Name: Russell Miller
Residence: Fort Worth, Texas
Occupation: Managing owner of VO Vets Veterinary Clinic
Years involved with Iditarod: This is my first Iditarod
Iditarod Role: Veterinarian
Current Location: Iditarod Headquarters, Wasilla, AK
Date of Photo: March 1, 2023
Temperature: 17 degrees
What, who or how and when did you first get involved with the Iditarod?
So I first became involved with the Iditarod approximately a year and a half ago. I was looking for ways to be able to essentially give back to the community, and I’ve always enjoyed helping with the spay and neuter shelters, but just more of a way of just getting out and experiencing new opportunities. And there’s a classic saying of becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable. And when I went online, I typed in, volunteering veterinarian, and the Iditarod popped up on there. And I remember thinking years back about hearing about this race and the veterinarians that had experienced it. And it was like this is a perfect way of being able to essentially give back to the community for a good cause, and I wanted to become involved.
What is your Why? Why are you here TODAY and involved with the Iditarod?
I’m here today and involved with the Iditarod because I want to help use the tools and skills that I’ve been able to accomplish over the number of years of being a veterinarian and help give that back to an organization in the community, as well as learn the different aspects of veterinary medicine that comes with sled dog training and be able to bring that back to my community.
Tell me about just one of your most memorable Iditarod experiences:
One of the most memorable Iditarod experiences would have to be exploring the City of Anchorage, trying to collect the different equipment we need to be up here. Out of Fort Worth, the opportunities weren’t as available. And coming here to Anchorage and visiting the different stores, the local stores, and just explaining to them, “Hey, I’m a veterinarian here from Fort Worth, here to volunteer with the Iditarod,” and the amount of respect that we were seeing from the community as a whole and just how essentially thankful, and the opportunity to be here, that was a great experience.
What in life do you know for sure?
What I know for sure in life is really two things. The first is become comfortable with being uncomfortable. And the second is tough times make tough people.