Thursday 17 May 2007

May 17, 2007 Much Typing

Well, looks like I won't be typing a lot for the next few weeks ... a trip to the doc yesterday confirmed I have a broken index finger and bursitis in my elbow.

The bursitis is from badly whacking my elbow on the ice outside of Rohn on Iditarod and the finger got broken when I pulled my quick release on my last training run prior to the Taiga race.

Anyway, the elbow is wrapped and I'm supposed to 'take it easy' with my arm for the next 3 weeks. Same goes for the finger - it is splinted for 3 weeks, so my typing is slow and cumbersome.

Bear with me folks. I will try to tell some tales with my camera (it is my left hand and arm that is messed up, so I can still manage the camera) to keep everyone amused in the meantime!! We have 2 new kittens (Tic and Tac) and puppies due on May 13th, so it isn't like I don't have subjects to work with!!


Monday 14 May 2007

May 14, 2007 Kara and the Cats

Kara & The Cats
Since everyone is so enchanted with Kara and the cats, I thought we'd post a few more pictures. Now remember, Kara is not a 'normal' Siberian - despite being a competitive lead dog and having quite the appetite for squirrels - she does not run away nor bother cats. Go figure!

May 14, 2007 Spring Update

Well, I’m three days away from the end of my doctor’s three week mandated ‘rest’. Of course I’ve been well behaved and rested just like she requested… and if you believe that I have some ocean front property in Perryvale to sell you! The arm and finger are definitely better than they were when I first visited the doctor, but still a ways off from being completely healed.

I have been good about not running dogs, but chores need to be done, so I was doing a lot more lifting and moving of my arm then I was supposed to.

I also wrestled my finger splint out of the mouths of numerous dogs. Nate and Bongo are just obsessed with the darn thing!
Mark has been as helpful as he could, but the Mill is in the midst of their annual shutdown – meaning he has been working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. Hopefully, after this coming weekend our lives will settle down into more of their summer routine.
Of course there is lots of news to report from the home front. Dogs going…dogs coming mostly!
Nik has come back home after many months living with professional handler, Cynthia Seeling in BC. He looks great, but is as noisy as always! We didn’t miss that voice much!
cree4.jpg (9129 bytes)
And, as many of you already know, Kluane presented us with 4 adorable little pups on Friday night. Two solid white females, one piebald female and a little dilute black/white male. Daddy is former NorthWapiti resident, Skor – who now lives with Kim and Kelly Berg in New Hampshire.
As usual, we have placed a number of critters this spring.
Eeek has moved to Nova Scotia to live with Rob and Louise Cooke. Rob is aiming for a run at the Quest somewhere down the road, so Eeek’s talents will definitely put to good use!
Tolsona left last week to live with Barbara Schaeffer in California. Barbara reports she is settling in very well!
Powder is working on getting up to Alaska, where she will be going to live with our dear friend Jamie West. 
And Vortec has moved back to live with his breeders, Jackie Wepruk and Rick Austin.
You know, I often see kennels and breeders that advertise that all their dogs have homes with them for life. “We don’t get rid of slow dogs” and other such lines, seem to imply that they care more for their dogs then breeders like Mark and I. Let me explain my position on that - 
It is my wish for all my dogs that they get to lead full and happy lives. If every time a dog gets hooked up it must give 110% to keep up with it’s teammates – or it gets left behind because it can’t keep up, how happy and fulfilling a life is that?
I think it is a caring and thoughtful move to place these dogs in situations where they can be stars – you know the ‘little fish in a big pond vs. big fish in a little pond’ thing.
Each and everyone of our dogs is more then welcome to live out their entire lives with us – that is our commitment to them all, but I’m not big headed enough to believe that I am the only one that can provide them a great home. If I can find them a situation where they can lead a fuller, happier life, I’m going to jump on their behalf.
I look at dogs like Dot, Oreo, Sissy, Mork, Spider, Lyra, Cassie, Pepsi, Smiley, Chip, Sparky, Raptor, Slik, Sammie, and many more former residents here and know they are cherished, adored and (face it folks) pretty spoiled where they are now. How could I have ever denied them that? To have insisted that they all live out their lives here would have been nothing short of selfish!
But Jim and Melissa don’t look at this post as further ammunition in your fight to retire Kara to your place. It just ain’t happening. There are a number of dogs that we simply could not bear to part with – Kara being at the top of that list.

Ch. NorthWapiti's Valkyrie Kara
Spring has definitely sprung around here. The first wildflowers are starting to bloom, huge flocks of snow geese passed high overhead late last week, foals and calves are everywhere in our neighbors fields, dogs are shedding like crazy and I killed a mosquito last night while we were out feeding. Mark and I even bared our ‘pasty from a winter swathed in polar fleece’ legs to the sun yesterday afternoon, puttering around the yard in shorts for a bit.

We had a male grouse strutting and ‘drumming’ behind the dog yard a few weeks ago. He kept wandering in close enough that the yard would work themselves into a frenzy. I had put getting rid of that damn thing near the top of Mark’s ‘Do To When You Get Some Time Off’ list. Luckily, the grouse got a little too brave and Lingo was happy to take care of the problem without Mark’s help. Grouse feathers floated around the yard for days.

Mice have been creating a lot of work around the yard. They’ve been getting into the palates that the dog’s houses are built on. The dogs go crazy digging under the houses. Herman, Hector, Watt, Loki, Q, and Paxson dug HUGE pits that their houses eventually caved into. I’d no sooner wrestle the house out and onto flatter ground and they’d start digging again. I doubt any of them caught a single mouse.
The whole yard got juggled around a week or so ago. Puppies shuffled down to the bottom of the hill and all the up and coming 2 year olds got worked into the ‘main string’ section. We actually have a lot of really promising young dogs vying for a spot on the team this year. They are Paxson, X, Fritz, Wolvie, Flash, Irving, Bingo, Bongo, Isis, Minto, Togo, Xena, and Wonder. The veterans are going to have to be on their toes to protect their place in the main string from these enthusiastic youngsters!
Right now thought they are all busy playing and getting to know each other! Young Paxson just idolizes his next-door neighbor, Charge…Crunchie and Togo spend a lot of time creating and playing dog games….Runner, Wolvie and Fritz just never quit romping! All these relationships are valuable in building confidence in the young dogs and will be key in getting the most out of those youngsters this fall.
Well, I think that is pretty much the news that’s newsworthy for today. Diary entries should be coming on a more regular basis now!
Hope everyone is enjoying spring in their neighborhoods, as we are in ours!