Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March 31st Pandora's Fence

They look like cute and innocent puppies, but did you know they had made a pact with Pandora to unleash chaos upon my household unawares?

So here is what happened. Sometime during the afternoon, the sun was shining, birds were singing, trees were beginning to bud and new grass was trying to grow on the hill where the puppies play. Demon was trying to get said puppies to play with him, when the scent of chaos spawns on him in the form of a gopher. Now anyone who has huskies will know what happened next.

Demon, Yukon and Freya burst into a frenzy of excavation. All gophers must be eradicated! They manage to create an impressive crater under the back fence that any passing meteorite would have been proud of. Not sure if they found the gopher, but here's what happened next. Being such a nice lovely spring day, all the puppies decided it was a great day for an outing. All but three of them (which means 5 of the 8 that are left) went to explore the wide world outside the dog yard. Three pups stayed nearby, playing in the sun, eating the new grass, chasing gophers and squirrels in the pasture by the creek.

Now another circumstance needs to be explained. This particular day was my son's 21st birthday, so naturally he got legally drunk on two shots of rum, and was playing with his computer. My husband was, well... indisposed if you catch my meaning. I was working, and had to work late (again). By the time my husband was done, he noticed a puppy outside the fence, and the chase begins. Our drunk son goes out back in the dog yard, plugs the holes while Jim rounds up three puppies and brings them back in to the house. Much confusion ensues as puppies are counted and re-counted and somehow both my husband and my drunk son think that 6 puppies means that one is missing. Yeah I know, eight puppies, six in the house, and I get a panicked call saying that Xena must have drowned because Moon was running up and down the bank of the creek barking. No one at this point is worried about the fact that only SIX of eight puppies are accounted for, as I have been told that only Xena is missing.

Doing my best not to be annoyed at my husband's lack of faith in puppy survival instincts, I tell him to go along the bank of the creek downstream and check for Xena. If she did jump in the water, that is where she would be. (Our land stretches a good ways down the creek) So immediately James, our drunk son, tells my husband to go down to the bridge and look. Well, the bridge is UPSTREAM from our house and of course, Xena is not there. Meanwhile I'm working on patching our mainframe and can't drop what I'm doing and drive home to find puppies, but someone who doesn't panic and that wasn't innebriated was definitely needed.

My husband then thinks it is a good idea to consult the neighbor kids. They tell him they've seen a black and white puppy up the hill by the chicken yard. He jumps in the car and drives up and down the road looking for Xena. Meanwhile James has decided that he should go back to playing with his computer and I finally get a hold of him. I ask him carefully to explain what happened, and finally learn from him that there are only six puppies in the house. Dumbfounded I have him name off the puppies: Buck, Kirby, Silver, Princess, Moon and Cat. At this point I admit I was a bit distraught that no one noticed that Ace too was missing. I pointed this fact out to James, and honestly knowing that two puppies were missing made me feel a bit better. Two puppies were by far easier to find than one, and unlikely to have fallen in the creek together.

This meant that Ace and Xena had decided to take a puppy holiday together. I asked James where Jim had searched and to my utter annoyance was told by the bridge instead of downstream as I had suggested. Meanwhile, true to my prediction, both Ace and Xena had found something suitably dead, rotting and wonderful to roll in downstream. Jim finally grabs up two collars and leashes, the treat jar and heads downstream along the creek bank (this is after two hours of panic...) shaking the treat jar and calling to Ace and Xena. Ace pops her head up over the bank to see if whatever treats Jim had were better than dead rotted something. Nope, not any better, so she goes back down the bank. Jim had, however, spotted her, and came level with where they were happily gnawing on the dead rotted thing.

Now, Jim is a big and rather out of shape man. He has already worn himself out running up and down the creek, up and down the road, and worried himself half to death. He slips the collar and leash on Ace, and tries to get one on Xena. Xena will have none of it, and in the confusion, he drops the treat jar. Ace sees her opportunity, and dives into the treat jar. Now, for anyone who has seen the incident with Elvis, knows what happened next. Yup, Ace's head was then stuck in the treat jar, and she panicked, jumping around and wrapping the leash around Jim. This caused Jim to let go of Xena and he panicked that Ace was hyperventilating and finally slumped into a stupor as he is running back to the house screaming for our drunk son who is busy listening to music and playing with his computer with his window and door shut. I can only imagine what the neighbors were thinking at this point. A rotund guy running through the woods with what looks like a dead puppy with its head stuck in a jar, screaming at the top of his lungs and crying.

