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Continued: Forest Lake teen is building a top team of dogs for winter dogsled races

  • Article by: KELLY JO MCDONNELL  , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Last update: March 23, 2013 - 10:34 PM

After training for a few hours, she heads in the house to start homework. “It gets to be a late night,” said Thaemert. “Next year should be easier after I graduate.”

Thaemert works part-time at the Chuck & Don’s Pet Store in Forest Lake. She said it brings in a free bag of food once a month — it takes around 30 pounds of high-calorie dog food a week to feed her team. She said her job also has helped her learn how to better care for her dogs.

So, what’s next? Graduation, some travel and pursuing a degree in veterinary orthopedic surgery, she hopes. And racing.

Thaemert is expanding her team by adding two puppies to be ready to race by next winter. She would like to work toward larger races, such as the Beargrease in Duluth, the St. Paul Winter Carnival Race or the MushforaCure on the Gunflint Trail.

“It’s the most peaceful feeling — there’s nothing in the world like it,” she said. “I don’t even know how to put it into words. It’s just one of those things.”


Kelly Jo McDonnell is a Twin Cities freelancer


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  • Photo gallery: Mad for mushing

    Saturday March 23, 2013

    Forest Lake teen is building a top team of dogs for winter dogsled races.

  • One of Ashley Thaemert’s dogs jumped from excitement at the prospect of training in front of a sled. She is a 17-year-old Forest Lake Area High School student.

  • Thaemert took her mushing team out for a run.

  • Lead dogs Saffron and Echo with Ashley Thaemert.

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