Friday 29 November 2013

Some Days Are Diamonds...

Black Friday Shopping - Bet

Howdy Ho Everybodies!!!

It's your favorite consumer specialista Border Collie here!

Heather Minion threatened asked me to remind everybodies of the cool stuffs and things we have going on that you need to take advantage of NOW!  RIGHT NOW!!!!

Instead of going to the stores and standing in line and dealing with THIS ->

You can sit in the comfort of your cozy warm house and click some buttons and then the mailperson will deliver it to your cozy warm house and you don't have to do hardly ANYTHING to reap the bounty of North Wapiti goodies!  Even better, the money goes to North Wapiti Pretty Curly Tails for the final Iditarod in 2014!!!!

Here's what's going on, and I made easy peasy buttons for everything (and cracked a nail in the process, so I wanna see some clicking for my pain and suffering):

Merchandise stuffs and things


We have HOODIES!!!!  Soft, fleecy, stylish, FABulous hoodies, so go here and order some hoodies for you and for your entire family!  We also just got in some 3XL hoodies, so contact Heather Minion if you want some of those.


We only have a few hats left, so you better get them now!!!  When they're gone, there will be no more and you won't have one and all of us have one, so go get yours now!!!!


What?  You don't have mittens yet?  It's cold out there peoples, you'll freeze your hands off and then where will you be?  With no hands!!!  Don't make me say "I told you so" when your hands freeze off, go get your mittens, and here's a cool picture of turkey mitts from the ultra talented Brandi Williamson fan.


There are only a few of these left, and they're calling your name... can you here them screaming??

You totally need to buy a vest, I mean come on, if you have the hoodie, hat, mittens... throw in a vest and have the entire FASHIONABLE ensemble!

Winter Chicks Water Pouch!!!!!

After all of that button clicking, you're probably thirsty!  Water tastes so much better in your official Winter Chicks Water Pouch, so get get one, they're on sale!!!!!


Oh yeah, you read that right, there's COOK BOOKS and they're SIGNED!!!  ahem... all this screaming hurts my throat.  Anyhooooooo, we have some cook books left over that have all of the Musher's (and fans) tasty recipes and you'll need to eat something soon after all of this excitement, we don't want your blood sugar level to plummet, so go order one, and they're SIGNED for Pete's sake (whoever Pete is, but I'm sure he'd want you to buy one)


Who wouldn't want a one of kind (out of only 250) signed by Mr. Van Zyle and the Musher print that he did JUST FOR US???  I KNOW!!!!  so get over here and pre-order yours, and get one for your good friend, and your family members and total strangers and things.


You going to Anchorage to watch the Musher and Pretty Curly Tails start their final Iditarod in 2014?  Well, then you HAVE to go to the Musher's banquet!! YOU HAVE TO!  That's where the Musher will draw her bib number/starting number!!!  Winners of this auction will have seats either at or very near the Musher so you can meet her, talk to her (she'll even talk back... unless her mouth is full) and get me a doggie bag of food "to go" or something... so remember to bid before the deadline... go here for instructions and rules and stuffs (and things).

Just to make everythings (and everystuffs) easier, I threw buttons up at the top for ALL OF THIS AND MORE, so get clicking!!!!!


Can't find anythings (or anystuffs) here that you want, need, must have?  Seriously?  Well, allrighty then, we have another way that you can help us out while you shop on!!!

Shopping on Amazon? If you are buying something from Amazon, why don't you use the North Wapiti affiliate program!  Just click the Amazon Affiliate link below and do your shopping and North Wapiti will get a commission!  You can shop and help the Pretty Sled Dogs at the same time! Shoppers

Be sure to visit the Book Store
to view Karen's favorites!!

Woot! - Bet

Friday 22 November 2013

My Mornings

Rarely does my alarm wake me up. I am almost always awake before it starts screaming at me at 5:30.
Sometimes as I lie in bed coming to consciousness I can hear coyotes howling. If they are too close, the sound is usually followed by the bang of the porch door and the thunderous threats of Cricket.

Rarely do the Siberians answer. They know that they are all safe and secure. What goes on in the woods rarely affects them and they know that.

