Wow, what a busy day I've had today. I was awake at 4 am (8 eastern time zone), not surprising since my circadian rhythm had adjusted to local time in Kentucky. I was able to snooze another hour or so before moving around.
I got caught up on Emails, message boards and such, and spent quite a bit of time with morning dog chores. All of the dogs needed hugs and pets and some of them desperately needed their coats brushed out. Seamus, Sheenjek and the 'mitten twins' (Rose and Nels) are blowing coat in a most amazing manner, and some of the others are still loosing tufts of wool here and there. Of course they really like the part where I trade them treats for behaviors.
With the dogs loved-up, the poop scooped and all the tubs filled with fresh, clean water it was time for me to head into town for some shopping. As I was refilling my coffee cup (a very nice 'go cup' from the SP Kennel, on of my favorite blogs) the phone rang. The local shipping company that specializes in hazardous materials called to tell me that my latest order of black powder has arrived. That added one more stop to a busy morning, but it was welcome news as I'm planning on spending a day or so at the start of the Alaska State Rendezvous this weekend.
I order my black powder from a distributor in California, who ships it to the Lynden Transport terminal in Tacoma, from which it is barged to Alaska and then trucked to Fairbanks. I've been using Lynden since I started my Nor' West Company, and I've been very pleased with their service overall. Shipping black powder to Alaska is tricky (it can't be flown in commercial aircraft at all), but Lynden has always gotten here, legally and in a timely manner. They really do a nice job for me.
From the Lynden terminal I headed over to Rod's Saw Shop to buy a pair of blades for the mower deck of my garden tractor. They didn't have the part in stock, but Rod (the owner) went the extra mile by calling his competitors until he found one who did have the blades. From Rod's I went over to Woodway's new store on College Road. Their store is so new they haven't even had their grand opening yet. They have a very attractive showroom for the various wood burning heating systems they sell, and their parts counter, though still in a bit of disarray from the move, seems to be well organized and nicely situated. It took very little time for them to find the blades I needed.
Since the new Woodway is right next door to the farmer's market, and it was opening up for the day, I decided to hang around for a bit and search for some fresh produce. I have to admit that my trips to Kentucky tend to remind me that our grocery store produce leaves much to be desired. It is very difficult to find truly fresh produce in Fairbanks unless you grown your own truck garden, and with my work schedule it is impossible for me to do that. It's still early in the season, but I was able to get a nice heavy loaf of bread baked in an old-time wood oven, a good sized bag of salad greens, a bundle of good looking albeit somewhat small radishes, and a couple of really tasty tomatoes some guy in Delta Junction grows in a greenhouse (along with peppers and probably other things not commonly grown in Alaska). It was all rather spendy, but it's FRESH and TASTY and I'm really looking forward to a nice salad with my supper tonight.
Next it was off to Cold Spot Feeds. You'd be hard pressed to find a dog musher in the United States who hasn't at least heard of Cold Spot, and most of us in the Interior rely very heavily on them for mushing gear and lots of other dog related stuff. I was a bit disappointed though. For a long time they've had a beautiful old school freight sled showcased, available for sale. I was hoping to come up with enough money to buy it, but it looks like someone beat me to it.
I did find the padded collar I need for Abner (the one who thinks collars are delicious), a new pair of nail clippers that most of the dogs detest and all need, and some bulk dog treats that are the perfect size for behavior training.
The next stop was the grocery store, when I bought just a few things I need to get by until I return to my place of employment. While at the grocery store my friend Lynn Orbison called me on my cell phone. She is one of only about four people in the whole world who know my cell number. It's not a number I release very freely. Anyway, apparently our veterinarian asked Lynn to call me because a mutual friend is in the hospital, but has a dog that needs some sutures removed and would I please do it?
Of course I agreed, so Lynn gave me the number of the handler caring for our friend's dogs. I called her up, and learned straightaway that she is the owner of Bandit, the beautiful Siberian husky pet dog who likes to run away only to get lost. I've rescued Bandit a couple of times, so it was easy for her to bring Otto over.
Before Otto's arrival I headed over to the local post office to check my mail. I got several things, but the most important was the paperwork to renew my BATFE explosives license. Without that license I can't do business, at least not legally. Selling black powder illegally is not recommended. After all, BATFE are the folks who brought us Waco and Ruby Ridge and it just ain't smart to get crosswise with those folks.
Shortly after I returned home Otto showed up with is handler. Our vet, Jean Olson of Raven Veterinary Service in North Pole, does a wonderful job and one of the things she does that I really appreciated today is she leaves nice, long tails when suturing. This makes it easier to find the stitches and gives you something to grasp when clipping the thread and pulling the stitch. Otto was a bit shy, but he tolerated the stranger messing with his mouth and muzzle very nicely, and he was done in short order.
Next on the hit parade was a visit with my friend Stephanie Little Wolf. I was hoping to convince her to care for my dogs during my next tour at work. Stephanie hasn't been feeling well, but her son Casey and his wife Ginger are staying at her place, and Casey volunteered to do the job. Although I just met him today I really like him a lot and I'll be quite pleased with him caring for the dogs.
From there it was dash again home to feed, water and scoop. Now that's finished, I'm nearly finished with this post, and I'm ready to fix my salad, vegitate in front of the television for a couple of hours, and then CRASH for the night.
I do have big plans for tomorrow, though. Tomorrow I plan to stay home, do a few relatively minor chores around the ol' home place, and mostly spend a lot of quality time with the dogs. Maybe I'll even take some photographs to post.