Janece flew out of Fairbanks to return to her home in Kentucky at 1 am this morning. When I awoke at 8 am the weather was as dark, wet and down-right dismal as one could ask. All of the dogs seem to be searching for Janece, with noses in the air hoping to catch scent, and dogs that come into the house searching from top to bottom. I also find myself looking up to tell her something, only to realize she's no longer just across the table.
During afternoon feeding I did the neural stimulation exercises for all the puppies, and took this image of the little female we call "Capella", one of the brightest stars in the northern hemisphere, and one that appears to circle around the north star during the night.
As you can see these puppies are growing at an astounding rate. You should see little Polaris - that boy is a huge handful. The smallest of the puppies are Capella and Orion, who seem to be the first to be shoved away from Lucky's teats by their more active and larger siblings. From time to time I move all the others away to give these two a fair shot at the fountain.
The weather is suitable for the mood. It rained all night long, so the kennel is a sloppy, muddy mess. I think I have some very old straw that I can throw down in the dog's circles to make it a bit less mucky. I'm going to give it a shot, anyway.
I was able to motivate myself to install flood lights off the end of the house to illuminate the dog yard. It was an easy enough task, just string outdoor wiring under the eves to the selected spot, install a junction box, wire in the fixture, then wire the other end into an existing circuit. I think the flood lights will make it MUCH easier to work in the yard and do late night welfare checks once winter arrives.
I noticed last night that we no longer have our "midnight sun" (though we've named one of the puppies Midnight Son). According to Weather Underground today we will have 22 hours and 6 minutes of visible light, a big change from the 24 hours of June and early July. We are losing about 7 minutes of possible daylight each day, so the darkness is starting to creep back into the Great Land.
Although we start joking that "winter is coming soon" shortly after the summer solstice, it is this time of year with the daily rains and gloomy skies that many of us that winter really IS coming soon, and we'd best be making ready for it.
Other than needing to purchase straw for winter bedding, I think I have the kennel in good shape for the coming season. I need to install some door sweeps here in the house to help block some of the cold air, but that's a quick, easy project that won't take long.