Meet the sled dogs: Barnum

Bill Roth

• Name: Barnum

• Age: 2

• Gender: Male

• Weight: 76 pounds

• Musher: Jeff King, Denali Park

As soon as Barnum arrived for a snack in Unalakleet, he snarled at the husky next to him. "When he barks, people listen," King told the crowd.

This is a big, bad wolf of an Iditarod dog.

"Barnum is the biggest sled dog I've ever owned," said King, a four-time Iditarod winner. "I wouldn't be surprised if he's the biggest dog in the race."

He's the class clown. He has no concept of his own strength and size. ... To have a 76-pound dog in a team this fast, this far in the Iditarod, is pretty much unheard of."

The average dog is just 45 to 50 pounds, said chief veterinarian Stu Nelson. Barnum is the son of King's 2006 championship lead dog, Salem. "The mom's side comes from Lance Mackey's dog Zorro, and (Zorro) is a big dog."

-- Kyle Hopkins