Tuesday, February 28, 2006

My Hoodoo....

Two years ago today, Hoodoo started his final journey. It was actually February 29...only a creature with Hoodoo's sense of humor would pass away on a leap year day! From a healthy, happy, four year old to gone in a matter hours, stolen by a massive stroke.

I miss you, pretty boy. I'll always love you.

If Delta is with you, Hoodoo, take care of him for me. If he's not, maybe you could guide him home, ok?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Oh God, Delta is missing...

Delta, our most timid dog, has vanished. No tracks, no barking, no calls. I have his picture everywhere, he's wearing tags and has a microchip. I drove 50km from home today--he's a husky, he could run that far with no problem. The problem is Delta is so timid that he won't let anyone else catch him. I've put on the posters to call with even a sighting.

This is my beautiful boy. He's missing on the south end of Whitehorse, Yukon. He's four years old, neutered, brown eyed,wearing a bright pink nylon collar. He's afraid of his own shadow, but he loves other dogs. He may follow another dog home and he is used to dog teams so he may latch on to one of those too. I know it's a long shot, but if anyone reading this spots him, please email me or call the numbers on his tag.

I am worried sick for my little guy. Stuart's out on the skidoo looking for him right now. I'm heading out with his brother, Antare, to search some more too.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Hobo, the little survivor...

Tonight marks two years since a wolf tried to make Hobo his dinner. Hobo survived by slipping his collar and running as fast as his little legs could go. Fortunately, Hobo is very fast and he has good sense. He found a kind neighbor who took him in and kept him safe until he figured out where Hobo belonged. That was kind of a complicated process as Hobo wasn't our dog at the time. He belonged to another musher who had broken his pelvis in a race that afternoon--Never look down to drop your drag mat while going around a corner; it leads to painful encounters with trees. Jim doesn't live here and didn't have anyone with him who could take care of his 14 dogs while he was hospitalized. So they came here. That night we had set everyone up on a tie-out and dished out straw, food and water. Then we went to the hospital to tell Jim his dogs were ok. Well, they were when we left. When we came home, one was bleeding profusely, two were hiding under the dog truck and one was missing(that was Hobo). Once we located him, it was off to the vet with both injured dogs.

Hobo's injures were massive. He was essentially split open from end to end. All the muscles around his tail were shredded. Our vet would not even discuss his odds of survival, but was very sure that if he survived, Hobo would never have bowel control. Part of his ear was gone, there were dozens of puncture wounds and spots were chunks of skin and fur had been ripped away. It was not a pretty sight.

Imagine how much fun it was to go tell Jim about his dogs! Fortunately, he was in rough shape himself. Large doses of morphine took the edge off the bad news!

Hobo needed intensive care and was not expected to ever run again. His owner is a competitive sprint musher. Hobo wouldn't have been able to race. So Jim offered Hobo to us. How could we refuse!?

It took months to get Hobo back on his feet. Just as he would gain some strength, something else would go wrong. A bone infection almost lead to the amputation of his front leg. The wounds on his back leg would not heal. There was no skin left to stitch them closed.

Through everything, Hobo was happy. He never snarled, never bared a tooth, never fussed about taking pills, having the drains flushed or the other dozen painful things I had to do to him every day. He tried to stand when he saw me. He licked my cheeks while I flushed drains and loved to sleep with his head in my hands.

Hobo is covered with physical scars. The fur on his belly never grew back. He gets frostbite if he's outside in the cold for too long. (not so much of a problem this winter!). He has a perfect semi-circle missing out of one ear. There are little lines and missing fur all over his body. He also has some psychological issues. Mostly that he will not sleep outside. He hates the dark now and only goes out for brief periods after sunset. He sleeps in a nest of blankets that he dragged into a closet! Hobo does have full control of all his bodily functions and he is still able to work as a sled dog. He hates being left behind and is very vocal about his displeasure!

Hobo marked the anniversary of his near death by doing what he does best--running. He's in swing beside the solid white dog, Pacer.

15km tired him out briefly. He's outside racing around the yard again right now!

Can you see why we call him "psycho puppy"? He's nine years old now, surived a wolf attack and still dances around like a puppy!

Happy Anniversary doesn't seem appropriate! I am sorry your road here was so painful, little Hobo, but I am glad you found us. I do love you, my little nutball!

PS: Diesel, the other injured dog, made a full recovery as well. His gait has permanently changed, but he is back racing!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Back home!

I made it back from skiing in one piece. It had been seven years since I had the boards on so there was some doubt as to my ability to get down a hill anymore! That muscle memory theory must have some truth to it though as it all came back pretty quickly!

The mountains were beautiful as always!

Marmot Basin has always been one of my favorite places. It was nice to see how little it has changed over the years--lots of the same runs, sames names, and still no lift lines!

It was fun watching my nieces discover skiing. This is Naomi. Some day soon she will be a flawless technical skier. She probably won't be the fastest one down the hill, but by God, she is going to look great on the way!

This is Hannah who will be the fastest down. Hannah hates to turn, hates snowplowing and just wants to go fast--a little downhiller in the making!??? Watching Hannah ski was more than a little terrifying at first, but by the second day and after a private lesson, she was able to keep herself in control, much to her dismay. She thinks control is boring and crashing is fun! Good thing little kids are bendable!

