Thursday, February 2, 2012


One word will describe the past two days - "Hectic".  I suppose the place to start is at the beginning.

Preparing to head home from work, I decided to start my little car Monday, to ensure a trouble free start up Tuesday morning.  I determined it was a smart idea when I found a dead battery and had to jump start it off another rig.

Tuesday morning my counterpart relieved me right on time and I went out to start the car, only to find the battery was dead.  I assumed I just hadn't let it run long enough the day before to fully charge, so jump started it and headed to town.

My first stop was Sam's Club for a few sundries.  I did my shopping quickly and went out to start the car, only to find a dead battery.  After driving 75 miles (more or less), I knew this did not bode well for the future.  I was able to get some help and got it jump started.  I then had to rush across town for my annual physical exam.

My physical went very well, in fact my physician has removed one of my blood pressure medications which we believe, in conjunction with my weight loss, has resulted in some unwanted side effects.  She then came out to help me jump start my car.

Since the old battery was a Die Hard from Sears, and I thought that the three year battery was about five years old, I headed over to Sears.  I was able to get the car in straightaway and though I was dreading the cost, I decided to replace it with another Die Hard.  The nice cashier in the automotive department decided to look up when I'd actually bought the battery we were replacing.  It was only 3 years and 7 days old.  They were kind enough to replace the battery under warranty (YAY).

Then the fun could really begin.  I headed up to Nita and Josh's place off Old Murphy Dome Road to pick in Animosh and Chetan.   I enjoyed a brief visit with Nita, Josh and their 8 house puppies before heading home with the puppies.  Once home I still had to feed the team, feed the puppies and finally got around to feeding the human around 8 PM. 

Between Linda and Niel's work and Nita and Josh and their puppies all helping to socialize, the puppies seem to be nearly bomb-proof when it comes to new and novel places and events.  It took very little coaxing to convince them to climb the steep, dark stairs up to the living area of house, and very little additional work to teach them to go down those same stairs.  Going down is frequently harder for a puppy to master than going up, but these guys took to it like little champs.  They found the toy box right off, and were playing as though they had lived in this house their entire lives.

Chetan (standing) and Animosh found the toy box and claimed ownership of the house straightaway.
After their busy day of playing hard and traveling and meeting new people and doing new things the pups finally crashed.  Shortly after taking the next photo I got them into their kennel for the night, and I was also soon sound asleep.

Although I slept well, it wasn't long.  The puppies were ready to go outside at 4:30, and there wasn't any way I was going to sleep in until they got what they needed.

I did kennel chores plenty early, and then was on my way back to town.  My doctor wanted to run some lab tests, so I had to first go into the lab to have blood drawn.  I was there shortly after they opened, and having fasted for a good long time, I was ready for a very nice breakfast at the Bakery Cafe'.  By then other businesses were starting to open for the day, so I went by the Yukon Quest office to buy a Start Banquet ticket for our new kennel helper, and then drove to Cold Spot Feeds to stock up on dog food, collars and some fluffy squeaky toys for puppies.

Back at the house I got the puppies out to pee and poop, and then let them romp and rumble about while I did a few domestic errands.  Our former handler had already vacated the cabin in order to settle into he and his wife's new home, and he and I sat and talked for an hour or so, covering a wide range of topics.  I'm sure going to miss having him and his wife on the place.  They are wonderful people, good friends as well as good caretakers for the team. 

Keeping the hectic pace going full-tilt-boogie, our new caretaker arrived about 3 PM, with an additional companion.  While driving out from town with her own two lovely huskies in a rented truck, she came across a stray dog trying to dodge traffic on Chena Hot Springs Road.  The poor dog seemed confused and scared, and apparently came very readily when she called, so Tiffany arrived with a rescue in tow.

The found dog is a geriatric, intact male Alaskan husky sled dog with cataracts over both eyes.  He's predominately gray with a black body and was wearing a pale blue nylon collar of a type commonly preferred by area mushers.  If you happen to know who might own this dog, please give me a call at (907) 488-3327.  Here is a picture of the found dog.

Found near 16 mile Chena Hot Springs Rd.

We had to move along to get Tiffany into her cabin and get back into town for the Yukon Quest Start Bangquet, which I'll describe in another post very soon.  For now, we have errands to run in town (sigh), including some work to try to identify the owners of the found dog.

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