So far this season we have had three calls to come and butcher dead horses, but with so much of the warm weather season still ahead, we’ve been hesitant to take the “free meat” because of the cost of plugging in all the freezers and running them to keep it cool all summer and fall. However, last week we heard from a couple that we couldn’t say no to. John and Inger were down from Anchorage housesitting for family member when a horse unexpectedly died. They sounded desperate, so we went after work and tried to load the horse in our usual way: with no heavy equipment, just lots of grunts, groans, sore muscles and strained backs. We asked about quartering the horse on scene, but after seeing all the color run out of the face of this young couple, we knew that wasn’t an option. After several hours, and using fulcrum principles that would have made the pyramid building Egyptians proud, the four of us finally got it into the bed of our truck, which seemed like it was barely going to be able to hold the weight. We headed for home, but got pulled over with the carcasses’ legs sticking straight into the air. The trooper wanted to know why we had a moose out of hunting season, but to his embarrassment we pointed out the obvious. He let us go and we went about our way. The next day we butchered the dead beast for nearly eight hours, but filled half a chest freezer with all the meat and organs. The dogs also enjoyed all the bones that came out of the deal. Now, we are just waiting for fish camp which begins in about two weeks. Hopefully, if its a good run, we will be able to accumulate enough king and sockeye salmon to feed ourselves and our dogs through the winter.
Archive for May, 2009
While it may sound like a bad 80’s sitcom, these are the names Cole and Joseph chose for two new dogs just added to the kennel after being adopted from the Kenai Animal Shelter. Cool Whip, got her name because she is mostly white (although she does have some grey patches too), very sweet and already loves the creamy pie topping after just a few days in her new home. (Cole and Joseph often reward the dogs with a burst of cool whip whipped cream. They love it.) Sadly, Cool Whip is a wheezer, which means she suffers from laryngeal paralysis, which in laymen’s terms means her throat doesn’t work the way it should for breathing. Like Shagoo, who also was a wheezer, Cool Whip will have to have throat surgery to fix the problem, and then will be a housedog. Hopefully, she will pull through it well and be able to be as happy and healthy as Shagoo has been for many years now.
The other new dog, named Ghost, is a bit of a mystery. She looks very Alaskan husky in that she has blue eyes and an all white coat, but her coat is a little thin looking. She also has no muscle tone. These factors may just be because she was an indoor dog in her last home. She does have good manners and knows how to sit. She appears full grown, but based on her teeth she doesn’t look much more than year or two old. She’s very sweet to people, but a little nervous and nippy around other dogs, possibly another result of coming from an only dog home. Hopefully this will go away as she gets more comfortable with the kennel. Wherever she lived before, they didn’t come looking for her. She was found in a cemetery in Kenai and went to the Animal Shelter there for 10 days. Cole and Joseph got her just before her euthanasia appointment. Time will tell what kind of sled dog she’ll become.