Thursday, 31 July 2008


I got one run in with the dogs last week, but since then the weather has been entirely uncooperative. But, it has been okay to get Corrine out for some scootering.
She started off giving it a try with Hilda and it was such a success that we were in the city the next day buying her a helmet.
The helmet made her a bit braver and soon she was driving Nik, Olena, then Moses. A few days ago she upped the ante to two dogs - Hilda and Roary - and she's been doing a great job with them.
Yesterday she even had her first 'race' with friend and neighbour Lisa, although I don't know if anyone other then Corrine realized they were racing!
All and all it has been a great experience for Corrine and a great time for the dogs and I.


Corrine giving scootering a try with Hilda.

Harnessing Olena

Harnessing Olena

Running with Moses

Corrine and Moses

Running 2 dogs (Roary and Hilda)

Scootering with Lisa

Snacks for the dogs

Complete pictures can be found at

Sunday, 27 July 2008

A Crisis of Epidemic Proportions

I'm beginning to see that a crisis of epidemic proportion is happening in North America.
I was first made aware of this issue last fall when we convinced Kathryn to join us at our local campground when we where giving the dogs a break on a training run.

Mark got the fire blazing and we pulled out the wienies. "Hmmmm, I've never had a wiener done over a campfire" Kathryn mused. WHAT?!?!?!? Never had a wiener cooked over a campfire??? How is that possible? I decided that I had probably just run against the one person in Canada or the US that had never had that experience and moved on.
Imagine my surprise this evening when Mark got our fire pit roaring, we pulled out the wienie sticks and our niece, Corrine stated the same. WHAT?!?!?!?!

A crisis of epidemic proportions, I say!!!!

It's summer folks, unless you live in one of those areas so stricken by fires of late - for goodness sake - get out there and roast a wienie!!!

(For the record, Corrine is a vegetarian - so her wienie was a veggie wienie, but a wienie none the less. Served on a bun with a variety of drippy toppings!)

Friday, 25 July 2008

Kara Family portrait

Yes, it was time again for the official Kara family portrait. It took some doing, but it was a lot easier than the sitting we did for the "Black Litter".

Kim and Kelly were a bit cranky having been taken from the comfy cloud bed and made to sit pretty, but with a little bribe, we were able to capture the new family in all their glory:

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Dogs doing their 'thing'.

Last week my niece, Corrine and I went over to watch my friend, Lisa and her border collies herding sheep.
I just adore watching dogs doing what they were bred to do. Whether it be border collies herding sheep, greyhounds running,or labs retrieving, instinct is a fascinating thing. And the sheer joy on the faces of dogs following those instincts is addicting to observe - at least for me.

Lisa and Hope


Sheepdog - aka Hope

Hope moving the sheep

More sheep

Corrine said this was her favorite sheep. No clue how she could tell them apart - they all looked the same to me!!!

Lisa's other border collie - Tell

Lisa and Corrine watching the sheep go by.

Tell working the sheep

The morning was great fun. You can see many more pictures of Lisa, her dogs and her sheep at -

But the next morning we had the opportunity to do my 'hands down' favorite thing with dogs - RUN THEM!!

Yup, the weather was cool enough that we were able to have our first hook up of the 2008/2009 season.
We were all very excited to be back working after about 6 weeks off. Watt was absolutely unable to control himself when Corrine was harnessing him.

Corrine wrestling Watt into his harness.

Crunchie, of course, remained cool and composed.

And in no time at all, the season began!!!

It was a great run. The weather was lovely, the dogs worked great, the company (Corrine) was excellent - perfect except for one thing -

Have I mentioned recently how much I hate beavers???

Thankfully, the dogs were happy to work through the situation with us. It is a very narrow trail with a very steep drop off on the left - not the spot to have argument with a dog team. After a brief time out we were again underway.

A good start to the season!!

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Catching Up

Well, back home from my California trip. Not quite caught up, but working on it.

I had a great time in both northern and southern California. It was almost like the two areas were competing with each other to show me the best time. The winner??? ME!!! I was treated wonderfully in both locations and would be hard pressed to say what I enjoyed the most about my trip. Special thanks do go out to Gail, Deb, Carlos, Jane C., Jane E., Cathy, Kecia, Zach, Laura, Sean, Robert, MaryLynn, Matt, Claire and the Three Dog Bakery in El Camino for the 'over the top' hospitality! Ya'll made me feel like royalty!!!

