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Letter: Seavey’s treatment of dogs raises humane questions

Iditarod winner Mitch Seavey’s book “Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way!” is a real eye-opener. He encourages people to whip dogs who disobey, punish dogs who won’t eat, give dogs contaminated food and “candle” a dog’s feet. Seavey says his book is meant to help people “develop a long-distance team and gain understanding of dogs in general.”

So, what does it means to “candle” a dog’s feet? Mitch Seavey says: “After you’ve trimmed the hair (between the pads) you need to 'candle’ their feet, or singe the ends of the hair that you trimmed. This makes snow even less likely to collect in the foot hair.

Notice the term is “candle” the feet. My boys are always looking for faster ways to do their chores. I suppose that is why they started using a propane torch to “candle” dogs’ feet. That in turn explains why, upon entering the shop one winter’s day, I observed the back half of my best leader apparently going up in flames. This gives a whole new meaning to the term, “Put the dog out, son!” It’s all very inhumane.

— Margery Glickman
Director, Sled Dog Action Coalition
Miami