Talkin' Pets News
Host - Jon Patch
Co-Host - Dr. Jarrod Lazarus
Producer - Zach Budin
Reporter - Georgia Malpartida
Network Producer - Adrian
Executive Producer / Social Media - Bob Page
Special Guests - Cara Sue Achterberg, Author of "Another Good Dog" One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 8/11/2018 at 5pm EST to discuss and give away her new book
Scott Graves The Florida Aquarium Director of Center for Conservation will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 8/11/2018 at 720pm EST to discuss saving the Coral Reefs in the Florida Keys as well as the Red Tide attack on Sea Life of the beaches of Florida
Talkin' Pets News
Host - Jon Patch
Co-Host - Karen Vance
Producer - Lexi Lapp
Network Producer - Ben Boquist
Executive Producer - Bob Page
Special Guests - Anouska Jones editor of Woof A Book of Happiness For Dog Lovers will join Jon and Talkin' Pets live from Australia 9/24/16 at 5pm EST to discuss and give away her book
Popular Bluegrassers Newtown will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 9/24/2016 at 630pm EST to discuss and giveaway their new CD Harlan Road
Patti Lawson author of "What Happens To Rover When The Marriage Is Over" will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 9/24/16 at 7pm EST to discuss and give away her new book
TPR NewsSaturday, July 30, the 212th day of 2016. There are 154 days left in the year. Crew:
Jon Patch – Host
Kellyann Payne - Co Host
Zach Budin – Producer
Ben Boquist - Network Producer
Bob Page – Executive Producer
Special Guests - Long time friend and Announcer to Hallmark Channel's Kitten Summer Games, David Frei, will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 7/30/16 at 5pm EST to discuss the the show
Loren Kulesus from Dr. Catsby's and Zack Williamson, Senior Associate at The Grommet will join Jon and Talkin' Pets 7/30/16 at 630 pm EST to discuss and give away their Innovative Cat Bowl to help prevent Whisker Fatigue
FAST INTO THE NIGHT
A Woman, Her Dogs, and their Journey
North on the Iditarod Trail
by Debbie Clarke Moderow
At age forty-seven, a mother of two, Debbie Moderow was not your average musher in the
Iditarod, but that’s where she found herself when, less than 200 miles from the finish line, her
dogs decided they were done running.
FAST INTO THE NIGHT (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, February 2, 1016) is the gripping
story of Moderow’s journeys along the Iditarod trail with her team of spunky huskies: Taiga and
Su, Piney and Creek, Nacho and Zeppy, Juliet and the headstrong leader, Kanga. The first failed
attempt crushed Moderow’s confidence, but after reconnecting with her dogs she returns and
ventures again to Nome, pushing through injuries, hallucinations, epic storms, flipped sleds, and
clashing personalities, both human and canine. And she prevails.
Part adventure, part love story, part inquiry into the mystery of the connection between humans
and dogs, FAST INTO THE NIGHT is an exquisitely written memoir of a woman, her dogs,
and what can happen when someone puts herself in that place between daring and doubt—and
DEBBIE CLARKE MODEROW, originally from Connecticut, went to Alaska in 1979 for a
mountain-climbing expedition and met her husband, Mark. For the Moderows, dog mushing has
always been a family affair. Debbie ran the Iditarod in 2003 and 2005, completing the latter in 13
days, 19 hours, 10 minutes, and 32 seconds. In 2013 Debbie graduated from Pacific Lutheran
University’s Rainier Writing Workshop with an MFA in creative writing.
Debbie is available for interviews and her tour will take her to Seattle, Portland, Minneapolis,
Boston, Burlington (VT), and of course all over Alaska.
What does an average reader or “armchair adventurer” need to know about the Iditarod?
The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race starts every year on the first weekend in March. Mushers and their sixteendog
teams leave Willow, a little north of Anchorage, and travel 1,000 miles, day and night, across the state of
Alaska to Nome. The race passes through 22 checkpoints along the way, where mushers have sent food and
supplies before the race. There are also veterinarians at each checkpoint, who assist watching over the dogs.
You grew up in Greenwich, Connecticut. Can you describe the unlikely trajectory, from east coast
suburbia to Alaska’s Iditarod Trail?
I must admit, on the surface of things, it seems unlikely that my childhood in Greenwich would have led me
to this life in Alaska. But from the youngest age, I’ve always been a winter person—and a dog person. Those
two traits tend to override logistical circumstances.
