I want you all to know that we are working on our Knik and Copper Basin stories, so watch for more diary entries in the upcoming days, but I thought I would take a minute in the meantime to bring everyone up to speed on the rest of the stuff going on around here.
Most important things first - Mark is following his doctor's instructions very well and is being quite a good patient (lucky for Harry and Jamie, as I was away in Glennallen for 6 days). He is rather surprised though at how quickly he tires and that standing up for any length of time continues to be very uncomfortable, so he is still completely housebound. With Jamie's kind permission, I brought Snickers into the house to visit with him the other day, as he hadn't even seen any of the dogs since Knik.
Snicks was more then delighted to see her Dad and curled up on top of him like an oversized cat.
We have really been moved by all the good wishes and offers of help we have received since Mark's accident. Everything from offers of places for Mark to stay while I was on the Copper Basin, to folks offering to help with the dogs and others willing to drive legs of Quest for us. Things are still a lot up in the air with the rest of our winter plans, but after Mark sees his doctor on Tuesday, we should know more about the speed of his recovery and how we can work our season around that. We will keep you all posted.
Being a 'high profile' kennel, as we seem to have become from all of you that follow our diary entries, webpage and yahoo mailing list, definitely has it's plus and minuses. The good completely outweighs the bad and I love how 'involved' so many of you are in our adventures, but I do know that there is no way I'm ever going to be able to 'sneak' new dogs up on the homepage, even if I am rather embarrassed about how they arrived in the kennel so... here goes.
Many of you have been teasing me as Olena is going through her heat cycle about keeping close watch on her and ensuring we don't have an 'oops' like last year - and we absolutely have been. What we failed to anticipate was her backup plan to continue the 'evil genes'.
On January 10, Tolsona, one of the Evil One's spawn from last year surprised Barb and Anna back at home by delivering 5 completely unexpected babies. I had just picked Mark up from the hospital when Anna phoned to break the news. It took me a good 10 minutes questioning and doubting Anna before I even believed that it was Tolsona - after all, she is just a yearling and was very safely contained in our completely secure section of the yard known as 'The bitch pen' when I left home. Counting back days shows that it was probably in the day or so before I moved her that the 'deed' was done. I had no clue.
It would also appear that the sire is either one of her brothers - Paxson or X - or Fritz from the Serum Run litter, as I had been running a few of those puppies together. Normally I don't let male and female pups run together at that age, but Olena's pups were so headstrong with each other that I was forced to do things differently to maintain the peace in the yard. I thought I was being careful to watch for signs of heat in the bitches, but in the hectic days prior to my leaving - obviously I wasn't being careful enough.
I should have anticipated Evil finding a way to propagate it's genes.
Honestly, either way, it will be a nice litter - just not something I would have done on this kind of timeline (for those of you with 'concerns' about pups from a brother/sister breeding, because the parents were 'outcrosses' it actually isn't a bad thing).
Anyway, the pups are being exceptionally well cared for. The pen was set up in the garage and the family moved into there. Anna has taken it upon herself to stop by to check on them before school, after school and before bed each day. We are very grateful to her for all this!
Anna also asked permission to name them - which seems only fitting (Pictures will accompany this diary entry when it goes up on the website - they are very cute!)
Anyway, my coffee is getting cold and it is time to get 'Hoppy' out of bed - time to start my day in earnest.