SP Kennel is a premier sled dog racing kennel in Two Rivers, Alaska, dedicated to the individual dog through excellent health, nutrition, training and specialized care.

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Face of Fats

Back in 1994, Aliy was living in Bettles, Alaska and beginning to acquire a small group of Alaskan Huskies. While working for US Fish and Wildlife, she had the opportunity to visit the village of Allakaket and meet well respected breeder/racer Steven Bergman. During a tour of his kennel, a sturdy, friendly pup, with a white face and bright blue eyes, piqued her interest. Within the next few months Aliy struck a deal with Steven and Fats, the pup, came home to live with her. He was to become one of the Founding Fathers of SP Kennel. And today, 20 years later, we see glimpses of Fats whenever we look in the dog yard.

Fats was tough, calm and strong, with a race weight of about 60 pounds. “Fats was always a gentleman!” says Aliy. He took each step with Aliy during her early racing days and was a crucial part of her Yukon Quest Championship team in 2000. Fats was the main kennel stud from 1998 to 2001. He fathered quite a few litters and there was always one pup per litter with a white face and bright blue eyes. Fat’s daughter, Mo (pictured below), is Kaz’s pet and a healthy 13-year-old as I write this post.

Fat’s pup, AJ, was dark in color with brown eyes. He was Aliy’s main lead dog in the early 2000’s and the main kennel stud from 2002 to 2005. AJ had only a few pups that resembled Fats. One of them was Oddball, pictured below. Though Oddball eerily resembled his grandfather, he was much lighter in stature, racing at about 48 pounds. Oddball raced on Aliy’s and Allen’s teams between 2005 and 2010. He was the main kennel stud during 2007 and 2008.

  L to R: Fats - "Grand Daddy" to them all; Mo - a Fats Pup; Oddball.

  L to R: Olivia; Junior; Chena.

Oddball fathered 16 pups, 4 of which resembled him and his grandfather, Fats. Those pups are Olivia, Hummer, Honda and Scruggs. All with white faces and bright blue eyes!

As many of you longtime SP followers know, Olivia was the main breeding female in 2012 and 2013. She had 4 pups for SP Kennel in 2012 and 11 in 2013. Of those 15 pups, 7 display the white faces and bright blue eyes which are traceable to their great-great-grandfather, Fats. Olivia and her pups, Junior and Chena, are pictured above.

Chena is one of the eleven pups in the Fire Litter. I attached the Fire Litter Pedigree Chart (below), along with the photos of Fat’s descendants, for a big dose of SP Kennel history. Hope you enjoy it! - Kennel Mom


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Healthy Futures

All of us at SP Kennel are thankful for the tremendous community support we receive from people around the world and especially, Alaskans. This year, Aliy is trying to ‘give back’ to some Alaskan communities.

Since, Aliy considers personal health and fitness a number one priority, it only makes sense that she has become a public advocate and official spokesperson for the Healthy Futures Challenge and the state of Alaska’s Play Every Day campaign.

Aliy recording PSAs in studio; Aliy models the “Get out and Play!” t-shirt (Love the Red!)

Healthy Futures is an Alaskan health and fitness program that was started many years ago by Bonny Sosa. The program empowers Alaska’s youth to build the habit of daily physical activity. The state of Alaska’s Play Every Day campaign is a partner with Healthy Futures and the state-wide outreach continues to grow. Healthy Futures is in almost 200 Alaskan schools (including Two Rivers). The Challenge program begins when school starts in September.

Earlier this week Aliy was in Anchorage filming inspirational and educational videos. These fun clips were produced to motivate kids to sign up for the upcoming Challenge and stick with the it until the finish line!

Aliy was trying to convince the dogs that a “couch life” is only good in moderation; Aliy and the kids practiced their lines for the Healthy Futures video.

So... kids, adults and dogs: “Get out and play! Every day!”

‘Healthy Futures’ website is HERE.
‘Get out and Play!’ website is HERE.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Spicy - Life in New Zealand

Woof. Hi. Kia ora.

I’m settling in nicely and am enjoying my new life in small town Taranaki, New Zealand. My new BFF is Lexie, an 11 year old Gordon Setter and we hang out together during the day. I’m getting to know the new human members of my family but I’ve always been a bit shy of new people. I’m becoming more and more comfortable each day.

Every morning I get to go for a run at the nearby sports ground. I run with Lexie, chase the birds and catch up with all the new messages from the other dogs that walk there. Sometimes I even steal Lexie’s tennis ball.

After our run we head home for breakfast then my day is spent poking around the back yard, chewing on my bone or resting in my bed. Sometimes I get to go for a drive in the car to town or to visit friends. Then late afternoon sees a second run over at the sports ground followed by dinner and bed. I like my routine.

Although it is winter I haven’t seen snow on the ground here. In other parts of New Zealand it has been snowing but here where I live it doesn’t often get cold enough. There is a mountain nearby and it snows up there and we might take a road trip sometime soon to go find some.

Moira sometimes works from home and this is her home office. Notice Lexie has stolen her “office chair”.

I do sometimes miss all my friends back in Two Rivers but I love my new life here!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Happy One Year Old Birthday, Fire Litter!

We still think of the Fire Litter as puppies, but truth be told.. they are not! Olivia and Nacho’s eleven puppies graduate to the SP Kennel Yearling Class this week.

We took photographs of the kids earlier this week. Out of the 556 pictures we took, we hope that we got 11 good ones! We'll let you decide.

Glamour shot of Amber at 3 months; Amber at 1 year.

Glamour shot of Chena at 3 months; Chena at 1 year.

Glamour shot of Coal at 3 months; Coal at 1 year.

Glamour shot of Commando at 3 months; Commando at 1 year.

Glamour shot of Daisy at 3 months; Daisy at 1 year.

Glamour shot of Hotshot at 3 months; Hotshot at 1 year.

Glamour shot of Nomex at 3 months; Nomex at 1 year.

Glamour shot of Spark at 3 months; Spark at 1 year.

Glamour shot of Tinder at 3 months; Tinder at 1 year.

Glamour shot of Torch at 3 months; Torch at 1 year.

Glamour shot of Violet at 3 months; Violet at 1 year.

If you want to see the litter at 6 Months then check out this post:

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Chica x Clyde Litter: Newborn Portraits

Here are the Newborn portraits!

It is obvious that most of the pups have their father's coloration. At birth, they were quite challenging to differentiate. However in the past few days, they have started to gain some more individual characteristics.

Names will be coming soon. (After we are sure of who is who!)



Friday, July 18, 2014

Chica Pups: Day Two

Day Two Pupdate is that everyone is healthy and growing. When they were born we took birth weights. Every pup weighed between 13 and 17 ounces. By day two, all of the pups had gained between 1 and 3 ounces. Chica is nursing the 9 pups on 10 teats, so there is no need for human intervention.

We let Momma and her youngsters have some alone time after the birth day. But during day two we spent a great deal of time with the family and took quite a few photos. Newborn portraits will be posted soon. But, some of the best shots are the 'outtakes'.

Chica and Aliy look through the pups individually.

A little wave from SP Kennel; Snuggling up with Momma

Chica and a her little 'look alike' son have a moment just before his portrait session.

All photos by Barbara Swenson.