Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Dogs happy in television short

Abby Miller from CH 6, WLUC-TV, came to the kennel with new dog drivers, Christine Grabowski and Jenna Grabowski.   It was a bit chilly but the dogs were very excited to take multiple runs with Christine, Jenna and even Abby , the reporter.   You can view it at:
you have to scroll through 'more stories' to find it.

Leaders, Buffy and Ruthie, are sisters from the Skinny (Aliy Zirkle/Jerry Louden) and Liller (Susan Butcher ) breeding, born February 2, 2014.  We'll be celebrating their birthday on Sunday.

Yuki and Yeti, are pups of a breeding of Zirkle's dogs, Frita and Martin.

Navy , leader, recently joined us from Susan Butcher's kennel, joining his Auntie Eos.  Their lines are from Ellis and Butcher (Sven, Zeus).

It was fun to provide the opportunity for Abby to drive a sled.  Christine and Jenna are no longer beginners and are doing well.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Three new dog drivers

Weather cooperated for first sled dog driving turns for Christine, Nick and Jenna.   Christine ran 4 dogs, Jenna ran 4 and Nick ran 6.  Each run was done so well and the dogs (and I think the drivers) had a great time.

The trails are still a bit punchy.  We've had snow and snow but no more concrete type snow since around Christmas (the kind that packs hard).  Now we're back in another arctic blast, but not quite as bad as the last one.  It'll be minus 12 tonight, minus 26 windchill, but at least it's not minus 50 windchill.

Dogs all received new straw today and nice hot meals.  Kiddo is improving , as is Eos.  Both have spent quite a bit of time outdoors, Kiddo now being able to sleep out all night.

As usual , not every dog got a run.  We promised them turns the next time around.   Yesterday's dogs:

Team 1:  Ruthie, Buffy, Navy, Sherpa     Team 2:   Ruthie, Navy, Sherpa, Herman  Team 3:  Ruthie, Navy,
Zoom, Buffy, Sherpa, Herman

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Weather acceptance... minus twenty eight degrees, 5:00 AM

We are posting about extreme weather that has lasted for six days and we're thinking of our Two Rivers, AK friends who have had this, off and on, since November.  They've had some warmups too, but this cold stuff is more the norm for them.   So six days of it really isn't that bad, but it's still extreme.  A North Carolina friend is fretting about six degrees , which seems warmer right now.  It's all relative and you deal with what you have. The house gets cluttered and the water dishes get spilled, gear builds up, but it's working.

Photos:  Copper in the 'blue' cold;  Eos outside checking it out; Navy on his bed;  enthusiastic Zoom wriggling around , warming up.

  Each day it seems like a break is coming.  Yesterday it warmed up to ten with sun, we were all appreciative.  Last night twenty five below again (which is Two Rivers's terms is not so strange).  Now we're looking for a meltdown in the thirties and rain, arghh.  But warmth for these dogs is welcome.

We had five house dogs last night and daytime visitors in and out.  Eos is living in the house full time these days, age 14 and 8 months, she's not as interested in eating as is normal for her.   She's an amazing dog and we're babying her along.  Copper is an in and out dog.  Navy is in at night (or whenever he can sneak back in... his heart is in being a house dog now, especially in competition with Copper).  Kiddo, tough girl, slept in last night (age 12).  Yeti, Martin's and Frita's son, relished being in yesterday.  He's a look alike to his Iditarod/Quest father.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Polar Vortex

A polar vortex is upon us.   This winter's weather, to date, has been a mixed bag of rain, ice, snow , bitter cold, wind and nothing too functional when it comes to sled dogs or running them.

This morning's wind chill is minus 38 and is forecast to stay there most of today and through the night again.  Nick (handler) helped to put up wind screen tarps and replenished, generously, the straw for all dogs, in the houses and outside for sitting.

Our dogs from Alaska are interesting to watch .  Eos, who has crossed the Alaskan Range and run to Nome, Iditarod, at least twice, is the oldest but most accepting of this weather.   She steps out, spends a short amount of time assessing and comes back in.  Copper, Iditarod, 06, furry and tough, steps out, moves forward, then barrels back to the door.   Navy, short coated Zeus's son, says, "not for me!"
Buffy, Copper Basin vet and visitor at Aliy Zirkle's kennel for a time, varies her opinion.  Buffy just plain likes to run, cold or hot, run, run Buffy!   Same with Ruthie.

Today's vortex , however, will take a bit of a toll on the humans, so we'll see how we do. Starting out with a nice warm, meaty meal for the dogs and it won't get any warmer, so here we go.