Saturday, December 29, 2012

Meghan's Fire Break Run

Meghan was running a team along the Fire Break Trail when I caught up with her a few weeks ago (this was before the recent snowfall hence she's on a 4-wheeler). I asked her what it's like to run SP Kennel dogs; you can't quite hear her answer on film: "It's amazing! What a privilege. These guys are legends and I get to run ten of them today. Yeah, I love it!"

Friday, December 28, 2012

Catching up with: Fang

"If you've ever wanted a pretty Alaskan Husky: we've got one here in Fang" says Aliy. "He's gorgeous when he moves down the trail and he's gorgeous when he just stands around."

Fang has a wildly fun and rich personality. He loves to play with his buddy Ranger in the dog yard but he’ll harass any human being that walks by to please stop and say ‘Hi’.

We look forward to him starting on many of the SP Kennel race teams this season. As a three year old dog he has a tremendous amount to offer and we are pretty excited that he is starting to be one of the most talented dogs.

Go Fang!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Look Who Dropped In

Look who dropped in to the kennel on his way back to North Pole after a very busy night delivering presents!

A Holiday Tale (re posted)

Sometimes I need to look into the past and see where I came from and who has influenced my journey. My time in Bettles, Alaska (nearly 20 years ago) was very special because of the people and the dogs that welcomed me into this lifestyle. I will always be thankful for that path that was miraculously laid out before me. -- Aliy

SP Kennel’s first sled dog was Skunk. He was given to Aliy many years ago by a trapper who lived on the western coast of Alaska. Skunk was a mature dog with years of trap line experience. All he had known was a somewhat harsh world of eating carcasses from the trap line and fish oil then curling up in the snow.

In those days, Aliy was living in a small village north of the Arctic Circle. Skunk was delivered to her by bush plane the week before Thanksgiving. Since she had not yet built a dog sled, the two would walk the trails around the village getting to know each other and the area.

Skunk would habitually run ahead a ways then come back and check in with Aliy. He did this repeatedly – almost as a game. But then one day something (a rabbit, a moose, a caribou, an eagle, who knows?) grabbed his attention and he reverted back to his previous life. He scampered off into the wild. Aliy called and called. He didn’t come back.

She walked back to the village and put dog food on her porch to entice him home. That night dogs barked throughout the village. Skunk was around but he never came home. A day went by and the elusive dog was still missing. Where could he have gone? The closest town was 45 miles by dog trail!

The next night, only two nights before Thanksgiving, the dogs in the village barked constantly. This usually meant that a bear or wolves were prowling the town. This year, it meant a sled dog! Skunk traveled from cabin to cabin…...a surprise holiday visitor.
The next morning, villagers knew that he had stopped at their homes when they couldn’t find their Thanksgiving turkeys. Many people in the Arctic use Mother Nature as an outdoor freezer. They keep their frozen foods on their front porches or in their arctic entries. Apparently, Skunk knew this too.

An "all-points bulletin" was put out on Skunk that day. He had ruined many a Turkey Day dinner. He was even spotted on a village road trotting off with a spiral ham in his mouth. The villagers were very upset. They chased him with a snowmobile, but no one could catch him. In that town, on the day before Thanksgiving, a loose dog was a dead dog.

Aliy borrowed some lynx traps from a trapper in town. She set them up around town and baited them with the half eaten turkey carcasses. That night and early into the morning, she made her hourly rounds to check the traps.

Then, at 3 AM on Thanksgiving Day she walked to the trap behind her house. In the glow of her headlamp Aliy saw two shinning eyes – SKUNK! She walked up to him and saw that his hind foot was in the trap. She looked sternly at him and said, "The town people want you dead, dog. You best not growl at me." Amazingly, he looked up at Aliy and wagged his tail!

Aliy removed Skunk’s foot from the trap, lead him home that night and tied him up outside her place. The next morning neighbors showed up to report on Skunk’s antics. Even a family who lived several miles south of town came by to tell Aliy that he must have come to their cabin his first night out. All of the bait on their trap line was gone and so was the meat from their front porch.

For many years, Skunk held the record as Aliy’s most expensive dog, simply because of all the turkeys she had to pay for that Thanksgiving.

Skunk leads Aliy's first dog team.

