Tuesday, 21 August 2007

August 21, 2007 My Trip To NorthWapiti

- By Mary Uhlir

I have just returned from a visit to North Wapiti and had the express instructions from Karen to write a diary entry. Those of you who know me know that I am not much of a writer, but here goes anyway.

I haven’t been to Canada since I was a little girl. The first thing I noted on the drive from Calgary north was how clean Canada is. I’d heard that from other people but it was so nice to see. I was also amazed at how clean and organized everything was at North Wapiti.

Karen does such a great job with her diary entries that I felt that I knew many of the dogs even before I met them. Kind of like Karen, too. During the kennel tour I could recognize many of the dogs although, I’m still not sure I have all their names correct. Here at home I scoop what I consider a lot of poop so I never thought that I would enjoy scooping poop so much, especially so much poop. But it really gave me a chance to meet the dogs in a relaxed manner. During the initial kennel tour, Nate was so excited that you could see his whole body quivering. Later on, while I was cleaning up, he was still high energy but much easier to be around, which is saying quite a bit about Nate.

Poor Kara. She must really have wondered about this visitor. At least the princess showed benevolence. Years ago I had a good friend who had a dog named Cara, as in cara, mia. So each time I said her name Cara came out automatically to be self corrected with Kara. I am sure she had no idea why I consistently called her Cara Kara. But, as any good monarch she just smiled and carried on.

Kara’s puppies are 8 weeks old and Karen was bemoaning the fact that she still wanted to nurse them so she was keeping her out of their pen for awhile. Later on Karen and I were in the next pen playing with the Hillbillies and we see Kara holding a dead mouse in her mouth and circling the pen trying to find some way to get it to her “starving” puppies. Did she learn that from Bait?

On my last day, it appeared that she was beginning to think this nursing thing was getting old. She went into the puppy pen and stood on a support half way up the side of an “A” frame thinking that she could see the puppies but they couldn’t nurse. It worked for a few moments and then those smart puppies figured it out. I did get some pictures and hopefully you’ll be able to see them. Just pretend not to notice her rather sad coat. Even princesses blow after a litter.

Fly’s hair is growing out and he is looking quite handsome. Cricket is a sweetie with a huge Great Pyrenees head and large feet. I think I remember at one point when I asked Karen how Cricket was working out she said that Cricket “appears to be a Siberian in big, white hairy clothing”. Well I don’t think she can say that any more. On Thursday morning, quite early I heard that wild screaming of Siberians, not the usual group howl or bark of anticipation or interest, it was “the scream”. It quieted down quite quickly so I gathered either Mark or Karen had intervened. Well, it turns out that somehow a very fat muskrat had gotten into Cricket’s pen. It must have really wanted in as I had no idea they could squeeze through such small openings. The screaming seems to have been disgusted Siberians. The muskrat was dead but still whole. Any self respecting Siberian would have eaten it before it could be removed. In the light the next morning, I noticed that both Olena and Kluane in the adjoining pens had tried to dig into Cricket’s pen. I’m sure to eliminate all traces of the offending vermin.

The first morning it was cold enough for me to tag along on a training run. What an experience to sit behind Karen on the ATV with 14 athletes out ahead. They are awe inspiring, and it’s just the very beginning of the season. I run a small team here in Tucson and like to pat myself on the back for doing that. I’m always telling people that they have to run their dogs to really see their strengths and weaknesses, and how form affects function. But there is no comparison. What a fantastic experience.

A friend of mine, who has had Siberians for 30 years and is an AKC judge, met Karen for the first time in PA. He said ”I thought I knew a little bit about Siberians, but after meeting Karen I realize how little that actually is.” How true. The best part of the entire visit was being able to discuss all aspects of Siberians with such a knowledgeable and caring person.
- Photos from Mary's Trip -











Barq & Irving




Kara & her pups





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