Name: Vern Otte

Age: 77
Residence: Leawood, Kansas
Occupation: I’m a veterinarian, retired
Years involved with Iditarod: This is my 11th year.
Iditarod Role: I’ve been a trail veterinarian. This year I’m working with return dogs.
Current Location: Lakefront Hotel, Anchorage, Alaska. 
Date of Photo: March 17, 2020
Temperature: 28F/Outdoors

What, who or how and when did you first get involved with the Iditarod?

I got involved with the Iditarod. I was in the military army reserves for many, many years and did medical missions. When I retired from that, I needed something to do and this was suggested as something to do that I could do adventurous and give back to the community. So, I’ve been involved with it ever since.

What is your Why?.. Why are you here today and involved in Iditarod?

I’m here today because it’s something that is a way of giving back. It’s also a chance to meet people that I’ve worked with over the years that I only see them once a year, and it’s like a little homecoming, coming back and visiting with all of the people I’ve been on the trail with.

Tell me about just one of your most memorable Iditarod experiences?

One of my most memorable experiences was I was in Kaltag. A dog came in that was really sick and we were able to diagnose as being low in glucose and able to get glucose in and save the dog.

What do you know for sure?:

One thing I know for sure is that life is more enjoyable when you take chances, do exploring things, and do adventurous-type things. And other than that, death and taxes is for sure.

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