Friday, August 22, 2008

A Wonderful Day In a Routine Sort of Way

I slept in a bit this morning, which is rather unusual for me. I finally crawled out of bed about 7, got some coffee on-board and went out to feed Lucky and the puppies and then scoop the kennel. If it sounds like dog mushers do a lot of poop-scooping well, you're right - we do. A clean kennel is a healthy kennel

Most of my dogs are shedding, we refer to it "blowing coat". I spent a good two hours just brushing out old underfur so the dogs won't feel quite so itchy. They all look much better, especially Rose who always looks rather ragged when she is shedding. By the time I was finished there were so many tufts of fur lying about or wafting in the breeze that it looked as though a sled dog or two had exploded.

Today was "egg day" for the team. About once a week I feed each dog a hard-boiled egg. It's a great, concentrated source of protein and helps promote healthy coats. Each dog handles his or her egg a bit differently. Seamus crunches his egg once (and only once) and then gulps it down. Chinook carefully peels the shell from his and then eats the innards very delicately. It's interesting to watch because Chinook is a rough, tough macho sort of boy, not a dog you would expect to show such delicate behavior.

Rose isn't quite sure what to do with her egg, so she sniff at it, runs a couple of laps around her post, sniffs again, runs around again until finally she grabs it hard enough to crack the shell and realizes it's food. Then it's gone in a single gulp.

The puppies will get to share a single egg, ground up shell and all, in their gruel at evening feeding tonight. I'm trying to expose them to as many protein sources as I can in their gruel to help their little digest systems adapt to a range of things they may be fed during their lives as Alaskan sled dogs.

I also ran the brush cutter to mow some weeds and young aspens that were trying to sprout near the house and dog yard. I'm especially aggressive about removing the foxtails, as they are notorious for getting hung up in dog's ears, noses, coats and throats and can be the source of very nsasty infections.

Lynn and her friend Marya came over to visit puppies this afternoon. That was great fun as the puppies are happily interacting more and more with their human visitors and I'm trying to introduce them to as many new people as possible. Socialization is vital to mentally sound dogs.

After Marya left Lynn and I went to supper at Mia's Cafe, sitting out on the porch enjoying the evening breeze. We won't see many more reasonably warm days, so we must take advantage of the nice weather while it's here.

All in all it was just a quiet day at home with the dogs. It may seem cliche', but there really is NO place quite like home.

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