Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Canine Concentration....

What could possibly be occupying all of their attention?
Bandit was so focused he didn't even want his dinner!
Heyoka had no such issue and forgot all about the imaginary squirrel when he saw the food bucket come out!
Mac did not believe me when I told him there was no squirrel in the tree!
Pingo, ever the smart little girl, figured out that by sitting on the picnic table, she didn't have to strain her neck!
Bandit tries some soft woos to get the squirrel to come play.
Anvik takes a different approach. In Anvik's world, louder is always better!
"Seriously, Mom, there was a squirrel!"
After a close inspection of every tree in the front yard, the dogs have given up on playing with a squirrel tonight. If there was a squirrel, the brave little guy has lived to harass the dogs another day! Not many squirrels make it out of this yard alive, actually not many even venture into this yard anymore!

Friday, March 14, 2008

End of the season already....

This mushing season has sucked. It hasn't all been bad--no tangles in the few head on passes we did with other teams; Franklin the Alligator didn't have any major trouble with loose dogs; Tehya has turned into a fine little working dog....but the snow came late; it wasn't possible to set a snow hook until after Christmas; Mac had a disasterous run that I don't even want to think about let alone post about; it was -40 or colder for weeks on end; and now the snow is leaving early.

I went for a run after work tonight, thinking the trail might be a bit hard and wee bit faster than usual; knowing the road crossing was going to nasty thanks to the city deciding to plow Fireweed for the first bloody time all winter a few days ago. As a motor vehicle driver, they did a great job; as a sled driver, it's horrible with huge ridges pushed way back into the ditch and plenty of pavement exposed. Good thing I never put new plastic on this year!

About 10 feet out of the gate, I was thankful I only hooked up five dogs! The trail was not hard packed. It was ice! The snowmobile tracks sent vibrations straight up my leg! I swear my contact lenses were shaking! It was all I could do to stay with the team at the road! The trails aren't usually like this til mid-April!

But the lake was nice. No trailbreaking or wandering about looking for a track tonight.

I strongly suspect this was the last run of Paxil's career, unless we get some more snow soon, which the Weather Network is not predicting! It's not that Paxil doesn't still enjoy working. She loves it and she's still a remarkably reliable leader. But she is 12 and she's had several health crisis. She has definately slowed down this year and often her tug line was slack. I'd sure like to see her continue, for my own selfish reasons. I am not sure what I'm going to do without her! I have relied on her very heavily in the past three winters. Tehya and Anvik aren't ready to take over for her yet. Pingo has made it clear that she is a couch husky. I thought Sundin would step up, but he has shown me that although he can lead and he does a decent job of it, he is much happier in swing or even wheel.

We made it home in one piece and all at the same time! It's been several years since I walked home without my team(knock on wood). We had the trail to ourselves for the entire run, except a few squirrel and birds. Considering the trail conditions, it was a smooth run. A mushing friend told me years ago to always end a season on a good run, even if that meant quitting early or driving for hours to find more snow! Unless we get a few inches of snow, I'm calling this season as of tonight!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

It's Tehya Day!

I'm a little amazed both that a year has passed so quickly and that we both survived it, but it's true....Tehya has been here for a year today.

From this tiny cutie that there was no way I was bring home! We don't do puppies and she was only six months old. We rarely adopt females as they are much harder to integrate into the pack, but we broke all the rules and home came Tehya. That little face and the overwhelming sweetness of her personality was hard to resist!

She loved Anvik from the moment they met.

He's still her favorite chew toy!

But she'll play with anyone. She likes to wrassle with Mac.

She'll chase Chum. She even taught Pacer to play, a nice change for Pacer since most of the other dogs prefer to pick on him!

She'll jump right into a group of dogs and play. Husky WWF matches are one of her favorite activities!

She can self-entertain too, when no one will play with her. She is the youngest dog here by several years and sometimes her puppy energy is exhausting!

She's turned into a pretty good sled dog who only wants to stop if she has snowball paw trouble. Someday she's gonna be a lead dog. When she outgrows her puppy brain stage and can use her border collie side to focus more!

There hasn't been a dull moment since she joined the pack. Tehya is full of energy, always moving, always exploring, too smart for her own good sometimes! There have been a couple rushed trips to the vet after she explored things she shouldn't, like Heyoka's bowl and what Foxtails taste like!

It's hard to believe I didn't want her at first. I can't imagine what I'd do without her now!

Happy Tehya day, my babydog!