Monday, July 31, 2006

Welcome!


Jack protecting his squeaky ball

So the new look...hmmm... it's amazing what an evening of boredom and procrastination will do. I'm still working out a few kinks and trying to get pics in the banner, so it's a "work in progress." However if you see any wacky things happening (like the GIGANTO comment window), let me know.

The background pic is from this year's bike relay. That's team mate Heather on Leg 6 I think. Yes, and that is SNOW...in... JUNE!!! Cool.

In the meantime, this is what we've been up to:

Running dogs in the jungle makes me feel very claustrophobic.

The team of 6 (Ripper, Rupert (leaders), Ivy, Octane (middle), Sage and Loki (wheel) had a bit o' fun running across the hwy in some cooler temps a few days ago. That's Shallow Bay in the background.


Loki is THE water dog.


They did pretty well on this short run. Ivy was a little freaked out last run, being beside her squirrely brother, so I ran her next to calm-Octane this time. She did great with him. Ripper and Rupert were super in lead (Rupert especially), and it's going to be tough when Rupert can't run with these guys anymore - he is 10 or so. Retiring these guys sucks, but in my next post I'll update you on our new training regimen for the "Geriatrics and Me...."

Edit to add: font colour now changed thanks to Kristi and Sean. Seemed fine on my Safari browser... but this is mucho better! Also - you may have noticed an ad at the top - whatta sellout! Yeah, it's something I'm trying out... click on it if you're interested and I think I get a whole penny.

Oh, and check out THIS free template making website. Very cool and easy to use!

Friday, July 28, 2006

New Dog Sled Racing League!

Hot off the press people! There is a new race league, ok, the ONLY race league in the Yukon starting up this winter. The plan was hatched last spring by Jon Lucas who put on the first race. Since then, most recently, it has become a whirlwind of ideas, scouting for sponsors (know of any??), and getting the word out. The Yukon News put in a great article Wednesday July 26 all about the upcoming league.

The plan is to have one race per month starting in November. Depending on that white stuff that falls from the sky of course... but given our fairly rainy summer, I have HIGH hopes for a VERY SNOWY WINTER!!! (*ahem* do you hear me Mother Nature??)

And of course, what would be a race league without a blog? Utterly useless I say. So check it out at the Copper Haul Twister Blog! To serve all your racing needs. And just perhaps, we can all get together for monthly beers as well. Just because.

We can also look at this as a way for local mushers to stay in touch, keep tabs on each other, train together, pass on training tips, shoot the sh*t and do what we do best - talk dogs!

And of course, anyone willing to help out volunteering or knows of any willing sponsors, or has some general comments or questions - feel free to get in touch with the race committee at copperhaultwister@yahoo.ca - or me through this here blog. :)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Say hello to my little friend....

One question: What purchase could possibly make the day of a typical Yukon gal? Why it's a brand new...



HUNTING KNIFE!!!! Ooooh.... sweeeeet. No, not planning any big hunts or anything - this is just my new "little friend" who makes me feel safe and warm and fuzzy inside. Plus, how else am I going to cut up my apples for lunch?


What inspired this latest purchase of mine? Ah, it never hurts to be prepared... plus this news story really got me thinking about hiking and bushwhacking without any bear spray or anything to protect myself. I mean, it probably won't help, but if I get jumped by a bear, a porcupine, or a renegade squirrel - at least I'll have a fighting chance while the dogs either stand around watching, or turn around and run like hell.

Hmmm... and people wonder why I'm single...


Canoeist stabs bear to death in Ontario
A man stabbed a black bear to death with a 15-cm hunting knife, saying he knew he would otherwise become "lunch" after it attacked him and his dog on a canoeing portage in northern Ontario.

Tom Tilley, a 55-year-old from Waterloo, Ont., said his American Staffordshire dog Sam growled a warning, then rushed to his defence as the bear came at them on a trail north of Wawa on Friday.


As Sam battled with the nearly 90-kilogram bear, Tilley jumped on its back and stabbed it with his knife.


"Love is a very powerful emotion and my thought right away was: 'You're not going to kill my dog,'" Tilley told the Waterloo Region Record.


"I really consider my dog a hero. Without that first warning, I would have had the bear clamping down on my neck."


An avid outdoorsman, Tilley was four days into a 12-day canoe trip. He said he heard Sam growl and noticed the bear closing in on him. He waved his arms and slowly backed away. But the bear came closer, cutting off his escape route.


