Thursday, 9 September 2004

October 9, 2004 Minnesota Lineup

Gosh, I hate computers.

This summer has been a string of computer problems for me. I’ve been bouncing from my laptop to my desktop, losing emails and information with every bounce. Finally, a couple weeks ago I broke down and bought a new computer. Nothing fancy, just something that I hoped would be reliable for emails and a few databases. Of course, I got it home, pulled it out of the box and it wouldn’t work. It was a week before I could get back to the city and get it looked at. The dealer declared the hard drive dead and gave me a new machine. *phew* Of course, all my databases, emails, training logs, etc are trapped on my old machine, which is dead – but the tech assures me I will have most of the information waiting me when I get back home from Minnesota.

My laptop was feeling a little unloved with the new desktop getting all my time and such, so it decided to cause a scene just before I packed it up last night. The little flashing balloon asked if I wanted to install a WindowsXP Service Pack update – well, of course I did. Because I am an idiot when it comes to computers, I decided not to do the suggested back up before pushing the ‘install’ button. After all, I was in a hurry to get out in the dog yard. I’m sure you can all see where this story is going – straight to the Computer shop in Athabasca this morning. ‘Luckily’ I’m a good customer and if I beg really hard, he might be able to get the modem working before I leave for Minnesota.

Yes, as I’ve alluded to in the previous paragraph, I am leaving from my annual Minnesota training trip pretty soon. This is always a time of conflict for me, as I love visiting with Jamie, the runs we get in, the camping and watching the baby steps of this group of dogs beginning to gel into a team. However, I hate leaving my husband, my other dogs, and my home. This year is going to be made even harder by the fact that a number of key, key dogs are not traveling with me. Not going to Minnesota this time are Grover, Gus, Camilla, Smiley, Kaylinn, and Olena. It’s not that I don’t expect some of these dogs to make the main string this year – I FULLY expect many of them to make the trip to Nome again (remember Gus and Kara – key dogs in my 2004 team didn’t go to Minnesota last fall) – but experience in Minnesota will be much more valuable to the younger dogs like Jr, Spot, Dasher, Holly and Batdog. It’s also good for me to be forced into working with developing leaders rather then always falling back on the standbys. But it will be very hard to drive out of the yard without them – especially Grover, who I don’t know if I’ve been away from for more then a week in the last 6 years or so.
Mark’s the lucky one in this deal, as he gets some great dogs to run while I’m gone - and NO, he will not be running Grover in lead. Grover is MY leader – right Mark???

Anyway, the 24 dogs heading to Minnesota this year are (in the order they are fed at night!):


I am actually thrilled with the depth of this team and that I can leave so many keys dogs at home for Mark to train and still have 24 strong and capable dogs to take with me. I think it bodes well for our 2005 racing season.

As for racing seasons further down the road…the puppies are doing wonderful. The ‘Storm’ puppies are pretty big and obnoxious. Most of them really remind me of their Daddy, Moses – and that is a good thing in my books. One of the boys will be moving to Saskatchewan next week – honestly, I’m not even sure which one, either Flash or Thunder. Heck, I have till next week to decide!

The ‘Power’ puppies are beyond terrific. I was thinking of selling one or two of the four boys, but I love them all so much, I’m now thinking that may have been a bad idea! Time will tell for sure. There is no doubt in the mind of anyone who has met the litter this summer who my favorite one in that group is though. Sparky (aka “The Cutest Puppy on the Planet”) is one of those really special ones in my book.


When he comes over to say ‘Hi’, he runs at full speed and launches himself through the air when he is a foot or so away. He leaps food dishes, littermates… whatever is in the way with absolute fearlessness and abandon. He then sits in my arms and growls at any of his littermates that try to divert my attention from him. I’ll obviously have to put an end to that all long before he becomes a 55lb racing machine, but right now I’m enchanted by it. Sparky is definitely not leaving!!

‘The Spots’ do have the market on CUTE in the dog yard right now though. Magnum has got to be the most adorable and BADDEST puppy I’ve ever met. He has inherited the evil little eye twinkle that his Daddy, Smiley gives when he’s up to trouble – and both are up to trouble lots. I was sitting with the ‘Power’ puppies the other day when Magnum’s two sisters, Magpie and Piper, finally had had enough of their brother. Next thing he knew he was on the ground with Magpie pulling his tail and Piper working on his ears. I doubt he learned anything from it, but I’m sure the girls will keep after him. Even his Mom got in the game the other night and was chasing him around the kennel and rolling him over onto his fuzzy back to put him in line. It’s pretty hard to stay mad at the goof though.

Little Magpie has caught up with her littermates size wise. She is such a doll. I had her in the house the other night while I was cooking dinner. She was perched on the arm of the couch when Mark got home from work and he mistook her for a stuffed husky for a moment.

I think that is it for this time - I must run into town to get that laptop looked at. Wish me luck!


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