Thursday, December 31, 2009
Top photo: l to r, Kelsey, Ashley and Katie (and Julie with pails)
Video , courtesy of David J., this is Kelsey, an experienced horsewoman, taking her first ride on a dog sled.
When we hook up a beginner, we take the best combo of four dogs (usually)... they must be dogs who are our best leaders, who get along with the other dogs in the team with no messing around, dogs ready to take the driver down the trail safely and with fun. We tell the driver to keep the sled under their control and do some brief teaching about the brake, drag, snow hook, riding the runners, slowing the team, stopping the team, taking curves, fixing tangles immediately (with help from the accompanying musher on snowmachine). Kelsey was a competent and willing beginner who did extremely well. The great dogs she ran in her two days here were: Ruthie, Zeus, Eos, Medio, Buffy, Kiddo, and Herman. If she didn't live in Kentucky, we'd love to have her work on a racing team as well.
Most of the following dogs have had multiple great runs in the past few days: Zeus, Eos, Ruthie, Buffy, Sherpa, retired Lillen (lead in a four dog), Copper, Medio, Tsunami, Matilda, Zoom, Quattro and Herman. Ashley is putting together a six dog racing team, so is running 8 dogs looking for the best team. Many of our dogs are retiring and aging, but they're giving their all for these adventures. It's great to have all this young , happy participation!
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
From all of us here, 31 dogs, one cat, the deer and birds and other wandering creatures, wishing you the joy and peace of Christmas and a Happy New Year, 2010! Turn up your volume to hear the raven's greetings.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
There is no comparison in our minus thirteen to the Fairbanks/Two Rivers constant colder temps, but for our early season it is BRRR out there this morning. I always remind myself that it gets much colder than this.
We still can't upload photos here, but new computer is sitting on the floor awaiting it's turn for attention
(low on priority list).
Today we're feeding early (6AM) in order to attend to other priorities. Tomorrow is Skinny's surgery in Green Bay. More later!
Saturday, December 12, 2009
We had about ten inches of snow, a quick deluge. It is quite dry and hard to pack so we've been 'wading' in it for two days. But, today we hooked up sleds, two teams and had a good run on 'iffy' trails. Tim came out and ran the drag late in the day so tomorrow should show some nicely groomed and hardened trails for a base.
Ashley, age fifteen, was our dog driver today. She has raced in sprint, four and six dogs. She fit right in with the more than happy dogs. Dogs run: Zeus, Buffy, Quattro, Rosie, Medio, Herman. Dogs wanting to run: ALL!
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
When all of this is 'fun' then you know you're in the right work. It was fun, for me and the dogs, yesterday.
The day started at 4AM and ended (?) at 8PM...
Make soup for dogs
Feed house dogs
Feed pen dogs
Take a run with Skinny, Sierra and Buddy
Exercise Eos and take to her pen
Feed the deer
Clean the pens
Give free runs to every dog (27)
Medications to each dog
Haul water in buckets to all dogs.
Haul the waste
Load the truck for the dump (Skinny rides along)
Go to the dump (fifty mile round trip)
Pick up 320 lb of dog food, bales of straw, corn, apples (same trip)
Home Depot ( same trip)
Wal Mart (same trip)
Ice cream for Skinny (and me)
Home again, give late day treat to the dogs
Unload 320 lb of dog food, straw, corn, apples
Take house dogs for their run (dark now) This is really fun, peaceful, quiet trails, dogs love it, me too.
Feed the deer
Medications to dogs
Do some house chores
Lend out truck
More house chores
All of this 'ordinary' day goes on almost every day, but has add ons such as running the 5 teams. On a run day, the runs take priority .
CURRENT 'A' TEAM IN TRAINING:
MEDIO (ANY POSITION)
MATILDA (LEAD, TEAM)
KIDDO (TEAM, WHEEL)
QUATTRO (TEAM, WHEEL)
Friday, December 4, 2009
Fifteen Dogs, Five Teams, whew!
This isn't a typical racing kennel or even a typical sled dog kennel. All of the dogs live free in pens and they love to run free in a regular routine outside the pens. This freedom that they become accustomed to all summer makes them a little unruly when team running time starts up again in the fall. Cooping them up for hunting season doesn't help much.Yesterday we (actually I, alone) ran fifteen dogs in five teams... some ran more than once. We stayed on our land trails . Who is on the A Team? see below.
