Me & Koyuk
Windows & Serra (one of the pups)
Windows & Liddell, another one of the pups
Windows & Georgie
We have been pretty busy this spring harness breaking the 2nd batch of Zoey/Strider pups now that racing is done. They are now 9 months old and have 5 hookups on them. They are doing very well and were natural sled dogs right from the start. Serra, Dana, Franklin, Liddell & George have already been in lead and all did great! Looks like we will have lots of young leaders this fall. It is really fun seeing them do so well. Harness breaking is one of my favorite things to do since I get to see the future of my kennel develope.
We are also house breaking one of our retired Leaders "Koyuk". He is such a sweet boy and a VERY good leader, but is getting a bit slower infront of the team. I usually use Windows to train pups anyways, so we decided to see how he does in the house. He only had one accident so far and is LOVING being a house dog. He is very gentle and great with Ana.
For the past couple of weeks, I was absolutely glued to the internet, following the Iditarod. That is the highlight of the year for me. Lance Mackey made history again by winning the Yukon Quest (a very difficult 1,000 mile race) for the 4th time in a row and also winning the Iditarod (1,200) miles with virtually the same dogs only 10 days later for the 2nd time in a row. Nobody ever thought you could be competitive in the Quest and Iditarod in the same year, but Mackey broke through all those myths two years in a row and really put new meaning to what great sled dogs can actually do. It was a very exciting race to the end, with Jeff King (4 time Iditarod champ) right on his heels. Mackey made a swift move when he got to Elim, where he snuck out of the checkpoint when King was sleeping to finally gain an hour on him and go on to win the race. Before that, King was only 3 minutes behind. A HUGE congratulations to Lance! It was also exciting following Ed Steilstra on the trail this year. He is a Michigan musher, he and his wife Tasha own and operate Nature's Kennel in the U.P. Ed just came off a win at the UP200 in February and placed 29th out of 90+ teams in the Iditarod. It is a big feat to place in the top 30 with the BEST teams in the world. So, congrats to Ed & Tasha and their wonderful dogs!
In the picture at the top, you'll see Larry pulling Ana on "her" sled. That sled was my very first sled I got from Halls Dog Sleds when I was in 7th grade. I haven't used it in years and it was always just hanging in the barn. Larry got to work one day and shortened the handlebar and put a platform on the footboards so Ana could stand on the sled better. She LOVES having her very own sled just her size. She also loves having her daddy be her leader. We keep asking if she wants one of the dogs to pull her around the yard, but she declines and wants Larry to pull her. It is very funny hearing her say "Straight Ahead, Straight Ahead", "Gee, Gee, Gee", "Haw, Haw, Haw". She knows all the commands!