Saturday, 10 November 2012
I have to admit that, even though it is often hard to get out the door at 6am, morning feedings - especially when it is cold - are my favorite.
My days generally start between 4:30 and 5 when I crawl out of bed and put a pot of coffee on. I like a bit of time to myself in the morning to watch a bit of TV (usually something taped from the night before that neither Mark nor Brittany care to watch), catch up on the internet, sip on coffee and snuggle with my Coolie.
Brittany stumbles up from the cabin about 5:30 and pours some coffee down her throat before heading out to the garage to fill up water buckets.
It was a brisk -20C (-8F) at the kennel this morning, so coveralls, a jacket, gloves, neckwarmer and a hat were layered on before walking across the yard with the squeaking of snow underfoot.
The big sodium yard lights gradually light up the dog yard as they warm up. Dogs are spinning on their chains and barking excitedly knowing what is up. Crunchie attempts to choke himself in a very effective and well practiced move to make sure he gets fed first.
Fletch proves every morning that his choice to be sled dog has not kept him from a career as a rocket scientist. ("Fletch - your bowl is in the same spot every morning. It is bolted to your dog house. That is where I put your food." *sigh*)
Rocket dances for her breakfast and after feeding her I always take a moment to take in the view from Smartie and Bang's areas. It is the best 'sky view' in the yard. This morning about a billion stars shone down on us but no northern lights.
Charges rears in the air like a rodeo bronc while waiting for me to scoop his kibble out. I look up and catch a glimpse of Bet trotting down to the feeding table to steal a drink of soup - a habit that both she and Cricket are allowed to get away with.
I finish dishing out the 'A' string kibble, grab the first soup bucket and start watering.
Todd does his funny little head shake while he impatiently waits for his ration of soup. I finish up that bucket by giving Q some extra and head down for bucket 2.
Each of the water buckets weighs about 35lbs, so even though it is cold, I've now warmed up enough that the jacket and neckwarmer are shed.
I start with Wifi and work my way back to the main string girls. Boo always leaves kibble crumbs in her dish. She says it makes her soup taste better. Billie ATTACKS her bowl like it is to be her last meal (BTW - I've really been missing silly little Beauty the last few weeks. Although she drove me crazy with her eating habits, they were uniquely 'her'.)
Back for the third bucket and off to feed Turtle, Wolvie, Rocky and the rest of the main string girls.
As I start down to the feeding table, Bet joins me with her tongue hanging out after an intensive 30 minutes of 'herding' the puppies and supervising their feeding.
Cricket is 'snuffling' around the table, sounding alot like a helicopter, while hoping for some kibble that might have hit the ground.
As Brittany finishes up feeding the 'B' string boys, I gather up empty buckets and my discarded clothes before heading back to the garage.
There I drop of the empty buckets and pick up 'G Park's' kibble and soup. Bet and I crunch across the driveway to the old guys.
Odie and Loki race around their pen, while 15 year old Joey toddles after them as best she can. She *thinks* she can still run like the wind and I don't see the point in telling her otherwise. The only concession for her age is that she prefers to have her kibble spilled on the ground and her soup separate. No problem Sweetie!
After Moses and Olena are fed the entire yard is now quiet. The lights in the main yard still glow with the warm house lights next to them. I can hear the odd clink of metal on metal as Brittany collects the 'B' team bowls.
I take a moment to breathe it all in before gathering up my buckets. Bet falls in line next to me as I head back to the garage.
Time for a cup of coffee, a bit of the Today Show and planning for the day.