Looking back, my Iditarod journey was a logical outgrowth of my parents’ adventurous spirit. My mother
was an aviator in the thirties, and actually flew her plane under the Brooklyn Bridge. My father, as well as
Mom, lived for outdoor adventure. I grew up fly fishing in upstate New York, skiing in Vermont, riding
horses in Wyoming, and simply exploring the woods behind our house with Dad’s hunting dogs traipsing
alongside me. Once I visited Wyoming I knew that one day I’d move west. Looking back, it’s easy to connect
the dots from Connecticut west to the Rockies, and north to Alaska’s Iditarod Trail.
How did your life with sled dogs actually begin?
It began when my husband Mark and I adopted our first husky, a retired Iditarod sled dog named Salt. The
moment Salt walked through our door, our lives changed forever.
At the time our children Andy and Hannah were 5 and 6 years old, and I had recently suffered a series of midpregnancy
miscarriages. First Salt drew me out of my grief; his insistent adventurous spirit re-ignited my
own. Then, in a matter of a few years, he mentored our young family, and a few young pups, about the joys of
the dog sledding trail.
So your mushing life began as a family effort?
Yes, it did. We hadn’t had Salt for more than a week or two when the kids borrowed a harness and sled so he
could pull them around our yard. A few months later, we acquired two puppies with the idea of having a tiny
team. Then Mark came home from work one night and announced he’d signed the kids up for the one and two
dog junior races the following day. So began the real fun of the Salty Dog Kennel.
During the next ten years our dogs were first and foremost for Andy and Hannah. From junior races to
weekends camping with our dogs, from training runs after school to building sleds way past everyone’s
bedtime, we all enjoyed the family kennel.
When Andy and Hannah were 7 and 8 they wanted to run in the two and three dog races—so we added some
puppies into the mix and there were five dogs living in our backyard. When they turned 11 and 12, they
needed a five and a seven-dog team. By the time they left for college, both bid a tearful farewell to the
family’s 20-dog team. I shed my own tears: the prospect of the empty nest looked pretty bleak. That’s when I
decided to run Iditarod.
What breed are Iditarod sled dogs?
Our dogs, like most in the sport, are Alaskan Huskies—a
working-dog blend of huskies and hounds developed over
many generations to be well-suited for winter travel. Because
these dogs are mutts, they vary in size and temperament. Ours
are smaller than some, ranging from 35-55 pounds. They are
all different colors. Some have brown eyes, a few blue. Some
ears stand up, others flop over.
Our particular dogs are sensitive and playful. Training them
requires patience and positive reinforcement.
Because Alaskan Huskies are not inbred, they live particularly
long and healthy lives. Most of our dogs enjoy running as 12
year olds. Many live to see at least 14-16 years.
What draws you to adventures with sled dogs?
My relationship with the dogs is the inspiration for our
adventures. Running a dog team is shared effort; your
connection with the beating hearts on the line defines every
twist and turn of the trail.
My dogs know everything about me. From them I cannot hide a bad mood, growing anxiety, or fatigue. In
turn, I know them intimately—how Tiger holds her tail tells me much about her attitude. When Gouda’s ears
go down, I know he needs an extra snack. To collaborate with their honest, steady hearts brings out the best in
me; in connecting my sensibilities to theirs I’ve learned much about them—as well as what it means to be
What are the qualities necessary to be a successful musher?
Both canine and human members of an Iditarod team need to enjoy and train to perform as winter endurance
athletes. When I took on the Iditarod challenge, I was highly motivated to be the best I could be—to hold up
my end of the bargain for the dogs. I trained at the gym, altered my eating and hydrating habits, learned to
cope with extreme sleep deprivation. Tending to my own nutrition and fitness was a key ingredient of our
While preparations are extremely important, long distance mushing is a calling—an obsessive and irresistible
desire to spend long miles with incredible canine companions on a challenging and invigorating wilderness
Describe your experience on the trail, as a female musher.
This is a question I’m asked often. The truth is
that I don’t think of myself as a female musher,
I consider myself a musher. Men and women
compete on a gender-blind basis in our sport, so
I take that for granted.
Of course every individual brings strengths and
weaknesses to the trail. At 5’2” and 125 pounds,
I have a weight advantage—and a relative
disadvantage in arm strength. That said, my
ability to work intuitively with individual dogs
might result from years of mothering. On the
other hand, some have argued that my first
incomplete race might have benefitted from my
husband’s more matter-of-fact approach. But I
don’t really see a “matter-of-fact” manner as
Bottom line is that each individual musher, regardless of gender, brings his or her own advantages and
disadvantages to the trail. During a 1,000 mile journey, one’s strengths and weaknesses are magnified.