James finally hears him, comes running out and realizes that Ace is not dead, but in that "I give up" phase of being in trouble and not being able to do anything about it. James cuts the jar from around Ace and she revives instantly and proceeds to run and play normally in the dog yard. Jim has James run back and get Xena who has gone back to gnawing on dead rotted things on the bank of the creek complete with leash and collar still attached. Meanwhile I'm driving home after completing the maintenance and trying not to attract the attention of any state troopers. Jim calls me on my cell and tells me that he has both puppies and that I can slow down. Then he tells me to standby to call 911 because he thinks he might be having a heart attack. Of course this does not slow me down, and I tell him to stay with me on the phone which he has already hung up.

So, I arrive at the house about 10 minutes later, greeted by said wayward puppies who obviously think that nothing what-so-ever had been wrong. Jim is hyperventilating in the kitchen from being stressed and out of shape. Thank goodness it was a case of simple hyperventilating. James is busy trying to tell me the whole story which wasn't very funny at the time, but now... well, judge for yourself.

Monday, March 29, 2010

March 29th Grillin' in the Rain

Bought a new charcoal grill with a stone table attachment. It has a smoker barrel with a temp guage in it, and a cast iron grilling surface. Looks awesome and I couldn't wait to try it out, so even though it was raining yesterday, I fired up the grill. The dogs enjoyed bits of fat and gristle left from the steaks. Later on, I took Princess and Samantha out for a run and a little bit of obedience training. They are both getting pretty good at coming when called, although getting them to sit still for a couple of moments is a challenge. lol.

Been training all of the puppies to sit while we are eating. This in itself is a huge challenge as they feed off one-another's impatience, and when one puppy jumps up, they all tend to. But as of this morning, I was able to eat my breakfast puppy-free. :P After breakfast, I was getting ready for work when Samantha decided I wasn't laughing enough for her. She jumped up on the bed, and started poking at my armpits and side with her nose. This normally tickles my husband and my son and they laugh. It really doesn't tickle me, but does make me laugh at her antics. She is such a silly dog! She loves to hear laughter, and will sometimes do the darndest things to get you to laugh. Her favorite thing though, is to lay between Jim and I on the couch and get petted by both of us. You can just feel the love from her. She is so happy to be with us, and we are so happy to have gotten her.

I think back to the year gone by with this wonderful girl in our house. Truly we have been incredibly lucky to have found these dogs and rescued them from the situation they were in. Thank you Samantha, Yukon, Demon and Freya for a wonderous and loving year! May we have many more together!

Friday, March 26, 2010

March 26th Silver Tornado

Silver is back to her happy 120mph self, so I ended up taking her to work today to help keep her activity level low. She was going stir crazy at the house. At least being in the office/warehouse, she won't have funiture to climb to the top of and jump off... lol.

She's happily playing with a stress ball in my cube. I'm sure she loves the soft rubber texture. She is tossing it up and chasing it around. The warehouse cat is uncertain how to take her, standing aloof on a desk watching her every move. Belle isn't threatening her, just curious which is quite unusual for a cat. Silver's still quite shy of new people, but getting fed cheese training cookies and getting petted is helping socialize her.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

March 25th Another One of "Those" Weeks.

Poor little Silver hurt herself Tuesday night around 8:30pm. She had somehow gotten out on the pool deck (gated off and fenced, so she must have squeezed through the slats somehow) and fell or jumped down hard, injuring her shoulder. (we had a dry pool in the backyard when we moved in and I've been removing it piecemeal) It was tender but she was putting weight on it. I checked her very carefully for anything broken, and though she winced a bit, there were no signs of serious injury. I opted to keep her under observation all night and take her in to the vet Wednesday morning instead of driving 2.5 hours to the emergency vet clinic (I've had first aid and cpr certification for humans, and have worked with animals enough to know how to recognize an injury requiring immediate as to interim attention, if I thought for a minute she had a broken bone, I would have made the journey). She was happy to be with me, but not happy being separated from the other puppies until Princess came in the room to spend the night. She then went to sleep happily and without too much obvious pain. At 8am I had her in to the vet, but they had a couple of surgeries, so they gave her a shot for the pain and kept her until they could x-ray her.
The x-rays showed only soft tissue damage, much to our relief (I wanted to be sure there were no hair-line fractures), and we picked her up and brought her home with a pain medication perscription. We've kept her in the house since and she has been getting frequent walks from both James and I (when I'm home). When I was done working in the yard yesterday, Silver climbed up next to me on the couch while we watched a movie. I helped her back down, took her out for a short walk, and she and Princess slept in my room again last night. Princess and Silver did great both nights potty-wise, and held it until they could get taken out. What good girls!
Silver seems to be happy only when Princess is with her, otherwise she howls to go outside with the other pups. Poor pup, for our 120mph girl this restricted exercise thing is pure torture. She got her pill at 5:30am this morning and by 6:00am, she has been rearing to go run in the yard. Though she liked being walked with Princess this morning, that was no running around like a mad puppy. Silver was not happy she could not sprint around the dog yard chasing and being chased by the other puppies. She was looking a lot better and much more perky this morning though, so she is on the road to recovery.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

