I've been pretty pleased that I've been keeping my diary pretty up to date lately - that was until I actually went to look at the diary page and realized that it has been almost 1 month since my last real entry. Where does time go? Unbelievable! Of course, lots has been happening in the kennel in the last while. We are full swing in training. The weather has been cool enough that I'm running almost every morning. We are up to 8 - 9 mile runs and I can honestly say that I have never seen the dogs look stronger! All the teams are even getting up the hill on our driveway - and those of you that have visited know that that is a nasty hill - without any breaks or help. That has always been something that didn't happen till much later, if ever in a season - I'm excited! I'm continuing to work some new dogs in lead. I've been surprised at how well these dogs, some youngsters, are doing. Olena has got to be the star - she is amazing! The rest of the dogs don't seem to share my enthusiasm for her, though - she is so focused and driven that she can really carry on at the start (and during, for that matter) a run. I swear the other dogs throw me dirty looks when I hook her up next to them. This morning I had Denali up front. He did really well - lots of promise there too! Last week or so I had Freya up front. Freya is probably the smallest dog on my team, but she has a BIG work ethic that more then makes up for her size. We were running the ditch of Highway 2 for the first time this season and the tall grass had absolutely no trail in it. Little Freya was totally lost in the grass, but never slacked up on her tug line, blindly taking commands without hesitation. I would have been impressed if that were one of my fully trained leaders, for it to be a young leader made it that much more wonderful!
Joey's pups continue to grow and do well. We have named them (with some help from friends) - the black/white, brown eyed girl is NorthWapiti's Born to Run 'Lou'; the black/white, blue eyed male is NorthWapiti's Long May You Run 'Junior'; and the piebald, brown eyed girl is NorthWapiti's See Spot Run 'Spot'.
We are disappointed to report that Jumper didn't have any puppies. She had been bred to Orion, but maybe she was planning to go to Iditarod this winter. She is happy to be back in training!
One very exciting bit of news that I was saving for last - Smiley has finished his Canadian Championship. This makes him the second Canadian Champion in the history of the breed (the first was our 'Mannie' - Ch. Kainai's Anchorman) to finish Iditarod. It was a real chore to keep that white coat clean for the show ring and I'm very happy, as I'm sure Smiley is too - he was getting dishpan paws and I was getting dishpan hands from all the bathing, not to have to be working on it anymore! Watch for show pictures of our handsome boy to be posted on the site soon. Gosh, I'm proud of him! Next in the ring will be Nik - but we are only planning on one or two more shows this season. Things are going to be getting really busy really fast around here.
All for today!