It costs a lot to run a kennel, and each Iditarod-caliber dog can cost as much as
It costs a lot to run a kennel, and each Iditarod-caliber dog can cost as much as $1,000 a year for food, veterinary bills and training.Neither twin has enough money to operate her own kennel, but like many people starting out in the sport, they work for other dog sledders, training and caring for dogs while either renting dogs for races or using dogs to race as part of their salary.They're the only twins and only sisters to compete in the historic 1,100-mile Iditarod.||
It costs a lot to run a kennel, and each Iditarod-caliber dog can cost as much as $1,000 a year for food, veterinary bills and training.,000 a year for food, veterinary bills and training.
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Anna Berington (left) and Kristy Berington walk two of their dogs in Takotna, Alaska, during the Iditarod sled dog race in March 2012.
Growing up in northern Wisconsin, Anna and Kristy Berington underwent the perfect training for the world's premier sled dog race.
Brutal cold, piles of snow and howling winds are just another winter day for folks in Port Wing on the frigid shore of Lake Superior.
When Kristy traveled to Alaska in 2007 and met 1984 Iditarod winner Dean Osmar, he convinced the twins to move to the 49th state and try a different type of dog sledding.
Now the sisters live in Kasilof, Alaska, and work for two different dog kennels - Anna with Osmar's kennel and Kristy with another veteran dog sledder's.
Their mother, Janet Berington, is a bit astonished at her daughters' choice of career path, but then they've been a surprise since they were born.
Janet Berington didn't know she was pregnant with twins.
They spend much of the spring, summer and fall working construction and commercial fishing jobs to save up enough money to support their dog sledding careers. Competing in the Iditarod cost the twins more than ,000 each last year including the ,000 entrance fee as well as gear, food and transportation.