Friday, December 22, 2006


Everyone loves puppy pictures, so here are some pictures from earlier this year.

Daddy Thunder

Mommy Beryllium


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Iditarod Dogs

Last week I took six of my dogs up to Iditarod rookie Mark Ibsen in Helena, Montana. He has almost all young dogs, so he is leasing some of my experienced dogs to help the youngsters get through the Iditarod. My best command leader Luna is one of them. She is nine years old and slowing down, and she just doesn't enjoy running with my speedy team anymore.

Here she is looking relaxed and happy in the summertime.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Training Runs

Today was a beautiful, sunny day with almost no wind. I took one team out for a 15 mile run, and they did it in 1 hr, 20 min. That was faster than our average times from last year, so I was pretty excited. I should mention that my husband measured this run at 17 miles with his snowmobile, but that included some backtracking to find the trail, so I estimate it at 15 miles.

I took a second team out for a 20 mile run, and they did it in 1 hr, 38 min. That was also faster than our usual time, so this was just one of those great days to be training dogs. The 20 mile trail is a lot easier than the 15 mile trail, so the average speed is always faster even though the distance is longer.

The county started their grooming program last weekend, so the 20 mile trail (Stamp Meadows Road) is nicely groomed although they have not gotten around to grooming my 15 mile trail (Sawtelle Trail) yet. Snowmobile traffic is starting to pick up, so all the trails have been travelled and packed somewhat.

While I have a number of good leaders and some great youngsters in training, I am very sad not to have Fresca to lead me this year. Here is a picture of the two of us last winter.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Goodbye Ricky

Ricky passed away last night. The vet wants to open him up to get some answers as to what was wrong with him, so he will go there first before being cremated. He was a favorite of mine, and I will miss him very much. I will also miss the litter that we had planned to breed from him but had not done yet. Farewell, my friend. You were a sweet, wonderful dog.

Monday, December 18, 2006


One of our purebred Siberians - Northomes Ricky - has a terminal illness. He was in intensive care at the vet for a week, but the vet could not figure out what was wrong, so he sent him home to die. We think it is probably cancer. The first symptom was lack of appetite. He did not seem to be in any sort of pain but did have a raging infection that massive antibiotics did nothing to alleviate.

Ricky ran on my rookie Race To The Sky team and finished in 2002. He also ran on Mike's team in 2001. He was one of six dogs on the team that carried the Olympic Torch in 2002. Ricky was a wonderful leader and helped train some of our younger leaders, most notably Olive, our best Siberian leader. He is ten years old.

Sunday, December 17, 2006


My best lead dog Fresca got hit by a car last month. She had multiple fractures but no damage to internal organs. At nine years old, she was the oldest dog to make my race team, and I will sorely miss her. However, she is housetrained and has been a full time housepet for a long time, so at least I have not lost her company.

She is about halfway through her recovery time right now. She had surgery to fix her pelvis and broken foot, but her left hip joint was destroyed, and her broken tail could not be reattached to the spine, so it is still there, but she does not have control of it. This type of surgery is pretty expensive. We are in debt to the tune of about three thousand dollars for her treatment.

Although Fresca's left hip joint is gone, she will eventually be able to walk on that leg anyway. The broken foot is a complication because she needs to bear weight on that leg in order to build up the muscles that will compensate for the missing hip joint. We are working on getting her on the right combination of pain medications that will allow me to work more aggressively with that leg.

Her hair is growing back, but you can still see the long scar where they went in to fix her pelvis.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Sunny Day

At last, a couple sunny days! I have some pictures to share, but they are still in the camera. I don't want to take the time to download them right now because I want to rush back out and run some dogs while the weather is so nice. Usually I am too tired to blog in the evening, but today I will be running one fewer team than usual, so I hope to work on some more entries. I am also going to finish my Race To The Sky story if it kills me. (Just kidding! It certainly won't kill me.)