Dog on team of rookie musher dies

Posted: Sunday, March 09, 2008

ANCHORAGE - A dog on the team of rookie Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race musher John Stetson died early Saturday morning.

It is the first dog death in this year's race.

Stetson left the 7-year-old male, named Zaster, with officials at the Ophir checkpoint at 2 a.m. on Friday.

The dog had been showing signs of pneumonia.

Iditarod Race Marshal Mark Nordman said a necropsy will be conducted by a board-certified pathologist in an attempt to determine the cause of death.

As of noon, Stetson, of Duluth, Minn., was 60th in the standings and was at the Cripple checkpoint, 503 miles into the 1,100-mile race.

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