Mayhem, ‘the sweetest girl on the team’

a black dog in a truck
Mayhem, a lead dog on Anna Berington’s team in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, in her box in Berrington’s dog truck at the race’s ceremonial start on Saturday, March 2, 2024. (Casey Grove/Alaska Public Media)

Anna Berington said her twin sister, Kristy, a fellow Iditarod musher, had been working with Mayhem to make her into a great lead dog.

“Now I get to take her,” Berington said. “She’s the sweetest girl on the team. She can run everywhere in the team, but one of her strengths is being a leader.”

Mayhem is six years old and competing in her fifth Iditarod this year, having first run the race in 2019 as a yearling.

Mayhem got her name as the Beringtons were naming a litter of puppies under a “troublemaker” theme.

“Her brothers are Ruckus, Rampage, Havoc, Chaos, and then Mayhem,” Berington said.

But what makes Mayhem a sweetheart?

“She loves to be pet, so every time you’re walking by, she gives you a paw,” said Berington. “She’s a talker. She likes to bark, and she’s just so easy, so easy to manage.”

Mayhem has been known to chew through the line connecting her to the rest of the team, “but now that she’s grown up a little bit, I think she’s grown out of that a little bit, which is nice,” Berington said.

Skookum is part of our “Dog of the Day” Iditarod series. Previously we met Paul, Ralph, Mussel, Junior, Meg and Schooby.

a portrait of a man outside

Casey Grove is host of Alaska News Nightly, a general assignment reporter and an editor at Alaska Public Media. Reach him Read more about Caseyhere

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