Monday, 6 November 2006

November 6, 2006 Photo Odds & Ends

With a full moon and snow on the ground it was so bright in the dog yard last night at feeding time, we almost didn’t need the yard lights! Just beautiful. In the summer, when we rarely experience darkness, you forget how beautiful the night and night skies are. I saw a really cool shooting star a week or so ago: it didn’t give me what I wished for, but it was still very neat to see! 

Good thing I like the dark, ‘cause we have already dropped down to only 9 hours of daylight per day – as opposed to the 17 ½ hours of it we have June 21st!

So, I did want to take a moment to thank everyone who has written and called to express their condolences on Grover’s passing. It has been a very difficult time, but the support of friends and family certainly helps. I do intend to answer all your emails (there are 115 messages sitting in the ‘Grover’ file), it is just that I’m not quite ready to do it yet. I hope you all understand. 

I am going to share with you the last pictures taken of Grover – it is him spending some time with his great grandson (well, suspected great grandson) Finnegan. He just adored puppies.


Most of this entry is actually going to be pictures. I’m kind of cheating and letting pictures do most of the speaking for me today.

First up are some more pictures of Casey, Finnegan and their Mom. Sprite is doing a wonderful job as a Mom. She is tolerant, patient, attentive and yet very playful with them. Last night the three of them were watching TV with us and Sprite was entertaining us by playing ‘keep off the blanket’ with the kids. They are very spunky and opinionated, so they just kept coming back for more!

You will notice they have a lot of toys in their ‘pool’. Sprite keeps raiding the toy box in the living room and packing them all back to her children! Casey was imitating her the other day and we caught her dragging a stuffed octopus that was MUCH bigger than her across the floor and to the whelping room. Too cute!

They also do something I have never heard 3-week-old puppies do – they join in on group howls. The first time it happened, I was sure it was a coincidence, but yesterday their Mom was out in the dog run joining in on a howl and the pups actually joined in too. They are going to be outspoken dogs, for sure. 

Next up are some pictures of the yard after our first snowfall. We lost most of that snow, but then got another batch, so we have pretty much had snow for the last few weeks. Not enough to sled on yet but getting close.

Crunchie passes up on his doghouse and opts to enjoy some of the first ‘flakes of the season.

BTW, those of you sharp-eyed readers may notice that Crunchie is on Grover’s old stake out. I thought I was going to leave it open for a while, but staring at that empty spot every morning turned out to be too much. I felt it appropriate that his first-born son inherit the coveted spot.

The next images are ones from our run yesterday.

We kind of cheated today. Hilda and Roary are in season and are driving the boys mad, so I decided to hook up 10 girls on my team and give Mark an all boy team. It actually worked very well.
Mark’s team was:

Moses / Junior / Odie / Loki / Q / Batdog / Barq
Runner / Newt / Boom / Vortec / Watt / Lingo / Draco

Taking an early break, notice how many heads are turned waiting for the call to go.

Break time for the team led by Jr & Moses, brothers Odin & Loki still listening for the call up,
 while Q eats some snow - behind them the faces of Runner, Barq, Lingo and Watt are visible.

Once power seems more reliable...this is the SAME cat that was stuck in the muskeg last year!

JR & Moses in lead, Odin (behind JR), Q is two dogs behind Moses...

Batdog & Q, Runner & Barq look pleased with their run, while Boom sniffs the snowy air...

Q looks at something interesting


Q - a good looking young dog
My team (aka The Battling Bitches) was:
Hilda / Olena / Roary / Holly / Kara / Dasher / Jinx
Tess / Nahanni / Snicks / Eeek / Charge / Crunch / Hector

Getting ready to run two teams

My 4 boys, like all good men around that much swirling estrogen, wisely kept their heads down and just quietly did their jobs! Well, except that Eeek and Charge aren’t big on stopping and kicked up a fuss EVERY TIME we stopped for even 5 seconds!

Eeek & Charge sing out

It was a great 20-½ mile run and everyone was tired, but content, at the end of it. A day like that can make me smile, no matter what!!

A team working well together...notice the taut tug lines...

Pausing to share the road

Down the road we never knows exactly who we'll see on the way.

On our way...the four dogs closest to the milk crate are Eeek (red piebald on left) & Charge, followed by Hector & Crunchie.

Team traveling down the snowy trail

A different type of passing practice...passing unusual objects...

Hector rests next to Crunchie

I’m going to close with a few notes from the kennel –
Treat, the new wildcat, is doing well. She has decided to allow herself to be seen, but touching is still off limits.  Nokken left to return to Al and Ann Stead in Minnesota. We miss him, but the kennel is much quieter in his absence!

We have a handler arriving today or tomorrow. Matthew is from the UK, but has been over in Canada for much of the last 10 years. The folks at his last job gave him a glowing reference, so we are looking very forward to his arrival!  Little Rocket is doing wonderful on a chain. She seems to be contained now – and seems happy with her new living arrangements too!

Perhaps Rocket is contemplating the futility of further escape attempts...
©Penny Blankenship for
©Penny Blankenship
More cartoons by Penny
I think that brings everyone pretty much up to speed! 
All for now,

I carved this myself!

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