There’s no hiding from them. You have draw on your particular talents and muddle through the rest.
What is the running-life of a sled dog? At what age do they first run in harness and how old do they
We first put our pups in harness around nine months. Because their joints are still developing, during their
first season we make sure to take them on very short and slow runs. We pair them with older dogs in order to
settle them on the line with good mentors. It is not until the following season that they train as full members
of the team.
On their very first outing in harness, our pups almost always pull like they’ve been on the line for a lifetime.
Just like a Labrador puppy seems to know how to swim as soon as she bounds into water.
Our older dogs usually run with the team until they are at least 12. Of course every dog is different. There are
11 and 12 year olds who thrive running Iditarod. They key with the golden oldies, as we call them, is to run
them slowly. They are perfect trainers for the up and coming generation.
How cold does it get on the trail? How do the dogs respond and how do you?
I’ve run in temperatures from negative 60 degrees Fahrenheit to 50 degrees above zero. The dogs deal with
the cold far easier than humans do. Alaskan Huskies are a “double-coated northern” breed; because they live
outside in the winter, they acclimatize early in the season. For additional protection from the wind, we dress
them in insulated jackets. For a few thinner-coated dogs, I have special jackets trimmed with wolverine. One
houndy boy even wears a hat. Sled dogs far prefer temperatures down to negative 20 degrees over anything
warmer than twenty above.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from your dogs?
During Iditarod, my dogs and I navigated 1,000 miles of wilderness trail, during which we were challenged
by weather and trail conditions we’d never experienced before. I think it’s fair to say that both my huskies
and I wrestled with opposing passions of daring and doubt.
Because sled dogs insist on living in the present, they are graced with a nimble and resilient spirit. This
strength of theirs is, for the most part, infectious. As long as I tapped into their happy focus, our shared miles
were relatively carefree.
Like any marathon journey, Iditarod miles are long and not always pretty. On a few occasions my dogs and I
suffered a momentary disconnect with one another—affecting our ability to move on. But in the end, we regained
our shared momentum.
To complete—together—such a long and complicated journey, was to contend with the messy nature of
success. As in everything in life, some miles were “better” than others; looking back several of our stumbles
could have been prevented, others were random twists of misfortune.
It was gratifying beyond any measure to cross beneath the burled arch in Nome. Not because of simply
getting there, but in having persevered to become the best team my dogs and I could be. Maybe the joy of
reaching our planned destination gave me a chance to glimpse what truly matters: that giving something your
very best effort is far more meaningful than any prize. The happy ending of my story is a gift to share—but
more important lessons can be found along those windy miles short of the finish line in Nome.
It all started with one retired Iditarod dog. Beware: If
you decide to adopt a sled dog, your life could change
You’ll never need another doorbell. Greeting visitors is
a specialty of our huskies—they are people-focused
dogs who live for meeting humans.
A dog team is a canine community. Among those dogs
living outside your window are close friends, lovers,
antagonists. Elders, students, and young rascals. Lead
singers, and those who can’t carry a tune.
If yours is a family dog team, your children will sob
uncontrollably leaving for college—saying goodbye to their dogs.
Everyone will ask you how you remember all 26 names, and you want to ask
them if they could ever forget the names of their closest friends.
You will buy dog food by the ton, and know the caloric value of one pound of
kibble as well as the Omega 3:6 fat balance in various oils.
You will consider the length of their toenails far more than your own.
Love songs on the radio will no longer remind you of an old boyfriend; instead
you’ll think of your lead dog.
Your definition of a romantic anniversary present is a new sled, handmade by
your husband. Or maybe better: the perfect new shovel for scooping the dog yard.
If you decide to write a book about Iditarod, it will take you forever. You’ll
outlive the dog-stars in your story. To have their ashes on the shelf next to your
writing desk will give you the determination to throw out one more draft and try
The Gregorian calendar no longer matters after you sign up for Iditarod. It’s all
about miles per month, the rookie meeting in early December, and your
appointment with the Iditarod Trail on the first Saturday of March.
Sometime near the start of the race you’ll realize you forgot to schedule all your
personal medical appointments—but your dogs have just had full physicals,
bloodwork, and EKGs.
On race day the prospect of 1,000 wilderness miles will reduce you to tears, but at
the sound of “5...4...3...2...1...go,” it’s just you, your dogs and the trail underfoot.