I didn't take many more pictures, but there are a couple at -

I also want to take a moment to steer folks to Three Dog Bakery - Matt and Claire, who own the store in El Camino really went all out to make my presentation in southern California a special one - and I've got to say, they have one cool store. Though I thought the 'doggy facial kits' to be alittle over the edge, but they had some other truly unique and cool doggie gifts. Kara scored a beautiful new dog dish, the pups all got new toys - and even the cats got gifts. I tell ya, I have never seen the cats react to any treats like they did the "We Pity the Kitty" treats I picked up for them. They carry a DEFINATE WHISKERS UP from Bait and Tic.
Kara is still partial to her Denta Stix, but she has been supplementing her snacking with 'Jump and Sit' Three Dog Bakery treats and some other great items by Zukes. She is one happy Momma Dog.

I will confess that as much as I enjoyed my 'working vacation', I did miss everyone at home - especially those puppies and it was wonderful to get back and get a good dose of 'puppy breath'. Everyone has advanced alot in the 10 days I was gone.

Kim and Kelly are not really content in the back room anymore. At about 6 am, they begin pounding on the baby gate trying to break into the main part of the house. When the barrier is breached, they stomp around attacking anything at ankle height before crashing onto one of the dog beds for a nap.

There are some more pictures of the chubby kids at

Kara is, of course, the perfect Mom. Tolerant, gentle and very attentive to them. Sprite should take lessons. While the 'Energy Drinks' have their lovely family moments, Sprite sends her children crying into the corner if they dare stray to close to her food dish. She does the job she needs to, but really is more interested in trying to catch one of the cats.

Despite it all, they are a happy well adjusted group. Here they are visiting the house and checking out 'The Cloud'.

My niece, Corrine is visiting from Seattle. After coming up for the start of Iditarod last year, Corrine has some aspirations of running the Jr. Iditarod when she turns 14 in 3 years, so she is spending a few weeks helping out in the kennel this summer. One of the first tasks I gave her was to pick names for Sprite's babies (of course, within the theme of Energy Drinks).
She chose well. Meet




BooKoo (Boo)


Rockstar (Rocky)

You can see more pictures of them kicking around on the dog beds at

Ah, Home Sweet Home!

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

California Trip

So, I'm down in California about half way through my California trip and having a great time.

I arrived last Friday, then Saturday judged a match for the Siberian Husky Club of the Redwoods. Over 50 dogs turned up and I was very pleased with the line up of dogs I had for Best in Match. I'm not going to type out all the results, but here are a few highlights -

Best Adult in Match - Kochevoey's Flight Plan
Best Opposite in Match - Maskarade's What Dreams May Come
Best Puppy in Match - Serenade's Winter Wizard
Best Veteran - White Star's Silver Wing (who looked REMARKABLE for 13!!!)
Best Altered - Waymar Lycancon's Lucy
Best Jr Handler - Zach Stewart

Congratulations to all and thanks for bringing me so many lovely dogs!!!

Sunday I did a presentation at the California Maritime Academy. It was a great facility and there were all kinds of great raffle and auction items!! A number of us wrapped up the afternoon with a lovely dinner at The Dead Fish.

Sunday Jane Eagle, Kathy Sparks, Jane Cordingly and myself spent the day puttering around the beautiful Sonoma Valley tasting a lot of wine, some cheese, chocolate and olive oil. It was a really, really enjoyable day.

Today Carlos Rivera and I did a whirlwind tour of San Francisco. Although it was a quick tour, Carlos is a fantastic host and tour guide and I had a great time. I even remembered my camera and snapped a few shots of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Crooked Street, Chinatown and Pier 39.

Tomorrow I fly down to southern California were I will be spending a few days before doing a final presentation on Saturday and then heading back home early Sunday!

Phew!! I'll need to rest from my rest!!


Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Handler Wanted

We had had a few good leads on handlers for the 2008/2009 racing season, but for one reason or another,none of them work out and we find ourselves now looking again.

The ideal candidate would be....well...Kathryn...but since she can't take another 6 months out of her life to play, we will just have to settle for someone else.

The position involves shoveling the dog yard daily, assisting with feedings, occasionally feeding on your own, assisting with kennel and dog maintanance, caring for the kennel in our absence, helping with hooking up and putting away dog teams, and generally helping the dogs and I get ready for race season.

You would need to be reasonably phyiscally fit. That includes being able to carry 25 - 30 lb buckets for fairly good distance; able to wrestle very strong, excited dogs around; able to tolerate and work in very cold temperatures; and able to get up early in the morning without complaint (Mark already does enough complaining about that).

