Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The dogs discover the loft and holy crap it's cold

Harris has a new favourite spot in the cabin - the loft!

He often just wanders up there to lie on the planks that cover half the loft. Not sure why, but maybe it's to escape from his bossy, crazy sisters!

Although Lucy is a regular visitor to the loft area too. On the weekend, it was (still is) SO freakin' cold (-40!) that I went upstairs to lie on the futon mattress. Soon after, 5 dogs followed me up there and tried to join me on the futon. The loft is nice and toasty... :)

For a dog who has never really been up stairs, and is quite gangly, he's learning fast! Lookit him navigate those stairs!!

Mellow Lucy and the stairs: Ahm, do I go up? Go down? Stand in the same spot halfway up the stairs for hours??

George thinks: screw that, I'm staying on this comfy couch! Now get me a milkbone.

So it may look like we did nothing this weekend, and that is pretty much true. Although, I also forgot my camera at work, otherwise I would have had pics of the futon that is now downstairs - and in my "living room" area. I also set up a wardrobe and woohoo! I now have a place to put all my winter gear! Wow, how the cabin has cleared out.

We managed to go on short walks at -35, down to the river which has lots of snow and is in no immediate danger of creating the menacing and annoying overflow. That's one bonus of the freakishly cold weather. Ok, so it's not so "freakish" - this is the Yukon! There is a cold week coming up, so there will be a lot of hibernating happening I think. :)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Love Fest!

Here is Ripper, "courting" a frisky Pooh Bear!

This game goes on and on and then I have to tie them up to keep them away from each other.

I think Pooh Bear! enjoys the foreplay part most.

What a tease!!

Cowdogs: as seen in their natural element - waiting for the ball to be thrown.

"Hi everybody, it's me! Pooh Bear!!!"
(I swear she actually thinks this, as if everyone should be thrilled by her presence!)

Esther comes in for a closeup. She's now in heat (great) as Pooh Bear! is finally ending hers, but Esther is having NONE of anyone sniffing her butt!

Here's a wee video of my skijor with Gracie, Lucy and George (in that order, l-r). George starts to act a bit freaked out as we start to go downhill (and as I yell at the others to get outta the way!), which is odd, because normally she is daredevil dog. But in harness, well, let's just say she'd rather run free. There is also a moment where my new ski poles (which I LOVE) are sticking out a bit too far as I'm videoing, and they briefly get caught up in tree branches. Whupps!

And after a hard 15 minutes of skijoring, Princess Gracie is wiped. So she uses Harris' head as a pillow for her leg. After the triple-monkey skijor, I took Harris and Jack skijoring while the others roamed around, so they were all pretty tired. Gotta love sleepy, tired dogs!! :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sleddin' on new trails

I finally got the crew out on the sled this weekend, in HUGE four-dog teams. Lookout!

Here's Loki, Pooh Bear! and Esther anxiously awaiting hookup.

Ray hadn't figured out the zoom on the camera yet (he's such a luddite), so here is a distance pic of me messing around with the snubline that won't let go.

WE finally made it though, and here is Loki and Octane leading the team. The blue-eyed leaders!

Aha! That's where the zoom is.

The new trails are so much fun. Except for the beginning where it's a bit hairy and bumpy, after a km or so you get in to these bushy areas, which go into some more meadowy areas, just beautiful! This was a lovely day.

Ray zoomed ahead on the snowmachine for the first run, then we both ran on the second run. This is a dark-ish me with Loki and ESTHER in lead! Yes, that's right, new dog Esther led half way on the way back after Octane (the oldster) needed a bit of a break. She was great. I also tried Pooh Bear!(exclamation point just for Sue and Monk!) but she was a bit of a disaster as she seemed to prefer coming back to visit me!

This is the second run, I tried with Ripper in lead at first just 'cause he's my ol' reliable guy. But I also forget that he's my ol' STUBBORN guy too. Because we were going a "slightly" different way this time, he could not get it through his stubborn head at the start. He whipped the whole team almost backwards to run the way we normally run, even though Ray and his yapping team were right ahead of us!! I saw Sage get totally interested in Ray's team (Ripper was totally oblivious to them), so I put Sage in lead, which I normally don't do. But he was totally awesome. It just goes to show that I should alternate them all in lead.

I chalk up Ripper's stubborness to his infatuation/distraction with the new girls in heat.