Everything is right in your world.
After the first week on the trail, when you travel at all times of the day, you
realize that you never understood the cycle of day and night before.
Who knew that two hours of sleep is a wonderful luxury?
Who also knew that sleeping fully clothed on a dirty plywood floor is also a
After several days on the trail you acclimatize to the cold and do chores
barehanded at 10 degrees.
Six weeks after the race you will still sit upright in bed at 2:00 AM and wonder if
you overslept when should have been leaving the checkpoint.
When the race is over you will put each of your dogs in a crate to fly home ahead
of you. It’s the worst thing ever—to explain to them that you have to stay for a
boring finisher’s banquet, and that you’ll see them “day after tomorrow.”
You will experience mixed emotions when you reach the finish line. The journey
of a lifetime has come to an end, but the real challenge comes readjusting to life
off the trail when it’s no longer just you and your dogs.
Blue and Holloman art gallery, 2/6
Barnes & Noble, 2/7
Iditarod Week, 2/29-3/6
Anchorage Museum, 3/4
Third Place Books, 2/15 (Lake Forest Park)
Village Books, 2/16 (Bellingham)
Powell's City of Books, 2/17
Common Good Books, 2/21
Harvard Book Store, 2/22 (Cambridge)
Jabberwocky, 2/23 (Newburyport)
Northshire, 2/26 (Manchester Center)
Fireside Books, 3/1
Coronado City Library, 4/5
Carlsbad City Library, 4/7
Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures present a 131 minute, PG-13, 3D, action, adventure, sci-fi, directed by Guillermo del Toro, written by Guillermo del Toro and Travis Beacham with a theater release of July 12, 2013.
In Ultimate Survival Alaska, National Geographic Channel Presents
an Epic Competition Series
Where the Only Prize Is Survival
“No watch, no GPS, no phone. Nothin'.
Just the wits and the gear on my back.
And that's the way it should be done.”
–Tyler, Survival Expert
Ultimate Survival Alaska Premieres Sunday, May 12, at 10 PM ET/PT
(WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 17, 2013) They are some the toughest, most extreme survivalists that Alaska has to offer. Going head to head, eight men of a rare breed are about to take the ultimate test of survival in Arctic conditions that only National Geographic could inspire. No tent, phone, watch or GPS. Three thousand miles across Alaska’s wild. This is hardcore. This is old school adventure. Now bring it on.
Starting Sunday, May 12, at 10 p.m. ET/PT (before moving to its regular time, Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT beginning May 19), go off the grid with Ultimate Survival Alaska, an epic new series that follows these survival experts on a 10-leg expedition in the brutal and dangerous Alaska terrain. The opponents’ only goal is to make it out alive using just the gear they can carry in their packs. (For more information, see www.natgeotv.com and twitter.com/NGC_PR.)
Dropped in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness by bush plane, they have 72 hours to make their way to the finish point for that leg of the expedition. Using raw, mountain-man ingenuity, they’ll navigate through treacherous glaciated river valleys, barren ridgelines and high mountain peaks, battling hunger, hostile predators and perilous weather conditions along the way.
Says Willi, one of the eight explorers, “I've done so many big peaks on basically all the world's continents. I've done six Everest expeditions. All of us that do this sort of thing. At some fundamental level, we’re not normal, well-adjusted, modern civilized human beings. We're all throwbacks. Because modern life is not enough of a test for us.”
Navigating risky routes that traverse some of the most hostile territory on the planet, they’ll rely on hard survival skills passed down through generations. Like the original National Geographic explorers, for those who succeed there is no grand prize, just the well-fought pride of having conquered the grueling challenges that a beastly Mother Nature can throw at them.
Now, meet Alaska’s most formidable challengers:
Dallas Seavey, 26 years old: The youngest person to ever to win the Iditarod, a grueling thousand-mile race across the state of Alaska through some of the world's toughest conditions.
Tyrell Seavey, 28 years old: Like his brother Dallas, he hails from a legendary family, known by many as Alaskan royalty. He has run the Iditarod twice and won the Jr. Iditarod.
Marty Raney, 56 years old: A veteran mountain guide who has led more than 20 expeditions on and around Denali, the highest peak in North America.
Matt Raney, 30 years old: Marty’s son and an expert in survival. He helped build his family home with Marty with nothing but a chainsaw and the logs on their property.
Austin Manelick, 24 years old: Since the age of 5, he has practiced subsistence hunting under the watchful eye of his Alaskan wilderness guide father.
