Prenatal visit reveals: poo?

Prenatal visit reveals: poo?

Our female that we bred with the esteemed “Asland” from 10 Squared Racing had her prenatal appointment today. We were very excited when the vet felt baby bumps during the initial examination! But our joy was quickly exterminated when the scan revealed no pregnancy. The bumps? – nothing but poo. Nice. The vet asked if we had another female to breed but I explained to her that although we love our other female (DJ) – she’s the kind of dog that should not reproduce. The musher that we bought her from actually told us that if she were a child, she’d be on ritalin. We actually keep crazy DJ in a kennel with old blue-eyed Jackson – a fixed male with his own set of issues, such as excessive feces eating. Needless to say, I got some info on spaying and we were on our way. When we arrived back to the dog yard, we were surprised to hear high-pitched howling. To our horror, DJ and Jackson were “stuck” together – end to end, which I’d never seen before! And of course, I had my daughters with me – biology 101! We waited until they were “done” and then separated them into different kennels. The vet told me that dogs usually can’t tie together if the male is fixed but the musher we bought him from assured me that he was. I guess we have to examine him to see if his parts are all there. Yay. When we finally got home, one of my daughters said, “well, that’s something I never wanna see again.” Yep, pretty sure they’re never having kids now!
SIDE NOTE: If crazy DJ happens to be pregnant, we’ll be offering “crazy” deals on pups! 😉

Ready 4 double duty dry-land training!

Ready 4 double duty dry-land training!

With an incredibly wet spring, the dogs are getting desperate for a good run. This weekend, we picked up a small 4-wheeler from my in-laws and we bought a used dogsledding cart from 10squared racing in Two Harbors. FurEver Wild, where we are boarding our dogs, has a nice trail system for us to use – we just have to do a little clearing and we’ll be on our way to dry-land training! Another new adventure for the rookies – let’s hope the right things hit the trail!

New sled-dog + a bonus!

New sled-dog + a bonus!

A few weeks ago we learned that a highly acclaimed dog musher was selling his entire kennel, including 50+ dogs. We drove up north to check out his dog sledding equipment and were surprised to hear that all of his dogs sold within one week! When I asked him if it had been difficult, he told me that it hadn’t been because he’d recently been so successful at winning races. I said, “no… I mean, was it difficult for you to get rid of your dogs.” He stopped for a second, drifting into a thought, then answered, “there was this one dog…his name was Asland” and with a glisten in his eye he added, “he was my best dog ever.” The strong musher quickly changed the subject but it was too late, I already caught a glimpse into his heart. I knew that Asland must have been special – but I’ve also come to realize that sled-dogs just have a unique way of taking hold. Several days later, I called the lady that we’d gotten our team from and mentioned that we wanted more dogs. She asked me if we’d be interested in buying a female dog that was in the process of being bred with her new male dog… Asland. What are the odds! It was too coincidental – we couldn’t pass it up! We picked up beautiful, sweet, (pregnant) Darby today. Honestly, we already love her.
*Stay tuned – puppies in June!

Spring Sled-dog Update

With no more snow to sled on, this spring has left us in a sort of mushing lull. We’re still trying to figure out how we’re going to dry-land train the team, so in the mean time we’ve been taking the dogs on short walks and playing with them outside in a corralled area. The dogs are still residing in the horse stables, but we’re planning on moving them outside to a dog yard as soon as the ground is thawed enough to install posts. Here are some fun photo’s of the girls playing with the dogs. *Stay tuned… we have some big news coming this week!

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Fast Eddie

 

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Sid

 

 

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Hamilton

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Crazy DJ

 

 

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Jackson

 

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Prophet

Faithful Souls

Faithful Souls

He’s not just an ordinary dog, and she’s not just an ordinary girl. The two of them are gifted with spirits of freedom and loyalty. An old sled dog and a young musher; two faithful souls – uniting to form a team bound in unbridled trust.

Whoa, Fast Eddie! WHOA!!!