March 23rd Silver's Progress

Silver is such a pretty girl. She has made remarkable progress in the calm down for petting division! She will actually sit for attention now instead of jumping up then remembering to sit first! I can tell it is hard for her to contain her enthusiasm, but she has managed it admirably! She will even sit for a short time to be petted instead of racing between people trying to give everyone a facebath at once. She is still bubbling over with energy, but there is obviously some mental maturity going on in the last couple of weeks. With her emotional control, her intelligence is beginning to shine through, and she is picking up on commands extraordinarily well. She is definitely going to be one heck of a dog! I believe she will do great things.

We also received word from Mitu's owner. She has been through a lot of obedience training with her new owner and did her first 1 1/2 minute down/stay admirably well! She is getting to be quite a beautiful girl! Okay, she's gorgeous! Thanks for the pic Natalie, and it is great to see how happy she is! Just look at that huge smile!
I can only hope all of our puppies do as well!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

March 21st Grueling Weekend

Saturday we made it to the airport by 5am. The airline gave us a bit of grief on the size of the crate, which we were told was ok when we called the cargo area, so it took them until 6am before they finally okay'd Flakes' flight to San Antonio. Jim and I were the doting parents sending out the first puppy on a flight, and waited for them to take him back in to the cargo area. Poor Flakes didn't want to be in the crate away from us and started howling.

The airline tracker showed us that his Dallas connecting flight was delayed a little later than we informed my sister's husband via her cell. Jim somehow had written his number down wrong so we weren't able to talk to him direct. The flight tracker said the plane landed around 10:15, but in reality the pup was not available for pickup until almost 11am. It was nervewracking for all of us, heh, but Flakes made it safely home with my brother-in-law. Flakes was a bit traumatized and wouldn't come out of his crate. But Kyree must have recognized him, and immediately went and laid down beside him in the crate until he was ready to come out. Both puppies came out together and have reportedly been happily socializing with my sister and her family. All is well with Flakes.

Once we got the word that Flakes had arrived ok, we took off for Ohio with Cat and Face. We arrived at the house after ~3 hours, and got the puppies out for a walk while we waited for the owner to return from the store. Face was a bit frightened by the big black and tan dog that was in one of the kennels behind the house. He looked to be part rottie and part spaniel or setter. He was a pretty boy and very friendly, but the two pups felt threatened, and Face would not leave my side. So I sat on the grass in the beautiful weather, and just held him. Cat, however, got over being scared rather quickly.

When the owner returned, we spoke at length about the pups and Siberians in general, and I went over some important training techniques. Some of the things were how to walk a pup not used to a leash by watching them and if they pull backwards against a collar or harness, let off the pressure and call to them. If they pull forwards too strongly, stop until they acknowledge you and put slack in the line. Praise them and begin walking again. A big precaution with large dogs is not to play with them with your hands. This gets the puppy used to nipping and mouthing hands which is cute in a puppy, not so cute in a 50-65lb adult husky. Always use a tug toy or chew toy to play with them. Huskies are very smart and people oriented. Positive reinforcement training works great with them, and they learn rather quickly. With male dogs it is very important to establish in their minds the pack organization and where they stand in it. The humans always eat first, this tells the dog that the people are higher in the pack. Also, training the dog, it is important that each family member (when possible) takes a hand in the training, this gives the dog stability in knowing its place, and tightens the bonds between dog and owners. Dogs are most happy when they know the rules, know their place in the pack, and have consistent training and treatment.