"That's when I knew I had a serious problem.… I was lunch," he said. "The bear took a few steps down the trail and clamped its mouth on the back of my dog. It gave me the quick opportunity I needed to run around to the back of the bear, get on its back and with my knife start stabbing it."


After making sure the animal was dead, Tilley realized that both he and dog had been bitten.


He dragged his canoe across a short portage and paddled for about an hour before he came across a pair of Americans who had a satellite phone. They called for help and two hours later, a cargo plane arrived to take Tilley and Sam to Wawa for medical attention.


Tilley was released from hospital after being treated for minor injuries. Sam is also expected to make a full recovery from his minor injuries.

Tilley & Sam - alive and kicking. The bear - not so much.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Release the Hounds... Pt.1

We've been having a pretty cool summer this year, compared to what a lot of people are experiencing. I was complaining about it until the other day when I realized, on my day off - I could get ALL the dogs out running without worrying about the heat. So, the coolness has it's advantages...

The monsters wreak havoc on the poor, unsuspecting clay cliffs

I took the dogs out in two groups - the first, the trouble-making sisters and Kuna. That was all I could handle in the first trip.

The river is quite high now, so there is no beach walking. It's more like cliff scrambling. I'd make them go up and down, and up and down, and repeat until they started to wobble from exhuastion (which, btw, never happened). And as you can see, going up was not as easy as coming down. This is Lucy struggling from behind...


And Lucy struggling from the front. Note that look of desperation on her face. And did I help her out? Hell, no! Not when there were pictures to be taken. She got up ok though (this time). In fact watching her go down was funnier. She would leap in spots where there was the hugest (that a word?) drop, I couldn't believe it. Most dogs actually thought things through a *tiny* bit before they lept. Not Lucy... I'd call her and she would fling herself off that cliff no matter where she was. In fact, one time the drop was so much, that her body started rotating like she was diving into water. She practically landed on her head, but with this lil sweet (but not the most brilliant dog in the yard) - that won't really make much of a difference!


I've entitled this "A moment of reflection..." since I don't know what the hell they're all looking at.

This is Kuna's big swim. The big goof really likes to swim every once in a while. He needs no prompting when he really wants to go. So he just hops in and goes for a little dip in the water every so often. This little series illustrates it quite nicely.

Out he goes


Ok, that's far enough. Hey - I never said he swam FAR.


As he comes back, they're all there to greet him, waiting on his every paddle...

Awww...Kuna and Lucy, sharing a tender moment. Or... he's got her by the throat, or he's attempting to "mount" her, or he wants to go by, but is too lazy to go around her... ah the complexity of doggie language...


Later that evening - George's impression of a pig - caked in dry, cemented mud and snorting.



Onto group 2. This consisted of: Jack, Harris (to both maintain peace and order), and Octane, Ivy and Loki.

After taking these photos I've realized Ivy does a heck of a lot of leaping! There she is, airbound on the left, beside Harris. She's a funky little dog, who constantly makes me laugh. This was a chance to work on her *listening* to me. A skill she was quite confused about at first. I would call her, and she would come running no problem. But the thought of actually stopping when she got to me didn't occur to her. She ran circles around me for the first 15mins. Then... later she realized "ohhh... you want me to NOT run by you at 100miles/hr and actually let you catch me....ahhh, I get it..." After that, she was responding to me calling brilliantly - resisting the temptation to run off into the wilderness with Loki, the one dog who follows any damned dog anywhere.

Red-Dog Loki

The Octane flying down the hill. This was great exercise for them, and watching them flail up the cliff, and then tumbling backwards kept me entertained for hours.


They also don't really see humans as an object in their way. I got ran over more times than I could count.


The leaping Ivy, Pt. 2

I love this expression on Ivy's face. She looks disturbingly insane. I think she was about to shake off the water, but she looks like she is maniacally staring into the ground like she's possessed. Ok, so she may be. But she does have all 4 feet on the ground this time!


Harris, the big sweet fella.

Once, again Jack and Harris set a great example for the others and never ran too far off. These are the boys after the run - l-r: Loki, Jack, Harris, Octane. Ivy is in there too, but I think they've squashed her. That's what she gets, her whopping 38lb-self when she tries to play with the big boys!


