I always find it amazing just how quickly the seasons change. It seems like just yesterday that it was bright and sunny when we got up at 5am. The birds would be singing and everything gorgeous and green. Now, in the blink of an eye, it seems – it is pitch black out at 5am, most of the birds have migrated, the leaves have turned and fallen off the trees. Despite it all, this is one of my favorite times of year. We can run dogs almost everyday, the planning and organizing for this season’s Races are well under way, the dogs are all spunky, noisy, and keen to get working…I love that nip in the air and the smell of fall! A few weeks ago Mark and I were out on a training camping trip. We ran 13 miles, camped the teams for 2 hours and then ran 16 miles home, it was the peak of the fall leaf change and watching the sun come up over the River valley, filled with all those gorgeous colors was great!
Fall has had a few bumps in the road for us this year. First, there was the passing of Icey in September. Just a few weeks later, our first Siberian Husky, Meomar’s Miss Liberty became very ill. Libby was diagnosed with liver and some intestinal problems. It seemed touch and go there for awhile, but being the stubborn Siberian she is, in recent days she has rallied and is now doing pretty good! At 13, we know our time with her will not go on forever, so she has moved into the house full time so we can all enjoy whatever time we do have left together.
Just last week another NorthWapiti dog passed on. NorthWapiti’s Ginger Grant, mother to Surge, Norman, Grover, Gus, Smiley, and Camilla and owned for the last 2 years by Sam and Britton Burton of Iowa died unexpectedly. We are very sad, but Sam and especially, Britton, are devastated. Our thoughts go out to them at this difficult time.
Training has been going quite well. The dogs are looking very strong and, I think, working much better then at this time last year. I discovered just how strong last weekend! We were running in the dark when all of a sudden my team indicated there was something ‘exciting’ on the side of the road. I swung my headlight over and saw a big, fat porcupine sitting there. My futile cries at ‘ON BY’ didn’t even slow down them as they headed after him. We were already level with the prickly guy, so there was nothing I could do but watch and pray that he would waddle out of the way fast enough. My leaders ended up about 1 foot from him. He was waddling as fast as his stumpy legs would carry him. I went to get off the quad to drag Grover and Visa back to the road and the quad started to move! It was in gear with the emergency brake on – not easy to move, for sure! I ended up just able to sit and hold the rear brake on the quad and wait for Quilly Willy to trundle off. I can just imagine the mess (and vet bill) if the team had gotten hold of him!! Now I’m paranoid that every black bump ahead on the trail is a porcupine! Goodness, I hope they hole up for the winter soon!