Friday 28 November 2014

The Clouch - Bet

Howdy Ho Everybodies!!!

As you may have seen on the Facebooks, the Musher finally went back to the big boxy store and retrieved my new living room cloud that she forgot last week or so.

How she could have forgotten it is a bit of a mystery to me...

I mean... come on... it's a bit large... kinda hard to miss...

Anyhooooooo... she brought it home and I have to say, it's certainly not what I had expected.  I was expecting a CLOUD, but this is more of a couch!  It's a cloud, it's a couch, it's a CLOUCH!!!

It's also very comfity comfy!

I feel very safe in my new clouch.  It has arms for laying your head to the left and to the right.  It has a security back part so stuffs and things can't sneaky sneak up on you from behind, and it supports your lower lumbar parts.

It's perfect for curling up in and being all snuggity snuggy.

With a bit of mood lighting, it also looks very regal, almost like a throne!  I may have to invest in a nice tiara.  It's like being hugged!

Of course, the other household creatures just HAD to give it a try.  I'm charging them a fee to test it out.

For 2 mice Bait gave it a test drive.

KD chipped in half a bird and got a spot on the clouch

I told them not to get too comfy, it's MY clouch!

Then Kelly found out about it and made an attempt to move the whole Poutine clan onto it.  The Musher wisely threw a blanket over it before she got too comfy, but I still wasn't too happy about this... after all, she's the reason I needed new clouds.

I don't think the Poutines liked it a whole lot, they kept sliding off of it, which is fine with me, they have their own swimming pool of comfort.

The last straw..... Bear

He just comes traipsing in because he heard about my wonderful clouch and just ploops his big ol' guard dog booty right on it.

After that... it's off limits to everyone but me.  Seriously!

- Bet

Harness 'Breaking'

We are in the midst of a true winter storm. Not a 6 feet of snow kinda thing, but a few feet, cold and lots of wind. ATV training on roads in those kind of conditions is not the 'wisest', so I decided to stick down in our sheltered valley and harness break the puppies, Ditto and Carbon!

Let me take a quick 'sideline' - I use the term 'harness breaking' as it is easily understood by people; however I have never had a puppy that had to be 'broken' to harness. All we are doing is honouring the drive and instincts that are deeply ingrained in the puppies.
It NEVER gets old to watch how quickly and easily one of our puppies takes to the whole process.

Puppies on the ready chain.....

Harnesses on....

Into the gangline (last, of course)....

and we are off.....

A bit of praise and loving along the way ....

and by the end of our 3-mile run they were looking like absolute PROS!!!!

And yes, for the record, Ditto was running with her Momma, Molly ...

and Carbon with his Daddy, Todd.

It doesn't 'normally' work that way, but both of these puppies' parents are nice, steady running mates, so it worked very well - and was fun to see!!!

After the pups were taken out of the team, I took the remaining 14 dogs out for another hour, mostly staying down in the valley and breaking a lot of trail!!

Good experiences for all!!!!!

Friday 21 November 2014

Cloud Update - Bet


Howdy Ho Everybodies....

heaving sigh.

We're almost a week into cloudless North Wapiti.

There's been some updates on the new cloud front.  Not good.

The Musher thoughtfully volunteered to go to the big box store and pick me up a temporary cloud to make do until I could raise enough monies to get a new real cloud.

I thought that was very nice of her, and I waited and waited for her to get home from the big city with it...

and waited... and waited...

and then she came home, smelling all like coffee shops and retail merchandise at bulk prices and she unloaded the truck and...


Seriously!  She got to gabbing with peoples about stuffs and things and totally left the temporary replacement cloud on the shopping cart.

How does this happen?  It's a cloud in a shopping cart?

The ONE thing she went to the big city for????


I really do appreciate your help in securing the monies for my new clouds and all.  Just a reminder that I've got a hat auction going on here

You can also buy the "Waiting" poster here  (just a note, if you buy the poster from 30 November through 9 December, the posters won't be shipped until after 9 December because Karen E Minion has a previous engagement thingy), but I hope to have my new clouds by then and all other monies will go toward my trips to race events (and paying for the garage damage when a mechanical issue caused it to... well, it's a long story)

anyhooooooooooooo... until then my only alternative is to seek the most cushy spot in the house... the clothes hamper.

please bid and buy... it's stinky in here.

