Blunt, who gets better when the going gets tough

a dog stands on the snow-covered pavement
Blunt at the ceremonial start of the Iditarod in Anchorage on March 4, 2023. (Lex Treinen/Alaska Public Media)

Rookie Eddie Burke Jr.’s main leader, 5-year-old Blunt, worries him. Not because there’s anything wrong with Blunt. It’s just that he’s too good.

“He’s almost got too much drive,” said Burke. “Like, how does someone maintain that pace?”

Burke called the black-and-brown husky, named as part of a litter born on April 20, an “extremely special dog” who he has an “amazing bond” with.

Blunt hasn’t run the Iditarod before, but has led Burke to some extremely impressive results. He bested a competitive field at the Knik 200 earlier this year, and finished in third in the Kuskokwim 300. 

Despite Blunt’s impressive running, Burke said, his ability to navigate difficult situations is what really sets him apart. Last year during the Knik 200 race, teams ran into extreme conditions with winds up to 70 mph and poor visibility. Then, Burke’s team fell into deep overflow, and Blunt got them out of it.

“He was gee-ing and haw-ing, taking commands through water, swimming, getting the team to shore,” said Burke. “This is a dog that, the tougher it gets, the better he is.”

Blunt is part of our “Dog of the Day” series. Each day during the Iditarod, we’ll feature a new dog making the 1,000-mile dash to Nome. Earlier, we met DustyMooseBoomerJoAnnaMach 10, Senior and Covid.

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Lex Treinen is covering the state Legislature for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at

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