Bet pads out of the bedroom behind me and settles in on the Cloud as I flip the coffee maker on to warm up. By now Bait's white tuxedo front will be visible in the dark outside the sliding doors. He must sleep somewhere in the garage near a window, as he always appears at the door within minutes of my switching on the first light in the house.

I'll organize breakfast and settle on the couch with coffee and my computer. Bet knows there is always a bit of breakfast for her, so she hops up on the couch to share and watch the Today Show with me (we watch a Detroit feed, as local stations aren't 'awake' yet so I always know what is going on in Michigan).
Shortly before 6 Bet will tell me when Freya walks by the front window on her way to put Wonder back in her run (Wonder sleeps in the cabin with her) - it's still too dark for me to tell. After, Freya heads directly to the garage to fill the 5 buckets of soup it takes to feed the 50 dogs.

A few minutes later Tic will appear at the door, having been woken up by Freya's entrance into the garage. If I'm not fast enough letting him in he will squeak and climb the screen on the window next to the door. He may be the smallest resident of the kennel, but he REFUSES to be ignored.

Buckets filled, Freya stumbles into the house for a quick bit of breakfast.

She heads out a bit before me and starts shuffling food to the 'feeding table'. I prepare Rocky's breakfast and then layer on clothing - minus 17C this morning - so sweats, sweatshirt, insulated Carhartts, neckwarmer, hat, gloves and boots.

Bet sits eagerly next to me. She loves the excitement and energy of feeding time.

The yard lights are glowing and everyone excited by the time I get out there. Some, like Crunchie, just pace and whine; others, like Jack, SCREAM in anticipation of food! It is the noisiest time of day in the dog yard.

First meal goes to Crunchie - ALWAYS!

I scoop out meals for the 'B' team boys and head down with their breakfast.

Back up at the table I'll top off a bucket and get ready to start feeding the Main String.

Cricket has usually shown up by this time and swats me in the butt with one of her massive paws if I haven't got kibble into her bowl yet. Yes Ma'am!

The main string dances as I walk around with the bucket of kibble. Each meal is specific to each dog based on their body condition and the work they have been doing the last few days. This is MY job and pretty much never turn it over to anyone else.
Freya is a bit behind, scooping out soup to everyone.

Some, like Boo, prefer to have their kibble and soup together, so patiently wait for soup before dining - or it just could be she takes a while to wake up. Boo is not a 'morning dog' and usually doesn't crawl out of her straw until I'm a dog or so away from her anyway.

When the main string is all happy, I dish out meals for the 'B' string girls, grab a soup bucket and head up to them. After feeding them, I soup them and a few of the main string ladies that Freya won't have gotten to yet.

By now the volume of noise in the yard has greatly diminished, as everyone has been given their kibble and most their soup.

Geriatric Park now starts to fuss, as they know I'm headed in their direction. I measure out soup and kibble for them and leaving Freya to finish up in the main yard, walk out of the range of yard lights and over to the 'Gs'.

Even though the yard lights don't quite touch all corners of the yard, I know the place better than anywhere else, so I am comfortable walking around out there with no headlamp.

It's always comforting to see all off the old dogs lined up along the fence line barking. You just never know with the seniors!
Acting not even close to their ages they bounce and bang off of my back and stomach when I enter their pen. I'm not fond of that, but it doesn't seem worth getting after them for! They have all earned the right to be bratty!

Geriatric Park is located at the top of a high spot in our yard. It offers a wonderful sky view and I almost always take a moment to stop and check it out. Sometimes the Northern Lights are visible dancing away, lights off a single passenger plane as it makes its early flight to Ft. McMurray, the ISS (International Space Station), or the faint glow indicating morning off to the east. Always something to see!

By now the yard is pretty much silent except for the odd clinking of metal bowls as Freya picks up the 'B' team dishes.

Snow crunches and squeaks under my feet as I head back to the house with Bet dancing in front of me.

We've a few hours of down time now while the dogs digest their meal before we run.

Coffee is calling again!

Thursday 21 November 2013


As a 'Winter Chick' you would think that I'd have figured out that winter happens around this time every year.

