Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Pooh Bear and Ripper try to set World Records

Pooh Bear goes for the jumping up on Stacie as many times as caninely possible in a minute-and-a-half while Ripper aims to be the dog who barks the most amount of times in that time period. You be the judge on whether they accomplish that or are just plain annoying.

I think Pooh Bear needs more focus and discipline as you can see she is easily distracted. We need to work on that and getting her to the Dog Olympics. Ripper is a veteran you can easily see his determination and focus. We have high hopes for him.

I love how Ripper ALL OF A SUDDEN decides that the camera is a ball. And he becomes obsessed with it while trying to convince me to throw it. You can see he poked it with his nose a couple of times. What great entertainment!

Friday, April 18, 2008

I spoke to soon!!!

Because this is what we ended up with the other day!!!

The first blizzard of the year took place as we were having a lovely trucker-dinner at Trail's North. Had we headed home right away, we would have missed it, but the drive home ended up being a bit nasty. Of course, until we got about 3/4 of the way, and the sun came out, the skies opened up and our highway was totally dry. Unreal! The wind was sure whipping around though and ALL the dogs were holed up in houses or hidden under trees, we weren't even sure there were any dogs there when we first drove up! It was almost eerie... but once they heard our voices, they all exploded out of their sleepy-hibernation! I love the homecomings. I never get bored of their everyday excitement for us.

The nasty road conditions... ew.

However! Fingers crossed... this weekend is supposed to be lovely, with highs of 14C by Monday! Woohoo - I'm planning my bike riding this weekend (lots and lots of it) and making up for lost time over the last few snowy, cold days!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Spring is here! Kind of...

Except for the wee bit of snow we had yesterday afternoon, and the cool temperatures, um, spring is definitely on it's way! Luckily we had a snow-free afternoon out at the homestead. Sometimes I'm glad we're in a low-snow zone!

This is what things looked like this weekend:

Ah, the scungy ponds are back!

Goodbye trail...

George is the first one in the ponds when they thaw. Moments after this, my little trouble-maker, Lucy came and rested in the pond. A few minutes later I noticed about five PORCUPINE quills on her nose!!! We had just been running around the meadow and were briefly in the trees as I was checking out the trails, since I'm specifically NOT taking them on loose summer walks, but good ol' Lucy is an expert at sneakily disappearing. I have no idea how she found a porky that quick, but I'm glad that either a) she was smart enough to NOT attack it (doubtful, considering her past...) or b) that the porcupine was faster than her. Now I have extra incentive to get more fencing up!

Ball-time has resumed - you can see the Yappy Ripper, the Ever Observant Ivy and Subdued Sage here awaiting the throw. I need to find a new ball that can withstand the trauma these yahoos put it through. Any suggestions?? Our glow ball was the best - lasted almost ONE year! Can't find another one though...

Ripper is SO freakin' happy all the time. I swear if you konked him on the head with a 2x4 his expression would NOT change. (I haven't tried it, I swear)

Ivy dances around and torments Sage - typical brother/sister relationship. She's so freakin' cute, even if she is slightly psychotic. Ray's hand is healing nicely by the way... :)

This is normal Loki:

And this is his impression of Santa's Little Helper" (The Simpson's dog)

(tongue hanging off to the side, eyes slightly crossed, dopey look on face, etc... see below for reference)

The new game in the yard: "Chase the dog on the other side of the fence!"

Look at them stretch out - man they go FAST!!! That is Ivy and Esther.

I have to say, this game was originally MY idea - but Ivy and Sage caught on really fast and started it right away. They pretty much just run up and down the fence, on the outside, tormenting Pooh Bear!, Esther and Loki. You can see the three in hot pursuit!

The funniest thing is that they can do it for HOURS! And they come out of it totally exhausted!!

Muddy Pooh Bear!

