Monday, February 13, 2012

Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Mushers

Autism Light #149 is the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race Mushers.

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is an annual sporting event that is one of the most popular in Alaska. The great race coves over 1,000 miles in sometimes sub-zero or blizzard conditions from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska. It takes 9-15 days for participants (called mushers) to complete as they drive teams of about 12 dogs. The Iditarod Race mushers are an Autism Light because in 2010 they helped provide $15,000 in support to make it possible for a boy with autism, Logan Erickson, to receive an autism service dog.

Logan Erickson is a 10 year old boy with autism who is chiefly nonverbal. He has been a fan of the Iditarod Race when he experienced it coming through Unalakleet, Alaska. Dee Dee Jonrowe is a musher and family friend of the Erickson's. Logan spoke his first word in seven years when he said, "Miyagi", the name of one of Dee Dee Jonrowe's race dogs. Dee Dee Jonrowe and other mushers of the Iditarod Race decided to take up Logan's cause and in 2010 donated almost $15,000 to help pay the expenses to bring an autism service dog to Logan Erickson.

Juke Erickson is the name of the yellow labrador dog who now lives in Unalakleet, Alaska with the Erickson family, thanks to the generosity of the Iditarod Race mushers. He has been trained by the 4 Paws for Ability organization to be an autism service dog for Logan Erickson. Juke is trained to find Logan in the event that he wanders, as children with autism do.

4 Paws for Ability completely trained Juke to be able to provide autism service. In the video when it speaks of Juke being trained by the Erickson family, it refers to the steps they took to help Juke apply his new skills specifically to the service of Logan Erickson. 

For more information on the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race visit these websites.
Special thanks to the Iditarod Trail Dog Sled Race Mushers for being an Autism Light and helping bring Juke Erickson to Alaska. The Mushers become the first Autism Light from the State of Alaska. If you liked this post you may want to read about the other Autism Lights who have the label, "Animal".

Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.

Photo: The photo in this post was acquired from the Wikipedia Commons.

No comments:

Post a Comment