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3/16/2017
Sled dogs team up, pull tourists' stuck SUV

FAIRBANKS (AP) — Nine Alaska sled dogs mushing near a scenic river helped tourists with an SUV that was stuck in the snow, managing to pull it free last weekend.

Musher Neil Eklund and his son were returning from a dogsled tour on the Chena River near Fairbanks on Sunday when they came upon the stranded people with their vehicle, The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported Tuesday.

Eklund said he had never pulled a car out the snow with his dogs before, but they had plenty of power to free the SUV and send the tourists on their way.

"We all tugged and pushed," he said. "The dogs had a lot of fun with it. When you have them all synced in unison, they can really pull."

He added: "At least it’s a good story for them to tell when they go back home."

Eklund participated in the famed Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in 1981 and 1983.

He is now training his son to run the Yukon Quest sled dog race and the Iditarod.

The tourists with the SUV were taking a risk by driving to the Chena River area, Eklund said.

Cars that have traveled on top of its frozen surface in recent years have fallen through, he said.