Tuesday 28 April 2009

School is IN

This is always a time of year when I work on developing new leaders.

One of the dogs that is showing great potential in lead is Watt. Many mushers would probably already consider him a 'leader' but I tend to expect a lot from my leaders and he is not quite 'there' yet for me.

This morning I hooked him up in lead with one of the best veteran leaders in the yard, his mother Olena. I told her this was her chance to fine tune her handsome son for me - and she seemed to take it to heart. For the next 5 miles Olena put Watt through school. He rose to the occasion, matching her performance almost stride for stride.

They even took a team with alot of youngsters on it through the river for the first time this season.

Although Toni did have to go sort out one or two small tangles.

When I called the team up for my 'go around loop', they left without a hint of hesitation. The nicest any team has done it all spring.

I think in the end 'The Evil One' was pretty proud of her kid - at least that is what the look on her face indicated!


Monday 27 April 2009

Our New Logo

So, with a TREMENDOUS amount of help from Heather Walls and Dan Rehak we have a new kennel logo.

This isn’t a ‘year to year’ logo – we will still do some of those – but this is just a new overall, all purpose logo for the kennel. It was done by Canadian artist Shannon Robinson(www.shannonrobinsonart.com) and I just LOVE it (and am even thinking of getting a tattoo done of it – sorry Mom!).

Thanks to Penny Blankenship the new logo is up and available on a variety of merchandise on the Café Press site! http://www.cafepress.com/northwapiti/6651373


Saturday 25 April 2009

Odie and Moses

Odie and Moses are thinking of spending their summer out at Kelim Siberians
in New Hampshire. Both would be open to 'dating' approved Siberian ladies
while out that way, in fact they probably won't make the trip unless we can
line up a few stud services ahead of time.

Both boys are 3x Iditarod finishers, exceptional hard driving, leaders and
proven producers.

Please let me know if you might be interested.



Karen L and Mark Ramstead

NorthWapiti Kennels

Iditarod Finishing and Best in Show winning Siberians

"Pretty Sled Dogs"



Thursday 23 April 2009

Ya' Had To Be Expecting It....Being Alberta And All!

This was the scene in the dog yard this morning!

Not that we really minded!

Even when it meant trudging through ice cold water.

Q has been managing to keep his 'sparkliness'!!!

Just to compare...

...a normal piebald in my yard (Wifi)...

...and His Q-ness. Still glowing!


Rocky feeling very proud of himself - and rightfully so! He's a lovely young dog with a delightful attitude towards life.

Smartie and Bingo!!!
Notice by the end of the run the snow is already pretty much gone.
Still a good day!

Monday 20 April 2009

Images from the Dog Yard

Toni and I were running around on the ATVs the other day checking out trails and I took a couple pictures around the valley - and stopped to cut a big bunch of pussy willows to add that spring touch to the house!
I had actually forgotten to bring scissors, but did have a pair of dog nail clippers in the ATV that worked excellent!

The Tawatinaw River Valley

The River - it's still running high. We got the ATVs across, but it is still too deep for the dogs.

Only little bits of snow are left around now!

When we came back to the yard, we stopped at the puppy pen to play with the Toons. Astro is one SUPER COOL pup and I asked him to pose for a picture - this is what I got!

Then this...

Then finally, his whole handsome head!

This is his adorable sister, Tramp.

More Tramp!

Grimmy and Toni

Tramp and Toni

This shot was actually taken a few days ago. Mark is busy burning everything that was in the puppy pens last year. Hard to burn $200 dog houses (the puppy ones are extra big) but neccesary to make sure we completely kick that awful Parvo bug from the kennel.

Yup, that is a bit of green! My chives are always the very first thing to come up in the spring. In past years they have actually pushed there way through the snow - tha isn't neccesary this year though!

Sunday 19 April 2009

Admist the dust and dirt...

Spring is not my favorite time in the dog yard. Although thanks to the kennel being on sand and worked into a hillside we don't get mud like alot of kennels do at this time of year, things are still dirty and dinghy.

However out in the yard tonight there is a sparkling bright spot....

See it...

Let me move closer...

There we go!!

A freshly polished and shined Q!!

Isn't he handsome??

The reason for his sparkliness???

A dog show!

I had mostly entered him to give him some more experience with indoor shows, but he decided that if he was going get 'all dressed up' it was going to be for a reason! So, on Saturday under judge John Rowton Q took Winner's Male, Best of Winners and Best of Opposite (over a Special, none the less) for his first 3 points.
Mr. Rowton had some very nice comments about my big, spotted sled dog!
And of course, his Mom insisted on a picture of the occasion!
Although I already know they are amazing, I am always impressed by my canine friends and how tolerant and accepting they are of all the strange demands I put upon them.
They continue to be my heroes.

Love ya Q-Tip!!

Wednesday 15 April 2009

Testing New Technology

Blogging via email. They are making this easier and easier!

Right Beauty??


Sunday 12 April 2009

A Homecoming

I think one of the things a responsible breeder does is to always provide a 'safe landing' place for any dog they have bred, for the lifetime of the dog.
We have over the years helped rehome a number of dogs whose living situation needed, for one reason or another, to change - and brought a number of these dogs back home to the kennel.

