Thunder hit a tree.
“He took the full brunt of it,” Brent Sass told the vet.
The veteran musher was blowing through Carmacks just before 8 p.m. Sunday night.
And, after a three-and-a half-hour ride into the checkpoint, Thunder was staying behind.
But the brown and black husky didn’t want to get out of the sled.
Eventually the vet managed to lift him out of his comfy nest and walk him away.
After the impact, Sass rubbed Thunder’s shoulder with Algyval, a massage balm.
“But he started limping, and his shoulder just blew up,” said Sass.
Martin Buser, who hauled into Carmacks in third place, was also leaving one of his dogs behind.
“I’m a dog dropper,” he said, munching on a ham and cheese sandwich.
“I leave them back even if they just look at me tired.”
Wayne Hall also had to drop a dog.
“And it wasn’t even the race,” he said, hanging up his wet mitts at the Carmacks checkpoint.
The Eagle, Alaska musher left Jake behind after his leg swelled up on the run into Braeburn.
“I took them for a seven-mile run before the race, just so they could stay limber and poop,” said Hall.
Jake got in a scrap and got a puncture in his leg that Hall didn’t notice until it was too late.
“And he’s my second-best leader,” said Hall.
By Monday morning, 18 dogs had been dropped from race teams. (Genesee Keevil)