This is how one (or all, actually) of our conversations go:

Pooh Bear: (bounce, bounce on Stacie's legs) PLEEEEASE pet me!!! (as she runs around, chases other dogs, jumps on Ripper's head, comes back)
Stacie: I just did, like two seconds ago (if I ignore her maybe she'll go away for 5 seconds)
Pooh Bear: I know! But here's an idea - pet me again! (jumps on Rippers head again, screeches while sprinting across the yard, finds me again) Maybe you didn't hear me last time, or maybe I forgot to ask, but PET ME!!!!!
Stacie: I don't want to spoil you with too much attention, or make the other dogs jealous y'know...
Pooh Bear: What other dogs?!?! *SCREEEEECHHHHHHH!!!!!* (as she chases Esther across the yard)
Stacie: *sigh* It's all about the Pooh Bear...
Pooh Bear: Pet me! *wiggle wiggle* (runs to jump on Loki's head, hey she likes variety!)

More fence chasing. Holy crap I love this game. I don't have to do a thing, except drink my beer while sitting down and supervising. Maybe next weekend I'll have a nap out there.

Esther and her hoarse little bark kills me. That's her in front with PB and Loki in behind. Ivy and Sage seem to love inciting the chase on the other side of the fence. They are over there because Ivy likes chewing on Pooh Bears and Esthers. She tells me they're quite tasty. :)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Cabin Update!

Well, the cabin renovations are under FULL swing now that spring has hit. All of a sudden, we realized the gazillion things we have to do this summer if we want to avoid looking at that DREADED pink insulation anymore. And I have to say, I'm getting rather annoyed with it. I mean, look at that lovely floor! And there's the crap insulation ruining the view! Bleah!

I quite like the floor though! Can't wait till we have, oh, a BED!!! Other furniture would be nice too upstairs, but one step at a time. Next we might drywall the upstairs before furniture comes in. Then I realized, crap! We have to get the place wired first. There is also the porch to do, although Ray did get some steps on the porch, which makes things a lot easier. And the flooring downstairs, oh yeah, a kitchen, pseudo-bathroom, etc, etc...!

The ceiling is going to be one major job, but I figure we can stain the boards outside this summer and hopefully get them all up quickly one nice summer day!

Our snow is almost gone, and the driveway is holding up really well. Our driveway guy, Travis, did a pretty nice job with that I have to say. No mud hardly at all, and it drains nicely. Usually this is a horrible time of year if you have a dirt driveway. At my old cabin, I often had to park on the main road and walk in because of the mud. Gee, it's amazing what thousands of dollars can do!!! :)

So the dogs are back into the fetching/relaxing-mode and are quite enjoying ripping around the big dog pen. The white dogs are especially enjoying turning brown from the mud... *ahem* POOH BEAR! I'll have to get some video of that.

This is what I spent last weekend (or 2 weekends ago?) doing (most of that snow is gone and the meadow is quite grassy again!).

Yes, sitting with my feet up and drinking a big ol' beer while enjoying the view. Ray and I then had a mini-bonfire, and realized... hey, it's time for some parties around the bonfire! Stay tuned for details on Stacie's Second Annual Canada Day Party!!!!

Off to the side of the cabin, is the 6-pack, and Kuna - the 10-yr old chasing his tail...

So pretty are my mountains.

Heather gave me some bird seed so I put it out and put it everywhere hoping the little buggers would catch on. It took about two days and after they found it they ate EVERYTHING in one day!! Greedy little birds. At one point there was about 50 of them devouring every morsel. Now I know why I never buy bird seed. Although it was entertaining to have them flittering about for the afternoon.

And as of last night: the biking season has begun!!! I'm back on my roadie, planning to be in the bike race again this year. I started with about 15km up the highway, and ooh! This time of year is quite chilly - even with a TOQUE on my head was still freezing on the way back. Ok, so I'm SO ready for summer I can't even stand it!!!!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Dog Day Afternoon

Finally, I've got the pictures from the Open House organized into a nice little slideshow for your viewing pleasure. I had at least 50 photos that I thought might be a little much here on the wee blog, so hopefully this works.

The day went off without a hitch, and if you've seen Tamara's blog, you'll no doubt already know that (plus she has great pics of Gracie and Pooh Bear!). We were originally only going to have the dog rides from 1-3 to limit the time because we knew it would be warm out. Well, that all flew out the window in the first hour, since we started unloading dogs around noon. By 12:30 I think Ray and I were out with our first teams. It was crazy. We went pretty much non-stop right until 4:00 when the dogs were finally tuckered out. I was beyond tuckered out, I was freakin' exhausted!! Turns out it would have been a GREAT idea to keep the trail packed all winter, instead of the week before. That meant we had to slog through (sometimes) thigh-deep snow to turn teams around (doh! We forgot to have a turnaround... whupps! I blame that one on the trail guru, Ray).

For me, everything was going smashingly well, until one ride. During that ride, this poor woman in my sled witnessed EVERYTHING that can go wrong with sled dogs. Lucky for her, it all happened on her run. She laughed her head off through the whole thing, so that's a good sign, but it was still a bit frustrating. First, Pooh Bear snapped her collar off (why would I use a collar PLASTIC snaps on that dog, I have no idea - oh yeah, it was cute and reflected in the dark!), she went running right to me so that was good. Then Ivy and Sage, who were on a break for this run, started beating the crap out of each other at the truck!! They never fight with each other (sure with others...), so I had to try to get to them as I flailed through the deep, sugary snow, it felt like it took me an hour to get to them. Did I mention I was exhausted??

So then, Esther or Loki (they blamed each other), decided it would be great fun to chew the leader lines. I had Ivy and Sage in lead at that point (before the fight), and off Ivy went down the trail. She ran right into Ray (who she HATES for some reason) and he tried to save the day by grabbing her. Not a good idea, as she turned around and bit him!! I'm still shocked about that, but she is just not a fan of men, esp. this Ray guy who keeps taking her place on the couch in the cabin. He was fine, it was just a flesh wound. And as he was returning her to me, he left his team with the snow hook in(which was useless on sugary snow) and as he's handing the evil one off to me, we both panicked and realized he should get back to his team. As he went running, it all happened in slow motion in my mind... adn then it happened - his team popped the hook and off they went!! They weren't waiting for anyone. Then I realized agh! My dogs, Gracie and George were in that team too. And a runaway team is an instant panick attack, no matter who's dogs are in it!

So I hurried off one way after them, while Ray ran across the parking lot to divert them. Luckily it wasn't too dangerous, they were just going to do the loop they'd already done a half a dozen times. By the time we got to the field (after the hill, which the kids dubbed the "rollercoaster hill!") Ray had his team and even though it was a small disaster getting our teams past his team... we managed.

Keep in mind we are not even halfway down the trail at this point! Something happened at about the halfway mark, I think Ivy got loose again after I tied up her tugline with a knot, then they almost popped the hook... what a ride!! By this point, I was done and ready to load up the truck, but the woman who was in my sled was totally enjoying every choatic moment. She couldnt' get enough! So of course, we had to keep going. The only thing that stopped us at the end was the dogs getting tired and the trails becoming dangerous - in fact, I had trouble slowing down on the hills and started accidentally dumping people out of the sled. Whupps! That's when you know to call it a day...

Anyways, all in all, it was totally successful. The best part (aside from having a whopping 200 people visit the Centre that day!!) was having all these kids and adults get on a dogsled for the first time and feel the absolute THRILL of riding with a team of eager, crazy huskies. And I must mention that the dogs were great, other than the chewing, the minor fight, Ray's flesh wound, etc. Those were minor things that are a part of our daily lives (ok, not the "biting the human" part). For the most part the dogs ran their little hearts out and did way more than I thought they could. They amazed me. Except for Gracie, who pretty much told Ray she was done after about 3 runs. That's no shocker. Later she was content to get pets from all the kids while guarding the truck. Kuna came along and guarded my chicken sandwich, which was on top of the truck. How nice of him. Oh, he liked the people too. As long as they didn't get too close to the sandwich. Pooh Bear entertained many people to no end, and kids were just drawn to her. I'm not sure why, because her incessant screeching normally send people the OTHER way!

So, I've blabbed enough and I'll let the pictures do the talking now!! Enjoy them and the song "Ordinary Day" by Great Big Sea. This is kind of an ordinary day for us, well, with about 200 less people that is! :)