Sage, looking damned proud of himself after the run:

"Yes, that's right, I'm truly awesome..."

Ivy, after the run.

She is one kooky dog. Usually she is not sure about men, and she has been giving Ray a hard time lately. She'll totally avoid him when he's in the cabin, and even growl from the other side of the cabin. I'm not sure why this is, and one day he (god forbid) SNEEZED and she hated him even more after that. Then, suddenly last night, she ran up to him, totally curious and let him pet her for a good 15 minutes. We were amazed and as quick as she warmed up to him, he put his toque on and she reacted like this new stranger all of a sudden appeared before her eyes. And she hated him again. It was like Superman putting on his glasses and fooling EVERYONE!

Ah well, she's a sweetheart with me! :)

Ripper, Ivy in wheel and Sage/Rupert in lead.

Rupert - he's looking older these days, but it could be all that excitement with the girls in heat. Even though he's neutered, Pooh Bear! and him still have some, um, *fun*!!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Friday randomness

Here's a few shots of the night skijoring we did. Harris and Jack are hooked up to me, and yes that rope is totally freyed, thanks to Ripper getting a hold of it. However, haha! I thwarted his efforts by buying a cable gangline! Take that you nibbly gnawer of everything!

He did a pretty darned good job considering it is cable. He actually almost got through some of the cable, so this line will be retired soon. *sigh*

Mmmmm, tasty snow!

I love this blurry butt shot of Kuna's rear end. He runs so funny when he tries to run fast!! Kinda like a big, gigantic, uncoordinated bunny.

Blurry Jack pounces into the snow with Harris hot on his tail! Yay, snow!!!

I LOVE these trails, and on most nights I get this crew out for a walk/slog through snow after work. The other crew gets the game of fetch/free run in the big pen.

Well, I geared up with ski wax today and am looking to get out a ton this weekend on the skis and sled. The temperature is amazing here, hovering just below zero, which is perfect for humans. Perhaps a bit too warm for dogs, but we're not going out too far anyways. I love not having to use too much wood. In fact, the fire went out last night and I was too warm to get it going again. Crazy, for January!

The dogboxes are all over town as people head to races - the Quest is underway on Feb. 9 from Fairbanks, with Iditarod in March. We have the local Carbon Hill race this weekend, which is ALWAYS a ton of fun. However, our lack of training is preventing us from going. Plus, I get really sick of driving during the week! Hopefully Tamara will get some photos to share! The Copper Haul Twister races are still going strong with the next coming up on Jan. 26.

This is another thing that has been consuming our (well, mostly Ray's) lives. The cutting of the power line!! We've had to cut and clear a line 10m wide for the length of the driveway (about 500m) to accomodate the power poles which are going to be coming, hopefully, in the next couple weeks. I just need an electrician out there now to set me up! I can't wait to have a huge light in the dogyard!!! Anyone know any electricians they can recommend??

The left is where the poles will be going, just off the side of the driveway. I am still burnt out from cutting the driveway in the summer. And thank goodness the power line is done now, we just have to burn a bit more. I'll be happy if I never have to use my useless chainsaw again!!! I'll leave that to the Master Cutter, Raymond. Thank goodness he loves cutting wood.

Have a swell weekend everyone! :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Finally! Skijoring action!

Well, thanks to a bit more snow out our way, I was able to finally get some dogs out on the trail this weekend. This is Jack and Harris as we sit waiting for Ray's team to come out and lead the way. You can hear his dogs, my dogs and these two all whining and barking!

These two are SO freakin' cute and so much fun to ski with. They were pretty excited to be getting out as we had tried a bit of skijoring the day before, just around the property. But the other monsters were running loose and jumping in front of them/on their heads/etc, so it was nice to get out with just them!

Here we are, catching up to Ray. I had to shut off the camera and pay attention as we were going to run him over! I love chasing another team! We went out about 2.5 miles and Ray kept going on his 10-mile loop. When we turned around, Jack and Harris totally lost their excitement of chasing another team and we slowed right down. That meant a lot of work for me, which was good and fun, and quite exhausting for the first skijor of the season!

Some photos as we head out. Ray snuck ahead as we hit some BUMPY trail and I tried to slow down and avoid careening into trees!

Snow! Glorious snow!!!!!

Aha! There he is. So this is the new trail - it is a TON of fun! It gets pretty windy, which is fun whether you're on skis or on a sled.

