Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I don't have any sled pictures of this season yet so this one is from December 2009. This is me last year with the main team.

This was our last ATV run of the year a couple of weeks ago. Jerry Papke & Ali Dodge came up to run their dogs with us & have some passing practice. Larry & I combined our teams & ran one 18 dog team together. Jerry & Ali ran a 16 dog team. That was a lot of dogs on the trail! It was a good, uneventful run, except for the fishtailing around turns.

  • We have been busy, as usual. In October we went up to the Shaws for their rig session. It was a great time! It just isn't long enough! It is so much fun to see all our musher friends and meet new ones! The dogs had awesome passing practice!

  • In November, we split our time between deer hunting & dog training. We had two nice 8 points coming in where we hunt. They were too smart though & wouldn't come out till after dark. So, they will live on another year.

  • We had our first sled run of the year on December 3rd. Man, is that ever way more fun than the ATV! The dogs have been doing super! We are definetly looking forward to getting our toughest month of training out of the way and for the races to begin! Our first race is January 8th, the Taqhuamenon Country Sled Dog Race. Larry and I will both be running in the 8 dog pro, 43 mile race. We will keep you posted on how it turns out. Check out our website: to follow the race. We have all the links to our 2011 races on our site under "races". Hope you all have a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Yep, you guessed it, more Fall Training & dog related activities!!!!!
Tefa & Fender waiting for treats after the run

One of our teams on a beautiful fall morning. Training is going well for us. We had a few days of warm weather that slowed us down, but now the cold temps are back!

Larry coming home with a team

Deward, the thousands of acres of state land we get to train in every day

Zeus, now 5 months old, excited about the new additions to our kennel! He finally has someone to play with other than our two house dogs!!

Carmello (black female) & Clark, two of the three new additions to our kennel. John Fink is selling out, so we went down there to check out his wonderful kennel of dogs. We came home with part of his candy bar litter, Clark, Carmello & Whatchamacallit. Whatchamacallit is WAY too long of a name, so we let Ana choose another candy bar she liked. She was stuck on Hershey, but there is already a hershey in the litter. We tried to get her to go for Twix, but Ana won and Whatchamacallit is now Hershey 2.

The 2nd female, Whatchamacallit, or now named Hershey 2. We are very excited about these three pups. They are from excellent bloodlines (Swingley/Saunderson/Buser/Redington), and are extremely social, well behaved pups.

Me reading in "Shady Acres" getting to know the new puppies. Carmello just had to crawl into my lap. She is a little sweetie!

One of the highlights of this fall was Lee & Claudia Nowak's annual visit to help socialize & spoil puppies. They had just come from the Symposium in Curtice with none other than Sebastian Schnuelle! For those who do not know, he is a top distance sled dog driver. In 2009, he won the 1,000 mile Yukon Quest sled dog race and then piloted his team to a 2nd place finish in the Iditarod only 10 days later. To say we were excited to meet him was an understatement!

Sebastian holding some of our pups from our George/Odessa litter. Odessa had 4 pups on September 8th. 1 male, 3 females. Ana picked a flower theme and named them: Poppy (the male), Pansy, Rosie & Daisy.

Lee doing his very important job of socializing (also known as spoiling) Daisy.

Claudia with Poppy

They are now 5.5 weeks old & doing great! They are little bundles of energy with VERY sharp teeth, chewing everything insight, including ME! Pansy is on the far left, then Poppy, & Rosie.

Daisy is on the far left, and Rosie is biting Poppy's ear.

All the pups exploring the big world outside their house.

All curled up, ready for a nap together.

Ana holding Pansy, her favorite puppy.

Other than working, everything we have been doing is dog related, of course! Ana loves school & is in gymnastics, which she also loves. She has a very busy job lately of socializing and playing with 8 puppies. This coming weekend we are headed to the Shaw's for their annual rig session & rabies shot clinic. We can't wait to see all of our friends & have a great time!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Bear Camp 2010!!!!!
Going to clear a year's worth of tree limbs & trees out of our trail before we could go on our runs with the dogs.

Bear Camp!

Franklin, on one of the tie outs. The sled dogs are picketed all weekend. This is excellent training for race time.

Larry's team on a 5.7 mile run

One of my teams that I ran last weekend

Larry & team on another run

22 Dogs

Happy dogs!

Waiting for treats after the run

Jackson & George & Eddie & Jersey in lead

George (left), one of our main leaders & Gibson a main team member

My family & Ali on the bridge infront of the neighbor's cabin

Me & Ana

Jerry Papke going across the river on a log without falling in!

Our Border Collie, "Jake", with his new girlfriend, "Nivea", Jerry & Ali's dog

Larry & Ana hiking along the river

Little "Tiny Tefa", our super star leader!

