Monday, May 30, 2005

Make your own entertainment day!

So we had a little break in the warm weather the other day, a bit of cloud cover and a drop in the temps, so I decided to jump on it and get the dogs out for a couple short, fun runs.

Here's Sage, Ivy & Ripper waiting patiently....Ripper even faces the wrong way before we even hook up!
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Ripper is more than ready to go here on the left. The ol' girl, Kate is also full of energy. This was the second run. I took out the other 7 earlier, but without the camera.
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Kate in front, and the elusive Loki shot in behind. The trick to getting near that shy guy is to have a doggie-distraction in between you and him. Works every time!! He is one happy dog in harness though...
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Rupert gives the camera a big smile!
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Lots of people ask if my dogs like the water....
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Yup!!

I like this shot - Loki seems to be hiding in the weeds.
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Pups and Octane in behind:
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The dogs had a great time on this 2-mile quick, yet wet run. They even got some practice running by some little yappy dogs who chased us as we went by. The leaders all went by well, and I was particularly impressed with the new guys, Sage, Loki and Ivy, who didn't seem fazed or curious by these little loud piles of fur. Sage was interesting though. Nearing home, we drove over this GIGANTIC pile of horse crap, and he immediately tried to dive right into it, scooping up mouthfuls of shite on the fly. Then (and this is a new one for me), he grabbed at a small branch with a bunch of leaves on it and dragged it for a bit, till it flipped out of his mouth?!? What a freak!!

It was a busy day. Later, I pulled a porcupine quill out of Gabe's foot (poor Gabe... he's mr. accident-prone) after he started limping like crazy. I don't know how it got in there, but figure he must have stepped on it during the run. Yanked the whole thing out, and he let out a yelp like I'd ripped his foot off! I understood why he yelped though, after I looked down to see the end of an inch long quill. I'd scream too if someone yarded that thing outta my foot!

Then... the excitement never ends... I went for a 2 hour, 34km bike ride (against the winds from HELL!!!) later on. After I came home and got off my bike, I was barely able to walk... felt like I'd been riding a horse for 2 weeks....not that I've ever done that or want to...but damn! I know it would hurt! I kind of made the jump from short rides to this one pretty quickly. Needless to say, we all slept well last night!

Dog scooters vs. Bikejoring

Ahhh... days off... gotta love it. The other 9-5'ers, M-F'ers are stuck at work! Ha! The weather is beautiful, sometimes sunny and NOT windy for once. Woohoo!

We had a blast the other night taking dogs out at Jon & Laura's. Jon and his neighbor, Dave, have bought these heavy duty scooters - that are made specifically for dogs pulling them. The plan was that I was going to give the scooter a try with Ripper. I started out on the bike, but then looked at those little things they are standing on and went..."uh, uh.... I'll stick to the bike..." They did seem to have pretty good control with them, but with my wonky shoulder and my bad luck/klutziness(?), I decided the bike was the safest for me. They pointed out that you could always "bail out" if things got dicey and jump off the scooter! Well, that brought back very vivid memories of me "bailing out" on a skateboard back when I was about 7. That genius of a plan resulted in a broken wrist, so I'm sticking to the mountain bike!!

However, the bike has it's limitations as well. For instance, I did forget the "bruised ass factor", as Ripper lunged forward as we waited to get going, and the bike kept slamming into my arse. It's been awhile since I've bike-jored, but remembered quite quickly how damned fun it is (minus the bruised ass)!!! With one dog, you can get a pretty decent workout. I'm gonna get back on the bike more with the dogs this summer. It's really great for leader training as well.

I have no pics of that night because you don't really have free hand during these dog-bike runs, plus if you stop paying attention for a nanosecond and the line gets wrapped around your tire, you're toast! Plus.... ok, I actually forgot the camera...

