It is spring time now. With temperatures in the high 60´s and little snow left we have packed away the harnesses and sleds, and the dogs are enjoying some much needed down time. The winter was a great one. Kaia worked a little to much but otherwise our time was filled with little projects all dog related.
The team of dogs I trained for the Femundløpet race in February were a great team of dogs to train, and we had some really fantastic runs. The team and I were not ready for the race in february so I decided to withdraw and start focusing on creating a solid foundation for next years season. With the long distance plans shelved for the winter, I was able to spend a lot more time with the yearlings and the older dogs that had not been getting the attention the deserved. I spent all of february and march harness breaking the four yearlings and using the experienced older dogs to help settle the youngsters down. The big surprise of the season was Freya, who at only 16 months old turned out to be the best lead dog in the kennel after running most of the season in swing position right behind the leaders. One of the most challenging things for a lead dog to do is to find a trail that has been blown full of snow by a strong wind. After many hours of leading the dogs myself or even worse, breaking out the trail with a snow machine, I put Freya in lead and she led us for almost 10 miles on a lake with no percievable trail, finding her way by the feel of the snow beneath her feet. After that, Freya and Jedi spent a lot of time running together, building up Freya's confidence by running her with a very solid leader.
We had a great surprise around christmas time when five puppies joined our ranks. Calvin, Hobbes, Lille Spro, Chewy, and Satchel are nearly 30 lbs each now and have of course turned the damp ground in their puppy kennel into a No-Mans-Land mud hole. We moved them to another kennel to let theirs dry and they muddied up the other kennel. So despite our best efforts they look like little swamp creatures whenever it rains.
We topped off the season by giving rides to families effected by Cancer at the Monte Bello Center. We gave mile long tours of the lake that Kaia and I live on, on Easter sunday for children with Cancer. The kids had a great time and the dogs were perfectly behaved.
We have lots of work to do in the kennel this spring and two litters of puppies that will be born any minute so stay tuned for updates as events warrent.
Ha Det Bra fra Norge.
Cheers, Barry and Kaia