Thursday 27 February 2014

2014 Musher Iditarod T-Shirt Auction

This auction is for a Large Long Sleeve t-shirt given ONLY to the 2014 Iditarod Mushers, signed by Karen Ramstead

The auction will end on 21 March 2014 at 5pm Eastern Standard Time!


Bids will be by e-mail.

To bid, click this link to send an e-mail to The Cartoonist

If the link doesn't work, send the e-mail to:
Subject line: Iditarod 2014 Musher t-shirt

In the body of the message include your full name and your bid amount in US Dollars (whole dollar amounts, no change).

Highest bid amount will be posted on the main blog page on the upper right hand side with the initials of the highest bidder. Bid amounts will be updated hourly between the hours of 8am and 8pm EST until 21 March 2014 and then until the end of the auction, highest bidder will be updated as bids are received.

Any bids received after 5pm EST on 21 March 2014 will not be eligible. Bids are timestamped as they are received.

Highest bidder at 5pm EST on 21 March 2014 will win the shirt. If for any reason the highest bidder withdraws, the next highest bidder will win the shirt.

Winner will be announced once payment is received. Payment will be through Paypal unless other payment is agreed upon. Shipping will be paid by The Cartoonist.

All proceeds go to Karen Ramstead's North Wapiti Kennels for her 2014 final Iditarod.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

North Wapiti North - Bet

Howdy Ho Everybodies!!!

Your Roving Border Collie Reporter, Bet, here!

Hoo buddy, are we getting closer and closer to the start of the race and things are getting very, very exciting!

The Musher will be speding most of today at the Mandatory Musher Meeting at the Millenium Hotel (try saying that three times fast without getting a tongue cramp), so I thought I'd give you a little background on what I've been up to and where we've been staying.

North Wapiti North is located at Jamie and Harry's place, and there is lots to do and see here.

When the Musher and Richard were taking the Pretty Curly Tails out to nicer training places (because around here it's not so fun what with all of the ice and melty, then icy, then melty, it's like an ice stew here), I've been helping out around the house.

Of course Jamie has great help around here, she has her own guardy, guardy nannies in the form of the regal Ashleigh:

And the ever diligent and always helpful Kip

Um... ok, you can't really see Kip in this picture because she's very busy hiding in the straw or hay or whatever that stuff is.

Here she is

So they do what Cricket and I do except they do it here and we do it there and I hope that clears everything up for everybodies.

Of course, what would North Wapiti North be without the resident cat.  Here is Toby doing the accounting while Harry makes some important phone calls.

Just like North Wapiti there are Pretty Curly Tails (but they aren't as pretty... shhh, don't tell Jamie and Harry I said that), and I've been helping out with pacing and barking, pacing and barking and making sure everything stays in line and does whatever they're suppose to do... including the stompy, stompy horses!

Yes... there are stompy stompy horses and their stompy stompy hooves of doom here... I try to pretend as though they don't exist... they can't see me, they can't see me, I'll just stay over here.

Except sometimes they (can you believe this) just saunter into the dog yard and discuss the day's events with the sled dogs here!  I mean, it's like their dogs have no clue how stompy the horses are!!!

Hey, don't mind us, just grazing here, nothing to see here!

They have stompy hooves of doom, so they can go wherever they want I suppose.

So, you'll actually get to meet Kip, and Ashleigh, Toby, and the stompy horses and the resident Pretty Curly Tails and the Iditarod team at the Open House!  Are you coming?  You better come!

It's tomorrow 28 February 2014 at North Wapiti North.  For more details, just go to the bloggity blog and click on the tab at the top that says events, or click this linky link here

If you can't make it to the Open House, awww, we're sorry, but we'll have oodles of minions around taking pictures and posting them on the Facebooks so you can see everything as it is happening, so click on the Follow Us on Facebooks button the lazy nyquil swilling Cartoonist put up on the right hand side so you can find us on the Facebooks easier.

- Bet

Tuesday 25 February 2014

Contest Time! - Bet

Ok Everybodies, with only a few days before the start, we're going to have a contest!

The Musher has chosen the top 20 Pretty Curly Tails for the official Iditarod team, and here they are:

Todd and

You have to guess which 16 dogs will be the ones on the starting line for the official start on Sunday!!! 

