Archive for July, 2008

Trucker

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

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Yesterday was a bittersweet day. We said good-bye to Trucker, the first and only dog we have ever moved out of the kennel. Trucker had been with us for two years, and he just never really embraced the life of a sled dog. Some of our dogs love to run and pull more than seemingly anything else in life, but Trucker always seemed like he craved human companionship more than anything else. He likes riding around in the truck in the shotgun position and likes hanging out on your lap while watching TV. He is an AMAZING dog, just not an amazing sled dog, and since we don’t believe in forcing our dogs to do anything they don’t want to, having him be a housedog seemed like the best thing for him. Unfortunately, we already have five dogs and a cat in our 16′ x 16′ cabin, so adding Trucker just didn’t seem possible. Colleen’s brother, Ross, recently got married, and he and his new bride are starting to build a life together and wanted to add a dog to that life. The agreed to take Trucker and give him a loving and lifelong home in Massachusetts. We were sad to see Trucker go because Alaska is a great place for dogs with all the wide open spaces and lots of salmon to eat, which Trucker loves. But they will be able to truly give him the life he deserves, one where he gets loads of one-on-one time with people. We’ll just have to Fed Ex him frozen salmon a couple times of year. We wish him luck in his new life back east, but doubt he’ll need it. He is a very happy dog that adapts quickly to almost every situation. We saw the proof firsthand in the airport in Anchorage yesterday. Trucker, a dog who had seen less than a dozen stragner all year, moved through the airports on a leash without hesitation. He walked up and down stairs, through automatic doors, and dealt well with hundreds of people moving all around him. He never panicked once in the kennel, even when homeland security people pulled him out to check the kennel for drugs and explosives. He was awesome. We we’re so proud of our “Truck-man”. It was like he was a willing particpant in his decision to go, and it made saying good-by a little easier. We’ll miss his silly personality around the kennel, and he’s even sillier one-up and one-down ears. He may be gone, but he won’t ever be forgotten.

Cold Weather Training

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

This summer has been less than the best. We’ve had weeks of highs around the mid to upper 50′s, with lows around the mid 40′s. So it has basically been a little to hot to run dogs and a little too cold to swim them. Still, we don’t believe in letting the dogs sit all summer, so we have been enduring the cold water of our neighborood swimming hole again. We made it our goal to take the dogs every day for the entire month, but it is getting downright painful trying to make it across for a few laps. The dogs don’t seem to mind, but we have seen our own breath for several nights and blue lips and appendages have become the norm. The things we do for our dogs!
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Little George

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

We had a little friend for the weekend. While driving home from work, Joseph passed a small Shih-Tzu running down one of the busier roads in our area. Seeing stray dogs is sadly nothing out of the ordinary during the drive, so we only pick up (or at least attempt to) dogs that are in the road and are in danger of being hit, or that look like they aren’t savy enough to make it overnight on their own (such as little dogs that could be picked up by an eagle or eaten by a coyote). This little guy fit both criteria, so Joseph picked him up and brought him home, then, since he had no collar or tags, called all the animal shelters in the area and posted it on “Dog Gone News” which is a local radio show that announces lost and found dogs. No one called for days, so we began acclimating George (we named him that because of how curious he was). He was overwhelmed by the other dogs at first, it seemed clear he came from a one dog home, but he adjusted quickly, and by the second day he was rough-housing with Buckwheat and the other house dogs. He was also extremely sweet to people. He accompanied Joseph to work during the day, and would curl up with him at night when Joseph always reclines in a Lazy Boy. We were just beginning to think George was going to become a permant addition to the house, when on Monday afternoon his owners called. They said he had escaped from the garage and they had been driving around looking for him over the weekend and went to the animal shelters on Monday, which is how they found where he was. They came and picked him up, and while we were happy he was returned to his home, it was sad to see the little guy go. We’ve never been fond of Shih-Tzu’s as a breed, but little George won us over. I’m not ready to run out and get one, but had little George stayed, he would have been a welcome addition. I hope he fares well with his other owners.
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Getting a-head

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

O.K. For anyone that isn’t sick of fish posts yet. Here is another. We got 1,200 salmon heads from a local processors yesterday and bagged them up and froze them for winter. Heads are bundles of nutrition with lots of fat, protein and other essential goodies. That brings us up to four full chest freezers of dog food, so I think we’re finally set for winter.
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