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, July 17, 2012

Helping the US Armed Forces - Mickey's Musings V

SP Kennel's close association with Dr. Mike Davis, celebrated canine researcher from Oklahoma State University, has created an unusual opportunity this summer. Those of you who read the blog regularly will remember that Dr. Davis has worked for years with Iditarod veterinarians to increase overall health in long distance racing dogs. He has also studied insulin absorption and fitness levels in these dogs in hopes of equating the results to the treatment of human diabetes. 

 Dr. Davis is now working with the US Armed Forces to assess and improve the physical endurance of bomb-sniffing dogs, used primarily in current Middle East conflicts. And he has enlisted the help of SP Kennel to test the effects of varying electrolyte levels  and different exercise regimes on overall canine endurance. We are honored to be part of this research.

 To adhere to US government specs, the SP Buildings Department (this means Allen, with a little help from Doug) built a separate research building with 18 individual kennels. Each kennel has an indoor space and an outdoor space connected by a 'doggie door'. Each kennel houses one SP dog. These trail savvy canine athletes, who can find the way from Anchorage to Nome, are currently trying to figure out what a 'doggie door' is for! 

 The research building was completed last week (just before Allen departed for his annual salmon fishing adventure), the 18 research dogs moved into their new kennels and 3 veterinary researchers showed up to collect baseline blood samples from the research dogs.


SP Kennel Building Department at work

Vet Tech Christa, Ryne and Spoog begin research project

 Everyone at SP is thrilled that Ryne Olson is back from her early summer travels. She will be responsible for helping Dr. Davis, Aliy and Allen implement the daily procedures that are critical to the research.


 The research protocols began in earnest yesterday. The project is under way. Next week we will post an more in-depth explanation of the elements of the research project. Suffice it to say that a part involves the dogs running free along the trails in Two Rivers. They are having a blast!

What is this 'doggie door' for?


Anonymous said...

Very interesting project! Which dogs will be involved in this trial and for how long?

Mom in pa said...

Welcome back Ryne!

Anonymous said...

That's a great winter building, too, for dogs needing some inside time?

Macgellan said...

This is just fantastic!... A whole new living situation for some of our amazing athletes... And special digs for special dogs during the season perhaps?... A dog condo for the upper crust?

And... rumor has it... one very special girl is slated to be part of the study... "Running free"?.. That ought to be a hoot... "Squirrel!"... Any guesses?

Linda Toth said...

I got a good laugh out of smart doggies coping with a door - of all things! I can't imagine trying to keep up with the free running spirits ... just amazing to read about it all. I can't wait to read more.

Margaret said...

What an honor! And thanks so much for the news!

The research project sounds like something ChaCha may have had a paw in. Bomb sniffing dogs tend to have that Rin-Tin-Tin look, so ChaCha picked her kids with pointy ears???

Looking forward to hearing about the study protocols (the above comments were a joke, or intended as such).

Anonymous said...

You all guessed correctly, ChaCha's off spring are an important part of this study; including Honda, Beemer, Viper, Scout, Ranger, Willie and Rambler. Waylon had a few challenging days at the start, but he's catching on....
FYI: Tig did not make the study - Nor did ChaCha!
We hope to use the building all year long.
- Kennel Mom

Lisa B said...

I think Macgellan is hinting that the "Happy" girl made the study. I mean he used the squirrel joke, what better hint is there? Long-time SP Kennel fans know that Happy has many wonderful qualities, but focus and brain-power are not among them.

In any case, kudos to the kennel for being part of Dr. Mike's research and the benefit of having a building that will serve you well for a variety of things in the years to come.

Thanks to Mickey for the updates and hope all of you continue to have a productive and "Happy" summer.