The dogs all survived their week with Dad. It's always nice to come back to them--it was pure chaos when they realized I was home! The cats, well, they were not so thrilled. I had to buy them back with copious amounts of Fancy Feast!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Like mother, like son

Pingo and Sundin ran in lead together today. What a perfectly matched pair. Sundin is a little taller, but their gaits are identical; they hold their ears the same way; carry their tails in the same position; and both look back when we stop or when they think I should be helping more!

"Get off the runners and push lady!"

This was taken as we came across Mary Lake on our way home. Sundin and Pingo work together even better than Pingo and Paxil do. The girls tend to get distracted with a little battle over which one of them is really the lead dog! Sundin and Pingo just ran straight ahead!

How cute are they!? They really just wanted to get unhooked and have a snack. They weren't really interested in posing for me!

Sundin, Pacer, Franklin and Antare all waiting to get unhooked. Don't they look like a happy bunch of mutts? All of them have a tendancy towards extreme shyness. Pacer and Franklin are pretty much completely out of their shells now. Antare still prefers the company of other dogs, but he will put up with humans if it means he gets to run. Hopefully, Sundin is on his way to dropping his shell too.

He does love to run. I think it will make a huge difference for him now that he knows he can still be a sled dog here.

Finally he gets to enjoy his water and moose meat post-run snack!

This will be the last post until sometime after February 17. The musher I was supposed to help on the Quest has withdrawn and my Dad offered a skiing trip in Jasper. How could I refuse that!? So I'm heading off to see my family tomorrow, returning on the 17th, in plenty of time for the Quest finish.

Type at y'all later!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Captured at last!

This past weekend, I finally managed to corral Sundin--almost three months after he first arrived here! He was not terribly impressed with this turn of events, but he stopped shaking after a few minutes. Then he didn't let me near him again for three days. I recaptured him last night and kept him in a smaller area so I could run him this morning.

Getting him into his harness was a gong show. I have a large bruise on my hand and the perfect indent of Sundin's teeth in the middle of the bruise! Yup, he bit me! Not very hard though and he was immediately submissive. He still fought having his paws handled and putting his harness on, but I got it on him eventually. He was not a happy dog at this point. His eyes were wild and he was still trying to get away from me. With a very firm grip on the leash, I managed to get him over to the sled.

He instantly calmed down once he saw some familiar things--sled, drop chain, other dogs. I don't think he knew what was going on up to that point and the unknown scared him silly!

Heading down the trail. Sundin ran in swing today beside Pacer. I had planned to run him in lead, but after his little freak out over the harness that didn't seem like such a good idea! There's a lot of pressure on a lead dog, even when it's not a racing team! Sundin did great beside Pacer. Tomorrow I'll try him up front.

"Hey, why are we stopping!??" He turned around every time I stopped them and stared at me--just like his momma does. Pingo always turns and watches me when we take a break.

A happy Sundin after a 15km run. He never missed a stride, pulled like crazy and was completely relaxed when we got back. No problems getting his harness off. He walked nicely back to his pen. He was almost like a normal dog!

As requested by KP, kitty stuff!

It has been awhile since I said anything about the cats. They are just so much less trouble than the dogs! They don't do much besides eat, sleep and terrorize Ivy!

Boots has been renamed. His new name is BRAT!! If there is something to get into, knock over, make crash at 3am, Boots the brat will find it!

Polly Paws is quite sure that she could catch those Ravens if I'd just let her outside. Not happening, pretty girl!

When he's not picking on his sisfur, Ivy, Onyx has been very cuddly lately. Everyone picks on Ivy for some reason. I have Feliway diffusers all over the house now--those things are expensive!! They do seem to work though. Ivy can actually sleep in the open now without fear of attack. They seem to pick on her most first thing in the morning. Just like me, they wake up grumpy!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Kayleigh's Surgery...

Kayleigh's dental surgery went fine yesterday. The tooth they pulled out was so big she actually has stitches in her gums. The vet assures me those will fall out on their own. They better, cuz there's no way I'm sticking my hand in her mouth to do that! She was very wobbly when she came home, but it takes a large amount of drugs to knock a dog her size out! This morning she wolfed down her soaked kibble. She's loving getting special meals!

Look at the ears on her! No wonder she's such a good mouse hunter!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Not a morning dog...

Poor Pacer. He's having a bad hair day and can't even get a little privacy!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Deuce learns to skijor & Kayleigh goes to the vet....

Yesterday Kayleigh woke up with the right side of her face about twice the size it should be. She went to the vet this afternoon and will be going back for a dental surgery on Monday. She has an abcessed tooth. She had one a couple years ago too. Her teeth are not in great shape. Kayleigh was starved by her first owner and I suspect she chewed on anything and everything she possibly could and that damaged her teeth. She's pretty pathetic right now, moping around and barely eating. Kayleigh usually eats anything offered in seconds!

This is how she spent most of her pre-vet walk. I think the snow felt nice on her face. She did really well at the clinic. Dr. Rick still has all his fingers! No small critters were in the waiting room so there was no difficulty there! And she's even lost the weight Dr. Rick was worried about last time she was in. She's down to a nice healthy 107 pounds!

I was giving my leaders a day off today so I decided to go skijoring. I've done very little of that this winter. I took Deuce for his very first skijor today.

He's a natural! He wasn't in the least bit worried about me being behind him. He really like running on the hard packed part of the trail. He went slower across the lake, but he was still working. I think he'd be a lot of fun on a groomed race trail. I might have to take him to a local race! Plus it would be kinda gratifying to show him off--he is the dog who was almost euthanized due to his energy levels!

Good dogs get treats for their efforts!