Willi Prittie, 57 years old: A professional mountain guide for almost 38 years, Willi is considered to be one of the leading climbing and logistical experts in the region.
Tyler Johnson, 36 years old: From exploring Kathmandu to climbing 27,000 feet with no oxygen in Nepal, Tyler is fearless.
Brent Sass, 32 years old: He’s done six 1,000-mile dog sledding expeditions for the Yukon Quest, and has guided excursions through any and all of Alaska’s many landscapes.
Arctic Hell: Sunday, May 12, at 10 p.m. ET/PT
Mission: Travel nearly 50 miles in 72 hours from the Brooks Mountain Range, a remote chain that stretches 600 miles from east to west, reaching elevations of nearly 9,000 feet, to Takahula Lake.
The men pick their route: some take the higher land, some follow the river. Expert climber Willi Prittie leads Brent Sass and Tyler Johnson into the high mountains. The bearing they're traveling navigates through rugged peaks, reaching elevations over 4,000 feet. Right from the start, Willi blazes a trail through the high mountains, which exposes them to rugged topography … and wolves. Veteran mountain man Marty Raney is leading his son Matt and survival expert Austin Manelick through the river valley — a direct but treacherous route to the finish — facing 35-degree waters and 15 mile per hour current. Drama ensues when the crew separates in deadly swamp land. Brothers Dallas and Tyrell Seavey navigate a route along the barren ridgeline, traversing wide open terrain with little cover. These born racers are determined to be the first to arrive.
River of No Return: Sunday, May 19, at 9 p.m. ET/PT
Mission: Travel nearly 200 miles in 72 hours down the Yukon River, including a treacherous stretch of rapids.
The men are divided into two groups, building two competing rafts. Mountain man Marty Raney is ready to take charge, building a colossal raft weighing in at nearly 2 tons which he hopes will be sturdy enough to beat the rapids. After spending five hours on construction, the five-man crew get on their way, but hunger starts to take its toll. Dallas Seavey, his brother Tyrell and survival expert Austin Manelick are meticulously engineering a smaller raft that’s speedy and maneuverable to tackle the turbulent Yukon. Tyrell makes a homemade fishing net to get some food. But a partially submerged sandbar and water and rocks tearing at their raft make the crew struggle.
Into the Void: Sunday, May 26 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
Mission: Travel 25 miles through the snow-capped peaks of the Tordrillo Mountains, over 72 hours.
Helicopters leave the eight explorers on a snow-capped summit. The men split into three groups and approach a 300-foot cliff one team at a time, rappelling down in high winds and low visibility. The men must descend a ravine, and then traverse eight miles of the Triumvirate Glacier. Austin and Tyler circumvent the glacier, traveling along the mountain ridgeline. Mountain man Marty Raney, his son Matt and Brent Sass take a low elevation route and are the first to cross the glacier. Expert climber Willi Prittie and the Seavey brothers navigate far from the icebergs, fighting across 33-degree river water. In Strandline Lake, with 11 miles to go, Tyler and Austin are the last crew to arrive, and Austin's showing signs of hypothermia.
Ultimate Survival Alaska is produced by Brian Catalina Productions for the National Geographic Channel. For Brian Catalina Productions, Brian Catalina is executive producer. For National Geographic Channel, executive producer is Robert Palumbo; Senior Vice President of Programming and Development is Alan Eyres. Executive vice president of programming is Michael Cascio; and president is Howard T. Owens.
# # #
National Geographic Channels
Based at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Channels US are a joint venture between National Geographic and Fox Cable Networks. The Channels contribute to the National Geographic Society’s commitment to exploration, conservation and education with smart, innovative programming and profits that directly support its mission. Launched in January 2001, National Geographic Channel (NGC) celebrated its fifth anniversary with the debut of NGC HD. In 2010, the wildlife and natural history cable channel Nat Geo WILD was launched, and in 2011, the Spanish-language network Nat Geo Mundo was unveiled. The Channels have carriage with all of the nation’s major cable, telco and satellite television providers, with NGC currently available in 84 million U.S. homes. Globally, National Geographic Channel is available in 440 million homes in 171 countries and 38 languages. For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com.
Open Road Films, Inferno, 1984 Private Defense Contractors, Liddell Entertainment and Scott Free Productions present an R rated, approximately 110 minute, action, adventure, drama, directed by Joe Carnahan, written by Joe Carnahan and Ian Mackenzie Jeffers with a theatrical release of January 27, 2012.