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33rd Annual Three Bear Sled Dog RaceSubmitted: 02/09/2013
Story By Ryan Abney


LAND O' LAKES - For 33-years the Wisconsin Trail Blazers have been racing to the finish line of the Three Bear Sled Dog Race. The state's longest running dog sled race gave fans plenty to cheer about Saturday in Land O' Lakes.

Besides the adrenaline rush---friendship is what makes this sport something special.

Five-hundred dogs-- Eight race classes--one goal--MUSH!
These pups don't know the definition of winning. But for their best friend--they'll kick all four paws into high-gear. It's the kind of connection that fans can easily see.

"We have the opportunity to see how they take care of these dogs and how well the dogs are taken care of on a regular basis." Said Volunteer, David Gunderson.

"We train quite a bit during the week and this is the only thing that I do...I'm not in a sport so this is pretty much my life during the winter." Said Four Dog Pro racer Jill Czerniak.

These Mushers work hard to win. But in the end--safety is number one. Mother Nature always has the final say.

Rob Behm is the Wisconsin Trail Blazer President. The love between the two is a reason he enjoys sled dog racing.

"There's a bond between dog and man and bother of them rely on good snow to race on"

Just in time for this competition---the Northwood's forecast delivered. Jill Czerniak and her pup had no complaints.

"We had a good berm on the side of the tail, it wasn't too punchy, it was a very good trail."

"The sun helps a little with the contrast of the trails so the dogs can see where the turns are ahead of time." Open Class racer, Dennis Marksteiner said.

And after months of training and overcoming obstacles, one thing makes it all worthwhile. Skijoring with his dog Ridge is what drives Mike Cristman when it gets tough.

"Just training him up and watching him do really good. He desires to please me, I desire to please him. It's really great."


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 IN OTHER NEWS

EAGLE RIVER - Many of us consider their dog as another member of the family. 

That's certainly true for a husband and wife in Eagle River, who are desperately searching for their dog--that they say was was taken from them in their own backyard on Tuesday. 

That dog is a three-year-old Boston terrier named Poco, and his owners are Scott and Laurie Schellinger.

According to the police report, a woman took the dog in a red Chevy Impala. The Schellingers say that woman is their niece. The Schellingers bought Poco from a man all three of them know about six weeks ago.

The Schellingers say when they got Poco, he was in bad shape.

"The dog didn't make a peep the first two weeks we had him," Scott Schellinger said. "And he cowered, and he just started coming out of his shell."

The Schellingers say their niece came over for a visit on Tuesday and that's when it happened.

"I was talking to my wife's niece on the back porch and all the sudden she goes running down the porch, her son grabbed the dog, the car was right there, opened up the driver car door, took the dog and [ran]," Scott Schellinger said. "Haven't seen him since."

The Schellingers say their home hasn't been the same, and their other two rescue dogs seem to miss him.

"I just can't believe this happened," said Laurie Schellinger. "Of all people, family."

Police have been searching for Poco, and the Schellingers hope he comes home soon.

"I just want him home where he belongs," Laurie Schellinger said. 

Click on the link below if you have information or want to help the Schellingers. 

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That collision happened around 8:30 a.m. on Highway 70 in front of Nobbes North Gas Station east of Eagle River.

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