In the years to come, Skunk was an important part of Aliy's small sled dog team but an even better companion dog. He spent 8 years after that fateful Thanksgiving as Aliy’s dear friend and constant companion. He even traveled with Aliy to the ‘Lower 48’ on an extensive cross-country trip. He was a perfect driving buddy, riding ‘shotgun’ for 8000 miles in a little red Chevy pick-up.

"SP Kennel" is named for that special dog. It will always be "Skunk's Place".

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas from SP Kennel

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Enjoy your loved ones today. From all of us here at SP Kennel (including Tig).

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Aurora 50:50 Final Results

We've just received a phone call from the team; they are on their way back to the kennel and everyone is happy and healthy. They are delighted with the way everyone ran and with the final results: Allen in 3rd behind Ryan Redington and Jeff King who tied for 1st! Aliy came in 4th and Meghan 8th.

We'll get times and more details to you once they are home and settled.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Aurora 50:50 Day One Standings

The first 50 miles in the Aurora Dog Mushers Club's 50:50 have been run. Aliy is currently sitting in 4th position, Allen in 5th and Meghan in 8th. All the dogs did really well and are enjoying a good dinner and overnight rest; ready for the second 50 miles on Sunday.

We'll keep you up to date with final results tomorrow as soon as we hear!

Aurora 50:50

Thanks to Amy and Ken Wheaton, who are in Wasilla for the Aurora 50:50, here are a few shots of the teams getting ready for the start of the race. Above left is Aliy bootie-ing Willie and above right is Meghan readying her team. Below is Allen's Black team (behind) keen to get going at #12 and Meghan's Red and Black team (closest to camera) ready to go right behind him at #13.

Aurora 50:50 Race Rosters

The teams set of Friday afternoon and headed south for the Aurora 50:50, starting Saturday morning. The teams have been decided and we have three entered: Aliy with the RED team, Allen with the BLACK team and Meghan is racing the RED AND BLACK team.

Click here to view the Aurora 50:50 race rosters!

Friday, December 21, 2012

White Mountains Camping Trip (Video)

Aliy captured some great footage on the way out of the White Mountains Recreational Reserve on Monday morning. It was a gorgeous morning and you can see how the light changes as the sun rises - you can also hear Ranger chatting all the way along the trail!

What better way to enjoy such a beautiful corner of the world than on the back of a dog sled!

Shaktoolik Kids Celebrate Life

One of my absolute favorite villages on the Iditarod is the tiny Eskimo village of Shaktoolik out on the Western Coast of Alaska. The people out there have a life different from much of the mainstream world - and they are proud of it! The dogs and I will be in Shaktoolik in just over two months.

I hope you enjoy this video as much as I did.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Aurora 50:50

There has been a late change to our racing schedule for this weekend. Unfortunately the Two Rivers Dog Mushers Association Solstice 100 Race has been rescheduled until January 12. Too little snow, too much snow, then too cold temperatures of Interior Alaska apparently overwhelmed the club's trail committee.

Therefore, despite the 650-mile round trip dog truck commute, we have entered the Aurora Dog Mushers 50:50 in Big Lake, Alaska. Our dogs and mushers are ready to race!

We will pack up two trucks with three teams and head south to Big Lake on Friday. The race is Saturday and Sunday and we will keep you updated with team line-ups and race progress as much as possible over the weekend.

We're still on track for the Copper Basin 300 and Kusko 300 in January and we will update you closer to the time with team line-ups for those races.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

White Mountains Camping Trip

On Sunday afternoon Aliy, Allen, Meghan, Ryne and Moira packed 45 dogs along with five sleds full of gear, straw and supplies and headed off from the Wickersham trail head into the White Mountains National Recreation Area - just north of Fairbanks. The yearlings and a couple of the "more mature" dogs were headed 13 miles to Moose Creek Cabin. Heavy snow conditions closed the trail about 6 miles shy of this goal.  But, the teams were able to break trail to Lee's Cabin, which was luckily unoccupied for the night, and set up camp. The three adult teams proceeded on with a 7 to 8 hour training run before looping back to the cabin.

Aliy and Moira set up camp, heated the cabin, made water and started dinner for the dogs and humans under the very close supervision of ChaCha and Rose.

Allen, Meghan and Ryne ran on some of the open trails and encountered cooler conditions but got some really good miles on the dogs!

It was the first time camping for the youngsters and they all did really well; they ate well, slept well and coped with the change to their routine brilliantly. We encountered temperatures ranging from about -35F to -50F during the course of 24 hours.

