Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Checking on the trails today in our Ranger. Today is the last legal day to run the side by side until the Wisconsin legislature takes another vote to allow them on the trails. We did cross into Michigan for a short bit today, met a bird hunter and his two Labs. A beautiful day in NE Wisconsin.

Photos: The railroad grade and bridge over the Brule River. This was a three mile run (without dogs, too warm).

Running and Building

Zeus took his early morning run with ease, investigating new trails with confidence. The leaves are turning past their peak and it was all beautiful and frosty.
Kennel friend, Rob, came out and spent the day with us tearing apart grubby dog houses, repairing some and building new ones. Thank you, Rob!! Just in time for a heavy frost, there were happy dogs in clean, dry, straw filled houses.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Everything fun for the dogs happens in the morning, especially in the still warm days of early fall. Afternoons can still be just too hot.
The morning schedule includes free runs, trail runs, leash walks, anything that improves the routine for the summer weary dogs.
Yesterday all the regular dogs ran their free laps, Skinny and Sierra had their usual ATV run on a varied trail, Zeus had a solo run on a trail new to him, Martin had a leash walk and Ruby came to the waste pit with me.

We picked up the lumber for nine new dogs houses and repairs. Tuesday is earmarked for the projects to begin.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Something New in the Landscape

We travel these trails every day, every kind of weather, so we are pretty atuned to what is new on the landscape... an overturned log, a wild animal out and about, etc. Today when Frita started screaming we knew something was out and about. We walked outside and saw our 'regular' doe watching something with curiosity... this is what the doe and Frita saw.... a farm and field kitty.
This cat must be pretty tough because one night the field camera picked up a coyote on one frame and the next frame, this cat.
The next day the cat showed up again.
He's hunting the ground squirrels tonight .

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Autumn Leaves

Yesterday was a picture perfect day at SPK. In addition to several ATV runs (retirees), we leash walkeddown our road with Skinny, Sierra and Lillen.
This morning we ran Zeus on the one mile loop, which he knows now without commands. Saw a lot of wildlife scat and the dogs were sniffing.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Listing, Who's Who at Summer Place

The oldest honors go to: ** indicates house dog or house dog in training

Thirteen years and more:

Skinny, top notch command leader, Yukon Quest **
BoldMartin, super team dog/wheel, Yukon Quest, champ team 2000; Iditarod **
Lillen, leader, top notch, Iditarod **
Sierra, border guardian, Elkhound rescue, two dog team leader **

Twelve years:
(Scuba pups, Scuba ran Iditarod with Susan Butcher in the 90's)
King , wheel and sweet team, Sprint (Crandon)
Power, crazy leader
Glory, deep snow leader and team, Sprint (Nicolet)

Eleven years:

Balto, UP 200 , wheel/team
Buddy, UP 200, wheel/team **

Ten and nine years:

Frita, perfect gee haw leader with injury, multiple short races
Zeus, push button gee haw leader, hard driving, super attitude,Iditarod , multiple races AK
Eos, great gee haw leader, team, sweet sweet, hard working, Iditarod, multiple races AK **

Seven years:
Ruthie, gee haw driven leader, fastest, multiple sprints, Jackpine 30
Ruby, ditto Ruthie
Kiddo, super smart wheel dog, multiple sprints, Jackpine 30
Quattro, she can tangle but she can pull, wheel, multiple sprints, Jackpine 30
Buffy, leader, fast, sprints,multiple sprints, Jackpine 30

Six years:

Josie, doesn't want to be a sled dog right now, but will lead if not harnessed
Herman, perfect , mannerly hardest pulling wheel dog
Rosie, runs lead, crazy fast
Medio, runs anywhere, fast, mannerly, sweet, afraid of onlookers but multiple sprints, Jackpine 30
Matilda, lead, beautiful gaits, fast, great conformation

Tsunami, team and wheel, hard working
Yeti, ditto
Yo, loner dog, wants to be a retriever so we let him
Yuki, solid and serious, works hard anywhere, sinks in deep snow and swims forward
Yepa, hard working, just like Daddy Martin
Swix, a bit too tall for his body but loves to pull, wheel, team
Zoom, will run anywhere, with anyone, just let her go!


Copper. Iditarod, lead, team, wheel, super happy to go


Sherpa, no races yet but lots of trail miles, no nonsense, let's go when harnessed

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Life is Good: A Day in the Life of Zeus

This morning was Zeus' turn to be special. He was fed salmon soup so he could go for a nice run.

We hooked up (very easy with this well experienced leader) and took off. He ran the entire gamut of the dog pens without hesitation. He did stop at the picket line, very obediently, as if waiting for more team pals, but this was to be a solo run.

On the trail I let him choose the route, since he's learning new trails. Only once did I give the 'haw' and he pondered it before taking it since it wasn't the route he knows. We have a lot of bear droppings as 'trail challenges" and you can see that he knows about wildlife, especially potential hazards. What a great dog, happy the whole way. I kept thinking as we ran in the fog and past the red maples, that life is good, with dogs!
He runs right back to his pen and into the gate to be unharnessed. Then he kisses me. How sweet it is!
Zeus's /Eos's father is Mike: This is what his owner Egil Ellis says about Mike :
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.
Mike is 50 % pointer.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Eos Surgical Update

Eos is recovering well from her surgery for a mammary tumor. The pathology reports indicate that it is a malignancy, that may have ductile involvement. Prognosis, guarded, possible mestastasis. She had had the drain tube removed, but will stay in the house until at least October 9th. We take her on four/five walks a day. She is a perfect pro, obedient, happy, eating well.
Her only fault is her strength when she sees some unexpected wildlife, wow.
We love her a lot and Zeus misses her a lot.
Today she paid him a short visit and both were happy to reconnect.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Fall, Trees, Football and HOT!

Not a typical fall yet, unless this is the new typical. 15 days without any precipitation, except the heavy morning dew and fog. The dust is flying, we're all coughing. Think the dogs need masks, too!

The Packers beat the Bears and the Vikings beat Cleveland so the first football week is on to a good start.
The local Humane Society is having a fund raiser for the Packer/Viking game on October 5th. Hope that's a big one for their new building.

Tonight we go to the Town Board to plead for saving our beautiful trees.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sun and Sand

Sun and sand, not the kind to vacation in. The dog pens are clouds of sand/dust and the sun is unrelenting. The fall colors are developing but not the fall cool air.

Another four days ahead with this same hot weather (80's), so not much hope for the hot huskies to run.

Of course they want to run anyway . Eos is still recovering in the house from her surgery and all four house dogs are doing very well together. It's amazing how quiet they can be in here.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Eos History

Eos ran Iditarod 2005 on Jessie Royer's team as a three year old. She was one of the 8 finishers on Jessie's team in Nome.
These are two photos from Jessie's blog
from that race. Eos is in left wheel on the front facing photo.

Into Fall, Eos Update

Welcome to our winter blog!

We have Eos recovering in the house from her surgery to remove a mammary tumor. This means four dogs in the house for now. Her first night went well and once she has the drain removed she can go into the new pen we've just built for her.
Photo: Eos is on the left in the photo, next to her brother , Zeus, on a recent run.