Friday, April 27, 2007

Ms. Green Thumb

Hey, look! A pretty flower in my cabin!


In addition to the kid responsibility once in a while, I have a much greater task - keeping Laura's freakin' flower alive!!! Those who know me, know I have very little skill (or interest for that matter) in flowery-type things. They seem to be so darned sensitive to a cold cabin, need sun and water allllll the time. I even got a plant that the guy at the greenhouse said "no one has ever killed"! It's almost impossible" - well, it was dead within a month. I had it outside so it would get lots of sun, but unfortunately forgot it and when the temps plunged below zero, that sturdy plant wasn't so tough. So it's just better that I don't have plants. We don't co-exist to well together.


But I've kept this thing (what the heck is it?? I have no clue) alive for almost 3 weeks now, and it's owner is going to get it next week - thank goodness. Unfortunately, ah, one of the flowers kind of fell off when the plant vase jumped off the counter onto the ground. Ok, it was really when Gracie was doing her usual spring ritual of attacking flies, and the flies LOVED the flower - but I think it's ok...

At any rate - and more importantly - there are ZERO flies in the cabin once again due to my obsessive fly-killing canine!!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Fun in the Meadow!!

So the kid and I headed back to the property last weekend, just to hang out at it and take in the beautiful view. I swear, I could just move out there NOW into a wall tent and be perfectly happy. Ok, maybe not without the internet access... :)

I was double checking for the highway accesss - even though there's a bit of a ditch here, it's not as deep as I thought it was before. It'll take a bit of fill but should be do-able.

I had planned to bring out a whole whack of fencing, and have Eilidh as my slave helper to drag it through the bushes to the meadow. But, she insisted (I swear it was her...) we take not one dog, not two dogs, but the pack of six that roams well loose together. So I caved and we ended up taking only two fairly small chunks of fencing - but fencing nonetheless!! Oh and that's her climbing on the roof to get it. Hell, I'M not gonna do the hard work. I like having slaves, kids around.


And here's the little spring pond we discovered down at the end of the property.


The dogs LOVED it of course.

Eilidh does some dog wrangling:

We were going to leash the monsters as we explored into unknown territory. But we didn't go very far before we ran into a lot of bushes and a lot of snow.

So we headed back to the MEADOW:

Ahhhh... I am in love with the meadow...

I attempt to get a nice, scenic shot, but then dough-head felt the need to dance across the camera frame:



There is some elk around here - evidence of the local herd of 200 or so closeby. Mmmm... willows...

Run! Run like you've never run before!!!

I swear, with how happy these guys were - I think they know this is their new home! Um, OUR new home.


Later that night, Eilidh felt the need to force Lucy to participate in some kind of kickboxing dance. Lucy was very patient with being flung around on her hind legs in the dark. Good dog.

Thus, it's time to call it a night when you start dancing with dogs.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Bittersweet

Thanks everyone for the kind words about Kate. It means so much. The support is what makes crap like this bearable in life. My parents, who are always there with their unending support for my freakouts (and much more) mean more to me than I can ever express. For some reason, everything feels much better when you can call your mommy in moments of hysteria/panic/sadness, and moms just somehow know how to make everything better. :)

The sadness over Kate's passing has been made a bit more bearable by some great news I received this week that I can now share with the world without feeling like I'm *jinxing* it - and noooo, I'm not superstitious. The land that I had applied for a YEAR+ ago... is now officially mine! The Chaos Kennel crew now has a lovely 5 acre chunk of land 45 minutes north of Whitehorse. Oh, and the best part? No immediate neighbour's!!! Actually, there is really no one close at all. Ah, sweet, sweet privacy.

Here's some pics from last summer:

Ok, so this is just it from the highway. How exciting! Trees!!!!

Bushwackin' in from the highway


More of that

It's actually not too bad - gonna be easy to clear this for a driveway.


Kuna knows the way! We've been here a few times before.

230 metres in from the highway we come across...

more trees - going to the building site.

And then...

The MEADOW!!! This is a totally open area and right where I'm standing is where I plan to put a cabin/house-thingy. You can see the dogs zooming through the field letting me know they approve. It's gonna be a great place for a house. The view faces SW and - for the locals - those mountains are the ones down at Kusawa Lake.

