Tuesday, 18 July 2006

July 18, 2006 Summer Stories

Summer is rolling right along here in the valley. We have escaped the severe heat that so many are dealing with lately and have even had a number of mornings since the beginning of July cool enough  that we've been able to hook up teams.

All the yearlings and 2-year-olds are doing very well. Boom and Charge are probably the stars of the 2-year-olds. Boom actually makes the hair on my arms stand up when I run him – outstanding dog. He pretty much has to be as he isn’t the easiest dog to live with. You should have seen Jaye, who was visiting from New Hampshire, and I trying to trim his nails a few weeks back. It was full body contact nail trimming – and I even got a cut on the inside of one of my nostrils from Boom’s back toe nail. You can imagine the contortions necessary for that to happen!

I should also report that Newt and I seem to be well on the path to working out our differences from last fall. He is even starting to put in some nice performances in harness. He must have heard that I was seriously thinking of selling him a month or so back. Amazing how that canine grapevine in the yard works!

I had Jinx and Snickers in lead together the other day and I would be surprised if these girls didn’t end up being a key set of race leaders for me this winter. They were hard driving, fast, and very quick to take commands. It was the kind of run that gets mushers excited about planning races for the upcoming season!!

Jumpie and her fat babies, Dew and Gator, moved outside the other day. They are quite the characters – real independent thinkers. They flatly are not interested in being started on kibble – and I can only convince them to take a mouthful or so before they toddle off to look for something more interesting to do.

They also aren’t much interested in sleeping in their doghouse. Mark claims (sarcastically) that there must be spiders in there that they are scared of. I don’t think so; even spiders would run in fear from these chubby monsters.

I’ve gone out to check on them to find them burrowed under the doghouse, under the play ramp and a bunch of other nooks and crannies they’ve discovered in the pen. I know they can negotiate the step up into the house, I've watched them do it. They just aren't interested in sleeping 'inside', I guess!
Hilda has been separated from her kids. While she was great at weaning them, I just couldn’t convince her to stop regurgitating her meals for them. When she started loosing weight due to this, it was time for them to say goodbye. She’s still kennelled where she can keep an eye on them, which she religiously does.

The Firecrackers are all doing very, very well. I am so pleased with the entire litter. (BTW – all the puppies in this litter are already spoken for – most by us – and there is a waiting list for any others we might decide to let go of. But thank you to all for the intense interest in this litter.)

I should also report that Bait has already decided to use up one of his lives. While we were moving Jumper and her babies out to the puppy pens, Bait decided to go visit with the Mommie dog. Jumper grabbed him, but quick actions by Mark and a scream from me made her drop him and he bounded off to the garage, fuzzed as big as he could get, hissing and spitting.

He has decided now that the ‘pointy eared dogs’ (the Siberians, not the Australian Shepherd) are dangerous, which is good – but he still insists on bouncing around and playing on the lawn right in front of the kennel. ‘BAIT TV’ has had the whole kennel’s undivided attention for the past few afternoons. The ‘star of the show’ better hope that no chains break, ‘cause I can assure you, it is not autographs the Siberians are interested in getting.

To wrap up this entry I have a story to tell about our 'ferocious' guard dog, Fly. For those of you who haven't been out to the kennel, Fly is our about 70 lb (probably 50 of those lbs are hair, I swear!!) Australian Shepherd who protects, guards and keeps peace in the dog yard. In truth, he's not that ferocious; really he is a wimp - especially when it comes to thunderstorms.

Last night as Mark and I were feeding dogs, a thunderstorm was moving in. It looked and felt like it was going to be a big one. Fly was staying fairly close to me, I think hoping I would offer him some protection from the storm.

Impending Storm
I was finishing picking up bowls and was up in the section of the kennel where Odie, Draco, Surge, and Loki are – they had all felt the rain coming and most had all ready settled down in their houses. Draco was inside his, leaning against the wall of the house with his nose resting on the door ledge. All of a sudden lightning flashed and a few seconds later the entire valley shook with a huge crack and rumble. Fly literally went flying by me and dove straight into Draco’s house – remember Draco, one of the biggest dogs in the yard, was already in there. Draco never even moved or rolled his eyes as 70 lbs of petrified Aussie leapt on top of him. Our doghouses are good sized, but certainly they aren’t big enough for 2 of our biggest dogs to share one – but share they did until the storm blew over.

Silly dog!

Anyway, those are the stories for today!

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