Be aware that this is not as glamorous a job as most people think. There are no days off, the work is hard, the pay sucks, and the weather can be brutal.
After the first week, you will be scratched, bruised, stiff and exhausted. Things will only get worse.

In exchange you will get - a small monthly stipend, all your meals, your own cabin to live in (bathroom and kitchen facilities are in the house and shared with Mark and I), some scars, to work with some really cool dogs and stories that will last you a long time. We also have great hiking trails and in the winter cross country skis, snowshoes and dog teams to enjoy them. What better way to learn to run dogs then behind a team of Iditarod finishers?

Anyone crazy enough to be interested can contact me at


Sunday, 6 July 2008

Kara, Kelly, Kim and the Cloud

Kara's kids are continuing to grow. I'd say like weeds, but most weeds are tall and skinny, these guys are growing more like watermelons!! Their eyes are open now and they are starting to be very curious about their surroundings. Mark and I find ourselves frequently stealing them from Kara and sneaking them into the living room. Today while all 3 were in there Kara stated it was time to introduce her children to her 'Happy Place'.

I think they enjoy it as much as she does!!

Check out all the pictures at


Friday, 4 July 2008


Since I announced that we were looking for names for Kara's two little girls, we have literally been inundated with suggestions. A few folks, like my sis in law - aka Mrs. Geek - refused to even suggest names because they claim I always pick names outside of the suggestions anyway!! Actually, we do read and consider every ones suggestions and I believe over the years have utilized a few, but in reality, the names really need to jump out at us before we 'christen' a pup with them. Not only do they need to match the pup, they need to be names I like, that roll off my tongue easily, don't remind me of a person or experience that I do not remember fondly, and that don't conflict with any commands the dog might get taught down the road. Mark had actually suggested 'Shock' and 'Awe' as names for these girls - and I thought that was pretty cute until I realized I could be traveling through the woods calling out 'Awe Haw'. Not going to happen.
So I was just sitting back waiting for 'right' names to present themselves, when Mark joking referred to the girls by a set of names one morning and I said "That's it!! That's what I want to call them".
So....drum roll please....I want to introduce you all to...


YES, we did indeed name them after our friends, twin sisters Kim and Kelly Berg. And YES, I did ask permission first! In fact, one of the pups is quite a bit louder and more outspoken then the other, so I made the girls decide which one was going to be which. Out of respect for human Kim and Kelly, I won't tell which one is the noisier one. :)
Now, this does not mean that I'm going to start a theme of naming dogs after friends - so don't start emailing your resumes! Honestly, I'm not really keen on 'human names' for dogs but in this case it just seems to be a really good fit.

Unlike the other Kim and Kelly, canine Kim and Kelly are turning into real 'chunky monkeys'. I know some would say they are taking after Kara, but the truth of the matter is that their chubbiness far exceeds Kara's. Their little eyes opened overnight, so maybe they will start moving around more soon and Kara can start them on an exercise program before things get downright embarrassing!

Kara is still quite fond of them, but I think they are beginning to get on her nerves a bit. Yesterday when she was begging for Denta Stix they began screaming and howling in the back room (nothing was wrong, they just are rather demanding - probably how they got so fat). Kara looked at the door to the backroom (where the puppies are),up at the Denta Stix on top of the fridge, sighed and headed back to look after her kids. What a sacrifice, what a Mom! I wouldn't have bet money on how that was going to play out! :)

Opps, I hear screaming from the back room. I know nothing is wrong, but I better go check anyway!!!

I posted some more pictures of Kara, Kelly and Kim at
and a few of Sprite and her litter at


Thursday, 3 July 2008

Happy Canada Day

Yes, I'm alittle late on my Canada Day wishes. The actual holiday is July 1st, but I have a good excuse - I was busy welcoming 5 new little Canucks into the world! Yup, Sprite had her babies on Tuesday. I know a Canadian theme would be the natural for this litter, but in fact we have had a theme for this little ones since the time they were concieved. See Mom, Sprite, is out of the 'soda pop' litter and Dad, Watt - or more formally MegaWatt - out of our 'electric' litter, so what could be more approprite then an 'Energy Drink' litter??
Jolt, Monster, Rockstar, Wired, GoFast, Volt and more are are up for consideration. Do you have a favorite Energy drink??
I should also mention that there were 1 boy and 4 girls in the litter. The male is grey and white with a flashy white shawl, jsut like his Uncle Charge. There is one grey and white female, 2 black and white girls marked like their Dad and one black and white girl with a flashy shawl. All very cute!!

Pictures soon!!