We also discussed a lot of particulars surrounding Siberian Huskies, and the potential owner was more and more gravitated towards our shy boy Face even though Cat did his best to show his happy go-lucky self to him and his friends. I think we spent a good hour there with them, making sure Face became accustomed to their presence, and then it was time to come home.

We got home around 7:30pm, ate some hot dogs, visited with the rest of the pups, and I went to bed at around 10.

Freya, however, thought I was being lazy by sleeping in past 3am, and howled at my door until I got up to let her out. By then, all the puppies were awake, and wanted their morning cuddles, so I stayed up with them until about 6, then trundled back to bed. At 7 Jim woke me wondering what was wrong and why I wasn't up... grumble.

Since I had been busy most of the day Saturday, Sunday was chores day. 5 hours out cleaning the dog yard, picking up shredded bits of whatever the dogs dragged out, sorting boards and even mounting a motion sensor light off the barn into the dog yard, etc. Came in for lunch, started some steaks thawing, then went on a two mile hike with Samantha and Moon since it was too warm to hook up the dogs. When we got back from the hike, we watched a movie and I started cooking dinner. I was in the middle of putting the steaks in the broiler when I got a call from work... No rest for the weary.

Ended up working the call-out until after 11pm, and crawled in to bed only to be woken up at 4am. I am beat tired today.

Friday, March 19, 2010

March 19th Spending Time with the Pups

As it turns out, we will be hanging on to Silver a bit longer to help ease her into her new home. So, I have been making the most of it and spending some extra time with her, Flakes, Face and Cat. Each one of them are special to me in their own way. Silver's energy and enthusiasm always makes me smile. She is still our 120mph girl, though she has been learning to sit and wiggle to be petted rather than jumping. She and Face always hang out together and play with each other. They are best buddies, and it makes me sad to break them up, but it is necessary. Silver has a funny thing she does when she first gets in the house, she runs flat out to Jim's room and jumps on his bed to lick his face. She loves Jim a lot! If his door is closed or he isn't in bed, she will come flying out, run around the couch, jump on the couch, and put her front paws on the back of the couch to see what is going on and to get pettings. She loves the rocking loveseat.

Cat is a big boy and knows it. He will saunter up, and flop down in my lap no matter if there are other puppies there or not. He doesn't fight them, just simply pushes them out of the way. I don't think I've ever heard him growl, even when playing or eating. He just knows he's large and in charge. He's very gentle when taking his vitamin treat, and I've never had a problem with him nipping my fingers when other puppies are trying to take it. True to his calm and collected self, he just puts his nose in their way and gently puts his mouth around the treat so they can't get it and waits until it is released to him. Cat is one of the pups that completely refuses to go potty inside regardless if there are training pads out. He is such a good boy! He will whine at the enclosure gate when he needs to do his business. Cat is such a cuddle bug! When he wants a cuddle, he doesn't fuss, he simply walks up to me, interposes himself between me and any other puppies, and flops down in my lap, rolls on his belly and gives me that look that says please? He, Face and Princess are the smart ones. When the mob comes in, and we need to put them back out, we open the gate and toss some milkbone treats into the enclosure. All but those three will run out and scoop up a treat, but Cat, Face and Princess will hide behind the couch until we close the gate. They will then come and sit by the treat box for theirs. Clever little fuzzy kids!

Face too is a sweetheart and a cuddle bug. He will sit in my lap for hours and watch TV with me. He has the cutest smile, ear to ear with dimples when he is happy. The only time I see him get worked up is when he is playing with Silver, then those two are whirlwinds, chasing each other around the house. I love cuddling with Face as his fur is rabbit soft and very pleasing to pet. Face loves the attention and eats it up. Face very rarely jumps up, even when he is outside, and sometimes misses out on the treats because of it. But he knows it is ok because he sometimes gets extra special attention. Face is also a very handsome boy. His markings are the most striking after Princess, and I had hoped he would go to someone who would show him, but it looks like he might outgrow the breed standard. Ah well. It seems all of my puppies except Princess, Mitu, Kirby and Buck will outgrow the standard. 9 out of 13 big puppies. I swear I am not feeding them growth formula!