Late last year our friends the Carmichael's situation changed requiring them to rehome most of their dogs - a good number of them from here. I've been working with Kathy to help her find good situations for the dogs and almost all of them are now re situated. However one of them Kathy INSISTED needed to come back home, so this weekend, we welcomed Bang (NorthWapiti's Bango) back to Perryvale.

Bang seemed to remember the place and settled quite happily back into the yard. This morning we took her out for a run with the team and it seems she is going to make a seamless transition back into life here.

Seeing that she was a main leader for the Carmacks team, we have high hopes for her here too!!

BTW - Kathy still has a few dogs to place - mostly from NorthWapiti lines. A couple are working dogs and a few that would make tremendous pets. If anyone is interested, drop me a line at northwapiti@xplornet.com and I'll pass your message along to Kathy.

Welcome home Bang!!
(Pictures soon!)

Thursday 9 April 2009

A Beginning for some

Many consider spring a beginning, a fresh start, a rebirth....not here. Spring here mostly signifies an end.

But then again, maybe it is time for this past season to official end. It wasn't an enjoyable or successful season and maybe slamming the door shut on it is a good thing.

So maybe this really is a fresh start for us!

Regardless of whether it is an end or a beginning, things are definitely moving forward around here.
As is typical in the spring, a few of our dogs moved on to new kennels and new careers. Holly has settled in fabulously with her new owners, Heather Walls and Dan Rehak. Banshee (now known as Tana) seems to be a wonderful fit in her new home with Kim and Mike Bertrand in Washington - and Minto the Pinto is just now looking for a way to get up to Alaska to start her new life with Donna Quante.

Probably most surprising to followers of the kennel (and honestly to me too - even as I was doing this deal, I couldn't quite believe I was) Togo and Boom left with Mike and Sue Ellis when they stopped by the kennel on their way home from Alaska last month. I know that the boys will be well loved and get lots of race time with Ellis's, so really it is a good thing for all!

Another surprising to some departure from the kennel is Isis. Icey is going to move to Nova Scotia within the next month or so. She will be living with Carolyn Martin, but co-owned by Brenda Potter of Chimini Kennels. This was another one of those 'perfect match' situations that I think will be great for all, especially Isis - though it will be hard to say 'goodbye' to her.

There will be a few more departures in the next month or so. We will keep you all posted.
One of the reasons to make some room in the kennel in the spring is to make room for puppies - and yes, we should have some of those on the way next month. Sprite was bred to Crunchie right before we headed to BC for the Fort St. James race. She is due early in May!
Another sign of spring appeared in the dog yard yesterday - water buckets.

The 'Toons remain unsure whether they should play in their buckets or drink out of them, but everyone else seemed pretty happy to get their unlimited supply of water back!

I think it is handy to have the multi colored buckets around the yard as I can point dogs out to Toni by saying "the grey and white dog with the black bucket" or "the piebald with the green bucket" until she gets all the names straight.

Who is Toni you say?? Toni is our new handler. She and her assistant, Corky arrived last weekend!

And yes, I did give her a kennel map with dog names on it to help her learn, but she made the mistake of consulting it while in with the Toon boys and the map didn't survive.

I've also begun working on one of my summer projects - getting Utin ready to be shown in Rally Obedience. I moved 'Cutie Patotootie Utie' up closer to the house so it is easier to get him in and out of the dog yard. He has been up visiting a few times and it is becoming very clear that his Mother forgot much more over the winter then he did. I've been tripping over my own feet, forgetting what commands I was using last fall with him and just generally causing him to roll his eyes in disgust at me, while he has been offering lightning quick downs and flashy finishes.
I think it's time for another private lesson with our favorite trainer, Lisa (www.trainingwithouttrying.com) so he and Lisa both can roll their eyes at me. Lucky I have no pride.
In closing I just wanted to show that EVERYONE is getting into the spring spirit around here -

Yup, Kara was out playing in the mud yesterday. Who would have thunk?????

Thursday 2 April 2009

Strolling with my Pals

The weather has been lovely lately and Mark has been working nights, so Kara, Cricket and I have been going for a short walk in the evenings before feeding time.

After a great run in harness earlier in the day (check out my friend Lisa's blog - http://tailsfromthedarkside.blogspot.com/), Utin hung out in the house all afternoon,

so he got to come along on our walk this evening too.

Kara running to catch up with us.

Cricket leading the way.

The scenery is lovely, with lots of white snow left...

...but bright sun and spring clouds!

It's obvious that we are not the only critters walking the road!

It is really such a treat to watch my companions enjoy their walk so much!

Wait - what are these odd little tracks???

Ah, that would be the "Perryvale Panther" aka Bait, tagging along. See him??

Cricket is off chasing a deer in this shot!

No luck!

Our driveway

On the way home Utin and Cricket got roughousing and playing. Cricket got alittle carried away and Utin decided he needed to put her in place. What I love about this picture is the look on Kara's face in the background. She and Cricket have, for the most part, worked out their differences, but it is obvious from the photo that Kara still likes to see 'The Beast' put in her place.

A lovely evening with some lovely friends!