Oh my cowdogs. I love me some cowdogs but when paired together, they are more useful fetching a tennis ball than skijoring!

As I say in the video, this was only a few seconds after we left the yard! So they're definitely not tired. We did make it down the hill to this spot though. I swear they were thinking "ok, where's the ball?!? Why else should we run??" - I guess we've been lacking in the training dept. this year. Aren't they cute though? You gotta love their waggly tails! Always happy these two.

So these two were a welcome change as they actually PULLED and ran full out all the way to the river. This is Rupert and Ripper. I had to shut the camera off here quick as I noticed I was rounding a corner and heading towards a tree. Whew! Luckily I missed Mr. Tree.
And I am going to get out and wax my skis! This skijoring day could have been a lot more fun if my skis actually slid well. But that's what happens when you neglect to wax at ALL since last year...

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Dogs, what else?

Back to the crew! Finally have my camera back, whew! It's on it's last legs, but still hanging in there!

Here is (l-r) Loki, Esther and Rupert. They are loving those little girls and I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that they are coming into heat! After going through a lot of years without worrying about dogs trying to have sex all the time, this is catching me a bit off guard. It was getting to the point where I was feeling like I was invading Ripper and Pooh Bear's privacy! However, now they are separated until she loses her tarty ways.

The days are already getting noticeably longer, woohoo! It's light out till almost 5:00 which seems so late now. And the sun, when it's out, is so bright it seems blinding.

Sage, Pooh Bear and Loki run to burn off that energy.

I think Ivy's got the ball here and the rest are harassing her. Hence the reason I've pulled out the "three ball" trick! There are so many balls, their heads start to spin.

Only Ripper would tolerate this nonsense from Pooh Bear. She can't control herself when she gets excited and when he barks (which many have you have heard how annoying it is, and he does it non-stop during playtime), it only gets her more excited. She gets so wound up she doesn't know what to do with herself so she throws herself into him repeatedly as he barks. You can see his focus is not on the little monkey on his head, but still on the ball! Good boy!!!

Frosty fence!

Pooh Bear cuddles up to the hard rubbery bunny boot!

Such is life eh?!

Further down the trail is this little tunnel - good fun when you want a snow wash down your back!

Harris(l) and Jack go kooky as we start our walk down the trail.

Jack doing some kind of weird pounce on me. He runs out ahead, then comes zooming back seemingly very excited to be going for a walk, but kind of concerned that I am not keeping up with them! I think it's his way of checking up on me. How kind... ;)

George with the big snow-face comes to say hi!

Lucy, she's so funny with her snowy nose and tongue that is always sticking out.

One of the black monsters (take 'yer pick) snowbathing.

That is how we spend our weekends! And that is why I get no cabin organizing done!!! :)

Friday, January 04, 2008

Photos, courtesy of Sarah & Adelaide

Thanks to the babies figuring out how to use mom & dad's camera, here are some photos:

Jon in kilt drinking scotch out of a baby bottle on New Years! And I'll bet you that's not the first time he's done both at the same time.

So the Santa costumes that the girls' favourite Aunt Stacie got for them are apparently NOT too big!


Ok, so the hat's are a BIT ginormous!

Dontcha just want to stuff her in a stocking?!?!

Sleeping sweeties - these kids never seem to cry, although their mum might disagree!!! :)

Dog photos to commence next week, after I retrieve my camera! I have to say that Pooh Bear figured out the joys of laying on me on the couch. She has been particularly annoying (as in "pet ME all the time!!") so what the heck, I dragged her up on the couch and she didn't want to leave. We are doing a lot of dog walks still, since snow seems to be scarce this year - but I aim on getting out on at least a one-dog skijor this weekend. Hopefully I have photos to prove it! :)

Off I go to have a relaxing weekend of playing with dogs, organizing my CRAP and doing dishes, ah, screw it. Who needs clean plates?!?! The dogs do a pretty good job cleaning them as it is.

Edit to Add: Apparently there was a meteor shower last night! Thanks to Michael and other UrbanYukonersfor actually knowing something about it. And here I was thinking I was just lucky as I went outside to feed dogs/pee when I saw the star after star shooting across the sky. As I was squatting I was thinking yay! I finally picked the right time to pee for once! Screw that "getting an indoor toilet" thing!!!!