1st attempt:

On our second day owning sled dogs, we couldn’t resist taking them out for a run. One small snag – a blizzard warning. “Oh well” we thought, maybe it would keep snowmobile traffic off the lake. After unloading the dogs, massive snowflakes began to fall. We hooked up the team, unanchored the sled and yelled, “hike!” Nothing. They just stood there confused, looking at us like they’d never been on snow before. My husband questioned whether they were really sled dogs! Finally, with the two of us running along side of them and the kids on the sled, the dogs began pulling. Half way across the lake, it began to rain – sideways. With zero visibility, we made it back to the car and found ourselves soaking wet and stuck! Yep, we were “those idiots” you see on the news. After we finally got home, we felt pretty unsure of things – thankfully, we were too tired to give it much thought.

2nd attempt:

A few days later, my husband and I decided to take the dogs out by ourselves. Surprisingly, a park reserve nearby offered designated dogsledding trails so we wanted to check it out. Uh yeah, the trails looked like they may have been used by one snowshoer, ever. Still, we thought we’d give it a shot. We hooked up two teams of three and hoped that they’d be able to pull us through the deep snow. Boy, were we fooled. When the dogs saw the resemblance of a trail, we took off like a bullet. Then we knew why they didn’t run on the lake; no trail! My sled was in the lead and we flew up and over hills barely touching the snow. And when the trail came to a tee, I yelled “Haw” to my leader, Fast Eddie, and he took a sharp left. They knew their commands! I was so proud, “WOO HOO!” I whooped. Then… the trail narrowed into an overgrown forest. The dogs ducked right under the branches but I wasn’t so lucky. Before I knew it, I was knocked off the sled and I watched in horror as the dogs kept going. “Whoa, Fast Eddie, WHOA!!!!” I yelled, with no avail. My husband rounded the bend –  with instant panic on his face as he took off after them. I ambled through the deep snow cursing my short legs. Our saving grace was that the previous snowshoer had only gone a short distance further – making the dogs think that the trail ended. My husband lectured me about the golden rule of dog mushing – never, ever, EVER, lose your team. I was too winded to argue. When I finally caught my breath and got my team turned back around, they saw the trail again and “poof” – we were off, running over my husband’s legs in the process. This time, I successfully ducked branches and we seemed to find a good pace. Suddenly, the other team began to pass me and when I looked back, I saw an empty sled – no husband! We chased the team all the way to the entrance of the trail where there was (thankfully) a gate. With tongues hanging out and excitement in their eyes, the team looked back at me and I knew what they were thinking, “we won the race!” What else could I do but tell them they were good – and tie them up, tight. Eventually, my husband emerged from the woods with a bloody lip from a branch that whacked him in the face. I motioned with my hands, “let’s have it” and under his breath he offered an exhausted apology. After we collected ourselves and untangled the teams, we both agreed that we couldn’t leave on such a disastrous note – we needed to tackle the trail again. Just as we relished in the fact that no one had seen us, I spotted a lone photographer in the woods! Oh great – where are those photo’s going to appear! Perhaps under the photographic pressure, me and my team effortlessly made it to through the forest and eventually stopped to wait for my husband. I thought his team looked so majestic bounding over the hill… until I saw it – an empty sled! Not again! Fortunately, I was ready to secure the team and my husband wasn’t far behind. Darn branches! The trail ride back was a smooth and somewhat redeeming – however, we broke the golden rule THREE times in one day! Yep… us greenhorns have got some learnin to do 😉

Stay tuned for our 3rd attempt!

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Feeling Silence

Feeling Silence

Continuing with our quest to embrace the Minnesota winter, we were drawn to yet another dog sledding adventure. We weren’t quite sure what the alure was, but it kept us coming back for more. After we’d thoroughly had a day of fun zipping over portages, fishing on the ice, and eating lunch over a fire in the wilderness, the day (and our energy) wound down. The late afternoon sun set low in the sky and we methodically began the journey back to where we’d begun. Our girls had become quite skilled at mushing so they led their own team of dogs out. As we cut through a forest passage, I watched ahead as each girl balanced naturally on one ski. One stared ahead while the other gazed back – As if they were listening to something. They were not listening to an iPod, talking on the phone, or even speaking words to one another… they were just feeling the rare sound of silence. And when I calmed my mind, I heard it too. With only the background noise of breathing dogs and the sled moving over the snow, the entire world seemed to mute. I tuned in to the falling snow and looked up in wonder at the magnificent pines. My soul stilled and my heart opened to the creator of it all. The feeling of silence; what a wonderful alure.