"Liddell", one of the UFC fighters litter

Boston, one of our main leaders

Curlin (left) & Manny, two of our top yearlings from last year

Libby (left), one of our yearling females, then Smarty & Prophet, two of our best dogs

We had an excellent weekend at Bear Camp, my parent's cabin that is North of McMillan, in the UP. My whole family went up Thursday night and spent 3 wonderful days there!! Jerry & Ali Papke got there Saturday and stayed a couple of days & Frank & Laura Holmberg stopped over and had dinner with us. We brought 22 dogs with us and got three 5.7 mile runs in while we were up there. The weather was rainy & cold, which was perfect! We had such a great time, that it was sad to leave. I love that place! It is 8 miles off of a maintained Rd., with nothing around for miles. It is so quiet and secluded and over-looks the Tahquamenon River. I could stay there forever! We came home late Sunday night, to beat the holiday traffic. Seems we have been busy ever since. Training is in full swing with the dogs and Ana starts school next week. Also, Odessa is going to have puppies any day now! We are sooo excited! I'll post a puppy update very soon!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Almost Time!
Larry waiting for nightfall to hook up a team

Zeus, our pup out of Prophet/Tefa is now 3.5 months old! He is so smart and looks exactly like his dad!

Ana & her best bud, Jake

Ana on her first bike ride away from the house. She was so excited & kept saying, "I'm doing it, I'm doing it!"

Jake, on the couch, terrified of the thunderstorm the other night

Larry with Odessa at the Beargrease, one of our top females from Doug Swingley. We bred her to our young super star, Georgie!

George, in lead, on the right, during a training run last winter
  • Well, it is almost time to resume our training for the 2010/2011 season. We are beyond excited to get started!! We were lucky enough to get one run in last week when the temps cooled, but it has been too hot since. Hopefully the weather will cooperate soon. Our dogs are going nuts lately with nothing to do!!
  • We have had a busy summer, as usual. We got many projects done around the house and spent lots of time with family and friends.
  • Unfortunately, our two breedings to Hobo didn't take. We were very disapointed. We really wanted some Mackey bloodlines in our kennel. Luckily, Odessa, one of our best females came into heat in July, so we bred her to our young super star, Georgie! She is due Sept. 11th & has been showing for awhile now. I think she will have a big litter. We will see. We can't wait for them to get here!!!! We have a lot of great young dogs out of Odessa in our main team, so we are very excited about this breeding. George lead every step of every race with our main team this year as a 2 year old and was fantastic! He also made our main race team last year as a yearling. He is the best dog in our yard. We are so happy we will get some pups out of him this year.
  • Well, that is all we have to report for now. I promise I won't take 2 months to update this blog again!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Ana & "Zeus", our pup out of Prophet/Tefa

Tefa & Zeus

Ana & Zeus. Doesn't he look comfortable with his pillow & blanket??

Zeus, discovering his first toy at 3.5 weeks old

Larry & Zeus

Hobo, the super stud that lead Lance Mackey's winning Iditarod & Quest team. We bred two of our females to him this year.
  • Well, I've definetly been slacking on our kennel blog. We have been busy, as usual. You'd think that I would have lots of time to do this, now that our race season is over. The projects keep piling up though, so we are never without something to do.
  • Our first litter of the year from Prophet/Tefa arrived 3.5 weeks ago. Things didn't go smoothly. Tefa went off of her food 7 days before her due date and didn't want to come out of her house that day. I was worried about an early labor, but hoped for the best. She held off until the next day, still 6 days early. But, the outcome was not what we had hoped. Two of the pups were dead after they came out and Tefa seemed listless, so I rushed her to the vet. They did xrays and found two pups still inside of her. One was for sure dead, as they could see the air in it's chest cavity. The other they thought would be dead too. The vet thought one of these pups died a day or so before this and that caused the early labor. They did an emergency C-section on Tefa and had to spay her since she had an infection and could die if they didn't. Tefa made it through surgery just fine and to our surprise, one white male pup survived. We were so happy!!! We named him Zeus, since his dad is Prophet and his grandpa is named Buddha. We thought we'd stay with the "religion" theme. He is doing great and is now 3.5 weeks old!
  • We also have two more litters of pups on the way. We bred two of our best females, Fender & Zoey to Lance Mackey's Hobo. Hobo was one of Lance's incredible leaders that helped take his team to a Yukon Quest & Iditarod win in 2007, less than 10 days separated both races. Nobody in history has EVER done that! To top it off, Lance has won the last 4 Iditarods in a row! We have known for a long time that we wanted these bloodlines in our kennel. Hobo now resides in John Stetson's kennel in Minnesota, making this wonderful breeding combination of our Swingley lines and the Mackey lines possible. We are so excited to see what we get. Fender's litter is due to arrive in late July. Zoey's will arrive in early Aug.
  • We also have many projects to get done before training resumes in late August. We are STILL finishing our basement, slowly but surely. We are also building a patio under our deck and another puppy pen. We also have to finish putting the wood lament flooring in our office and Ana's room upstairs. So, hopefully we can get all this done by the end of summer. We are enjoying our "off" season and spending time with family and friends, because when training begins, our social life takes a back seat to our dogs. Have a great week everyone!!