Wednesday, 14 May 2008

May 14, 2008 Spring, Puppies & Work

Well, I have been so negligent in writing diary entries, that I've left myself with a huge number of things to talk about. Where to start..where to start...
Well, first off I think most of you have heard that I made a venture back into the work force a few weeks back.

The pulp mill that Mark works for was looking for 'tank watchers' for their annual 'shutdown'. The job involves sitting and watching contractors work in vessels, ensuring their safety. It isn't a complicated job, so since I have a pulse and I'm in fairly desperate need of money to pay off lingering Iditarod bills, it seemed like a perfect match. 

A day of training, steel toed boots on, safety glasses, hard hat and visy vest in tow and I was ready to start earning a paycheck.

I'd be lying if I said the job was mentally stimulating, and the work environment is about as opposite from my 'normal' work environment as one can get. It was dim, stinky and dirty (okay - maybe the 'dirty' was no different then normal for me!) but it really made me appreciate even more the fresh air and blue sky I work until most of the time!
The toughest part of the job was the long hours - it was just over a week of 12 hour days. My shift was 6:30 to 6:30 and in order to save gas, I commuted with Mark, who was working 6 to 6, so basically, we were away from the house from 5am - 7:30 each day.

Now even that would have been okay, had not the temperatures plummeted and water buckets in the kennel froze, forcing us to go back to watering dogs at each feeding. Thank goodness for Markus Husch, who was waiting for us at the house each night to help with feeding. Even with his help, we wouldn't finish chores till around 9pm - then it was time to cook, eat our dinner and collapse into bed - only to get up at 4:15 to do it all over again!
I wasn't sad to see my stint end - but I was happy to get the paycheck!
Right after that ended, Colleen Hovind showed up for a visit. Having Colleen around always boosts my spirits and the two of us spend two weeks buzzing about cleaning up the kennel, catching up on house chores, working on the gardens, playing with puppies, and even running a few teams! I was definitely sad to see her head back to Saskatchewan last Sunday.
Spring is sure making its presence noticed. There is a lot of bird activity around the valley, the Pasque flowers are poking up out of the brown forest bottom, and the Siberians are shedding! I even heard rumor that the hummingbirds are back. Time to dig out the new feeder I bought last fall - after Bait wrecked the old one in a bold move to try and catch one of the little aerial acrobats. No, he was not successful. Doubt he ever will be, but he is an optimist.
We have a couple litters of puppies on the way. First up with be Kara with a litter of Moses kids. She is due June 19th and already has a bit of a 'baby bump'. The other litter is Watt x Sprite - due at the end of June. I tried to breed Nahanni too, but for some reason the timing was just never right with her and she never really stood for Nik.

Moses & Kara
Watt & Sprite

As was already mentioned on the NorthWapitiNews list, Batdog has moved to a new home. He is living with Mark and Pat Ellinger in Minnesota. Ellinger's already have 2 dogs from us - Mork (14) and Spider (9) (no, that is not the Spider that was on my team this year). I just knew that Batdog would be the perfect match with this family and as much as I would have liked him to hang around here awhile longer; I just couldn't deny him such a great opportunity. Pat flew up to pick him up mid April and reports he has settled in fabulously!

A few other dogs will be moving on to homes in Sweden, Illinois, Arizona and elsewhere in the next few weeks. I will be sure to keep everyone updates on who is leaving and where they are going!
Well, I'm sure there is more to report - but lunch is calling - so I'm off to the kitchen!
Happy Spring!

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