Great weekend with some awesome people, each with individual goals, different sized teams and lots of wonderful dogs. We were mentored by Brent Sass, Mike Ellis and Christine Richardson. The weekend of activities, talks, slide shows and demos just seemed to fly by. It was really wonderful to be able to just concentrate on the dogs and training and leave everything else behind. I was able to get some young leaders out front who showed great potential for this coming season. I was super thrilled with the dogs, their good manners and willingness to camp out Check-point style for a few hours.
Back to pre-season training with another fun event ahead of us for Halloween
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
|Multiple short runs with new leader pairs|
|Mike Ellis talking about foot care|
|Brent Sass hanging out and talking dogs|
|Gorgeous views and a super strong team|
|Open country leading with verbal commands through the parking area|
|Brent went missing ! but here's the group with Mike Ellis|
Monday, July 28, 2014
Some upcoming stars on team Uktousa this year and some newbies in harness. We are counting down to our first runs in harness which typically start during the first week of September. Gunsmoke from Brenda Mackey in AK will be a great addition to our team, as he was last winter and we also welcome the arrival B'Zhoo later this week, from our dear friend Linda Newman, from Points Unknown in MN . He is sibling to our Miss Squish. We have quite a few young dogs in training this year.... Tuliq now just over a year old along with Miss Squish who ran in harness for part of last winter, then we have Bindhi who is currently 9 months old and will have her first experience on the team this September. Dougie and White Feather are now two years old and this will be their second season. White Feather already showed great leader potential last year taking lead on numerous occasions while her brother Dougie really enjoys being close to me or Richard however, he has evolved a lot this summer with his confidence, he's such a devoted dog. We have started some leader training and next we will be working on line-out and a few of the commands which we use during our running season. It's great to introduce the young ones to these before they are on the team.
|Some fresh paint, new style box and a fun ramp!|
|Bindhi ...her paws are dangling in a rather large hole, dug by Bindhi|
|Siblings, Dougie and White Feather.. such a funny pair|
|Bobby, one our retired Malamutes taking a nap!|
|A favorite ! Two smiling faces... Richard and Bindhi|
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Sunday, April 13, 2014
Loved every minute of my Alaska Adventure. I managed to put my fear of flying to one side and with a great friend by my side, Christine and I had such a great experience. There's just too much to put into words but the place, the views, the people, the dogs, the race, the atmosphere, the welcome, the food.... ahhhhh..... all of it. Loved it ! We had a cute cabin to ourselves with comfy beds and thick duvets. The sky was mostly dusk or night with a few hours of daylight. Didn't bother me at all. I loved the walk from Aliy and Allen's home to our cabin, listening to the silence with the exception of the squeaky snow beneath my boots. The dogs were so friendly and the routine was quick to learn. We had so much conversation and laughter, felt so welcomed and invited to participate in all the preparations even the last training run when I had the honor of riding in Allen Moore's sled on a small part of the Yukon Quest trail. Driving the truck on the ice roads between checkpoints, being a huge part of Aliy's race, she was so trusting and so kind always. I went days with little sleep and sometimes no sleep but somehow it didn't both me like I thought it might. Infact, I felt great and often got a second wind. I was surprised how well and good I felt on as little as a couple of hrs of sleep and occasionally, no sleep. The photos below tell just a small part of my journey and I know I will return to Alaska and I know I will see Aliy, Allen and their dogs again. I'm so grateful for their friendship and trust and equally so to Christine who was just the best co-partner. We made an a great handler team!
|Arriving at Fairbanks Airport.. exhausted but happy!|
|Getting on with things, bagging kibble for the Yukon Quest|
|Lidia and Lydia|
|Christine bagging kibble for the Yukon Quest|
|Technical wear for the river crossing|
|This was Allen's team coming in 1st at the CB 300|
Sunday, January 5, 2014
Can't really believe I'm leaving for Alaska..... back in September I attended the Northern New England Trade Fair. I particularly wanted to hear Aliy Zirkle and Allen Moore speak. Having watched videos of them and followed them on FB, they always struck me as super nice people with impeccable dog care. Little did I know that we would end up friends with an invitation to be a part of their dynamic team of handlers for the upcoming Copper Basin 300 Sleddog Race in Glennallen, AK. My bags are almost packed, dogz will be resting somewhat while I am gone and then we'll be right back into tours and training for some upcoming races. We'll have a little bit of ground to make up which is a bit frustrating as the dogs have already done some good miles and some long runs, but I'll get them back up par again fairly quickly. I'll be returning from Alaska with yearling from Mackeys Distance Alaskans. A young dog I've been following for quite a while and again... little did I know he would end up being mine and coming home with me to New Hampshire. Many wonderful things to start the New Year with and as always, with much gratitude.
Training and tours were a mix of experiences as we had to switch from using wheels to sleds a few times. Still, it's all part of our authentic experience and guests learn how we adapt to mother nature and go with flow.... we've had some wonderful people, many participating with harnessing and helping out. It's always a joy to share our dogz and passion with guests who understand dogz and connect with them as we do. Baby Tuliq will be in harness in a few weeks and she'll start out with some fun puppy runs. Looking at how active she is here at the homestead, I think she'll take to it like a duck to water or rather ... sleddog to snow !