Here's some excitement from the other night -Gracie & Harris practicing their leaping. Nice form!! Check out the amount of light at 11pm!!
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For some reason, these guys had a blast merely jumping over the gate and zooming around the yard last night. I think they really loved bowling each other (and me - positioned right on one side of the gate) over.
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Gracie: "which way do I go!?! I can't decide!! Where's the action?!?!? Who can I torment next?!?" as she practices her balancing routine on the gate. Look out Mary-Lou Retton!!!
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Harris and Jack - they do EVERYTHING together!! This was our impromtu agility training.
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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Just another day at the Beach

We really do have some beaches up here. Really. We do. I swear. Ok, so the water is so bloody cold, that swimming is painful without a wetsuit (altho it can be done when it's about +30C out, and later in the summer as the water warms up a wee bit...), and the beaches are really just sandbars that disappear as the rivers rise. But we'll take what we can get!
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Ahhh... how does the saying go? Dog footprints through the sand of time.... or something like that?!? I dunno, I don't do poems...

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This little beach is it's own little island right now. Thanks to the tip from my neighbor Jeff, I am now taking the dogs to it as much as I can. First off, we had to wade across the river to get to the beach. Did I mention the water was frickin' FREEZING?!?!? It's really only just a few degrees above freezing right now. Below is Stephanie and her tie-dyed shirt (with Jack & Harris & Indigo tagging along) braving the cold and hypothermia by trying to get across it ASAP! I could only manage to pause and take one picture as I was suffering in this ice water as well. It was only about a 30-second walk, but by the time you reached the other side, your legs were ready to fall off and the pain was so intense, it was ridiculous!! Us hopping around, screeching and moaning till the pain subsided was also pretty ridiculous...
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The view on the beach. Ain't it grand?!? Kuna, Gracie, George and Lucy off in the distance. After going through SEVERAL porcupine encounters in past summers, the only place we've never run into those little prickly bastards is down by the river. I feel somewhat safe there... watch, now I've jinxed myself!
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"Hey Harris, pose by the driftwood"
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Thanks!

Love this shot. The girls looking happy and content. And a bit wet.
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Too much running about makes for a tired George. Breaktime!
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"Hey, I've got a GREAT idea - why don't I lie down on the ground, and get me some ACTION shots of you guys running towards me..." Yeah. They won't not slow down, RUN ME OVER and splatter sand all over me... noooo... *as I emerge with paw prints on my back and a mouthful of sand...* Thanks guys!!



And there it is. Just another regular day at the beach.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Happy Birthday Dad!!

It's my dad's 65th birthday!! (a couple days ago, but he's off partying in Las Vegas, not sitting in front of a computer!). Hope you won LOTS of money to keep your family living the way that they are un-accustomed to (filthy rich!).

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Anyways, I hope you had fun and had some great hands like this one! (and didn't have to leave mom behind to trade her in for your debts)

PS - the Arctic Char is on it's way this week....

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Ahhh, that's what a Rotator Cuff is!!

The injury has revealed itself! Turns out I have "Supraspinatus tendonitis" - which I guess is some fancy-assed way of saying "screwed shoulder." Apparently I pulled 2 tendons in my rotator cuff - the tendons attached to the supraspinatus and the subscapularis muscles(pictured below for easy viewing!). I am now seeing a chiropractor who is great. I never knew (or wanted to know) so much about shoulders.

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I realized quickly that my arm was weaker than I thought. The chiro did this test where she tested my resistance against her as she tried to push my arm down as I held it out to the side - well, it immediately flopped down like a wet noodle! Holy. Did not realize I was that much of a weakling at this point. She did that test again after working on me for 45mins and there was a *bit* of improvement, which is promising. Sent home with some exercises to work on everyday, more visits with her (which are both good and bad: some painful and some not-so-painful massages) and I hope to get this thing under control by fall. *Fingers Crossed* Otherwise, managing a sled, wrangling dogs, and skiing will be rather difficult...

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Balancing work, dogs and injuries ain't easy!

Dog mushers (and most dog owners) are used to taking great care of their dogs. We spend thousands on vet care for them, they eat high quality food, we take care of their feet after every run, constantly watch them for any little sign of injury so we can act on it quickly and take care of it before it gets worse. For some reason, we often take better care of our dogs than ourselves.

My point is... is that now I'm nursing some kind of shoulder injury (thanks to a skijoring race I wasn't really prepared for and overdid it 2+ months ago!), and it sucks having to take care of yourself!! I have stuff to do, dogs to play with, canoes/kayaks to paddle, bikes to ride, etc, etc.