You have until Saturday night to guess, and you only get ONE guess.

You can either post your guess as a comment on the bloggity blog, or you can put your guess as a comment on our Facebooks page, but ONLY ONE GUESS per peoples!!!

The winner will get some cool North Wapiti swag once the minions return from Anchorage.

So... On your mark
Get set...
guess ONCE!!!


Saturday 22 February 2014

Blood, Chips, and EKG Fun - Bet

Howdy Ho Everybodies!!!!

Did you know that we now have only 6 days left???  SIX!!!!!!!  HOLY MOLEY!!!

Time sure is flying, and I've been much busier helping the Pretty Curly Tails and Musher get ready than I thought I would be... it's been nothing but non-stop busy, busy, busy, really busy here!!!

If it ain't one thing, it's another.  From training, to paperwork, to media interviews, to meetings, planning, plotting, scheming, googling, and general go, go, go!!!!

I truly didn't think this whole Iditarod thing would be so frantic, but it really, really is!  There is just so much stuffs and things that have to be done before the race, it's like a race before the race!!!

Yesterday we had to pack all of the Pretty Curly Tails up and take them to the official Iditarod Vet place so they could get their blood taken, have EKGs and get their official Iditarod microchippy implanted.

Now, you may be asking yourself "self, why do they do all of these things and stuffs?".

Good question, I'm glad you asked! 

They take the blood to run tests to make sure there's nothing wrong with any of the sled dogs!  The mushers wouldn't want a dog to look perfectly healthy, but then get on the trail and end up having the flu or something going on... that would be bad for the sled dog!  So all of the Iditarod dogs get a full blood work-up and that has to happen earlier than the vet checks so the vets have time to get the results back.

So this is how it works... all of the Pretty Curly Tails arrive in the dog truck and get "dropped" which means that they get out of their cushy boxes and hang out around the truck enjoying the scenery and the veterans make bets on which rookie will scream like a little girl when they get blood drawn.  For the record, the big money was on Skecher who is a bit of a drama queen in my opinion.

Each dog gets taken into the clinic where they see this

Oodles and oodles of needles and vials.  Yep, Squib nearly passed out when he saw that (he hates the sight of blood).

Just to show them all that this one no big thing, I volunteered to go first to show them how all of this is done.  Easy Peasy peoples!!!!

Blood draws are from jugular, and of course they don't shave the area at all because having a bare spot out on the Iditarod trail would NOT be cool... I don't think there's a little toupee to glue to a bare shaven spot anyway, so you have to sit between the legs of a vet tech like so

The tech feels your neck to find a good vein spot and you have to be very, very still so they hold your head and massage your nose, which feels pretty good.

Here I'm using my laser eyes to tell the handler that her foot was on my tail.

Then they jab the needle into your neck and get the bloody blood!

aaaand if they can't get any there, they go for the leg... I happen to be a leg girl myself.

OOOH, scratch that ear, yes... oh... I mean, here they are getting blood and using calming techniques to keep us all happy and comfy.


Here I am getting my stylish and fabulous bandage after my blood draw.  I'm getting my nose scratched so I don't look down and see the icky stuffs and things.  I really wanted a purple bandage to match my collar... sigh.

Next we move on to the EKG table!  There are 6 alligator clips that get attached to your skin... they are named for a reason peoples and frankly I could do without that part of it, but it's not horribly horrible or anything.

Ouch... OW... hey watch what you're attaching that too!!!

Once they're all attached you have to lay perfectly still for 20 seconds... or 6 hours in dog years.

Are we done yet?

What about now?

Oh come on, it's been a year already!

Can you hurry up, I have to pee!

This is my EKG screeny thing.  All of those lines and things means something vital and important and I have no idea what that would be, but everyone seemed to be making approving noises, so I'm hopeful.

They gave me some time to recover after the horrible alligator things have been removed, then they gave me an official microchip!

My microchip goes in a normal microchippy place between the shoulder blades, but microchips on sled dogs go in high behind the ears.  Why do they go in high behind their ears?  That's because if they went between the shoulder blades, their harnesses would rub against it and cause irritation or problems, so they go up higher to make sure they stay in the same place, and where they won't cause any issues.

Whew, so after I demonstrated just how easy peasy that all was, then the Pretty Curly Tails were all like "OKEY DOKEY, we can do that too!"