Flakes gets put on a plane tomorrow morning. We (my husband and I) are anxious about him flying, but it is the best and fastest way to get him to his new home. I will miss him too, so have had him in the house with us almost every evening. He's a chunky boy, weighing in at 38.7 lbs already, but is also very fond of his cuddles. He's a bit more vocal about getting his way, however, and will tussle his way through other puppies on occasion. We have been very careful to curb any aggressive tendancies, so he sometimes gets a squirt in the face for his trouble. Of all the puppies, he seems to be the most 'macho', and struts his stuff as a male. He is very loving though, so mostly tries to please us for his cuddles. He will be joining Christmas (now named Kyree) at my sister's farm in Texas. She and her family adore Kyree, and have relayed to me this little story about how smart she is:

When they returned to Texas with Kyree, they stopped at our parents' house to drop them off. Our dad has a wood panel fence in the back yard and the gate has a latch. It was beginning to rain lightly, and in order to unload more quickly, the put little Kyree in the back yard and closed the gate. Poor little girl was afraid of being left alone and started to cry. My nephew went to comfort her, called out to her, but before he could reach the gate, out came Kyree, happy as a lark to have someone to play with. They thought perhaps they hadn't latched the gate properly, so put her back in there and closed the gate, ensuring the latch was set. No sooner did they turn around to resume unloading than out popped little Kyree once more. She had very quickly assessed the latch, how it worked and figured out how to undo it. What a clever little girl!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

March 18th Princess of the Office

Princess came to work with me today. She was such a good girl. She made the social rounds, then laid quietly at my feet until she wanted out. She whined a little, I took her out and it was a bit before she did her business, but she did. She was a big hit with the rest of the staff, her beauty and charm had everyone eating out of her hand (or vice versa). She played outside with the warehouse manager, flirted with the sysem manager, all the techs and the lead. Jim brought us chicken nuggets and she ate twelve before she was full. She was a bit whiney, so I took her outside while Jim went to the restroom. She only sniffed and played, so we loaded her up in his car and he started on his journey home.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

March 16th Puppy Therapy

It was very hard to come back to the blog after Saturday. But the dogs and puppies all banded together to cheer me up. I have had a puppy by me almost every minute while I've been home, and it has helped soothe my spirit.

Samantha has been sticking to me like glue, never more than a hand's breadth away. She pokes me with her nose to tickle me and cheer me up, then tries to snuggle-hug me by jumping up behind me on the couch, laying her head on my neck and putting her paws on my shoulders. She then rubs her head up and down my neck as if she is either rolling in my scent, or giving me a massage.... I'm not sure, but it is a very silly thing she does, it tickles, and makes me laugh. She is so silly, I can't stay depressed for long.

When she senses my mood has changed, she'll put her face in my lap, hunch up her back, and howl-growl for me to play with her as she dances her front paws around. It is the weirdest and funniest thing I have ever seen a dog do, and I can't help but laughingly play with her, touching her paws, as she howl-growls, moves them and pushes me with her shoulders while she is upside-down in my lap. (Tough to stay upright with a 40lb husky thinking she's a lapdog).

Face cuddles up to me, content, like Elvis, just to be by me and to be petted, and Princess pounces on him because I'm HER person. They play-fight for the right to be by my side then finally settle on one on each side.

I try to divide my time between all the puppies, give each one as much attention as possible, then it's outside to work on the yard. Been rainy which means wet and muddy the last few days. Makes scooping the yard miserable smelly work, but necessary. It also is good for letting my mind wander and my spirit to recover from the weekend's terrible blow. I watch the puppies chase eachother around the yard, racing from the barn to the deck and back. Moon leads the pack on a merry chase until she gets them all worked up, then she pounces on the closest in play. The chase becomes a happy, growly, yipping mass of fur as they roll around in one big ball of puppies. The big dogs want to play too, and Demon chases Freya. Yukon tries to get both of them to chase him, and the game is on. The big dogs run around the outside of the fence, and the puppies try to keep up, but Yukon flies like the wind leaving them all behind with a huge husky smile. He passes me with a twinkle in his eyes, stops for a moment to play stance, and I indulge him by stomping towards and giving a little chase.

Delighted he jumps back and takes off with an even bigger grin. He's such a beautiful runner! I can't wait until we can enter some races together!

Monday, March 15, 2010

March 15th Goodbye my Velvet Elvis

Saturday poor Elvis was hit by a car and killed. He had gone to a new home, had been there for a few hours, they were walking him, something spooked him, he slipped his collar and ran in to traffic. It was a heartbreaking accident for both us and his new family.

