Wednesday, 18 February 2004

February 18, 2004 Kennel Cough & a Belly Bug

Willow weather
Current temperature –15.7F (-27C)
Sunrise/sunset 8:38am/5:49pm
Aurora activity Quiet

I have a postcard stuck in the mirror in my bedroom here in Alaska that says “Have Faith. Things fall apart so they can fall back together.” That has become somewhat of my mantra the last few months. I remain completely optimistic that things are still going to come back together for us for Iditarod – that is what allows me to keep moving forward with a smile right now. 

The outbreak of kennel cough seems to be almost over, just in time for an intestinal bug to hit the dogs. First off was Draco who went completely off his food for 2 days. If this wasn’t bad enough, he had liquid diarrhea along with the anorexia, causing him to become dehydrated and very depressed. Luckily, it only lasted a couple days and although he is not 100% yet, his appetite and attitude are back. Now Nahanni has been hit and Surge is off his food. I imagine this will work its way through the kennel over the week or so.

The up side of this is that the dogs should be over it before vet checks and, more importantly, before Iditarod. 

We are also having a bit of an issue with Olena. As I reported over a month ago, we had an accidental breeding with her on the trip up to Alaska. An ultrasound 2 weeks ago confirmed a pregnancy. With much seriousness we debated our options and, for a number of reasons, decided to end the pregnancy with a series of shots. The shots have virtually no side effects, long or short term, for Ollie; in fact, they would allow her to remain in the Iditarod pool. She went into the vets on Thursday and she was expected to be home on Monday. Unfortunately – but expected with our luck – Olena is ‘resistant’ to the treatment and as of today remains in the clinic. She has still been off of training for less then 7 days, so it isn’t serious yet – but we are keen to get her back home. 

I am happy to report that we got my food drops quickly done up on Sunday morning. The weather has been very cooperative with temperatures well below freezing, so we were able to leave the bags stored here and will drive them into Anchorage on Thursday. Although I won’t know final weights on the 39 bags until tomorrow, I believe this to be the smallest amount I’ve ever sent out. Chalk that up to a shorter race plan and a more confident musher (no need to sent out everything, including the kitchen sink anymore!).

Anyway, the morning is getting old and we must head out for a run! 

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