Sunday, 29 July 2007

July 29, 2007 Scary Moment

I'm being plagued with communication problems of late. First our phone line was down after getting accidentally cut somewhere on the other side of the highway. Took a bit to get that fixed, but right after that happened, our satellite Internet connection went down. That has been up and down for the last 10 days or so, so communication to the 'outside world' has been limited. You would think that could be a good thing, but it is quite a pain actually!

I'm going to start this entry by sharing a scary story that happened last Thursday. Ronny was in the city having wished for a change of 'wild life', and Mark and I were puttering around before leaving to pick up Cricket when a tremendous storm moved in. It last only about 15 minutes, but we got a lot of rain and huge, close cracks of lightning during that time.

Hilda and her pups had been moved up to one of the puppy pens just the day before, so as soon as the worst of the storm passed, I ran out to check and make sure they had all weathered the storm alright. I was about halfway to the pen when I became aware of Hilda frantically pacing her pen. A few steps later I could hear the howling of a puppy in distress. I ran up to the pen to find 3 puppies safe and dry in the doghouse, 1 SOAKING wet puppy running around the pen and 3 missing. The noises from the one pup were coming from under the doghouse and when I got to the back of the house I could see what had happened. Hilda, in the last couple days had dug a depression at the back of the house for her puppies to sleep in. It wasn't a big hole, but at least some of the puppies were sleeping in there when the storm hit. Three of them had crawled up under the house to get out of the rain, but the hole filled up with the intense rainfall, trapping them. I could only hear one puppy crying, so I didn't know whether the others were safely out of the water or what.

I screamed for Mark at the top of my lungs while trying to dig to drain some of the water from under the house. I also got my arm up under the house as best I could to see if I could feel any puppies in the water - I couldn't.

Luckily Mark had heard me and quickly understood it was an emergency, not even pausing to slip shoes on over his socks. I hollered at him to bring a shovel as he ran up to the pen.

Once there he lifted the heavy doghouse and I was able to crawl under and pull three very frightened, very soggy puppies from underneath. Thanks to the pallets that our doghouses sit on, all three were able to find safe spots mostly out of the water - but just.

I toweled the babies dry and tucked them all in the house with their grateful Mom. Mark stood out in his now incredibly muddy, sloppy socks filling holes before heading back to the house.

With our super sandy soil and our sloping dog yard, it just had never occurred to either of us that such a thing could happen!

Very scary!!

Anyway, the pups are all fine. None appear to have suffered any ill effects from their ordeal!

All are adorable and growing far too quickly!

Kluane's children are growing like weeds too - probably because they get lots of water!! They got a pool a few weeks back and just ADORE splashing around in it. Well, all except Utin. The only time I've seen him willing go into the pool was to pee in it! What a BOY!!!

Kara's babies continue to refuse to be weaned. I've put my foot down a few times said I wasn't going to let her in with them anymore, but have ended up caving each time. I'm just hoping she weans them prior to their first Iditarod. I'd hate to explain to race officials that I have to pack Kara in the sled so she can nurse them in every checkpoint!!

Colleen was up for a weeklong visit. She is always a tremendous help around the house and yard - plus she always brings along lots of goodies - and I just plain like having her around - so everyone (dogs and humans alike) looks forward to her visits!

Despite many offers to make room in the house for her (since Ronny has the Guest Cabin), she insisted she wanted to tent for the week, so we set up the Arctic Oven tent just outside the back door. She pronounced it very comfortable and dry, despite a couple nights of rain.

I'm actually very impressed by the tent, how easy it is to set up and how spacious it is inside. It also withstood the onslaught on Bait and Tic very well, who were constantly looking for ways to be in or on the tent.

The visit was a very nice one and Colleen got A LOT of dogs groomed for me, which was very appreciated. In addition, she and I spend an evening hanging pictures and such that were taken off the walls for our renovations last winter - it was about time I got to that.

The weather cooperated and on Wednesday and Thursday, thanks to the help of Colleen and Ronny, I was able to get 2 teams run each morning. Everyone looked great and put in very nice performances!

Yesterday we drove into St Albert and took in the wonderful farmer's market that happens there every Saturday throughout the summer before we headed back to Perryvale and Colleen back to Craven!

After we got back, I headed off in search of Mark, who had left a note on the table that said "Down at the River". Typical Mark stuff - no explanation, no real location, no time.. I made my best bet as to location and headed off. I eventually ran into him along the old railway allowance on the east side of our property.

For the last number of years the Tawatinaw River has been so high that it was impossible to get a dog team across it. However this year it is again low and you could actually walk across, if you wished. So it was Mark's idea to work on a few of the trails and our camping spot on the east side of the river and start using them again this fall.

We scouted out a few new spots and some of our old ones before heading back home. Later in the day Mark and Ronny went over and cleaned up the camping spot a bit.

I'm looking forward to crossing the river and using that camping spot again!

Today is a quiet day around the kennel. It was far too warm to run this morning and the heat is up above 30 C this afternoon, so the dogs are laying low. Mark is watching a NASCAR race and I'm trying to catch up on odds and ends before I head off to Pennsylvania next weekend.

That's the news for today!


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