Saturday, April 29, 2006

Pete's anniversary...

Not exactly a happy anniversary but this week marks four years since we loaded Pete onto an Air Canada flight and sent him off to Saskatoon, so sick we weren't entirely sure he'd survive the flight, let alone the surgery he needed. But he survive he did. After 2 weeks at the Western College of Vet. Medicine clinic, Pete was on his way home. Maybe we should have changed his name to Petunia at that point. The surgery performed was essentially a kitty sex change. Pete has major urinary tract problems and got completely blocked so often that his little feline life was in grave danger.

Four years later, he still has urinary tract problems, but they are no longer life threatening and the episodes get further apart. He's currently finishing up a course of Baytril for an infection. He's fun to pill! I have several new scars on my hands now!

He is feeling better though! He needs to live to at least 20 years old. I should have his vet bills paid off by then!

Friday, April 21, 2006

And that's the season...

There's still snow around, but we took our last run on Tuesday morning.

Pingo, Paxil, Pacer, Ozzy, Franklin and Mac came along for the run. They did really well. It's always a good thing to end the season on a good run!

A little tribute to my leader girls. I have other dogs who can and do run up front, but these two are my best leaders, my go-to dogs when I know things could get ugly!

This may well have been Paxil's last run. She'll be 10 next month; she's fought cancer twice and the type she has is highly likely to reoccur. She's still full of energy and attitude, but who knows what her health will be like come November. They don't make lead dogs any better than Paxil. She was trained by my Sleet, who in her prime was almost flawless! Paxil never misses; she knows what I want even before I tell her; she keeps her team in line and doesn't tolerate any nonsense; she is focused and driven on the trail; nothing distracts her, not loose dogs, not other teams, nothing. I hope she's around and able to work for a while longer. I don't know what I'm going to do without her up front when that times comes!

And my goofy little Pingo. She's almost 9 and as silly as they come, until she's in her harness. At that point, she's a little pulling machine. Her gait is all messed up; her conformation is terrible, but she gets the job done and she does it with great enthusiasm! She's really come into her own over the last couple season. She's gone from strictly a trail leader to a reliable command leader who is helping train the younger dogs to take her job someday! Her greatest gift remains her trail sense though...she knows the best way through overflow, which trail is packed best and always knows the way home! She can even turn an 8 dog team around without a tangle when she has to or when she decides that this run just can't get any better and it's time to go home. Somedays the dogs are smarter than their musher!

Thanks for your help this year girls. Thanks to all the dogs who trotted along behind you as well--Pacer, Mac, Ozzy, Deuce, Raven, Franklin, Sundin, Hobo, Antare, Chase, Founder, Chum, and Earle. I hope you guys had as much fun as I did! Enjoy your summer off!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Happy Birthday, Stuart

April 20th is Stuart's 39th Birthday. He'll be thrilled that I posted that! Yup, thrilled!

Obviously not a current pic, since this part of the Yukon River is still frozen solid, but it's one of my favorites!

Happy Birthday! Have a great day! Love ya!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Winter is BACK!!!

It's likely to be a brief stay, but winter is back. The snow gods gifted us with 18 inches of fluffy white stuff over the last 48 hours! The biggest dump of the winter by far! The sled is out of storage, the dogs are fired up! We didn't go far today--have to haul the skidoo out to break a longer trail. We went 5km and it was a ton of work! Coming home was easier as we had a path to follow!

You can see how much snow Pingo is kicking up as she runs. A couple times the leaders lost their footing and literally vanished! They went right under the snow!

Deep snow is alot of work when you have runty little legs like Pingo!

Even long and lean Ozzy was in pretty deep. That's Pacer beside Ozzy. I am always amazed at how beautifully these two run together. I can't leave them in the same pen together at home or Pacer has to go to the vet! But put them in harness and they forget that they don't get along. Pacer is extremely right pawed. He can't run on the left side of the gangline. Ozzy is a lefty, so they compliment each other nicely that way.

Look at all that beautiful white stuff! I didn't even need a Reactine today--the snow wiped my spring allergies out for a little while!

Do you think Chase is happy with the snow?

Now I'm almost sorry I had Sundin neutered. He got the big snip on Thursday. I thought the season was over! Now I could use him again, but he needs time to recover. Well, I think he does. Sundin disagrees. Someone forgot to tell him that getting neutered hurts! Within a few hours of coming home, he wanted back outside and was running, bouncing, and eating just like he always does!

Silly mutt!

Let's see if I can get this video thing to work. I took this today on our way home.