This is the report card from yesterday.
A GREAT TIME WAS HAD BY ALL. Some were more ready than others.From our post run trail notes:
RUTHIE, Lead. Pro, leads with purpose. An A team leader. Head down, she's always on a mission.
JOSIE, Lead. Very excitable, Ruthie's pal. She pulled out of harness 3x, but she did run. Ruthie was undaunted by Josie's antics. Josie had a great time and didn't know she was not behaving.
BUDDY, Team. He's an arthritic twelve, but Ruthie and Josie are his daily pals so he ranlike a pro and just kept moving forward, despite Josie's high jinx.
BUFFY, Lead. Pro, no nonsense, A team leader. She wore a Man Mat with Herman in his first lead trial (he also in Man Mat). She took all commands on a 'dime' and taught Herman a few things about running in front.
ROSIE, Team. Rosie is the most hyper dog in the kennel. She was harnessed well and ran next to Medio with no hitches. She is not a racing dog, but certainly enjoys her times on the trail.
MEDIO, Team. A team member, in any position. Every ready , always energetic , just wants to go and go.
HERMAN, Wheel, Team, but ran lead yesterday. Power at the max, wow. Never quits and hard driving. A team member, probably in wheel. Met Zeus in the hookup for first time yesterday and no problems.
LILLEN, Lead. Pro, A team gee haw command leader, retired. She always asks to go, so yesterday we paired her with pro Zeus. He outpowered her by a longshot, but he was gentle and they ran in lead well together. Her hind quarters tremble a bit after a run, but she wants to go so we are cautious in running her.
FRITA, Lead, Pro A team gee haw command leader. But, she has a sensitive hip, so we do the same with her that we do with Lillen, pair her with a gentle dog and let her run for fun.She ran with her children yesterday and had a good time. (didn't help that all three females are in heat, they were a bit ditzy but had two neutered males running with them).
YUKI, Team, a good runner, but pulled her harness.
YEPA, Team, Wheel, a good runner , usually but half way out she ate the GANGLINE as we stopped for a tangle. She was in a solo position so we borrowed the neckline and fashioned a 'fix' to get us back safely. (we were using poly gangline, not anymore with her). In any kennel that's almost a federal offense, eating the gangline, you just don't DO it. (added note: when a dog makes a mistake there's usually a human factor in there as well... I didn't get them going as fast as I could have and with her huge enthusiasm Yepa took it out on the gangline... a training issue... we'll get it faster, she'll get it that eating the gangline is not necessary).
SWIX, Wheel. He got an A plus for his run yesterday. He's a really big, truly husky looking, sled dog, almost Malemute in size, he wears an XL harness. He is the son of Frita and Martin, two pro dogs. His performance was letter perfect even while his sisters acted out yesterday.
KIDDO, Lead with Zeus. Pro, A team member, wheel, team. Kiddo usually runs team or wheel, but I wanted to see her pair up with Zeus. It was magic. Paired well in size , power and attitude, they ran in lead together like the well matched pair they are.
ZEUS, Pro, A team gee haw command leader to perfection. What a guy... great attitude,great responsiveness, serious, head down , let's go leader, happy with any pairing. Wow,amazing dog.That adds up to 8 A team members running yesterday, but two are retired.
We still have Quattro, Sherpa, Copper, and Zoom to put on the A team. Martin is an A team, pro, perfect wheel dog, retired guy who can't run too far anymore, but he will run in a team this winter a few times . MATILDA is an A team dog, but she's in heat right now and couldn't run with the intact males. Sorry we can't upload photos, but soon to the new computer and we'll catch up.
Posted by Julie at 2:51 AM
▼ 2009 (2)
▼ December (2)
Fifteen Dogs, Five Teams, whew!
Sherpa's Birthday! ,Awaiting New Computer
Kennel Owner, Trainer. View my complete profile
Sunday, November 29, 2009
We had beautiful snow this morning, making the ATV runs slippery, but the dogs were energized.
Well, we've tried to upload photos and the computer won't let them load. Now what?
