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Due to our ageing gang, we decided it was time to adopt younger sled dogs. I attempted to adopt a dog from Fairbanks, but the person I was dealing with never came through, and the travel arrangements weren’t very good. Apparently, Air Canada’s cargo hold would take a crate that was 81″ long. Medium dog crates are 81.5″ long and Air Canada wouldn’t accept this size crate. I was going to ship the dog via Air Alaska cargo from Fairbanks to Detroit and drive 6.5 hours to Detroit to pick up Laura (the dog I was going to adopt). The owner never responded to my last message with the details, so I didn’t adopt Laura, which is lucky for Floppy and Jack.
My doggie dealer from SHARP said she had some potential sled dogs for us. After lengthy discussion with Greg, we decided to foster Floppy (3.5yo) and Jack (3yo). If they didn’t work as sled dogs, we’d foster them.
Jack is a very strong boy and a natural sled dog. We’ve only gone 4 miles with him, but he likes to go and keeps his tug line tight. Floppy on the other hand, didn’t keep his tug line tight and was very unsure about the whole dog sledding thing. After his third run, we decided that he wasn’t going to be a sled dog. I was ready to return him to SHARP and Greg said, let’s see how he does as a house dog.
Floppy must have been someone’s pet, because he’s a natural at being a house dog. He learned how to use the dog door in one night. He’s house-trained (except for one “I’m going to leave my mark here” accident.” He’s introduced himself to the couch and last night he slept next to me on the bed (to Mira and Bruno’s chagrin!).
We’re up to 11 insiders and 19 outsiders. However, Jack needs a kennel mate since he’s all by himself.
It’s finally snowing! We got around 5″ of beautiful snow. Not enough to take the dogs out on the sled– there are a lot of rocks and roots about, but enough to make Wayne happy!
This was last week:
This is today (Monday, Nov. 21 2016)
13 year old Roo died on Oct 6th 2016, around 1 month from the date she was diagnosed with an osteosarcoma. Roo (short for Roulette) was a champion leader we adopted from the Fairbanks North Star Borough Shelter. She was a beautiful super high energy girl who didn’t get along with females, except for her sisters Nicky and Decker.
Roo was a champion leader, but in retrospect she would have been a better sprint dog than a distance dog. I remember the first time I put Nicky and Roo in lead and headed out through the Two Rivers maze of trails up to the 26 mile road crossing. I trusted in dog and they knew which way to go even though I had no clue which trail to take.
She lead for me on the 2009 Serum Run, but the 60 mile days were very hard on her and by the end of the day she rode in the basket. Due to her anorexic tendency and her tiredness, I dropped Roo from the run and she flew home early from Ruby to Fairbanks. Soon the rest of the Stinkers followed because 2009 Serum Run was cancelled mid-run due to too much snow (ha!). After that experience, Roo didn’t run many distance races and she preferred short 7 miles runs.
We’re so sad that Queenie Roo is no longer with us.
Due to their age, were wanting to move Nicky and Roo inside, but Roo didn’t get along with other female dogs. Now that Roo has passed, we’ve moved Nicky inside and she is adjusting well. On her first day she took over the bed, but soon decided she prefers the mud room so she can growl at everyone coming in and out of the dog door.
Here is a picture of some amazing fall flowers that have bloomed in September, long after most of our wildflowers have died off. You can see Roo, looking on from the side. The flowers run alongside one of the dog yard fences, and also a few other places on the property.