Playing sports is a part of many people’s lives. Basketball, football and baseball are generally the ones people are introduced to.
For Spencer Bruggeman, he enjoyed them, but due to a condition called Telangactasia Congenita he couldn’t compete and enjoy them like he wanted.
“I was born with a leg that's shorter and skinnier than the other one, and so I can’t play normal sports at full capacity,” he said.
While reading ‘Call of the Wild’ by Jack London, he was inspired by mushing, which is anything involving the training and racing of dogs attached to a sled. One day while driving with his mom, he had an idea.
“We should start dog sledding. And she stopped the car and said you've been talking to dad haven’t you?"
Around the same time his dad, Brett, had been reading books on the Yukon Gold Rush.
"He was thinking the same thing I was at the time. So we just started doing it, and it was all downhill from there,” Spencer said.
“I asked my wife, I said I think I’d really like to have a sled dog team and she said no way,” Brett said.
"Two weeks later we had a bunch of sled dogs, and now we have 40."
And Skinny Leg Sled Dogs was born.
With 16 dogs, Brett made the one-week, 1,000 mile journey through Alaska, completing his first Iditarod earlier this year.
"It was all kind of overwhelming. I was really nervous,” Brett said. “Tons of work, suffering, you're out in the cold. About two and half hours of sleep a day.”
As for Spencer, he couldn’t have been happier.
"I was really proud of him,” Spencer said. “I thought it was awesome."
Brett plans to compete again, and with Spencer, they train the dogs and look forward to the next season. As for the idea of the two completing the Iditarod together, the thought has crossed their minds.
“That's kind of been the dream possibly running the race together,” Brett said.
Spencer added, "That will be 2020 and we're going to race the Iditarod once I turn 18.”