CrackerJack, the day he came into our lives in April 2004, and before he dug this spot into a huge crater that to this day we have not finished filling in.

Cracker, confident leader, holding out the line as the team is hooked up in Kantishna, September 2007. Photo: Robert Drozda

CrackerJack is a dog that came from the shelter and was in the exact same situation as Misty. They were both in the back of the same ACO truck at the shelter waiting their turn to be euthanized. When the tenders opened the back of the truck and I had decided to take one dog I grabbed Misty…then I decided to grab a second dog and that was CrackerJack. (Why these two dogs grabbed at my heart out of 15 dogs, one never knows…)

He was terribly thin and very shy. But I could tell he was a kind and gentle dog. When I brought him home he pretty much ignored any advances by us for friendship but he LOVED to play with other dogs. He also loved to dig…dig…and dig as deep as he could until only his house was perched upon a mound of dirt. We started letting him loose every day and he would come for treats but what he really loved was to be with other dogs. There is not an aggressive bone in his body.

He turned out to be a good working dog but he was too slow for all the sprint dogs that we were putting him with. So he ended up at a distance musher’s home who then got out of dogs, so CrackerJack needed another home. Up goes Robert Drozda’s hand and Cracker ended up with Robert and Lenore, where they shortened his name to Cracker. For two summers Cracker has gone to Kantishna in Denali Park to be part of a small group of dogs that gives demonstrations to tourists. The summer of 2007 he really blossomed and was one of the main lead dogs.

His before and after pictures show his transformation. It was sad that he had to be passed around several times as I really hate to see that with sled dogs, but Cracker has ended up in a caring and wonderful home now. He is run regularly through the winter and has become part of a strong and bonded team.