This is looking UP at the building site


Off to the right of the property

You can see more meadows in the distance. We'll have to explore!! Can't wait. Now the plan is to get it surveyed, the dogyard built, the driveway cleared, etc, etc, etc! I go back to work f/t on Monday, so thank goodness for our long Yukon summer days.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Kate

Kate
June 1992-April 2007


It finally came time to say goodbye to this ol' girl this past weekend. Kate wasn't improving at all, despite trying everything - hand feeding her, giving her subcutaneous fluids, etc. For a dog who absolutely NEVER stopped, seeing her slow down was heartwrenching. To see her basically incapacitated and unable to move without my help was painful. She wasn't her goofy, spunky, bossy self for weeks. Sure, she still had it in her to growl at the few dogs she couldn't stand - right up until the end actually. But her spirit was fading and it was time to let her go.




Here she is with her boy, Rupert - not at all bothered by his maniacal behaviour at hookup. She is the only one who didn't try and get the hell away from his screeching and bouncing in lead. That's a personality only a mother could love! Their mother-son bond was pretty cool.



At almost 15 years, I can say even though I had her for only the last 5, she lived a long, full life. She was a superdog in that she went 100 miles an hour right up until the last month. I often wondered if this sweet old girl would EVER slow down. She was truly amazing, loved running in the team, taught my guys a LOT about leading (she didn't know the meaning of distractions!), and gave the yard a lot of spunky spirit. I'll miss her annoyingly cute habit of ramming her head into my armpit while I lay on the couch. She also had a knack for jamming her head under my hand and flipping my hand onto her head! Just in case I wasn't sure that she wanted a pet - she was never subtle! She never missed an opportunity for a pet - I could NOT pet another dog without Kate getting up instantly and coming over to me and knocking the other dog out of the way for more than her fair share of petting. And she never, ever let the other dogs forget who was the boss of the yard. Well, she thought she was anyways. And *most* of the others bought it.

I'd like to thank Dr. Carolynn for spending Kate's last moments with us and making this overwhelmingly sad time bearable with her compassion and care. It was a beautiful, peaceful moment, with Kate in the comfort of her own cozy cabin. An hour before Carolynn showed up, the cloudy, snowy day transformed - the skies opened up, the sun came out and warmed up the cool evening. It was bright and exactly the kind of day I wanted Kate to check out on. She always loved spring, but mostly for the numerous puddles she could drag the whole team into! Here's hoping there's lots of puddles in doggie heaven right now. I just hope she's not causing *too* much trouble amongst all the doggie souls.

Also - thanks to Sue for all her help and concern during this time. Her sadness over own loss of her big fella, Mammoth, weeks ago didn't stop her from reaching out and helping me get through the last few weeks with Kate. I know Kate and Mammoth are probably bouncing around effortlessly, sniffing butts and arguing over squeaky toys right now!!

I'll leave it at this - Kate chasing her own tail a couple years ago in the yard. She never knew the meaning of "getting old" :)

I miss ya already, you loveable goofball...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Denial

As much as I've been eager to see winter leave (and cycling season begin!), I am finding I'm having a hard time letting it go. Take this past weekend for example. A few of us attempted skijoring - even though it was +10, slushy and wet out. We finally found some snow on the third trail we checked out and I went out with Harris and Eilidh took Ripper. Dave and Heather were along behind us with their dogs. It was rapidly apparent that this was going to be the worst skijor ever, but did that stop us? Noooo...

The classic moment (on top of the numerous times Eilidh fell and Ripper drug her along while she laughed her head off) was when Ripper and his arch-nemesis, Harris decided to have a bit of a go at each other. Perhaps they were frustrated with this warm weather? Who knows, but as I attempted to unsuccessfully drag Harris back, the tighter Ripper's hold got on his neck - when Eilidh came flailing along behind to save the day. She was totally out of control and in a split second careened into us, slammed into both dogs and catapulted Harris right off of Ripper as she fell. The fight broke up immediately as we all looked at each other as if we were all thinking the same thing: "how did THAT happen?!" And then we continued on our merry way.

