Monday, December 29, 2008

Welcome Strider / Tweek!


Tweek taking a nap

Yep, you guessed it, we have another addition to Lagniappe Kennel -- a wonderful dog that belonged to Eric Rogers of R Northbound Dogs . His name is Strider, and he's a two year old (will be three in March) who was having trouble keeping up with Eric's Iditarod team this year. We decided to give him a try in our team and see how he liked things. So far, so good! We ran him 20+ miles yesterday and he seemed to fit in very well. He was a cinch to harness, line out, and run -- he kept his tug tight and was a real cheerleader whenever we stopped.

Eric reported that Strider (we call him "Tweek" after the Southpark character who can't sit still) was very much "his own dog" (i.e., very independent). He's a very sweet guy but he seems to lack focus. We've decided to keep him in the house as much as possible in an attempt to get him to really bond with us and pay more attention to humans. I don't think he had ever been inside before, but he's adjusting pretty well, even settling down for a nap when nothing is going on.

Tweek is a Lance Mackey breeding (Thunder x Nasty) and is unrelated to the rest of the dogs in our kennel, although he looks very much like Zed.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Fun Run in Kasilof


Bree smiles for the camera as we get ready to go


Getting ready to pull the hook

Well, dear reader, Wolf has gone home to the Littles' house! Yes, that's right, he was totally healed as of his last vet visit and got a clean bill of health. We drove him down to Jon and Bree on Saturday and used the trip as an opportunity to get out on some new trails with our own dogs. Many thanks to Jon and his handler Josh for showing us the 20 mile loop from Jon's house. It was a bit rough but was loads of fun! I was only able to snap some pictures as the sun was dipping behind the horizon -- it seemed to be the only part of the trail smooth enough that I could fish the camera out and take some photos. Zed and Clover are in lead, followed by Zinger and three of Jon's yearlings that ran the Sheep Mountain 150 just a few weeks ago. 6 dogs total and we were cruisin' at a pretty nice speed!

Enjoy!
video

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Little Update

It's been a while since I posted a blog update so I figured it was high time to let you know what we've been up to! The weather here has been really crummy, with highs just above freezing. This has turned our roads and trails into icy runways that can be quite dangerous to those who aren't wary. Nevertheless, our runs have been averaging about 17 miles, thanks to Matt, who has been putting in most of the hours training the pups.

Interestingly, Zed has been laid off for a week due to an apparent lower back soreness problem that has cropped up twice within the last few weeks. No problem, right? Well, no, if you consider that Zed is my only experienced leader (now that Balu is retired to being a yard Nazi) then it poses a potential problem. That means I have youngsters up in the front of the team! Zak and Skiff have really stepped up to the plate in this situation, running lead together and proving to us that they do know their gee-haw commands, and how to head-on pass. I've been really impressed, as we are running them without necklines, so when you call a command you really get to see both of them respond individually without interference from the other. Pretty neat!

The Sheep Mountain 150 is this weekend and I plan on going to watch. The entry field is full of top-knotch contenders so it should be a fun race. Matt has volunteered to help out in the race so he'll be working at the start and the Eureka checkpoint. I'll try to take photos this weekend and post them to the blog!

Until then, think snow!

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