Monday 24 July 2000

July 24, 2000

What a week! We had plans for last week to be filled with company, but around here things never seem to go as planned! Early, early (even for me!) on Sunday morning Mark was experiencing severe abdominal pain. The second he agreed to go to the hospital, I knew he was seriously sick! Sure enough, it was his appendix. They ended up sending him by ambulance to the city of Edmonton. After over 7 hours of waiting in the Emergency room, he went in for surgery and had his appendix removed. He was allowed to come home on Monday.

Once again, big thanks go to our friend Roger Morey, who at the drop of a hat rushed over to feed the puppies on Sunday morning, fed the whole yard on Sunday night and then drove to the city to pick me up from the hospital. I don’t know how we would ever get by without Roger and his wife, Pauline!
My best friend, Lynda and her daughter were going to be in the city on Monday and had planned on staying the night at our place, but that was cancelled. Mark spent the whole week basically sleeping. He started work this morning, but will be restricted to ‘light duty’ for another week or so.

Thursday my 2000 Iditarider’s parents, Lara and Alice Baker stopped by the kennel for a visit on their way to Alaska from New Mexico. Lara has been an Iditrider himself on a couple occasions and I had met them both at the start of the Race last year. It was nice to get a chance to visit without all the commotion!
Friday friends of ours from Ponoka were supposed to be bringing their 6 dogs out for the weekend. Jackie and Rick are just starting out with their team and wanted to run with us for a bit. Unfortunately, Mark still wasn’t feeling up to par, so the visit had to be rescheduled. Jackie did come out for Saturday and Sunday and brought one of their dogs, Hugi, who is a NorthWapiti dog, out of Striker and Breezy’s 1999 litter. What a treat it was to see the handsome boy again! The weather turned out to be too warm to run anyway, but I was grateful for Jackie’s help around the yard! Especially when it came to giving the 'computer litter' their shots and removing Surge’s stitches (he had his dewclaws removed a few weeks ago). We also spend some time getting some pictures of Keesa’s litter of puppies – so hopefully I will get some of those up on the site soon! The pups are 8 weeks and so cute!!

Today I have some friends bringing their children out to play with puppies (good socializing for the pups!) and need to get into town for some more dog food – other then that, it should be a nice relaxing day!

All for now

Thursday 13 July 2000

July 13, 2000

Well, here we are – at the start of another season of diary entries! As I sit here in 30C (85F) heat, in a T-shirt and shorts, Iditarod and Alaska seems so very far away. But in reality, almost every day I am working on something to prepare for 2001.

The weather here has been very humid and warm, even in the mornings. Usually, if I get up at 5am, I can get a team out for 7 miles or so before it gets too hot. But the last week or so it has stayed warm right through the night. There is still a lot to do in the yard. The best ‘chore’ is spending time with the puppies. We have 4 – 3 month old pups out of Jetti and Mannie and 5 – 7 weeks old babes out of Keesa. All are doing really well. Jetti’s litter is our ‘computer’ litter – Crash (NorthWapiti’s System Crash), Yahoo (NorthWapiti’s Do You Yahoo), Dot (NorthWapiti Dot Com) and Meg (NorthWapiti’s Megabyte). Yesterday I put a kiddie’s pool out in their pen to help them keep cool. Crash delights in prowling through the water like a shark, attacking any of his littermates that think they want to venture in for a swim. Mark tells me he will be a star when it comes to water crossings and overflow – maybe!! Keesa’s litter will be our National Park litter. We are favoring Kobuk, Denali, Kluane, Nahanni, and Terra Nova for their names, but nothing for sure yet.

I had a lovely drive out to Jasper National Park on Tuesday (yes, I know Jasper would have been a good name, but seeing that the park mascot is a black and white bear we felt none of our grey/white pups fit the bill!). I met up with Loreen Bridges to do a dog swap. I had had a few on ‘try outs’ for the 2001 team from them, two of these were going back and Bridges had two more for me to try. This is the end of adding dogs for this season – if they are not in the yard now, they won’t be on the Iditarod team for this year!

Anyway, back to Jasper. We had a lovely visit and the Park was incredibly beautiful. With the wet spring and summer we had, the wildflowers were everywhere. I saw some many mountain goats and a couple of big bull elk with their antlers in velvet. Those Park bull elk are so big, they look fake! Magnificent animals! For those of you that are not aware, that is where our kennel name comes from. Wapiti is a native Indian word for elk.

Iditarod entries opened June 25. I was one of 51 mushers that signed up on the first day. Unfortunately, finances did not allow for me to go up to Wasilla and take in all the opening day festivities. I was though, making good use of my time - I was at a dog show in Grande Prairie. A couple exciting things happened that weekend. First off, I was able to do my Iditarod slide show and presentation while up there. Grande Prairie was my home for 9 years, and it was such a treat to share my adventure with so many of my close friends. The other exciting thing was that Mannie finished his Championship, so he is now officially known as Ch. Kainai’s Anchorman. What a fun time that weekend proved to be!

Well, that’s the news for right now!