Friday, April 27, 2007

Introducing The Puppies

These pictures are from last year and show the puppies at one day old. You can see the parents here




Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Bare Ground

The snow is almost gone. The dogyard is completely bare. Huge expanses of the property are bare. Some tiny yellow flowers are starting to bloom at ground level. This all seems so strange. Last year we did not have bare ground until a month later.

I am contemplating planting a garden this year. So to begin with, I planted some beans in pots. After two weeks, they look like this.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Melting Snow

Little to no precipitation plus warm weather equals lots of snow melting. Last year's newly planted trees are starting to show above the snow. Some maples and aspens are the first ones visible.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

What To Do

What is a dog musher to do when she can't run dogs? Knit something from dog hair! Here is my latest creation, done on the spur of the moment because I am frustrated at not being able to get out on the trails.

This dog hair was collected from my pups five years ago. Some of those dogs who ran in my team this year are Current, Phase, Switch, Breaker, and Charge. Breaker contributed the black hair. The others are white.

My missing dog Voltage also contributed hair for these socks. There has not been a sighting of Voltage for several weeks now. At last report, a rancher had caught him in a coyote trap and took him back to his ranch house but then inexplicably let him go, apparently thinking he would be too weak to run away. Voltage took off at 25 mph into the hills and has not been seen since. The rancher said the harness was extremely loose on him because he had lost so much weight, so it seems unlikely that he would still be alive today.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

End Of Season

I am extremely bummed out. My sledding season has been ended rather abruptly and prematurely. The county has plowed out the section of snowmobile trail that runs behind my property, and in doing so, they threw up a six foot high berm that totally blocks my access to the rest of the trail system. If they had not done that, I could have been training young dogs for another month. As it is now, I will have to wait for the snow to melt completely so that I can get the ATV out. I don't know how to explain to the dogs why I can't take them out anymore.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


I can never remember to take my camera with me anymore. I don't bother to take it in the winter because it just won't operate in the cold. So I looked through my files, and this was the only picture I could find of Meadowlark. It was taken a year ago while skijoring.

She is a tiny dog, probably 35 lbs, and she did so well skijoring that I thought she would make a great pet and recreational skijor dog. However, it is clear this year that she will soon be one of my main leaders. On our last run we went ten miles with a team of experienced two-year-olds. Meadowlark was pushing the pace in lead and was clearly the most outstanding dog in the team.

Meadowlark is half Siberian. Her father was our dearly-departed Ricky, who died in December. Her mother is Cloves, a pretty piebald who is a non-stop ball of energy and a sister to Cinnamon.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

New Year

Today starts the new year. Why does the new year start now, you ask? It is the new year for my dog training log. Since winter is the main season, it does not make sense to start the training log on January 1st. I start the training year in April because the races are all done by then. I am no longer working on getting the main racing dogs in condition, so I am usually concentrating on training pups to harness, building confidence in new leaders, and generally trying to instill good manners and work habits in all the dogs. Thus it makes sense to me that this is all training for next year's race season, not the one just past.

I had time for only one run to start out the new year. I took out a team of eight, including four pups, two yearlings, and two three-year olds. One of the yearlings - Meadowlark - is an outstanding leader prospect. I am very excited about having her in the race team next winter. She is fast and hard driving, and she likes to push the pace in lead. I will probably move her off the puppy team so that she has a chance to run a bit faster with more mature dogs. I ran her in lead today with Cinnamon, who was an excellent leader for me in both the Canadian Challenge and the Ashton race.

Cinnamon, age 3