Apparently I haven't though and as the weather turns cooler, frost creeps into the morning, and the nights get longer I am always scrambling around the place trying to get a few chores and projects done!

This year we had one BIG project that we were scrambling to finish up before the first 'real' snow.

A month or so back Mark surprised me with a VERY early Christmas (and likely Birthday) gift - A GREENHOUSE!!!!
You all may not remember the many, many tomato plants that have met their death here in our chilly, heavily treed section of the Tawatinaw River Valley, but trust me MANY have.

I had sworn not to purchase any further tomato plants and resigned myself to trips to the local greenhouse and woody, poor imitations of real tomatoes from the local grocery store.

And then Mark stepped in......

He didn't want to wait till Christmas to surprise me, as we would have to wait till winter made a full retreat before assembling it and that would put me way behind for the season! So that is how we found ourselves (mostly him) scrambling as the snow fell.

Bet's trying out different locations for a Greenhouse Cloud!

Still supervising, even on her 'lunch' break!

There was a substantial break at this period of construction due to some missing pieces in the kit and Mark's work commitments. I was simultaneously praying for winter for the dogs - and hoping it would hold off for the greenhouse to be finished!

Parts in, Mark's schedule clear.....we are underway again!!

 ...and just in time!

TA DA!!!!

And then I got my wish of snow!!!!! SWEET!!!!

A fabulous winter schedule stretching ahead of me - and something WONDERFUL to look forward to in the spring!!!

Life is indeed good!!!

Friday 15 November 2013

This Is Hugey Huge - Bet

Ok everybodies, this is biggie big and hugey huge, so pull up your chair and gaze upon it's brilliance!

The Musher shared some of the work while it was being done, but ya know what???

No, seriously... guess.


Fine!  I'll just tell you!

So, you know how Daddy and Sky went to live with the VERY talented Van Zyle family last year or two... who knows, time flies.  

And you know that the FANTABULOUSLY talented Jon Van Zyle wanted to do a very special picture for the Musher, and there was brainstorming and blah blah'ing and back and forthing, and then ravens got involved, and scenes from the Iditarod and more blah blah'ing and then some sketches and stuffs and things and we kept telling everybodies that it would be done soon....

It's done!

Um... well... ok, I admit, this isn't it.  This is my interpretation of what it looks like... not bad eh?  Of course I discovered that painting things requires baths, so I'm hanging up my easel and leaving the talent to Mr. Van Zyle.

Who did THIS!!!!!

He did THIS just for the Musher!  This is the rare, limited edition, created from the very talented hands of Alaska's Artist: Jon Van Zyle!  He's the artist for the entire STATE of ALASKA peoples!!!!!

It's called "Race Fans".  It has a NAME!!!!  The spiritual ravens guiding the Musher and Pretty Curly Tails through the Iditarod trail to Nome!!!!  How many of you have inspired an artist for an entire state to create such a cool print like this?

The best part of it... he's donating ALL of his proceeds to go to the Musher for her final 2014 Iditarod run!!!!  We are overwhelmed and honored by the Van Zyle family's generosity, kindness, and talent.

So, there are ONLY 250 of these prints and they will be signed by both Jon Van Zyle, and the Musher!!!!!  After they are gone... no more.  NONE, zip, zilch, gone, caput!

So, at the risk of sounding like that Sham Wow guy; get yours while you can!  Operators aren't standing by, you have to order them now through the Bloggity Blog.  There is no additional shipping and handling, just one price pays it all.  They'll be shipped in January, but if you wanted to send one as a gifty gift, Mr. Van Zyle will send the recipient a lovely personal card to tell them it's on its way in January.

How do you get one?  I thought you'd never ask!  Just go here!  Click this link or there's a tab up at the top that will get you there or click on the picture on the right side.

Remember... when they're gone, that's it.  We hope you will want to honor North Wapiti Kennels, the raven spirit, and own a piece of history from the great Jon Van Zyle.


Thursday 14 November 2013

Almost Unbelievable

Have you ever gotten news so good you just can't get your head around it???

I did today - and honestly I think I am still in shock.

The news is about Rocky.

Remarkable, incredible news about Rocky.

Yes, it seems he has stepped off Death's Doorstep and slammed the door shut behind him as he was walking away.