Aliy captured some great video on the way out on Monday morning so watch for that in the next few days.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Catching up with: Mac

Mac is our biggest dog and one of our more vocal. He is not only a powerhouse in the wheel position on the team but also a cheerleader!

He is as strong as an ox, so his sled dog work ethic is much appreciated by the team.

Mac is calm and confident, he’s never upset by new experiences and is a calming influence on the youngsters that surround him in the yard. While the others are getting excited he sits peacefully, but always ready to go.

We're looking for big things from Mac this year. Look for him on the team.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Yukon Quest Fundraising Auction

Last Friday evening the Yukon Quest held an auction and wine and beer tasting event to raise funds for the 2013 race. Aliy was the auctioneer and she did a sterling job helping the Quest raise quite a few thousand dollars for their organisation.

Hotly contested items for auction included "Musher for a Day" packages from Brent Sass, Hugh Neff, Paige Drobny/Cody Strathe and SP Kennel!

Can you spot Allen there too amongst the other Quest mushers?

Sheep Mountain 150

In case anyone was wondering why we hadn't given team line-ups or updates on the Sheep Mountain 150, the race was cancelled earlier this week due to a lack of snow.

Here's the latest post from Zack Steer, the Race Director: "This last storm was too little, too late to save the Sheep Mountain 150 sled dog race. The 2012 race is cancelled, sorry to say. We needed at least a foot of snow and only picked up a couple of inches. Trails are fine for biking and skiing, but would not hold up for the safe travels of 60 dog teams. Last Fall's wet weather saturated the ground with water. This winter we have seen much more glaciation and ice than normal along the creeks and valleys."

So, our next scheduled race is the Two Rivers Solstice 100 on December 22 - we'll update you about teams later next week.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fresh Snow

Our "snow dance" worked and we've had a few inches of fresh snow with more still falling as we post this. We are very excited to finally have snow, it makes the trails not only much better for mushing but also very pretty!

Aliy took a video on Sunday around some home trails after the first inch or so of snow fell overnight.

Lead: Scout and Quito, Swing: Ranger and Chemo, Team: Boondocks and Rambler, Wheel: Tug and Pud

Monday, December 10, 2012

Aliy's Yearling Run

Aliy took the yearlings, along with Spicy, out for a run a couple of weeks ago. Here you can see the future of SP Kennel very early in their careers; it will be fun to look back at this in a few years time!

You will notice most of them are running with neck-lines - this is because youngsters sometimes just don't know which way is forward and the neck-lines help to reduce the chaos that is a "yearling run"!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Copper Basin 300

Allen has signed up to race in the 2013 Copper Basin 300 Sled Dog Race.

Allen has raced the CB300 for the last 10 years. He believes it is a phenomenal race in one of the most rugged yet beautiful spots in Alaska. The timing of the race is perfect for a Yukon Quest musher and dogs - three weeks separate the two races. As well, the mountainous trail is similar to that of the Yukon Quest.

As folks might remember, last season "the toughest 300 miles in Alaska" race was canceled after the race course was literally "un-raceable". Teams were stranded between checkpoints 90 miles into the 300 mile course with no trail to follow. Whether this was due to Mother Nature, human error or a little bit of both is now irrelevant. It was a blow to all race teams, dedicated volunteers and the entire Copper basin community.

In mid November 2012, according to the newly formed CB300 board, volunteers and race officials ... the 2013 race will go on! The race start is scheduled for January 12th and will begin in Glennallen, Alaska. This is exciting news for the mushing community as a whole.

The CB300 has been running since 1990. In 1996, the race was canceled due to severe cold weather and in 2012, the race was canceled due to trail conditions. For the remaining 21 years there has been a race. But, it is never easy! In 2005, two snow machines sank in Paxson Lake while trail breaking. Nearly half of the musher field scratched that year. In 2009, fifteen miles of trail were put in within minutes of the first musher reaching that section.

The CB300 always has a challenging trail with: incredible mountain summits, steep inclines, wet water crossings, waist deep overflow, ground blizzard conditions, wind swept lakes and often 30 to 50 below temperatures. Mushers should not sign up if they are looking for 300 miles of groomed trail.