For the record... Molly screamed like a little girl, so Irving won all of the money.

Mission accomplished!

Sunday 16 February 2014

Thirteen To Go - Bet

Howdy Ho Everybodies!!!

OOOOOH it's getting closer, can you feel the excitement?

Around here at North North Wapiti (Jamie's house) we are running around making sure everything is prepped, ready, and set and here we go!

It is my duty, as the Roving Border Collie Reporter, to provide you with all sorts of news, updates, newsflashes, breaking news, and information stuffs and things, so hang on, here we go:

As we've done in the past, we'll be providing news as we get it as it happens!  In this Iditarod we'll have a gaggle of Minions present at the pre-race stuffs and things, and at the starts, so we will be doing all of our live updates as it happens straight to the Facebooks fan page.  Remember, you don't have to be a member of Facebooks to see our page, but you do have to be one to leave comments.

All of our pictures, videos, and play by play action will be straight to Facebooks.  Then, every evening we will do a bloggity blog recap of the day, along with additional information and pictures and tidbits.

There will be a slight break in coverage as the Minions wing their way back to their respective homes (probably on 5 March) as they can't post while they're flying, but I'm sure they'll have some layover time at airports to get everybodies up to date again.

We're updating our "EVENTS" page on the bloggity blog, so keep checking that every hour... ok, not that often, but that's where we're updating a lot of stuffs and things.  We've also created events on the Facebooks too.

So far our events include:

27 February 2014
Time: TBD (after Musher meeting but before the banquet)
Meet and Greet and Banquet Auction ticket pick up
Location: The Fancy Moose (Millenium Hotel).

28 February 2014   10am until 3pm
North Wapiti Open House!!!
Location: 9582 Rappe Circle, Willow, Alaska 99689

For those of you who are new or don't know, if you want really good coverage of the Iditarod as it happens, and the ability to stare at the GPS blip as it goes through the trail, we highly encourage you to become an Iditarod Insider.  Go to the Iditarod page and join.  You too can be sleep deprived and cranky with bloodshot eyes as you scream at the screen for the blip to move... which leads me to some of our famous Frequently Asked Questions:

1.) We'll tell you when we know.  If we don't tell you, we don't know
2.) Yes, Wayward will be attached to Karen's sled... we will provide pictures as proof.
3.) You can ask questions, we'll try to answer them, but we won't answer "why aren't they moving, why is the sky blue, or if you could be any tree"

Yes, there will be a pizza fund.  No, we don't want anyone donating right now.  We don't speak of pizza fund until the team makes it to a certain point... we are superstitious that way, so don't even bring it up, we will when its time.

Yes, there will be contests throughout the race with opportunities to get some cool NW swag.  Some will be on Facebooks, some will be on the blog to give everyone a chance to win.

Lastly, we are aware that the main Web site is down.  Some kind of issue with telling people how to get there or something.  We are working on yelling at the host to get it fixed, but that's pretty much out of our hands.  We've been getting a lot of peoples asking where to get to the Musher's Amazon link so they can buy stuffs and things and that gives the Musher a little piece of the action.

Don't worry, we have that link on the bloggity blog!  Go to the Support Us tab on the bloggity blog and scroll down to the linky link for Amazon.  One of our minions also discovered that she can buy Eagle Pack dog food on Amazon (Eagle Pack, proud sponsor of the Pretty Curly Tails and tasty tasty foods for me too).  So you can get tasty tasty foods for your dogs, help the Musher, AND support our most wonderous sponsor all in one!  It's a win, win, win!

So... any questions?  Are you all ready?????
- Bet

Friday 14 February 2014

Fifteen and Counting - Bet

Howdy Ho everybodies!!!

Yes, it's MEEEEEE your Roving Border Collie Reporter, Bet!

Stuffs and things are happening really quick around here, it's like a whirlywind!

First of all, HOLYGEEWILLIKERS it's very slippery here!  The weather has not been conducive to the whole sled doggy training sport at all.


What snow there was is a glare of ice.. sheety sheety ice.  It's VERY slippery here, so if things don't get better and there's no new snow, if you are coming to the Open House (and you better, I'm expecting you... don't you dare disappoint me!) be prepared to luge yourself around here. 