About two inches of fresh snow and still snowing. For now we'll just have to envision it without photos.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
A neighbor came to tell me he saw Buffy running on my driveway. Yes, she free runs there and never runs away. Hunters get possessive of even MY land . And, yes, I get turfy too.
We've posted our signs and the grumbling has begun, both sides. This 80 is a no hunting oasis. We don't begrudge the hunters their day, just not on our land, s'il vous plait, merci. The deer are skittish. Michigan is just one mile away so next Sunday it will be quite loud early in the morning.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Zeus didn't like the railroad grade today, turned around on me several times, almost spooked acting. I didn't hear any gun shots, but maybe there were hunters out and about. He was running in lead with Ruthie and she set him straight a few times until he settled down. We haven't seen him like that before.
A busy day as we went for dog food after every dog got free runs this morning (after team runs).
Watching Copper for thyroid problems. He's always a bit crazy but he's gained too much weight and is ravenous all the time. Not so thirsty. Also he overheats. We'll have to get him tested if it continues.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Top: Team three coming back from a two mile run to the river... Zeus training Matilda in lead, and pro Quattro running a solid wheel .
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
In Sweden racing with German- and English Short haired pointers has a long time tradition. These dogs have been bred for this purpose more than 50 years. The dogs have an enormous working attitude and are extremely tough to themselves under hard conditions working in a team. In Scandinavia you can see a lot of limited class team that are made up of purebred English and German shorthaired pointers.
In the 80s several good Alaskan Huskies were imported to Sweden and Norway. Some of the top mushers also realized that if they one day would be able to beat the best Alaskan teams they had to come up with something new, something that the mushers did not have in Alaska. We could not breed better Alaskan huskies than what they already had in Alaska, with the selected dogs that were imported to Sweden and Norway. So this is where the sled dog bred pointers came in handy. We crossed the best German- and English shorthaired pointers with the best of the imported Alaskan husky lines and got a new type of sled dog, the Scandinavian Hound!
The pointers are originally bred for hunting in the mountains. They have an enormous stamina and endurance, running for a whole day during hunting is no problem. The individuals we use for crossbreeding are small, light boned and mental very stabile, in comparison with the bigger, heavier type (60 to 90 pound.) used for pulka racing. Our pointers and most of our crossbreeds have a weight of 45 to 50 pound.
When crossbreeding two totally unrelated types of dogs you seem to get a fantastic out cross effect, a hybrid vigor. Very sound dogs with tough stabil mentality. An enormous working attitude, that sometimes can be hard to curb. Very eager to please, when trained for something they will do everything for you. Extremely friendly and social, make¹s great pets also. Very good eaters and need a lot more food than the average sled dog breed especially in the winter because of their short coats and high metabolism. They need more maintenance in the winter: insulated doghouses, lots of straw, blankets, extra padded harnesses. Our pure breed pointers, that have no coat at all, live inside the house during the winter and stay home from training when it is below -10F.
My favorite dog so far is my main leader MIKE. He is fast as Michael Johnson, strong as Mike Tyson and can jump like Michael Jordan! Ever since Mike was a little puppy he has been special. We could see it at an early age that this was going to be a super leader, he was not afraid of anything, he was always running in front of the other puppies and at the same time extremely focused on us.Mike is a big dog, 55 pounds. His body is hard as a rock. Mikes characteristics in the team is that he starts out slowly and sometimes carefully. It takes him a couple of miles to get warmed up. But the farther you go and the closer you get to the finish, the harder he drives. Sometimes the rest of the team dogs are hanging by the neckline when he sprints to the finish line.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
The usually 'on time' deer have been avoiding the feed spot lately. With the loud protests of the dogs in the night, for a few nights, we suspect there is some unfriendly to deer predator out and about. Nothing on the cameras (well a few coyote sightings, but they are always part of the landscape). And, oddly, the apples are long on the trees this year, usually long gone by now. Apples are also very large this year. Just an anomaly of a year, I guess. Hunters continue to complain about the very low deer population, although up until now we had thought it was normal.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
He was elected to Congress in 1996 and later became the Director of the US Mint. Jay announced his candidacy for Congress on a dog sled from Summer Place Kennel. He and his wife, JoLee, loved dogs.
We will miss this kind and caring friend.