The CB300 is the one of two 300 mile races in the north that covers 300 unique miles of trail. (The other is the Yukon Quest 300 that uses the first 300 miles of the Yukon Quest route.) This fact is awesome for a musher and dogs who get to see new and different trail through out the entire route. However, this fact is also an underlying problem with the race. Obviously, this means that 300 miles of trail through the Alaska Range Mountains, rivers and valleys must be maintained by a dedicated group of volunteers. Volunteers are just that ... volunteers. They use their snow machines, time and effort. And a great deal of effort it is! There are no reality show cameras following the CB300 trail breakers and volunteers, but in this day and age of Alaska "rugged man shows" perhaps there should be.

See you at the CB300!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Top Of The World

Back in late November, before the "deep freeze", Aliy, Allen and Meghan took teams for a run to the top of the world! Aliy has captured the magnificent scenery of the Alaska Range and Denali along with some great footage of her team.

Lead: IV and Olivia; Swing: Chica and Rambler; Team: Beemer and Sissy; Wheel: Waylon and Ranger.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Catching up with: Biscuit

"Have I ever mentioned Biscuit has a lot of energy?"

Biscuit is definitely one of the kennel mainstays and now that he is seven years old he’s become the heart of the kennel. He is confident and reliable and the whole teams knows it.

He is also the proud poppa of a new generation of SP Kennel pups - have you seen how much they look like him? Watch out world!

We're pretty excited to have Biscuit on the team - he's an “All Star”.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

More From the Firebreak

We hope you enjoy this short video from the Firebreak training run last month. Check out all the wagging tails when Aliy stops for a quick break!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Catching up with: Tug

Tug is a pretty understated, sweet dog. She runs with her tail up, so you can always pick her out in the team and as you can see in the video she has a permanent smile on her lips!

She has recently moved house and is now between Beemer, Biscuit and Tatfish - she certainly has a fun filled life!

Tug has run the Iditarod twice and has three 300 mile races under her belt.

Aliy says "she's a dynamite team dog" and she's looking forward to Tug being on the team again this year.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Chill in the Air!

The entire state of Alaska is currently in a "deep freeze". Two Rivers and SP Kennel is sitting directly in the center of this freezer unit.

Our concerns are the same as they always are:

1. Keep the dogs healthy.

Right now, the biggest concern is keeping the dogs "fat enough". They are sleeping in below -30 temperatures at night and training in below -20 temperatures during the day. This is a bigger issue than you might think.

Take for instance, Mac (our "big man on campus"), he needs many calories to keep his furnace burning through out the night and many more calories to have the energy to train 25 to 40 miles. Even Mac, can only consume so much in one day.

Logically we must increase their food intake. All dogs get two full meals every day - a thick warm breakfast at 8 AM and a healthy dinner approximately 10 - 12 hours later. These meals are predominantly high fat and high protein dry Eagle Pack MVP kibble with additional fat supplements. In between meals, thin dogs need more calories. For snacks we feed either more kibble or an "ice cream scoop" of pure poultry fat. (It looks like orange sherbet ... but I wouldn't try it.)

We hope they eat everything that we present, but some dogs don't dive into the massive amount of food rapidly. They pick at their meal slowly. In these temperatures, it does not take long for the food to freeze to the sides of the dish and become inedible.

2. Keep the dogs fitness on schedule.

This priority takes a "back seat". The dogs need to be at an optimum level of fitness for all of the racing season, but a skinny athlete is no good. So, fitness and training is secondary.

The dogs also need adequate protection when they are training in these extreme temperatures. When a team leaves SP Kennel and the temperature is -20, there are several "cold spots" on the training route no matter what direction you take. This means that the team will be heading into temperatures possibly as low at -30. Keep in mind, the dogs could be traveling up to 10 mph, so after calculating the additional wind chill, the team could be trotting into a sub -50 temperature. (That's darn cold in any language!)

The dogs wear jackets, male protection ruffs and some females wear additional chest protectors. Dog booties are also coming out of storage. Dressing a dog team can be a full day affair!

Yes ... we live in the heart of Dog Mushing country, but by golly it sure gets cold up here!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

SP Kennel Invitational - Junior Division

The Junior Division of the SP Kennel was also hotly contested! All the juniors did exceptionally well and got up to some phenomenal speeds with only a few tumbles. Everyone had fun! ChaCha, Honda, Rose, Stormy and Teddy all took their job extremely seriously and there were lots of tails wagging and tongues panting.

Everyone received participation certificates, medals and a bootie full of goodies. Well done to Merica, Noah, Sammy, Jacob, Isabella and Timber (and helpers). All-in-all it was a really fun afternoon.

Here's a quick video, check out those speeds!!

