Thursday, April 17, 2008

Ah, Spring in the North...

Spring means off-leash walks in the mud and melting snow! That white dog is not Pacer. It's Tehya's buddy, Popeye, although I strongly suspect he is Pacer's younger brother.

And the occasional snowstorm! This was doggy dinner time last night! Right now it's -10C with a howling wind! Feels more like February than April, except it's not dark!

I think I jinxed Spring by putting my Sorels away! I was pretty sure it was time for the rubber boots to come out! The yard is a muddy pit in the spring! At least the blizzard froze the mud up again for a couple days!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A brief extension of the season....

Our sledding season wasn't completely over after all. We spent Saturday afternoon helping out at an open house at the Beringia Centre. giving short dog sled rides around the centre. We were supposed to do this quite a while ago, but -50 seemed a bit cold for such silliness! Saturday was a beautiful, clear, sunny day and lots of people came out.

It takes a ton of gear and stuff to move a dog team, even when you only take seven dogs! Getting that sled up top by myself resulted in more than a few bruises! Now I remember why I'm not a competitive musher! It's so much easier to just hook up and leave from home! But I did get to use my fancy dog box and the drop chain I picked up at a garage sale! Only in the Yukon! My sled was a garage sale purchase too!

The dogs were very excited and very noisy! I had no intention of taking Hobo originally, but he comes from a racing kennel. As soon as I loaded one dog into the box, he lost his mind. There was no way he was staying home. He would have never forgiven me if I left him behind!

My good friend, Pat, came to be my handler. She's the best dressed handler ever. I told her to wear crappy clothes. Her crappy clothes are apparently nicer than my Sunday best! She was a great help, especially when you consider she's never been around sled dogs and the only dog she owns is smaller than several of my cats!

The dogs made lots of new friends. Tehya really likes the little ones!

Anvik likes anyone who will pet him for thirty seconds!

Paxil was acting a little off, so she only did a couple loops. She spent the rest of her day lounging with her new best friend. I have no idea who this kid is, but she was perfectly content to be Paxil's pillow for the afternoon. They both seemed to be enjoying the moment!

It was a little much for shy Pacer, but he did really well. Tehya provided a buffer for her timid friend. She will take all the attention that Pacer doesn't really want!

Remind you of anyone? Franklin's sisters were all there for the day too. This is Gracie. She's practically Franklin's twin. They even sound alike! They don't act much alike; Franklin is a little timid and his sisters are very confident girls! Franklin came for the day too and did a few runs. He was pretty good. He showed his gator side once to another dog, but it was a very brief display and no harm was done. I think it was good for Frankin to be around other teams who weren't attacking him! Maybe he'll figure out that he doesn't always have to be on the defensive!

One of the benefits of having a of the front of my team, not just their butts! And really, how often do you get to mush past a wooly mammoth? Ya gotta get pictures of that!

Hobo was some kind of happy to get out again!

Tired dogs are good dogs! It was blissfully quiet around here on Saturday night!

I doubt it's ever quiet at Stacie's anymore:

This is PoohBear. She's tiny and absolutely adorable, but OH MY GOD, the racket that comes out of that tiny dog! She has a powerful set of lungs on her! I bet a duet between her and Anvik could shatter eardrums.

Now our season is officially over, for good this time. We had a great time at the open house. I was very impressed with my dogs. We'd never done anything quite like this before. We give lots of rides, but we always leave from home and there aren't usually dozens of people standing around watching or dozens of other dogs raring to go too! All the dogs, from three different kennels, were great little sled dog ambassadors! Stacie organized this event as part of her job so we are extra glad it went well. We'd hate to get a friend fired! ;)