- Bet

Monday 17 November 2014


This morning dawned cold, clear and sparkling over the kennel. A cloudless night dropped the temperatures and blanketed everything with a layer of frost. Old jet trails, probably from military jets out of Cold Lake, were the only things marring the blue of the sky as dawn broke. 

I love these mornings when the frost latches onto anything it can and the snow, even spare and old snow like we have now, squeaks under your boots.

The dogs dance and dig into their meals.

It makes you appreciate the simple things like warmth, food, sunshine...

It's been a complicated week at the kennel - death, frustration, joy, confusion, birth.......

I don't pretend to understand or make sense of any of it.

I don't know that we are even supposed to.

But I do know that every morning I wake up and turn my face to the rising sun, I am happy for it.

Life is beautiful it.

Sunday 16 November 2014

Hat Auction to Benefit New Clouds

This Auction has ended

Howdy Ho Everybodies!

During the looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong wait for the Poutine litter, the Musher crocheted 6 hats (yes, the same number as the Poutine Litter), and since she only has one head, and since Kelly destroyed BOTH of my beloved clouds, I think it's only fair that I auction off these hats, and all proceeds will go toward purchasing my replacement clouds.

This auction will close on Saturday 22 November 2014 at 5pm Eastern Time!


Bids will be by e-mail.

To bid, send an e-mail with your bid to: Musher Minions (

In the Subject Line put: Hat Auction.

In the body of the message include your full name and your bid amount in Canadian Dollars (whole dollar amounts, no change, and Canadian dollars are about the same as US dollars, it's just easier for the Musher). 

Highest 6 bid amounts will be posted on the main blog page on the upper right hand side with the initials of the highest bidders. 

Bid amounts will be updated as soon as possible until 21 November 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 22 November 2014 will not be eligible. Bids are timestamped as they are received. 

The highest 6 bidders at 5pm EST on 22 November 2014 will win a hat  The highest bidder will get 1st choice of hat, then the 2nd bidder will get second choice for hat, etc until the 6th bidder gets stuck with whatever is left. 

If for any reason the any of the bidders withdraws, the next highest bidders will get to pick first, second, third, etc  Winners will be announced once payments are received. 

Payment will be through Paypal unless other payment is agreed upon. Shipping is included in the whole bidding thing.

So... start the bidding because Border Collie needs new clouds!!!!

*Hat colors may be a bit off from the pictures

Hat 1

Hat 2

Hat 3

Hat 4

Hat 5

Hat 6

Oh, for those of you who are wondering if there will be a puppycam... well... um... we've had some "technical difficulties" with the puppycam this time...

Friday 14 November 2014

The New Litter - Bet

Howdy Ho Everybodies,

I certainly appreciate your patience while I recover from this horrific ghastly stomach churning wonderful miracle of nature.

As most of you know from the Facebooks (and if you aren't on the Facebooks, you really should at least check in once in a while, you don't need an account, you can see everythings and stuffs here), Kelly and Turtle were expecting a litter, and as her due date arrived, the Musher passed the time by crocheting and the rest of us waited.

When she didn't seem to be in any hurry, we decided to stare at her and will her to ploop out the puppies.

The Musher crocheted and we waited.

and we waited...

... and waited...

... and waited...

... and waited...

... and we waited...

... and we waited...

The official "Waiting" poster will be available for sale by clicking this linky link
FINALLY it was time!!!


Except Kelly decided that if she was going to ploop out some puppies, she wasn't going to do it just anywhere, or in that perfect little comfy pool where all of the ick and stuffs would be contained.... oh no... where does she decide to ploop out the puppies?


MY cloud!!! She plooped out puppies on MY bedroom cloud!!!!!!!!!!

Urp... I get nauseous just thinking about it again.

She couldn't ploop them out on my living room cloud.  Why couldn't she ploop them out on my living room cloud, you may ask?


Sweet mother of everything holy, that Kelly is a one dog wrecking crew (don't ask the Musher about her heating pad or iPhone charger... just DON'T go there...)

Sigh... seriously?

Ok, fine, the puppies ARE adorable.  4 little boys and 2 little girls.