Elvis was a good puppy, very loving. He would always beg to come in when I was home, pick up a chew toy and cuddle up next to me and play with his toy. Sometimes he would just lay across my lap, and lick my face while I pet him, content to just be there for extended periods of time. When I would go take my shower in the morning, he would sit outside the bathroom and howl until I came back out. I loved my little boy.

RIP Elvis, and may you have plenty of chew toys to play with wherever you are now.

Friday, March 12, 2010

March 12th Flakes

We received word today to prep up Flakes for a flight to his new home. He's such a loveable boy, I'll miss him too. He always wants a hug and is so cuddly soft.
Monday Silver goes to her new home. The pack just won't seem the same without those two. If we were going to keep 3 instead of 2, Silver would have been the choice, as both Jim and I like her a whole lot, and she has such a personality!
7 more puppies to find homes for.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

March 11th Morning Weirdness (or puppies' first thunderstorm)

My husband woke up this morning with another dizzy spell. :( But while he sat on the edge of the bed, Samantha went a little crazy. She jumped on the bed behind him and started licking and rubbing her face on his neck like she was trying to roll in his scent. Weird dog. I told Jim he should see a doctor about the dizzyness. On the odd chance that Samantha was trying to tell us something, they should check his neck.
After I left for work, Jim called me to tell me lightning struck somewhere near the house and caused a boom so loud it scared all the puppies. They leaped and trampled eachother to get into the house, and started crying to be cuddled. Poor little fuzzy kids! So he and James have been comforting puppies.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

March 10th A Walk with Princess

Princess and I went for a walk this morning. Well, more like a run/jog. She loves to run! We went down to the bridge and back, she running the whole way, usually in circles around me who jogged most of the way. What a happy playful girl! Every once in a while I'd stop and issue the command "Come!" to help teach her to come when called. It is part of the obedience training she will need for the show ring, but it soon became a game. When would I stop? What would happen if she ignored me?

Well, she did learn that she got lots of love and attention when she did come, and slowly was reeled in when she ignored me. She learned pretty quick that she preferred to come immediately and get loved on. She loves her cuddles and attention! But like any child, she pushes her limits and tests the rules.

She had such a great time, she howled and struggled when I tried to get her back in the house. Once inside, she howled, whined and scratched at the door for a good ten minutes, running from me to the door and back. Ah I wish I didn't have to work and could run around outside with her all day! But bills have to be paid, so off I left my sad little Princess with a promise to work with her tonight when I got home. Hopefully it won't be too late, and it won't be raining. Even so, we have some obedience we can do in the house, it just isn't as fun for my little Princess.

Monday, March 8, 2010

March 8th Poo Poo, or a Day in the Dog Yard (again)

You wouldn't think that 15 dogs could poop so much. One day off left me what seemed like triple the work, sigh. No rest for the weary. Good thing I live out in the country and have places to compost poop. Wonder if it ever becomes fertilizer? Anyone else ever try to use dog poop fertilizer?

The dogs have also made a muddy mess of the yard. I'm beginning to think that 1 acre of fenced in dogyard is really no where near enough, so plans are underway to expand the dog yard. First up is to make 4 shaded kennels out back. I can get 20 fast growing poplar trees for just under $30, and I will plant them around the back and sideyard in strategic places to provide plenty of shade for my pups. Next is to make a hook-up corridor out the back gate, and out the front so that I can screen out the dogs and harness up those going for the run without worrying about the others getting loose. Then to make pens for the pups before the girls go in to heat. I can get 5x10x6' welded wire kennels for $67each with gates pre-installed. I'm thinking I can put two together and make some decent 10x10 kennels out the back (plan on making at least 4), but have to be careful of the creek's tendancy to flood. To combat this, we've been looking in to sandbagging the bank where the water overflows. We will still have room without the sandbags, but you can't be too careful where lives are at stake.

Also when it rains a lot, we will bring them in to the main dog yard where we have a couple of pens set up to separate the girls and the boys. I am also planning to fence in the 3 acres of grass field we have in the side yard. This will be where I plant the rest of the shade trees. I'll break up the area with kennels as needed, but I don't plan on keeping more than 8 dogs permanently. I thought it would be nice though, to provide space to house rescues until they can go to their permanent homes, and work with the local shelter to help keep huskies and husky mixes from being euthanized. This could be risky, as we know many rescues can have issues, but everyone tells me I have a way with animals, and can train any dog. This is what I may have been meant to do with that talent. Who knows?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

2 mile Bikejor Run

Took Freya out last night for a 2 mile run. It was her second run since whelping and finally weening, but she was rearing to go. She can fly! For such a small girl, she is amazingly fast and strong! She sprinted almost the whole way, keeping a tight tug and pulling. She almost forgot her training though, and started after a possum, but a quick "Leave it" and she halted herself, ran back on the road and took off like a shot again! She tried to race a bird, and if she had wings, she would have beaten it (and probably ate it). She had a great time, and got a snack of raw beef when she got back. Lots of praise and attention, a rub-down and a foot check, and she was ready to go out back and tell the boys what a great sled dog she is.

