HOVLAND, Minn. (KQDS) – Frank Moe has 43 dogs on his property. 28 of them are in training and none of them are quite like the seven-year-old Alaskan husky named Indy.
“We were really grateful to have him. Indy became a star right away. In fact, he finished the Beargrease marathon when he was two,” Dog Musher, Frank Moe says.
Fast forward to the summer of 2016. The prodigy lost one of his eyes to a rare disease known as lens luxation which nearly put his racing career in jeopardy.
“We still ran him. But then he lost his sight in his other eye too. And it took him about a year to get used to being totally blind,” Moe says.
Because of his high energy, and other heightened senses, sitting the races out wasn’t an option.
“We couldn’t just not run him. He was very upset clearly when the other dogs took off for a training run,” Moe says.
“They’re more than our pets. They’re our teammates. He had such beautiful blue eyes and was such an incredible dog. He loved to run. We were personally upset right away, but we were more upset for him.”
After years of training to get him back into the racing flow, including practicing with the older dogs and running in smaller races, Indy is now ready to mush in Beargrease again even without his sight.
“This year we started training him like he was going to be one of the marathon racing dogs and he looked great. In fact, he looked almost as good as he was when he was two years old. He was one of the best dogs on the team,” Moe says.
With a slew of injuries to his sled dog team, Moe decided not to run the Beargrease 300.
Instead, he and his eight dog team opted for the mid-distance Beargrease 120 with Indy in the “Wheel” position.
“He was happy and wagging his tail. He was ready to go again.”
So Indy, the dog that almost didn’t race again has become an inspiration for dogs of all shapes and sizes affected by the same disease.
“To know that their dog is going to continue to improve.
“It’s like he was saying Dad, I’m back.”