Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wind hazards keep us on hold

No running as large branches, half trees keep falling from the 'sky', onto the trails. A large
(large!) hemlock is fully over one section of the trail. One very large branch has fallen and landed like a spear in the middle of another section. Hoping the wildlife fared well out there.
Field camera shows the intrepid feral cat (farm cat) is alive and well out there after a number of years. Chasing rabbits no doubt. Somehow he eludes the wiley coyote.

So when will we run? When the trails become safer. Sunday maybe?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

High winds, driving rain, snow?

Straw Bale Count: 16

Whew, couldn't even think about running dogs as we were running to keep up with falling branches, digging drainage in the pens, moving dogs away from trees that might come down, etc.

Our hookup tree, to which we have easily hooked eight/ten dog teams, just fell over as I walked
past it yesterday. Also known as the 'pail tree', the pails went flying along with other pieces of gear stowed in it for each reach. Fortunately, we had anticipated this demise and had installed
a new hookup pole last summer, but it doesn't have handy branches for hanging things.

The winds are gusting in the 50 mph range and the dogs are a bit frantic. Maybe some photos
later, although we are supposed to get some measurable snow today, to add to the fun.
Fortunately we have a new small load of straw, but will need more.

Today will be spent reclaiming gear strewn about, taking down all shade tarps, if they're not already flying around out there, and, mostly, reassuring the dogs.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

New trails for leaders, cold camera

The back trail is fun... up a steep hill (not a problem for the dogs), then winding, snaking down

and around, to come out at the back of the 80... really neat.

Training Leaders on New Trails

A piece of cake, they said, as they toured the new trails. Instead of turning their usual and predictable gee's and haw's, I was back there saying 'on by!' and they were looking a bit befuddled at first, 'what the heck is she talking about?". Then when they saw the new ups and downs and views, wow, they loved it. They were very responsive, like push buttons, great job!
Zeus, Eos, Buffy, Rosie, Herman. Next will be Ruthie, Kiddo, Matilda, Yepa, Yuki and Zoom.
Tsunami gets to go when Ashley is here to handle her pal.

We're using our 1996 Polaris ATV, as the Cat is enroute to the repair shop, leaking fuel like a sieve. The brake doesn't work too well, so Eos and Zeus got a bit of a run without me... I did
run and catch them, with the help of an uphill.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Moving along

The cross country team was here again yesterday, running one mile loops. To the dogs great joy, the runners stopped to visit a bit with them and we encouraged them to try dog sled running this winter.

Our main ATV is leaking gas so is enroute to repair this a.m. We have our Ranger as fallback
but it is more cumbersome for early season, small team runs. Anything to keep them going, though.

With the waxing full moon, the wildlife roam more at night and have found our garbage cache.
Haven't had that happen in a long while. We are seeing large scats on the trail, marking trail crossings... a coyote like thing to do. Trail cameras have only picked up deer so far.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Ready?.... hauling out the harnesses

So, today we hauled more straw, filled more holes, hauled more dog food and now hauling out the harnesses. The days are still BLUE sky, BRIGHT sun, but the mornings are about right for running. And the mushers are asking for chances to race and is bringing requests for 'learn to drive a sled'. We'd best get these young'uns in shape! (and the veterans, and the humans).


Late day a partridge flew himself into our pen fence, and my son, Tim, came to the rescue, clipping him out intact.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Veterinary Visit

Always a pleasure to have Dr. Pauline Schroeder visit us and the dogs responded happily when she drove up. It was a day for only three rabies vaccines, nine lepto boosters and well checks for thirteen seniors. With thirty dogs, and a significant percentage of seniors , you expect a few
concerns. She checked for joint problems, teeth problems, heart and lungs, general overall
welfare. We had divided our list for a second farm call to come, as senior checks take a bit longer. Skinny was pronounced hale and hearty for 14 and one blind eye. Martin is also 14 and
has some weight issues (low), but he's a happy dog. Our highest concern is for Power, age twelve, who has multiple issues and may have difficulty facing a long winter. Dr. Schroeder will return in about one month to reassess him. A few dogs have teeth problems and Buddy will go, yet again, for surgery on his mouth. We will take Zeus into the office for a quick check, but no
apparent problems on him. Eos is ready to run, after her surgeries, she said. Quattro continues to recover. A few lipomas were found on the aging dogs, which we will continue to monitor.
Frita's hip is stable and she, too, is happy! dog.

Photo: Dr. Pauline Schroeder visiting as a handler last winter, with driver,
Ashley Chounard, and Kiddo and Buffy.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New Pen

With winter coming, we keep improving the pens and houses for dogs, but it is a huge project.

Once Quattro had surgery and returned to her pen, the dynamics of several pens had shifted.

Copper has been moving back and forth trying to find a spot to be accepted, but his female
friends keep bothering him. We built this new pen to take one of the females, offering it first to Lillen, age 14, but she is content with her smaller, more well used lodging, and seems to prefer to not make the change. Today we'll try a few more dogs. They mostly like to live in
groups, but some are too fussy to succeed in a group, thus some solo pens. All dogs free run so it's not solitary confinement!, but some prefer eating/sleeping alone.

Thanks to Rob for the huge effort, moving and rewiring the pen, reconstructing it, hauling the new dog house and the pallet, a full day's effort on his part (including traveling to get the supplies).
As always it takes great helpers to keep the dogs safe and healthy!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Cross Country Team

The local high school's cross country team ran our trails yesterday, three one mile loops.
It was cool, breezy and hilly! A great workout for runners and for dogs. Possibly a future
dog driver or two in that fit young group of hardworking runners. They took the long uphill
to the loop and down, around through the bar trail... definitely a good workout. But we
have tougher trails, too.

Photo: Sherpa's view, early a.m.