Monday, 10 June 2002

June 10, 2002

For dog mushers the summer months are supposedly ‘down time’ – HA! I seem as busy now as I am in the winter! But that is okay, I like to get as many ‘other’ things done now, so it frees up more time to focus on running dogs when things are cooler!

We have had a number of cool mornings over the last month that has allowed us to get the odd team out. Of course, these miles are not regular enough to offer the dogs any conditioning, but they are great for getting some experience on the puppies and allow me to work on some new leaders. Nik is really beginning to show some real potential up front. Freya, Loki, Mannie, Kobuk, Denali, and Draco are all dogs that I think are showing some real promise too! Cassie and I are continuing in our power struggles. She has even taken to challenging my ‘authority’ in the dog yard – little things like I ask her to jump up on her house and she turns her back on me. Life is a constant struggle with that determined little dog – but I know that if she and I can sort this out, she will be an amazing leader. Taking her to Nome would be exceptionally rewarding!

We do have a few additions to the kennel! In May, Hilda, Hector, and Herman came to live with us. These 10 month old, black and white kids are from Bob Chlupach and Rick Outing in Wasilla, Alaska. (Some of you may remember Bob ran Earl and Natalie Norris’ Siberian team in the 2001 Iditarod). I wasn’t in the market for any more dogs, but these bloodlines are ones I know and love. I also greatly respect Bob as a ‘dog man’, so when he suggested that he thought I would like the dogs, I was hooked. The fact that Jamie Nelson was heading home from Alaska the next week and would be able to transport the dogs at no charge sealed the deal. As I suspected, I do really like all three dogs and they are showing some solid promise in harness! We are also planning on two litters this summer. Grover and Joey are expecting a litter July 10th and Orion and Jumper August 8th. We are very excited with the potential of both litters!

Kaylinn’s puppies are doing very well. They are a noisy and opinionated bunch, for sure! One of the pups, Lincoln has moved on to New Hampshire with Kim and Kelly Berg. You can see lots of pictures of him on their website . You may also want to follow their webpage for announcements of their upcoming litter, sired by Grover. We will be!!

My trip to New York for the Seneca Siberian Specialty was wonderful. I had a Club record 41 pups in the Sweeps class – and some very nice ones, at that. My thanks to all the exhibitors that brought these lovely pups out. I also got to put some faces to names I only have previously known through books and/or the Internet. My special thanks to Pat Kingsley, the Kanzler family for their warm hospitality and also to the Redeye’s for the tour of their well kept kennel, lunch and a ride out to the airport. One of the real perks of my trip was the chance to meet up with a few NorthWapiti ‘kids’ that I haven’t seen in years – Lyra and Thor. Both look wonderful and are obviously happy with their ‘new’ families!

As promised, I’m going to continue my ‘introductions’ to this year’s training pool. Last entry I introduced everyone to the 14 returning veterans from the 2001 Iditarod, today I’m going to introduce you to a group of dogs that are veterans of training seasons but not made the racing team.

NorthWapiti’s Cassiopeia – ‘Cassie’ is quite possibly the most frustrating dog in our yard. When she is good, she’s great – but when she is bad, she’s horrid. Cassie went up to Alaska with us in 2001, but just fell short of making the race team. Last season she came even closer, but failed again to play with the ‘big’ dogs. I am confident that one day she will jut get bored of making my life hell and become a main string leader! No one will be happier to see that day come then I!

Northome’s Visa – ‘Visa’ the Velcro Dog, as she is usually called. Visa is the most reliable off leash Siberian Husky I have ever met. She is a delight to own and be around. In lead she will stand up front, holding her line out but with her head cranked to be able to watch my face. A true sweetheart that wants nothing more then to please!

Alaskan’s Jumper of Anadyr – Despite taking some time off to raise a litter ‘Jumpie’ has made some amazing breakthroughs in the last year. I really feel this may be ‘her season’.

Alaskan’s Georgio of Anadyr – ‘Joey’ or ‘Jo-Jo’ as she is often called, is a little small for our main string, but her desire and ‘nothing bothers me, ever’ attitude always make her a contender! She is the only black and white, blue-eyed dog in our yard – and to think some people believe all Siberians are those colors.

NorthWapiti’s Robert E. Lee – ‘Squeaky’ earned his nickname due to the raspy, funny noise he makes because he was debarked by his previous owners. A littermate to Surge, this leggy red and white boy very much reminds me of his grandfather, Spud. I really think Squeak shows all the potential to make the main string this winter!

All for now!

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