Seamus has ‘big paws’ to fill in race duties

In the midst of the U.P. 200 Sled Dog Championship weekend, it’s only appropriate we take a moment to offer a thank you to one very special volunteer among the thousands who give time to the races.

Banshee, a 12-year-old Alaskan malamute, has been the U.P. 200’s mascot for the past five years, but is retiring from that post after this weekend’s action.

Her little brother Seamus will take over mascot duties next year.

The two, under the guidance of their “daddy” Todd Hennigan, have been visiting schools again this year. They provide a valuable service, bringing the sport of sled dog racing to children.

Last year, they visited more than 1,800 young students.

The dogs and their master in fun friendly fashion explain some facts about sled dogs and mushers so kids become more familiar with an event that’s become a signature wintertime Upper Peninsula favorite.

So thank you, Banshee, for being such a beautiful, warm ambassador to the sport. We hope there is a soft doggy bed and plenty of treats in your future.

And Seamus, you have big paws to follow but we’re confident that with your dad’s guidance, you will continue the legacy your sister so admirably established.