Wednesday 30 June 2010

Canada Day

Tommorrow is Canada Day.

This is a piece I wrote for my journal on Canada Day in 2005. I looked it up today to steal the Robertson Davies quote from it, but in reading it I decide that it still speaks for what I feel about my country, so I decided to just rerun the whole thing (slightly edited). I hope you all enjoy.

July 1, 2005 -
It's funny how we come around in our thinking as we grow older. 
I remember my brother, Jim and I cringing each July 1 (Canada Day) when Dad flew his largest Canada flag off the peak of our garage. No one else in the neighbourhood did that, and gosh, Jim and I were just darn embarrassed.  This morning, July 1 2005, I strolled outside with Kara on our morning walk, there by our NorthWapiti Kennel sign is a large flag pole with a Canada flag flying from it. I can blame Mark for some of it, after all he build the pole and was the one that actually put up the flag, however the truth of the matter is that it was completely at my urging that it was done. 
Just a few weeks ago I turned 41, so I could make a story for my getting older and more sentimental, but the reality of the matter is that, despite the protests to my father, I've always been very proud to be a Canadian. Maybe it is all the time I spend outside of Canada that makes me more patriotic as the years go by or maybe it is the fact that the more I read, learn and see of the rest of the world, the more I have learned to appreciate what we have here. Don't get me wrong, despite the moose jokes, I love the US and Americans, it is a terrific place. I love visiting and I adore my American friends - but it isn't my home. So to all my fellow Canadian readers, I wish you a Happy Canada Day today - and leave you with this quote from Robertson Davies. It is one I read at my father's funeral and now that I've grown up, can admit speaks for the way I view my country. 

“Because I am a Canadian, I couldn’t really live anywhere else. I have had chances to do so and have never given it serious consideration. I belong here. To divorce yourself from your roots is spiritual suicide….I just am a Canadian. It is not a thing which you can escape from - it is like having blue eyes.”

-Robertson Davies

And because I think one of the best 'traits' of Canadians is our ability to laugh at ourselves, here is one of my very favorite YouTube videos - Canadian Please

Monday 28 June 2010


"Silences make the real conversations between friends.  Not the saying but the never needing to say is what counts."  ~Margaret Lee Runbeck, Answer Without Ceasing

My 'BFFs' on our walk tonight...

"And In Today Already Walks Tomorrow."

"And in Today Already Walks Tomorrow." - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

I had a couple tentative blogs started to accompany the pictures of the Brits first free run (with the ATV - as opposed to their walks)  this morning, but then realized that nothing I could say could speak better then their happy faces.

Watching our 'next generation' take the steps that will shape their future always moves me. It is the predominate thing that drives and inspires me as a musher. 

Run babies run.

Sunday 27 June 2010

Babes In The Woods

Mark, Bet, and I took the Brits for a walk in the woods yesterday.

They are a charming bunch of young men, but they are constantly heading off on missions without us now!

Sherwood and Todd

From left to right - Rodd, Hambone, Fletch and Sherwood

From front to back - Todd, Fletch, and Hambone

Todd and Hambone

Bet does a pretty good job keeping them 'in line'...

Front to back - Todd, Fletch, Hambone and Sherwood

..but I'm going to have to start running them with the ATV soon!!!

Saturday 26 June 2010

The Explosions!

Well, our little contest is over!! Congratualations to Kim Berg who won a NorthWapiti t-shirt - and many thanks to all that played our little match the name to the puppy game!

So now that that is over, I can 'formally' introduce you all to the Explosions!

This outgoing shoelace muncher is Pyrotechnic - or Pyro for short. The trick to telling him apart from his brothers is that his mask is alittle lopsided. 

Next up is Scud. He is the biggest in the litter - and the only 'traditionally' marked pup, even though he does have a fairly big shoulder flash.

Scud wasn't too keen on getting his picture taken. I asked him to at least look at the camera - and this is what he had to say to me....

I'm pretty sure that meant 'NO'.Yeah, these pups have attitude!!

The next brother is Squib. Squib is actually a favorite of both Mark and I. He is the smallest in the litter, but VERY outgoing and adventurous. I'm shocked there weren't more pictures of him in this batch, normally he is in the middle of everything! Yes, he looks ALOT like Pyro. The difference is in the masking! 

The last boy is piebald brother, C4. Very affectionate - just runs from one of us to the next trying to get picked up!!

And then their are the girls!! They all have EXPLOSIVE personalities. No little ladies in his bunch - they are scrappy and very outgoing!! I adore them all!!

This is Missile aka Missy. CUTE, CUTE, CUTE!!!

But push her buttons and you get this...

Just ask her brothers!

And then there is Molotov - or Molly. She is hands down her Daddy's favorite. He is completely wrapped around her cute little paw!! She has about as much attitude as Missy!! Here she is trying to be sweet...

...but moments later she is stiff legged and challenging her big brother!!

The gal has 'tude!!! LOVE it!!

And last, but certainly not least is Dynamite! I tried to shorten her name to 'Dyna' but it did work - she is Mighty - or Mighty Mouse!

We knew this litter would keep us on our toes. Their Daddy, Charge can be a headache of a dog to live with, but put a harness on him and you forget all the grief!! These kids show signs of being exactly the same. Raising them is going to be a wild but truly fun ride (please remind me in about 8 months that I said that!!)


Denial Is A River in Egypt...

.. okay, I admit I have a problem, but in my defense...oh h*ll...there is no defense. I'm weak....

But they already had tomatoes on them ... and they were on sale...

Oh, so weak.................

Thursday 24 June 2010

An Entry By Rocket Ramstead

Hello, I'm Rocket Ramstead. I thought that I'd take a moment to share with you what I did on my summer holiday.
Now us rough, tough Iditarod dogs don't have the same definition of 'summer holiday' as most of you. The NorthWapiti crew gets a bit of May and June off for 'holidays'.
I know June isn't actually over yet, but I'm a 'keener' so I usually get my projects done early!!
At the start of holidays I spent some time debating what I was going to do. Playing with my neighbors, Jinx, Dasher, Crackle and See is fun but I wanted something more...substantial.
I also wanted something that would keep my upper body buff so I was ready for lots of 'Rocket Dances' once the season started.

Finally it hit me - I'd tap into the Siberian strengths of landscape architecture and structural engineering and put a basement in my doghouse.

I am SO pleased with how it turned out!

 Notice how I took advantage of the roots that run through my run to give my design the support it needs! (That's Stupid See in the background. She is VERY jealous of my improvements!)

 And yes, there are 2 entrances to the basement - one of the north side of my house and one at the back!

I've also redone my water bucket to give it a 'grunge' look that blends well the the sand/wood theme that I have chosen for my decorating scheme.

In this shot I instructed Mom to move my water bucket so you can fully appreciate the care I put into my work!!

Thanks to my careful design and execution my house is still stable and I have a GREAT new space to hang out in!!

See?? Totally stable! Are you impressed??? I know I am!! Now if I could just get my paws on the squirrel that lives behind Crackle, I'd host a dinner party in my basement!!