Oh well, summer work has begun and that will keep me plenty busy. We just finished a 2-week training period - chock full of exciting moments. First off, I'm now a seasonal employee (OFFICIALLY) at the musuem and now, for the rest of my life (if I really want it), have f/t work all summer and winters off. Oh, I get benefits as well! And sick days! What more could a winter freak ask for?

I've also had some other good news. The little magazine I wrote an article for said the readers (and editors) really liked it. They want more! Woohoo! I'm to write a "Preparing for Winter" piece to come out in the fall.

We re-certified our First Aid training last week. It was quite ironic as I was unable to do some things (oh, holding the head to prevent further spinal inury isn't THAT important is it??!!) thanks to my wonky, numb shoulder. We did a FULL day of harassment training - good lord, one whole day!?!? But, thanks to the hilarious, entertaining instructor the day flew by before we knew it. I now know what is considered harassment and I will not harass co-workers. Or, if I feel the need to harass co-workers, at least I'll know how to get away with it!

Here's a totally non-related-to-this-story picture:
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This was the biggest-assed bee I've ever seen!! I was sitting at the computer and thought I heard a helicopter closeby. I look up and see this furry beast hovering over me. I just about freaked, but I really am more fascinated by insects than scared of them. That said, I sure didn't waste time ushering this monster out of my cabin.

Here he is outside, attempting to get out of the tupperware container. Hmmm, better wash that thing before I put my lunch in it.
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The dogs don't have too much energy in this heat. Get up and play?!? Nahh...
Cute, playful Ivy eating a stick. Doesn't take much to entertain her!
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Rupert mellowing out in the heat.
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Kate hanging out.
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Loki and Octane side-by-side.
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Monday, May 09, 2005

Mother's Day and other stuff

Just want to wish my good ol' mom a Happy Mother's Day! (technically, it is still Mother's Day as I have not gone to bed yet...) - and really mom, your card is on it's way. Thanks for hanging in there and trying your damndest to understand me (and those times when you didn't, you pretended you did). Thanks for all those times you've wiped crap off of our faces with your own spit, taught us how to iron our wrinkled clothes(altho you do take it a tad too far at times...), taught me a messy, cluttered, dusty house is not desirable (that one didn't stick), saved my brothers life on numerous occasions when he brought out my supressed rage (only he knew how to do that so well!), and helping me follow all my dreams (except for the one when I wanted to be a ski jumper.... but I was only 10 or so and quickly forgot that goal in life). You are muchly appreciated by all of us, even though sometimes we are crappy at letting you know that!

Moving on...

A friend of mine just recently rented this really cool cabin about an hour from town. Our friend Ray used to live there, and it is a GREAT place with beautiful views. Best part you ask? There is no people around!!! It has no power/water, wood heat, the usual bush-type cabin. Very peaceful and relaxing out there, it's quite amazing. She secured it for the next year and is going to use it as much as she can as a getaway. I suspect there will be plenty of get togethers out there. In fact, we just got back from one this weekend. A +25C day, and barely any bugs made for a great bbq!!
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Not a bad view though eh? Right on the river.
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Complete with a log doghouse:
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And an old sled!
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Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Endless Energy

Oy, these dogs have been driving me mad!!! This is usually the case in early spring though - they're still wired and in great shape, full of energy from the winter. It's not too hot now, so their usual summer sluggishness hasn't quite hit yet. After yesterday, when I had 2 minor fights break out in the yard, I decided these guys needed to burn off some energy. And FAST!!!

Troublemaker #1 - Lucy on the lower right doing a "no-no" - grabbing hold of the gangline and yanking it back. Hmmm... looks like Ivy (in behind) is looking over... and hopefully not learning!
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Three different dogs, exact same pose in the puddle. Not surprising they're sisters. Actually, I think they're part pig. Lucy, Gracie & George.
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Super Loki and his trusty sidekick, Octane!
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Sage and Ivy are just SO MUCH FREAKIN' FUN to run!!! They are the happiest dogs ever!! Sage's tail wags all the time, it's hilarious. Jack & Harris are there in behind looking slightly insane.
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Whuuuupps!
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No dog can say no to the power of the puddle:
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Heading home...
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Ripper and Gabe finish strong!
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Ah, the end result is DEFINITELY worth the effort!
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