Okay, now for some exciting news!
During mid summer we decided a year with out puppies was most likely a mistake. We will have dogs retiring in two years and no one to take their place. So.....
During the Iditarod 2003 I was traveling with Ed Iten. He had a great dog in lead named Cloudy. She was happy and perky through out the race. I really liked her. I asked Ed if I could ever buy a puppy out of her. He left it as .... "Yea... maybe someday." In 2006 Ed called me. He said, "I have a dog for you. She is a puppy from Cloudy." I was very excited and yelled, "Send her to me!" He told me "Pepper has a leg injury but would be very good for breeding." Well, I said, "She must be an older puppy if she is good for breeding." "Oh, she's not a puppy... she's four, but she'll still Cloudy's puppy!"
Ed sent me Pepper, so that I could "just meet her". Well, she was a happy, friendly, solid, good natured, well built .. dog. Needless to say, she stayed. This first summer we bred her. She had puppies with Pingo. Then we decided to give her a chance as a sled dog and trained her with our team. She made my Iditarod Team! Her pups turned out great and most raced as 2 year olds with Allen this year: Moonpie, Lil' Deb, Hunter and Dolly (shorter races). The next summer she was bred again and had only two pups: Cutter and Tug. So, Pepper came into heat in early August this year.
We looked through the yard and thought about the future. Bred for the future, but don't forget the past. What is the combination that we are looking for? Well, after many discussions and theories we picked out "the lucky guy". His lineage has the past - genes that trace back to the toughest Alaskan Village Dogs - and his demeanor has the future. His father raced on every championship Copper Basin 300 team and most Iditarods since 2005. His mother has raced (and finished) Iditarod for the last 7 years. He was very close to competing in Iditarod at 19 months (a sore shoulder muscle on the last training run kept him out.) He is a down right .... fun dog! It's Ranger!
So here they are:
You can check out their full lineage on our previous post: Family tree