Denali National Park introduced the new members of its sled dog team in recent days.
Eight puppies were born at the park’s kennel last month as part of a breeding strategy that supports the park’s mushing program. According to the park service, dog sled kennel managers breed for qualities like long legs to break up trails in snow, compact legs to resist ice build-up between the toes, and sturdy coats. to stay warm in Alaska’s harsh winter climate.
But physical traits are only part of the story. Kennel managers also look for specific character traits, such as tenacity, love of running and pulling, and social tendencies – dogs that crave human attention.
This year’s puppies are called Jolie, Merlyn, Gus, Dargo, Apollo, Sage, Blitz and Boomer.
These names have a very special meaning. Kennel staff have chosen to honor the 9/11 Hero Dogs on their 20th anniversary. They named the puppies after eight of the approximately 300 dogs that participated in search and rescue efforts after the terrorist attacks. They hope the names will honor the memory of not only search and rescue dogs, but also the dog handlers, firefighters and law enforcement agencies who served America’s needs.
In addition, Denali National Park also launched its live “puppy camâSo viewers can watch the puppies as they frolic and grow. Interested viewers can find the puppy cam link posted on the KTNA website.