This is sad story i have of my experience as a musher and the cold hard truth. Most mushers can be extremly cruel when it comes to their dogs. The old belief was a dog with out a full stomach will pull harder for its next meal and in turn win the race for you. Anouther belief was with the slash of a whip or a slap of a hand could earn your repect from a dog and its will to work . Unfortunatly even though I like to beleive we have come a long way from those cave man ways some still stand in the shadows of the past and i fear will never move on..... I remember one dog inparticular I met years ago when I was 20 at a three day race. The musher of the team was a burly older man who did not seem into people. His dogs were extremly skinny and was a team of alaskan huskies the best racing dogs around truthfully. He had a team of 13 I had a team of 8 lol. One of his dogs caught my eye the most I never learned his name because he never had one.... And so I just called him in my mind whisper because to me thats all he was a whisper of a dog that once was and was soon to be gone and never missed. He was a white AH with black patches and he was alittle more then a skeleton. He was a swing dog and was only alittle skinnier then his team mates. He had to be old or poorly bred because he had cateracts and he did'nt seem to be too steady on his legs. A few commented to the man about the dog only to be run off . Why the police were not called I will never know and blame myself to this day for not taking more action but these were people i did'nt know and i was the ONLY female musher at this race. And so the race started and I did'nt see the mountain man or his skinny weary team the first two days of the race. I wasent sure if he was before or behind me and i really wasent worried about losing or winning at this point the skinny white and black dog was on my mind and that was it. Nearing the end of the third day the man and his skinny dog team came up along side me short Whisper. I would like to say in the end I beat him but I did'nt I came in a close second though. I knew deep down inside but i still asked the man after he got paid his winning fee if I was mistaken or was he short a dog. He answered me kinda with a laugh in his voice saying yeah he's 50 miles back on the trail with a bullet to his head if you want him . I will never forget that dog or that man. To most it would teach them the lesson that not all mushers airn't alike and life is'nt always fair. But to me it taught me not to keep my mouth shut anymore. Now that i have made friends in the racing community and im no longer the only female musher I do have more people on my side. I always think of Whisper when I see ANY dog in pain its not much different. Amazing how a dog who probley would have cared less who I was had such a big impact on my life. I know this is not my typical dog experience story but I guess they can't all be happy.