Monday, November 24, 2008

Dog Food

I have noticed from reading other blogs that mushers like to post pictures of their truckloads of dog food. I guess this is supposed to impress non-musher-types with how much it takes to feed a working kennel. Back in October I got a delivery of two tons of dog food, some of which is still residing, neatly stacked, in the food shed. At that time, it was still possible to drive through the back yard to the shed door for unloading. In November we are normally snowed in, but this year we have all of one inch of snow on the ground.

To get you thinking ahead to when I will need to have more food delivered, I am showing you this picture from last year at a time when there was about two feet of snow on the ground.That was 100 bags of food (two tons), all transported from the drop off point to the shed on that black plastic sled by yours truly. That is why I love to fill the shed as much as possible before the snow flies.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Training Has Started, Finally

Training the dogs was postponed this year for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was the lack of a properly functioning ATV. Finally, one of the ATVs came home from the repair shop, all fixed and ready to go. The other ATV is sitting in the yard, and we'll see about getting it fixed next year.

I did not take a camera with me on our first run, so here is a picture of one of our last runs last spring. This is the "puppy team", which is a long way from being puppies now. The youngest is two years old, but I don't have any younger dogs in the kennel right now, so they are still the "puppy team". The leader is my awesome dog Ghost. He is 12 years old. You would never guess his age from his performance on this short 8-mile trail. He did a masterful job of navigating this open field without any tracks to follow, executing my commands flawlessly.

I have 47 dogs on my training list right now, which I have broken up into five teams of 8 and one team of 7. Four of the teams have been out so far, and they are all looking great.

Here is one of the four retired dogs who won't be running at all. Mary is 14 going on 15, and she is going downhill fast. Her health is excellent, but she is getting very weak and wobbly. I take her for walks on a leash, but she likes to go very, very slow. She is a real sweetheart, as you can see here. That dirty looking patch on her shoulder is from lying too close to the propane heater and getting her fur singed.