For all those that say 'We knew it' - please know we didn't. His diagnosis was very clear and in chatting with his wonderful vet Tannis numerous times over the past 10 days NEVER have we talked about 'IF' he got better. That simply wasn't a real option.

I guess I neglected to tell Rocky that....THANK GOODNESS!!!

He has gained 7 lbs in the last 10 days and his blood work is just a hair away from normal. Tannis says that not only is he going to live - which would have been enough on its own - he will be able to be a sled dog again one day. Not for Iditarod this year, but one day.

My head is still swirling - good swirling - but swirling.

I had mentioned to a friend yesterday that Rocky was looking and acting so good that it was hard not to hope - but that I was worried about getting my hopes up.

Their reply was  - "Well if you can't wish and believe, then guess there is no chance..." 

So quietly I did. 
All you had to do was ask, I could have told you!
...and as for an 'official' explanation for his remarkable and FAST recovery: "Livers are amazing organs and he must really be a Rockstar!"

We could not be happier!

Monday 11 November 2013

Camp Out Time - Bet

Howdy Ho everybodies, it's your Roving Border Collie Reporter Bet here!

Does anybodies know what time of year it is?

No... although the stores are playing Christmasy tunes, it's not Santy Claws time.

No.... Thanksgiving is a bit away and besides, we already had that here in Canada in October.

No... it's not my birthday... yet... but if you want to send me gifts, and cake, and waffles, and cupcakes, and shrimp pasta... I'm fine with that. (my real birthday is January 3rd... in case you need to order anything).



Yes, camp out time, it's the time where the Musher takes the Pretty Curly Tails on a nice long run, then stops at the campsite and lets them get use to stopping and hanging out for a while, just like they would do on the Iditarod trail.  Then after a nice lunch and a nap, they all go out for more running, just like they would do on the Iditarod trail.

The purpose of this exercise is to cause me frostbite... I mean, to help the Pretty Curly Tails learn how to relax and rest when there's time to relax and rest.

So, while the Musher runs the Pretty Curly Tails we all get busy and pack the truck up and meet the team at the usual spot.

I ran out on the trail to meet the team as they were coming in.  As their coach, I had to make sure they were running correctly.

Here they come!!!!  Warm up the hotdogs!!!!
As she would do at any Iditarod checkpoint, the Musher made sure the Pretty Curly Tails were checked over for any injury or lameness, then fed, and provided a spot to nap.

Um... hey, you two... REST!  You're suppose to be RESTING! 
As you can see in the picture above, we were out in the middle of nowhere... not a soul in sight... just like the Iditarod (pay no attention to that house).

This was Freya's first camping trip, so I felt compelled to comfort her.  I didn't want her to be scared out here in the middle of nowhere or anything.

Yes, yes, I'll protect you as long as you put my cold feet in your pocket
Once the Pretty Curly Tails were all settled in, like a checkpoint stop, we started the traditional hotdog in the fire ritual.

Three?  There's only three... AGAIN, just like last year.  Seriously?
I was told that they "saved the best for last", but I didn't fall for it last year, nor will I fall for it this year.

You're using me as a plate, aren't you?  I can feel the warmth of the hot dog!
Then we all settled in to warm ourselves by the glow of the fire and enjoy a nice, snowy day out in the middle of practically nowhere.

Ok, seriously?  There's a perfectly good heater in the truck... someone carry me there!
Then for some reason, the Musher was like all "hey Bet, go pose over by the lake at sunset", and I was like all... "can we do that in about 6 months?", but I can't refuse the Musher when she cuddles me.

FINE!  I'll go pose at the lake.
How's this?  What?  You can't see my face... sigh
How's this?  What?  FINE....

There... is that better?  OHFORTHELOVEOF... what sunset?  You can't even see the sun!

Um, hello?  My butt is frozen to the concrete, can someone bring the windshield scraper?

Thankfully Freya unstuck me and got my circulation going again... and gave me a hotdog.

Then it was time for the Musher to take the Pretty Curly Tails out for their after break run.

Just throw everything in the back and get in, I'm leaving in 10 minutes with or without you both!
I just love camping.

- Bet