped park a few of the T-200 teams when they came in, so maybe some or all of this lent to a few votes.

For the award, Cole received a monetary prize, which as someone guessed in the comments on my last post, will get added to her race winning to help pay for the huge repair bill we accrued when the dog truck broke down twice earlier this season. That’s the sad irony of this sport, even when you win, you don’t break even, but we don’t do this to get rich, we do it because e love spending time outdoors with the dogs.

I wanted to mention a few other quick things. For anyone who didn’t read Amy’s entry in the “comments” of the last post, please do. Cole and I have been doing this for a while so we sometimes forget how things look through the eyes of a beginner. Amy wrote a beautiful and eloquent journal of her experiences this past weekend, and it gives great insight into so many things I would never have thought to mention. Please check it out.

Also, Amy, I forgot to mention in the last post, the loaf of super nutritious and delicious bread you gave Cole went a long way after the race. Cole was so, so tired after running for two days without rest, she came home too tired to make anything, too tired to even get out of her cold, wet mushing clothes. She just collapsed on the couch, and began to munch on the bread until she fell asleep. We had several of the racers in the house that night too, so below is a pic of her and Penny eating together just before they fell asleep. Our house dog Jeeves is also nosing his way in to make sure he isn’t missing out on anything too good.

O.K. all for now. Check back later today or tonight and I’ll add some pics of Cole’s award and her new ruff. thanks again to everyone who supports us and RGK. We couldn’t do this without your positive thoughts and comments. Oh, and for those who were worried about Buliwyf. He’s doing great. Yesterday we ran all the dogs who didn’t race and he was jumping around and doing his best to try and get to the team. He seems back to normal, but we’ll be conservative and still give him a week off from running just to be sure.

O.K. That’s it for real this time. Here’s several pics people have sent us from throughout the race:

Metoo doing her best impression of a Mexican jumping bean in the starting chute. That is Cole’s sister-in-law unsuccessfully attempting to hold Metoo on the ground.

Another shot of Metoo going wild. This time Cole tries to calm her down, while Penny says “Get this maniac away from me!” It’s hard to imagine Metoo is such an amazing sled dog, and yet she has lived in our house and slept in our bed every day since she was about 4 months old.

Reprinted with permission

The Rogues Gallery Kennel rescues and rehabilitates dogs.  If they can turn these misfits into racers, they can and will.  If they can’t, they lovingly care for them anyway.  This means there are a lot of happy, hungry mouths to feed.

If you know a business who would be interested in a tax deductible sponsorship…I can’t think of a more deserving race team than Rogues Gallery Kennel!

More than ever, they could use a  reliable truck for transporting their dogs to races away from home. Alaskan winter road conditions are just what you know or imagine them to be.

Read more about Rogues Gallery Kennel and enjoy their blog!

This sponsorship request is solely the responsibility of the author of this post.


6 Responses to “Rogues of Alaska – WTF Moments!”

  1. alicia Says:

    Scenes like this make me feel a little better about the sport of dog mushing.

  2. Martha Says:

    Alicia – I know how you feel! A lot of these dogs wouldn’t have a home if it weren’t for Joseph & Colleen, much less be well loved, excellently cared for and living a great life in Alaska. Thanks for dropping in!

  3. fromthediagonal Says:

    Alicia, like you, I have had reservations about mushing over the years, but it is people like the Robertias who have my admiration.
    The pictures of Metoo’s antics and Penny’s expressions of “here we go again” resignation are so telling of different temperaments in all of us, twoleggeds and fourleggeds, and our abilities to pull forward together.

    My favorite picture though is the one of Cole and Penny sharing a well deserved bite with Penny, and Jeeves patiently waiting to be included. Thank you, Joseph and Colleen, for sharing this moment of smiling, eye drooping, delighted exhaustion. It speaks of the good in you and to the good in the viewer.

  4. fromthediagonal Says:

    … correction: Cole and Penny sharing a well deserved bite, with Jeeves…
    I got excited and obviously did not proof read. Sorry!

  5. Martha Says:


    One of my favorite scenes from the RGK blog is one of total joyful dog chaos while walking the entire kennel in the woods behind their place. This is not a task for the faint of heart!

    “For fun we often walk the dogs on a little half mile circuit we have in the woods behind our house. We usually only do three to five at a time, but now that training is taking up so many hours a day, we had to make some changes, so now we walk ALL the dogs at the same time. It’s a real rodeo, but they LOVE it. In the picture above I got as many as I could fit into the frame, but that’s not saying much since the dogs we just buzzing everywhere like bees on a hive.” – Joseph

  6. fromthediagonal Says:

    Thank you, Martha, I love it!
    This brings me back to the “time of the dinosaurs” when I was a teenager in Germany helping to train German Shephards for police work. I was much stronger than I am now at almost 71, but still… what a challenge!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: