Friday, April 4, 2008

End of the Season - Visitor at Stardancer Kennel

I wanted to run dogs yesterday, so did a quick run on the snowmachine to check out the trails. Well, that was a wash. I might have gotten away with an 8 1/2 mile loop, but with soft, punchy trails punctuated by moose holes and some bare spots that are fairly extensive, I felt it would be safer for the dogs and the musher to just declare the mushing season over. I may decide to take a team on a road trip to the White Mountains, but with the price of diesel fuel being what it is 'chasing snow' is not a habit I'd want to encourage.

Little Rose was spayed on Wednesday. She doesn't like living in the house and actually has been spending most of her time out front on an overhead trolley run. She's been very good about not over extending herself, and the snow out front is clean so I'm not too worried about infection. I checked her carefully last night and her incision seems to be healing very nicely.

She gave me a hell of a scare Wednesday night, though. Rose is a very shy dog who hates being handled by people. In that regard she is the polar opposite of her brother Nels, who has turned into a bold, gregarious young dog. In any event, Rose's collar was loose around her neck, and she succeeded in slipping it over her head. When I opened the door to let her in she bolted for the woods.

I know better than to try to chase a dog down. Any dog can outrun me without any problem at all, and chasing them simply teaches the dog that s/he can outrun and out-dodge a human. That's not a good lesson to teach, so I resorted to trickery instead.

I opened all the gates in the main housing yard. Just being in the yard "set off" the dogs, putting them into an excited frenzy. Rose may be shy, but she isn't one to miss out on something fun, so she came trotting right into the yard. She hung out with Daisy for a bit and then jumped on the house where Chinook is tethered and let me slip the collar back around her neck. I tightened it a bit more this time, and we haven't had a repeat of her great escape.

We have a special visitor here at the Stardancer Historical Freight Dogs kennel this summer. Kyle Belleque's bitch, Lucky is here for a hot date with Torus. Lucky will be here through breeding and whelping and I'll return her to Kyle along with his share of the litter once the puppies have been weaned.

Kyle and I are both very excited about this breeding. Torus is such an exceptional leader that I'd clone that guy if I could. Meanwhile Lucky, who is 'mom' to Rose and Nels, has a great track record for throwing great sled dogs and a high percentage of leaders.

With mushing pretty much out of the question I suppose I'll pay some attention to my 'spring cleaning' instead of running dogs. Just like last year at this time, the place is a mess with dog gear, dog hair, and winter clothing scattered all about the house. It's a good time to try to bring a degree of order to the choas.


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