If you are going to wear those big cleaty shoes, please take care not to step on a Pretty Curly Tail with them.  That would be bad, and make me frown, and you wouldn't want me to frown... would you?  I didn't think so.

How sheety is it?

Next time I'll be representing Canada in the Olympics... that's how sheety it is here.

So, if you've been following us on the Facebooks (and you better... you don't even need an account to see our page there), you saw that the Musher was promising me a very special surprise gifty thing...

The surprise gifty thing arrived!

Yep, that's my personal crampy toe massager and Musher-guy Richard all the way from over the pond.  He arrived just in the nick of time to help the Musher get more miles and more training for the Pretty Curly Tails, so I was only a small bit peeved that they immediately took off for colder climates to get their training in and left me at Jamie's. 

Of course, being the master coordinator for Team North Wapiti, it did give me plenty of opportunities to plot and plan and scheme...

We should probably have some kind of cool matching headwear for everybodies... yeah... that would be nice, and waffles
Thankfully the Musher and Richard found some great training places for the Pretty Curly Tails, and even one that matched the 2014 North Wapiti Iditarod colors!

When they got back, the Musher had to attend to the mandatory drop bag drop off!  That means we're really getting close to the start.  As of this writing, we're only 15 days away!!!  Wowzers, time flies!!!

While she was dropping off her drop bags, the Musher found out that she got one of the really cool blankets made by students!

Thanks Kathy Clement Cappa for letting us use your photo!
Isn't that FABULOUS!  It's got the Maple Leaf on it and the fabric is simply divine!  I wanted to use it as the base for one of my ensembles... but Tramp nabbed it and won't give it back... and nobody wants to go ask her for it because... well, you know... blah blah yammer, yammer, yacky yack... who needs that? 

You should go check out this bloggity blog post all about the blankets the students made from all over the US and other regions!

The Musher and Richard are now back at HQ catching up on the little administrative things and stuffs they need to do to get ready for the race.  There's a big hoopla about the weather and on Monday a decision will be made as to whether the re-start will take place in Fairbanks.  If that happens, there will be a HUGEY HUGE flurry of freaking out minions making alternate plane reservations and plotting, planning, Nyquil swigging and running around with hands flailing.  That should be fun.

In the meantime, I am doing what all good Roving Border Collie Reporters, trainers, nannies, and all around support crews do when assisting in the running of a major race.

I simply don't know what they would do without me!

- Bet

Tuesday 11 February 2014

Drop Bag-oramalamadingdong - Bet

Howdy Ho Everybodies!

While we waited for my biggie big surprise, the Musher thought I needed a job to do to keep my mind off of what it could be (waffles with shrimp?  New booties?  KD ran all the way here??), so she took me out to supervise the drop bag stuffing.

Really?  This is supposed to keep me occupied?

As you can clearly see, there is a LOT of stuffs and things that go into drop bags.  Drop bags are the lifeline of the Musher and Pretty Sled Dogs.  They hold all of the tasty, tasty goodies, foods, replacement gear like gloves, and booties, and snacks, and Heet, and foods.  They couldn't possibly carry all of the things they need in the sled during the race, so just about every checkpoint has a bag.

While this may seem like a random piling of stuffs, I assure you, it's very organized
The Musher has a hugey huge spreadsheet that is broken down into each checkpoint with a list of the things they will need at the checkpoint depending on whether they are staying long, or short, or sometimes not at all depending on the trail and conditions, and how everyone is feeling.

Musher, that's not a chair, and this ensemble is a bit large on me
Jamie was nice and insisted that I wear an ensemble, but all the Musher could come up with is one of the jackets that the Pretty Curly Tails wear... yes, I'm tiny, don't judge me.

Jamie taking us back to the house
I'm pretty sure the Musher has told you... the weather is horrible here.  The whole dog yard, Jamie's yard, everything is a sheet of ice.  It's like the Sochi ice rink here.  Going down hills is worse than ski jumping because the only thing stopping you is trees.

I look a little worried here because Jamie just said "Hey, hold my coffee and watch this"
The Pretty Curly Tails know that something is up because they saw the drop bags.  This is when they start doing impressive things to prove to the Musher that they are ready to run and should be picked to go... I saw Irving bench pressing his house.