Monday, November 26, 2012

SP Kennel Invitational - Videos

Here are the videos from Saturday's SP Kennel In-house Invitational Race for you to enjoy. In the interests of "load-ability" we've made three separate videos. The first is Aliy explaining the route and rules, Race Marshall Ray with some ground rules and the drafting of teams. You don't have the entire footage, as you can see there were plenty of banter and the draft took quite some time!

In this second video you will see the teams hooking up and leaving the yard. Check out the different strategies with harnesses and dogs and you can make you own mind up who had the best form.

Finally, the finish. Not all of the finishes were captured on video unfortunately as there was an awful lot going on at once but you will get the idea! This is followed, as with any race, by the prizegiving and finish banquet. The purse wasn't large this year - simply a certificate and bragging rights!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

SP Kennel Invitational

The inaugural SP Kennel In-house Invitational Race has been run. After all the strategising, team selection bombshells, "smack talking", time penalties and ten miles of hard and fast trail we had a very close run race.

Because the time elapsed included hooking up, running ten miles then snacking and un-harnessing it was figured early on that dogs that were housed closer to the hooking up area, dogs that know their way to their homes, dogs that didn't need to race with a jacket or dogs that are easier to harness would be an advantage. Unfortunately everyone had the same idea so there were some team selection surprises! Dogs that are excellent sled dogs but live far away were not at the top of the list.

Two teams were a "double" with a driver and rider so had eight dogs, everyone else had a team of six with a pack of Eagle Pack dog food as their passenger. Teams were made up of one mature dog, four (or six) mid-age and one yearling.

The teams were as follows:

Hooking up was an exercise in efficiency with all teams getting out well before the next team needed to start. Some got one dog at a time, others collected two dogs at once, some harnessed at their houses, others at the line...

The anticipation of those of us back at the yard was palpable. Who was going to round the corner first? Then with time differences and penalties what would the final standings be?

Coming in first, just barely, was the Black Team! Meghan and Wendy displayed excellent and well organised team work and took second place with Bridgett in a well deserved third. Ryne and Chrissy took a close fourth position and, after choosing more long distance dogs rather than "sprint specialists", Aliy finished in fifth position. Bob rounded out the placings in a respectable sixth.

Just over 12 minutes separated first and sixth places so every second really did count!

There will be weeks (well, maybe hours... or let's be honest: a few minutes) of post race analysis but one thing's for sure: what happens on the trail stays on the trail!

We'll put together a video soon!

SP Kennel Invitational

The scene is set and the tension is mounting for the SP Kennel Invitational. Some time penalties have already been issued for lack of yard chores and the "smack" talk has started.

The teams are about to be chosen and sleds packed... just as soon as everyone has a coffee!

Ladies and gentlemen, start your sleds!

We'll keep you up to date as the day progresses.

Friday, November 23, 2012

SP Kennel Invitational Race - Junior Division

SATURDAY, November 25th - 1 PM

In addition to the 10-mile division, the SP Kennel Invitational Race will include a Junior Division. Each musher will have to navigate their team of two dogs around a pre-made race track. In the event of a crash, mushers are encouraged to hop back on the sled as quickly as possible with outside assistance if needed. Age limit - 7 years

Junior Mushers: 

1. Sammy 
2. Noah Jane 
3. Merica Gale 
4. Jacob 
(entries are still being accepted)

Each musher will have the opportunity to select their team from a group of experienced dogs including: 

Chacha, Tony, Teddy, Stormy, Bullet, Malibu, Rose, Beemer, Ranger and Honda. 
Dogs may run in multiple teams. Rosters will be posted after teams are picked. 
May the fastest team win (although everyone is a winner with prizes for all). 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

SP Kennel Invitational "Race"

SATURDAY, November 25th

The Two Rivers Tune Up Sled Dog Race has been cancelled due to lack of adequate snow. The race course is hard packed and the Two Rivers Club Trail Boss does not think he can adequately and safely mark the route. (In other words... the darn markers won't stick in the limited amount of snow on the ground.)

But, you say... the SP Kennel dogs (and mushers) are ready to race! So, we have decided to have an Invitational SP Kennel "Race" of our own.
SP Kennel dogs and SP Kennel mushers.