Aren't they adorable???  Yes they are, and because we had oodles of peoples that guessed 4 boys and 2 girls, we had to draw a winner of the puppy pool... and the winner is:

Congratulations R. A. Becky Campbell, contact Heather Minion with your mailing address, we'll send you some North Wapiti Kennels swag!
E-mail Heather Minion at:
Musher Minions (

Soooo, anywhooooooooooo... all of my clouds are ruined... utterly and totally RUINED I TELL YOU!!!

To help raise the funds for my replacement clouds, I'll be auctioning off the 6 hats the Musher crocheted while we waited (and waited, and waited, and ... see above).  Hopefully between that and the "Waiting" posters that we'll also have for sale in the next day or two, I'll be able to buy new replacement clouds... until then... sniff... I just don't know where I can sleep.

Oh, and I heard that some of you are waiting to find out the theme of this litter...

Well, since Kelly is the Mom, and Turtle is the dad, and Turtle's nickname is "Turd", it's quite clear that this litter is the Poutine litter!  Get it:  Kurds!

So, we have:

and Sauce

They don't seem to like their new hats very much though...

Thursday 13 November 2014

In Memory of Brittany Handler

Many sled dog kennels have handlers come and go without a lot of notice. The handlers have entirely separate living quarters and most of the interaction they have with the 'human family' is in the dog yard. That is not us. The handlers who come volunteer for us over the winter eat, live and work alongside us (especially me) every day. Most come back for a second (or third or even fourth) stint with us. Basically they become family.

On Wednesday we lost one of our family - Brittany Butt. Brittany leaves behind her husband, Jeff and her adorable young son, Teige. So very tragic.

Brittany first came to the kennel in the fall of '11 for 2 months and then again for the winter of 12/13. She seemed to pop up frequently when we were in Alaska to help out too, both in 2012 and last winter.

Over that time Mark and I had the privilege of watching Brittany transition from a lovely young woman to a wife and mother. 

Our memories of Brittany are many. She had a big, bright, often and easily offered smile - and no trouble laughing at herself. Which was good, as she was one of the most uncoordinated handlers I've ever had. I remember suggesting she not wear shorts in the house as the multitude of bruises she was always sporting was slightly disturbing. She took great pride in them all - even if she couldn't remember where they all came from. 

I came to rediscover biking during Brittany's stay here. I was shocked to find out she didn't know how to ride a bike, so gave her my old one. She crashed a lot, but didn't give up. When she moved to Alaska, she took the bike with her and contacted me last summer looking for recommendations for a more comfortable seat for it. I was happy that she was on the seat enough that that was a concern for her!

There are also a lot of 'food memories' around Brittany. She was always appreciative of the food put in front of her and like one of my sled dogs, ate with enthusiasm and enjoyment. Mark and she could polish off a 9 x 13" pan of chocolate zucchini cake in a startlingly short amount of time. Nice to know your cooking/baking is appreciated.
She also had a huge fondness for Canadian chocolate bars. If I was running errands in town without her, throwing an Aero bar into the cart would be sure to bring out a big smile when I got home.

And then, of course, there are the dogs. She had nicknames for most of them - and a number of them like 'Etch a Sketch' for little Skecher have become part of the kennel language.
The dogs were often a source of her bruises and crashes - like the time the front end of my 16-dog main string knocked her off her feet and dragged her down Highway 2 trying to get after the disgusting carcass of a road killed moose - but she never held it against them (and they didn't get the moose either!).

Brittany tolerantly dealing with young and enthusiastic Chewie!

Super handlers Helen, Simone and Brittany helping me get organized for the 2013 Eagle Cap Extreme.

Keeping her high maintenance traveling partner, Bet, happy on the way to the 2013 Canadian Challenge. 

Chris Smith - another of our extended family - and Brittany at our 2014 Alaska Open House.
About to dye her hair 'kennel colours' in '13

Helping load straw bales in '11

That Brittany smile.

Camping with the team in '11

Some of the cartoons Brittany (also known as Briffany when Bet got her name wrong) inspired by her misadventures at the kennel. She was such a good sport about being cartooned for them.

We are all shocked and in mourning at Brittany's passing. We wish courage and strength to Jeff and Teige as they deal with this all. And Brittany, from the bottom of ALL our hearts, we hope you are at peace.

With love and sadness,