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.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pictures from the CB300

Doug harnesses Moxie at the Start


The brothers, Tatfish and Biscuit, wait at Paxson for snacks


Dingle and Beemer wait patiently at the starting line

We have gotten a lot of comments about the red leggings so here is a quick explanation:

The red leggings are protecting the dog's hind wrist area. There is a strange phenomenon that happens at a specific temperature and when there is a great deal of snow on the trail. What happens is snow will start to accumulate on their wrists and if we don't stop to get it off (often) it balls up in an icicle. If it stays there too long it will freeze onto the hairs of their wrists and when the ice finally falls off the hair does as well. Then you have hairless husky wrists. THEN if you run these hairless dogs in the same conditions it could frost bite the area with no hair.
The temperatures at the Sheep Mountain 150 did not favor this condition, thankfully. But, when we trained on the Denali Highway there was a "perfect storm" for these "chicken legs" to begin. We had brought all of our leggings/wristers, so we were prepared, but we still a few dogs lose some hair. Anyhow, when we got home from this training event, we bought almost 4 yards of fabric and Wendy spent 3 days sewing, lacing and tying enough legging for every dog on the CB 300. We dressed almost everybody up just to err on the side of caution and we were very happy that we did so.
They do look stylish, but they are practical as well.

11 comments:

Moose-Tipping said...

OK, I have to ask about the sleeves-- were those an invention of necessity after the snowy Sheep Mountain race? Are they mass-produced by a company or did you guys just come up with them?

Aliy Zirkle said...

The red leggings are protecting the dog's hind wrist area. There is a strange phenomenon that happens at a specific temperatures when there is a great deal of snow on the trail. What happens is snow will start to accumulate on their wrists and if we don't stop to get it off (often) it balls up in an icicle. If it stays there too long it will freeze onto the hairs of their wrists and when the ice finally falls off the hair does as well. Then you have hairless husky wrists. THEN if you run these hairless dogs in the same conditions it could frost bite the area with no hair.
The temperatures at the Sheep Mountain 150 did not favor this condition, thankfully. But, when we trained on the Denali Highway there was a "perfect storm" for these "chicken legs" to begin. We had brought all of our leggings/wristers, so we were prepared, but we still a few dogs lose some hair. Anyhow, when we got home from this training event, we bought almost 4 yards of fabric and Wendy spent 3 days sewing, lacing and tying enough legging for every dog on the CB 300.
They do look stylish, but they are practical as well.

Anonymous said...

You might want to remind readers of how you used/invented these in last years's iditarod.

Anne said...

How do they stay up? Do you need to take them off and on like the booties? Will Scruggs leave them on? (Is he still up to his bootie tricks?)
They are certainly stylish - even the radio announcers at the CB300 start commented on them!

Anonymous said...

Have you thought about marketing your stockings?

Aliy Zirkle said...

Hummmm... I forgot about that. Iditarod two years ago we had some difficulties with dogs' losing hair and I had no leggings. It was in the Ruby Checkpoint that I gathered all of my wool socks and cut the toes off. I then fashioned "sock" leggings for Dingle, Homey and ChaCha.
The leggings are in pairs and have a cord attaching the two that goes thru a harness ring over the top of their backs.
Our Fairbanks friend, Linda, made quite a few for us last February as well.
We probably won't market them, but we'll give out our design if it's wanted.

Jeff Buddington said...

Got anything in a plaid? :p. Maybe we should contact Wattie McDonald and have him fly over some material with dragons and swords on them!

Macgellan said...

This is just perfect on so many levels...

First Aliy sacrifices her own precious socks on Iditarod for the benefit of the dogs...

Now Wendy and Linda have spent days sewing -- what, a couple hundred? -- custom leggings...

That's what comes from being a "dog first" kennel, and a main reason why many of us so admire, respect and appreciate the humans of SP Kennel...

The dogs have always been treated like rock stars, and now they even dress like rock stars!

What's next, bling?

I can just picture Dingle, running down the trail in his neon green Elton John jacket, his bright red leggings and a mass of gold chains around his neck -- including a pendant that reads "El Jefe" on it!

What's after that? A stretch Hummer limo with a hot tub and a pack of leggy super models?

Honestly, it doesn't even sound that far fetched to me!

Linda Toth said...

Mac - you are funny! It was my pleasure to offer my time and sewing machine. Although, if Aliy decides to go into business, I am definitely buying a better sewing machine.

DAN BOWERS!!! Go SPK!

Dana said...

Hi Aliy & SP Kennel,
Glad to see that you addressed the red stocking question. That was going to be my first question to you when I see you in March. Makes sense & quite a sensible remedy to me. Glad to hear that everyone made it home ok after CB300! Wow!!! Can't wait to see everyone... Lots of hugs & kisses to the 4 legged kiddos!!! Go SP Kennel...

Mrs. Jaybird said...

Do you just use wool socks? Or could you substitute fleece instead?