1. Coffee at 10 AM.
2. Teams will be selected after coffee.
3. Each team will be comprised of:
- one "mature dog" (over 7 years)
- four "middle-aged dogs" (2 to 6 years)
- one "youngster" (1 year old.)
In order of entry, each musher will select their first dog, then each musher will choose their second dog, then each musher will choose their third dog and so on ... until each team has 6 dogs.
4. Each musher will be given a map of the course. Approximately 10 miles.
5. Each team must carry one 40 pound sack of Eagle Pack MVP Dog Food and 2 snow hooks.
6. Race Starts at 11 AM (hopefully.)
7. Ray Crowe is Race Marshall. (So, absolutely no griping or complaining.)
8. Moira Shepherd is Race Timer. (She's from a different hemisphere, so if the times are a little off... deal with it!)
9. If it's cold on race day, then dress appropriately!

1. Aliy Zirkle
2. Allen Moore
3. Meghan Luke
4. Ryne Olson
5. Bridgett Watkins
6. Bob Hauer

1. Race Timing begins at 11 AM when the first musher begins harnessing dogs. Each musher is responsible for harnessing their own team. The Race Marshall can help the teams while hooking up and leaving the yard.
2. The next musher starts harnessing their team 5 minutes after the first musher, and so on, until the last musher harnesses and leaves.
3. All mushers race the 10 mile course.
4. When the teams return to the yard, the musher must give their team a wet snack and return the dogs to their houses. (The correct houses.)
5. Race Timing ends when the musher puts the last dog back at his/her house.
6. A 5-minute time penalty will be applied to all mushers who do not help with race day pre-coffee morning chores.

Team Rosters will be posted the day of the race!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Here at SP Kennel we are pretty thankful for a lot of things... we are thankful for every single one of the wonderful dogs we have in our kennel, for the beautiful corner of the world we live in, for our generous sponsors and, of course, for our fantastic supporters! Thank you for following along the trail with us, we appreciate you all!

We thought you might enjoy this short video taken in one of the most beautiful spots around here. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I Like It Just Like That!

It's always fun to watch the dogs when they get fresh straw for their houses. Many of them spend time getting it just the way they want with "this bit over here" and "some more over there in the corner".

Some of them even take the trouble to create more of an indoor/outdoor flow so they can enjoy a straw bed outside when the sun is around or on the warmer evenings. Sissy and Boondocks are two that enjoy the flexibility of the indoor/outdoor flow.

We recently gave Sissy a "new" house with a larger opening as we believe she might have been slightly claustrophobic in her old one. It's not the best house on the block - it's actually the worst house we own but it was the only one she would get in and she seems much happier now.

Looks pretty cozy though huh?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fire Break Training Part 2

Here's part two in the series of videos taken earlier this month. In this video Aliy talks a little about her leaders on the day and also how this trail got its name.

The team is: Lead - Quito and Boondocks, Swing - Olivia and IV, Team - Willie and Scout, Nacho and Pud, Nutmeg (by herself) and in Wheel are Bonita and Boris.

(It gets a little wobbly in parts, apologies for that!)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Winter Protection

With the temperatures dropping the dogs need some extra winter protection while they are out. Here Aliy explains what the boys will be sporting this winter...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Catching up with: Schmoe

"Everyone knows a Joe Schmoe!"

"He's pretty excited to run, he's pretty excited to race... he's pretty excited for everything" says Aliy. Schmoe is an experienced youngster, he ran the Yukon Quest in 2012 with Allen, and he has desire to race.

Schmoe is working on becoming a leader, he's not quite there yet but we're hoping he follows in his father Ranger's footsteps and becomes one of the best dogs.

Joe Schmoe - look for him on the team.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

It's That Time of Year Again

Vaccinations are a vital part of dog care at SP Kennel and last week it was time for the annual kennel cough and "5 way" vaccinations (for distempter, parvo virus, etc).

The dogs were very tolerant, even with the somewhat uncomfortable bordetella up the nose! Meghan and Moira prepared the vaccines and Aliy and Allen administered them. A great team effort!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fire Break Training Run

This is the first of a few videos from the training run last week up the "fire break" trail. In this video Aliy tells us about the importance to the team of training in the hills at this time of year.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Catching up with: Beemer

We thought it about time we caught you up with what each of our team is up to this season so we've started a new regular segment: The Skunk's Place Bunch.

First up is Beemer! Many of you already know Beemer - he's a Rock Star!

Aliy says not only did he have "a ridiculously good year last year, we couldn’t have asked for anything better from him" but also, as you will see in the video, that "he is really good at kissing!"

Do you have a favourite "Beemer" moment?