You may notice that this wasn't the whole crew (good god, I hope no one pays that much attention to this nonsense) - so later... "those-who-run-away-when-loose" - Kate, Rupert, Ripper and Sage got to go bikejoring. No pics as it was more out-of-control than I planned... so next time!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Those wacky googlers

Crazy searches that brought people here. I love seeing how warped some people are. And FYI, there are some freaks out there! This is the "G" rated stuff, because my fragile little mind has already been damaged seeing the R-rated stuff, why drag the rest of you down that path??

how to impale yourself - My absolute favourite. Unfortunately, when they came here I'm sure they were disappointed with my posting of How not to impale yourself. That being said, do you really have to ask how to do it? Isn't it obvious? Must be those perfectionist types who have to get EVERYTHING right... sheesh.

beavers bend 4 wheeler cabin pet - I have no idea...

dogs eating insulation - amazingly, I get about 3-4 searches on this a week. I had no idea all these dogs are eating insulation. What's that stuff made out of anyways, dead cats??

shoulder injury pulled by scooter - Oh, bummer! I can relate... sorry to hear that

dogs prunes - actually, they have another name.... starts with a "t" - rhymes with festicles.

number of dogs in the yukon
- ha! Good luck with that one.

holes in my finger - why that brought them here I have no idea. But I hate when I get holes in my finger too.

squeaky tennis balls
- very popular topic I'm finding out. Who doesn't love squeaky tennis balls?

cute fuzzy big head toy dogs
- that describes Kuna exactly

trust dogs instincts - hmmm... are you sure? If I follow Gracie/George/Lucy "instincts" we'd be on a mass killing spree of squirrels, gophers, mice, voles and anything that dares to run away from us.

ptarmagins - did someone change the name of the blog to "Life with Ptarmagins in the Yukon" without me knowing about it??

hoot n' holler - woohoo!

kuna dog - idaho - nooooo, there can't be another one...

elaine, calgary - maybe you should narrow it down a bit? I'm thinking there's more than one elaine in cowtown. But if you find her, say hi!

The game or 2 dogs life - huh??

dogs toenail ripped off
- googly dog owners seem to have this happen quite a bit

black dogsledder - Cuba Gooding Jr in Snowdogs!! What? We're not playing jeopardy?

how to take out a dogs stitches - hope your vet knows you're doing this. Nothing like seeking online medical advice!

inuvik fencing - ah yes, that elusive inuvik fencing... sturdy enough to keep out polar bears?

dam those dogs - well, if you mean DAMN those dogs, I agree! I think "damming" them might prove to be difficult...

Saturday, July 08, 2006

There's nothing these goofballs won't get into...

Maybe Gracie was a little miffed that she didn't get "officially" invited to the party last weekend...

So I think she was planning on starting her very own party. Where only Gracie was invited. And where Gracie was the dog of honour. Because it's all about the Gracie...

So she started gnawing the crap out of the mustard(!!) container and held no mercy for the poor defenseless condiment. Which was half full by the way.

Since when do dogs like mustard anyways??!!

Yet again confirming, yep. My dogs are weird.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Canada Day Recap

Well, thanks to all who came out for the Canada Day Festivities! What a blast!!

The cheezy decorations were a' plentiful!

The Canada Day sled seemed appropriate...


The food/drink table before anyone got here. Later on, it was overflowing with the mass quantities of food everyone brought. The booze was moved to the dogbox(in behind), and it actually made a pretty good bar/gathering place. Totally unintentional, yet functional. I love it when very little planning comes together.


Is this illegal?

Stop sign? I didn't see no stop sign officer!

These were the only two photos I got of the party-goers. I was so busy bbq'ing and trying to find the drinks I constantly kept losing, I had very little time to document this festive occassion.

Note the vehicles parked one behind the other in the driveway. We were all wondering how the heck people were going to get out of my circular driveway as cars got blocked in one-by-one. However, with much thought and a bit of teamwork - everyone got out virtually problem-free. One car had an "incident" with a stubborn stump (hidden by all that grass... who doesn't mow their lawn!?!), but folks jumped to the driver's rescue and helped pop the car over it.

Had a great turnout for a long weekend. Over 40 people stopped by and when 3am hit, I realized I couldn't get rid of my party-deprived neighbours! (just kidding!)


I think this is going to be an annual affair now. Only next time I'm hiring someone to bbq for everyone!! Turns out the 5yr olds weren't wild about totally burnt and black hot dogs...