It is pouring rain here, so my outside chores are on hold for the morning, as I’m hoping it will let up or give me a brief respite sometime later in the day. Rather then tidy up my office, do laundry, pay bills or one of the million other things I should be doing, I thought I take some time to bring you all up to date with a diary entry (okay, so I threw a load of laundry in the machine before I started typing – as Mark will tell you, I’m never happy doing one thing at a time – must multi task!)
Things are actually going pretty well around here. Kluane seems pretty much recovered from her emergency surgery earlier in the week. Nursing seems somewhat uncomfortable for her and although she does indulge the kids a few times a day, they are well on their way to being weaned.
Klu and the pups actually moved out into one of the Puppy Pens on Friday. The girls took alittle while to get comfortable roaming the pen, but Utin was out strutting the fence line, flirting with his neighbors, Holly and Casey, in no time. He is quite the puppy. I’m absolutely enchanted with his personality.
The girls went from sparkly, shiny balls of white fluff to dirt balls in a matter of minutes. That is the problem with white puppies!
The reason that the Cree litter moved outside was that Kara is getting close to her whelping date and I cleaned and reset up the pool in the back room for her. In contrast to Kluane’s sleek physique right prior to having puppies, Kara looks a lot like a beached whale. She is HUGE. This morning Mark was eating breakfast and could see her puppies kicking and creating a fussy inside her tightly stretched belly from across the room. I would expect another litter of 7 or 8.
Also in contrast to Klu’s independent nature, Kara is acting more and more like a princess the bigger she gets. She nosed me awake three times the other night because she wanted an ear scratch. I’m sure that is only going to get worse in the next 2 days. * yawn *
We also have one more little surprise on the way. Well, it isn’t a ‘surprise’ so to speak, but it wasn’t really a planned litter. Mom is Hilda and Dad is Nate. She is due alittle over a week after Kara. It’s a tight pedigree, but a nice one.
Bait – or B8, as he likes to be known – is enjoying his new playmates, Tic and Tac. They discovered how to get out the cat door on the garage the other day, but Bait seemed to have forgot to teach them how to get back in! I figured they were just enjoying the big, new world they had discovered and didn’t want to go back in the garage, but the other day I opened the side door and they about ran me over as they stampeded towards their food dish.
Now I make sure to invite them back in the garage every time I see them outside. Hope they figure out the door works two ways soon.
They did find a small hole in the screen to our sliding door and have broken into the house unnoticed a few times. I had to peel myself off the ceiling of my office the other day as Tic came unexpectedly barrelling into the room. A few more weeks of growth should fix that problem – or maybe we will get around to fixing the screen!! More likely they will grow.
Dasher, Batdog and I headed across the valley the other morning to start a new adventure – agility classes! No kidding! Lisa Wright, who is a top-notch obedience and agility instructor moved into the valley a few years back. At the time I approached her about agility classes, but she vowed she was getting ‘out’ of dogs. (Ah, I could have told her that is easier said then done. Maybe they need to come up with a patch or a dog hair filled lozenge to help folks quit dogs and dog sports!). Anyway, a few weeks ago I drove by her place and saw a full set of agility equipment in her front field, so I gave her a call.
Dasher, Batdog and I did a private lesson last week and Dasher and I are starting classes with a few friends on Wednesday! I’ll continue to work with Batdog, but not in a class setting. My goal with Batdog is just to help build his confidence, but I would like to get Dasher out competing in a few agility trials! And NO, Stuffie will not be joining us on the agility field.
Our new handler, Ronny, arrives from Spain on Wednesday. I’m very much looking forward to having him here! Actually, the decision to take the time to do some agility classes was based a lot on the fact that Ronny was arriving and taking some of the workload off me! Yeah!!
I’ve been fielding a lot of emails lately about the drastic jump in the Iditarod entry fee that was announced last week. It went from $1850 US to $3000 US. Honestly, I am disappointed in ITC, not for raising the entry fee (although I do have some issue with that too), but for the ridiculously short notice. Entries open June 30 and if you want to start in the front pack, you need to enter the first day. However are mushers supposed to budget and plan with this kind of behavior from the Board. Very unprofessional in my mind.
It is rumored that the entry fee will jump to $5000 for the ’09 Race. Sadly, without a corporate sponsor coming on board here, that will probably be the end of the NorthWapiti team running the Iditarod Trail. Breaks my heart, but that much of a increase in entry fee would just not allow me to prepare and care for my dog team at a level I feel comfortable with, but that is still a way down the road.
Well, that is the news that is new in the kennel this week. I expect you will all be hearing from me in the next few days when Kara has her litter. Wish us ‘Happy Whelping!’.
Supplement To Above...
Oh my gosh, it seems that I've never mentioned who Kara was bred to - or even that she was bred. I've been so eagerly anticipating the litter, I just 'assumed' I had mentioned it!
Kara was bred to Surge. I was hoping she would hold off on her heat cycle until we got home from Alaska so the breeding could be done (Surge didn't go to north with us this year) and she was kind enough to cooperate - just!
Just to point out why I'm so excited about this breeding - Kara bred to Surge's Dad, Butch produced Dasher - and of course, we couldn't be happier with the pups Surge has thrown (Charge, Watt and Tess).
I am very excited to see what this combination produces!!!