Cut to the next day! When we made another wintery adventure attempt on shady snow conditions - this time the goal was tobogganing!

Eilidh leads the way, the dogs follow!


"Uhh... which way now??"
(you can see the sparse snow cover!)


Hike on!

Taking a much needed break. Lucy gets a snow bath!



"Ahhhhh.... I like that kid. Can we keep her?"

We had seen a nice hill with lots of snow farrrr away. After attempting to walk to it, 2.5 hrs later, we were still too far away. We gave up on that and settled for these "huge" hills. Here Eilidh is walking towards them.

She came back soon after getting to the bottom, and said "Ah, I couldn't be bothered..." Huh?! We had just hiked for over 2 hours and she "couldn't be bothered!?!?" Man! Kids these days!!


So, on the way back to the truck she took advantage of the bit of snow to sled through the trees. Now I was trying my hardest not to get this kid maimed because her parents are off escaping from her... erm, vacationing and I would get in trouble if I broke her. Earlier on she just about broke her darn leg jumping down a steep hill (hope her parents aren't reading this...), so I was now watching her closely. She seems to be more accident prone than me! Luckily she wasn't going faster on that sled than I was walking. And over the course of the ONE night she was here, I successfully managed to fend off her attempts to a) try my beer and b) drive my truck! She's 15. Kids these days!! I would have NEVER tried something like that... (no comments from mom allowed).


Anyways - here she tries the belly method - worked a bit better. Watch those trees!!! I have to say, it was a ton of fun having someone come along and enjoy these silly trips as much as me and the dogs.

Now I have officially given up winter sports. Once the ditches drain their pools of water, bikejoring will commence!! :)

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Ha!

Thanks to Fawn for passing on this Muppet Personality Test. I LOVE THE MUPPETS!! So I had to do it. Really, no huge surprise who I seem to mesh with...

You Are Animal

A complete lunatic, you're operating on 100% animal instincts.
You thrive on uncontrolled energy, and you're downright scary.
But you sure can beat a good drum.
"Kill! Kill!"
The Muppet Personality Test

Though I don't think I'm THAT crazy!

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Perfect Season

The season right now is the best - I want it to last forever. The roads are dry enough for the road bike and there is still snow on the trails for skijoring! Can this utopia remain forever?!?

I doubt it. With temps predicted to be around PLUS 10C for the next few days, much of this snow will be melted after the weekend. Oh well, it's getting a bit too icy anyways for the sled, the plows have decimated the side roads, so I'll take what I can get.

Took the monsters down to the river the other day and the trail was really icy. I'm so glad I took these slackers, as I just might have killed myself with the other crazies. I did take a nice fall though that knocked my toque AND sunglasses right off my head and threw them clear across the trail! Nice!!

That's what I get for attempting to take pictures while we're on the move. This trail was REALLY fun though as there was SO much snow blown in that there were these little but steep and hard packed hills of snow everywhere.


This is while I was down in one of those depressions.



And here we are running over them - Lucy was always one to do her "own thing" - you can see she chooses a slightly different route than the rest of us! :)


The Yukon River is still nice n' frozen. And crazy windblown as well.


Heading home!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Sticking to the theme of the last post...

But this is much less disgusting!

I always wondered why all the toilet paper disappeared from the outhouse:

I just KNEW I never used THAT much!

I came out of the cabin to find this:

Gracie skulking along with a streaming length of TP behind her.

As you can imagine - she was VERY proud of her find... er, steal! My dogs are thieves!

Looking for the ultimate hiding spot


"Yes, yes, this will do just fine..."


"Must. Dig. Deeper. Or they'll be onto me! No one must share the joy I had with this toilet paper for the 10 seconds I owned it."


"Haha! Those furbrains will never find it now! I am soooo good. I really wish Stacie appreciated my talents."

Really, the rest of the dogs could have cared less what she was doing. None really saw the excitement of a WHOLE roll of toilet paper. Sometimes I'll throw them the empty roll and they'll have fun with it (told you they are easily entertained!), but stealing a almost-full roll is a new thing. Oh right! Summer is coming, so the destructive behaviour begins! You'd think they could at least wait till the snow melts...

Oh yeah - she had to OPEN the outhouse door first to get it!