Freya is my team dynamo. I couldn't imagine racing without her. She is such a strong motivator and leader for the team. I love that little gal!

Friday, March 5, 2010

March 5th Wyrd Kennel Group

I love this pic of Moon. She's such a happy girl and a might bit mischievious which really shines out in this photo. It looks like she is laughing at the world.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

March 4th Iditarod Arm-chair Mushing

Many of you probably know that the Iditarod starts this Sunday with events in Anchorage all this week. Someday I hope to be there (to watch, unless somehow I hit the lottery or my novels get optioned for a blockbusting movie) in all the excitement and witness first hand one of the "Toughest Races on Earth" (though I hear the Yukon Quest is a bit tougher than the Iditarod, it doesn't get nearly the recognition and fame). But really, it is all about the dogs and their bonds with their mushers.

I have two favorite teams I'll be following, SP Kennels and North Wapiti. Godspeed you all, have a great race! To all the other teams, be safe and happy trails!

Me? I have to work Saturday, but rest assured I will be scrambling Sunday to get all the on-line updates, press coverage, etc that I can! Since I was a child, I've dreamt of running a dog team of fine huskies over the frozen wastes. I read every book I could find growing up (Call of the Wild, White Fang, Iron Will, etc.), but somewhere along the line life intruded.

Now I've realized a part of that dream with a wonderful team of 4 beautiful Siberian Huskies with two promising pups. Though I doubt we will ever make it to run the Iditarod race, we have had a great time bonding together as a team, and will hopefully make a great showing this coming year.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pics from the trip

March 2nd Long Weekend

Kyrie (Christmas) with her new family.

I was very pleased that Christmas (now named Kyrie) took to her new family so well! No hesitation, she was cuddling up to my sister and her family. She spent the first night with them, and seemed to do rather well. Though there was a bit of whining when she saw me again, she was happy to run and play with my niece.

We took Kyrie on a hike in Petit Jean National Forest, which helped her get accustomed to being around the whole family plus her being able to come to me for reassurance when needed. It also tired her out enough so that she was busy investigating new things instead of expending energy worrying. When she was tired, we took turns sitting with her in the truck so that she felt safe and able to snooze and everyone was able to see the sights. We stopped by the Car Museum, hiked around the falls, and stopped at an overlook. On the way back, we stopped at a roadside park by a lake. It was all around georgeous scenery, and enjoyable. When we returned to the hotel, my parents rested up and then we went out to dinner in downtown Little Rock. My sister's husband wasn't feeling well, so he opted to stay in the room with the puppy. We ate at the pizza parlor, and returned.

My sister and her family were delighted with Kyrie, her intelligence, beauty and friendliness.

Everywhere we went, Kyrie was the center of attention, such a pretty little girl!

Sunday I was up at 5am, packed and ready to leave by 5:30. My sister had been woken up by Kyrie to go potty, what a good puppy! So I got to see my sister and her one last time before the drive home. I gave both a farewell hug and got on the road home.

I arrived home around 3pm local time, unpacked, socialized with the puppies and dogs for quite some time before all were satisfied I had returned. I took a nap and was up for a bit before going back to bed.

Monday was cleanup day. Spent a few hours cleaning the dog yard and planning how to expand the kennel. Took Yukon for a training run and he did fantastic! He was so eager to run, he paced at top speed for close to a quarter mile! The rest of the 2mile run was at a fast lope, no trotting! It was quite exhillerating and a great way to round up my time off! After a shower, my husband and I went to the Tractor Supply for some collars for the pups, another long leash so I can start showing him how to train Moon, a new bucket and scooper (I broke the old bucket, and the old scooper was just too much wrist action that my fingers were going numb using it).

All my puppies had to say hello again, it was as if I had been gone for a couple days all over, hehe. I had to log in to work and do a few things though. After, we sat and watched a couple movies, ate dinner, and it was bedtime for me again.