Video Hosting - Upload Video - Photo Sharing

I hope to get out a few more times before this melts! I love the Yukon!!! :)

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Kayleigh Day!

Five years ago today, Miss Kayleigh, joined the pack. It was a much smaller pack at the time. Kayleigh was dog #5! What an adventure life with Kayleigh has been. I will admit that I put no thought into adopting her. I just felt a connection to her and knew that she was coming home with me. Probably a good thing for her--if the shelter had got to know her better, she might not have made it out alive. To say that Kayleigh had issues is an understatement. She came with serious aggression issues, resource guarding, an out of control prey drive and a hatred of all other dogs. Fortunately, with a great deal of time, patience and effort, Kayleigh has over come many of her issues. She hasn't attempted to take anyone's hand off for a very long time! The dog aggression and the prey drive are just bred right into her and will never be altered. So Kayleigh has her own pen, free from other dogs and where she never even sees a cat. If the odd suicidal squirrel goes in there, well, that's not my problem! She has access to the heated shop whenever she wants and enjoys spending her nights in front of the woodstove. It's been a bumpy ride, but not without it's joys and laughter. The tough ones are often the best teachers!

Kayleigh was a busy girl today:

First she crunched up a pig's ear--that took about thirty seconds!
Then we played some fetch. She got a new rope/tennis ball toy. She's the only one of all the dogs who will play fetch with me. The rest of them look at me like I might have grown a second head when I throw the ball! Earle will run up and sit beside it like "here's your toy, Mom, why did you throw it away?"

Then Kayleigh practiced the fine art of digging! The ground is starting to thaw and the dogs are digging fools again! Kayleigh takes digging to a whole new level. She is exceptional at it!

This beauty is big enough that all 108 pounds of Kayleigh can fit in, turn around, take a nap and come back out without bonking her head! Anyone need some trenching done?

Happy Gotcha Day Kayleigh.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Wah, it's almost over!

Although I'm not quite ready to admit it yet, our sledding season is winding down! Wah!!!

I got a couple teams out last week.

I'm down to 11 that can pull right now. Four of the usual suspects are resting for what's left of this year--Raven because of her hip troubles, Mac because of his infection, Deuce snapped a nail way back on one front paw, and Antare has a little hitch in his gait; I think his right front shoulder is a little sore.

Mac can still run, just not in harness. He tagged along on Monday.

and ran and ran

and ran. It's what Mac does best!
The trail still looks good, but it's soft and punchy. A quick glance to the side shows spring is here!

Sigh, I hate spring! Messy dogs, messy yard and the joy of both mine and Sleet's allergies coming back!

Franklin seems to have a slightly different opinion of spring. He enjoys a good nap in the sun immensely!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Drunken stupidity taken to a new low...

And not my own drunken stupidity. I have done some stupid things in my life while under the influence, but since my mother reads this we won't go there! ;) But I have never, ever done anything as stupid, cruel and heartless as what I witnessed last night.

I stopped at the local gas station on my way home at about 6pm. It doubles as a postal outlet and I had a care package from my Mom waiting to be picked up. (Thanks Mom!) While I was in the store, car pulled up out front. At first I thought the driver had just let her dog out while she went inside, but something just seemed wrong, so I lurked about for a few minutes and then waited in the parking lot to see what happened when she left. She was clearly intoxicated! She could hardly walk into the store. She should not have been driving a bicycle, let alone a station wagon!

I pulled in behind her and noticed there was no plate on the vehicle. Then she drove off with the dog running/dragging on his leash beside the car . I followed her, screaming out the window and blowing my horn. I did not notice another truck following me, but my neighbor, fellow musher and dog lover, Jeff, was right behind me. She pulled into a driveway and stopped the car. I went running up, yelling words I won't bother to retype. I'm pretty sure my readers can fill in the blanks on what I was yelling at her! Animal control was called while I was driving.

She seemed to be truly stunned that anyone was upset. Could not understand that she had done anything wrong. She just wanted to get her dog some exercise...again fill in the blanks as I came undone. I did manage to restrain myself from hitting her, but it took everything I had. The dog was shaking and terrified, but fortunately, not badly injured. He has some damage to his front paws, but he should be ok.

Animal Control showed up as well as the RCMP. In the end she has been charged with intentionally injuring an animal, drunk driving and a number of vehicle infractions--no plate, insurance ect. She'll probably get in more trouble for the driving charges than the animal abuse charge. At least the dog is safe now though. Jeff and I will have to testify in court. We both gave written statements as well. Mine was six pages long. Jeff was here this morning. We are going to try and make sure the dog ends up somewhere safe, preferably with one of us!