Why Is There a Moose on Every Bag?


Do you know why there is a moose on every bag of Annamaet?


People often wonder why there is a moose on every bag of Annamaet products.  Well, there is a pretty good story as to why that is – what we can only describe as “the Moose Story”.

Annamaet’s founder and CEO, Rob Downey, raced sled dogs for decades.  After beginning in Northern Minnesota, he found himself racing and training dogs with his family in the interior of Alaska.

One cold January morning in 2004, several miles into a training run, Rob turned off the main trail into the bush. About 300 yards out, he ran into a cow moose with her calf.  Cow moose are extremely protective of their young, can stand 6 feet tall at the shoulder and weigh upwards of 1,400 pounds.  Most would agree that in Alaska, they a dog musher’s greatest fear.

Rob immediately slammed on the brake at the sight of the moose.  He started waving his arms and yelling, trying to make himself big with hopes of scaring her off.  Unfortunately, this only seemed to make her more angry and she zoned in on him at the back of the sled. Ignoring the dogs, she charged past the team towards Rob, with hackles up, nostrils flaring and smacking her lips together.

Rob’s first thought was to get the dogs out of there, so he let go of the sled and told them to go home.  Rob often jokes, they were more than happy to leave! Foolishly thinking he could reach a nearby birch tree and climb to safety, he ran off the trail towards the closest one.  The snow was too deep and the moose caught him about halfway to the tree.  She knocked him to the ground and started stomping him.  Rob says this is the last thing he remembers.

The deep snow ended up cushioning his body and offered insulation against the -10 degree temperatures after she knocked him unconscious.  It is estimated that Rob was unconscious for about 30 minutes.  When he finally came to, he was hypothermic, with broken ribs, torn cartilage, a concussion, and several fractures.

Rob recalls fighting to stay awake and stumbling back to the main trail. To his amazement, his dog team was sitting there once he finally made the 300 yard walk back to the trail. As his team was running home, the sled tipped on its side which caused the snow hook (similar to a boat anchor) to fall out and catch in the snow – miraculously stopping them!

Rob was able to hang on as the dogs led the sled several miles back to the cabin where he could phone for help.  The dogs literally saved his life after his wild encounter.

After surgeries and several months of rehab, Rob was able to recover and get back to doing what he loved with his dogs.  To this day he carries a constant reminder of his run-in with the majestic Alaskan wildlife, as he has a steel rod and wire in his elbow.  But he also wanted to remember this day in a special way, so he began putting a moose on the front of every bag of Annamaet.



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