Sunday, March 9, 2014

Update from the Kennel

Izzy - 12 Weeks
It’s been an a thrilling 7 days watching Aliy and the other mushers travel over the rough trails in the first part of the race.  It’s also been fun to watch Allen’s puppy team motoring right along. It wasn’t that long ago that Wes and I were out playing in the field with the Latino litter, Outlaw and Clyde-teaching them to come when they were called, doing leash training, and running them the first time in harness. Now, just 2 years later, they are running the CB300, winning YQ300, and now running a steady Iditarod.  It’s been wonderful to watch them grow and mature into the new generation of SP Kennel racing dogs.

L to R: Amber, Hotshot, Bullet
When we take a break from watching the Iditarod trackers, we’re out playing in the field with another batch of puppies—future race champions for sure. The Fire Litter is happily enjoying their romps in the sunshine and deep snow. It’s been a mild and pleasant month so far, with temperatures around 0F at night and up in the 20s during the day.  There was a light snow a few days back, and the Fire litter are running and jumping like crazy dogs and loving every minute of it. Champ and Cayenne keep up with their cousins and usually find some sort of mischief to get into- chasing ravens, finding sticks, or digging up other frozen “treasures” in the snow. The kennel “aunties” Nutmeg, Spicy, Cha Cha, Bullet, and Teddy try to keep up with them all, but usually give up and return to the kennel after a few minutes of play.  They prefer to sniffle around in the snow for lost bits of kibble and forgotten fish snacks.
L to R: Spicy, Torch, Cayenne, Champ (in the back)
The Golf litter, along with Lydia, Junior, Kodiak and Dutch get their play time when the harnesses come out. We have been taking them on runs around the neighborhood trails keeping them in shape and exercising them. I haven’t run these puppies very much yet, and I’ve been very impressed with how well they are settling into the routine of running at their age.  They are head down and ears back listening for every command I may give them.   Junior and Lydia are showing impressive skills as lead dogs, while the Golfies are showing strength and control in their running styles. Of course they are being mentored by the mature dogs- Spoog, Ranger, Honda, Shiner, and others who are as dependable as ever.  At the end of the run, they slurp up their dinner and jump on the top of their houses for a good long nap in the sun.  While the drama of the Iditarod continues, and we eagerly await the outcome, it’s been a restful, sunny, and relaxed week at SP Kennel.
- Wes and Wendy


Marla BB said...

And the family just keeps growing, human & canine.
How special SP Kennel is!

Anonymous said...

Love seeing Bullet, she looks beautiful and healthy.
Julie V.

Nessmuk said...

Sounds like a perfect way to spend an eye on the race, the other on all the pups romping in the snow!! They grow up so fast don't they? LOL....It's gonna take me forever to identify who's who in that Fire Litter! Thanks for the post...nice drama free moment with all this race excitement going on!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this wonderful reflection upon the meaning of life...

And thanks for keeping the future leaders of SP Kennel busy in their work/play!!!



marilyn cozzens said...

Thanks for the kennel update. I have been thinking about the puppies the past two days(when not focused on the Iditarod), wondering also about the kennel life. Thanks, Kaz.

A-town's Becky said...

Adorable memories.
Thank you Wes Wendy and Kaz!

While, hopefully Aliy is recovering in Koyuk, time for an update on...

Aliy VS Aliy...

Aliy 2014 arrived in Kuyuk in less than 7 days from her start in Willow.
This is record pace.

Aliy 2014 has again made considerable improvements over Aliy 2012's time.

I estimate by
Aliy 2014 has improved over
Aliy 2012 by a whopping...

14 and a half hours

14 1/2 hours

more than half a day!!!

Aliy 2014 is SUPERB!!!

SPK Red team and Black teams
all the Nome
woop woop woop

A-town's Becky said...

Aliy leaving Koyuk has similarities with last year.
Aliy pulling out a little closer behind Jeff this year, and without Mitch sandwiched between them.

The difference may be that Jeff took almost a four hour rest this time opposed to not stopping last year. He may have learned something from his 3rd place.

Go Aliy and Red team, we all hope you are feeling well, and are ready for the push.
We love ya!

Jennie B. said...

Nice looking bunch. Look like they're having a great time. I like Cayenne..something about that face makes me want to kiss that face right on the snout!

Leanna said...

My goodness these are good looking dogs. SPK has great depth with these youngsters and their wise mentors. Thanks for the look at what is going on "back home." A little calmness, a time to breathe... now back to that dang tracker!

Anonymous said...

Aliy I see you and the Red Team have just left 1 minute after Jeff. Go get-em Aliy. Have the Red Team get motivated by some team in front of them a BLOW JEFF off the trail. You can do it, Have a amazing run this evening! Prayers best wishes and success being sent to you! Ron in AZ Time to take it to them! Hear them behind you! Nice up date this evening, Thank You.

A-town's Becky said...

If everyone at SPK Dog Log abandoned post,

Get to NOME!

Any way possible, woohoo.

Way to early to say, but I would not be surprised if Aliy pulled in to Nome between Noon and 5 pm race time Monday

Run, fly, sled, iron dog, N O M E

Wow, wow, wow!

SPK, Red Team, Aliy 2014

Fan in Massachusetts said...

So glad to learn that Cha Cha is still with the SPK. I was wondering about her after analyzing the parents of the Red Team dogs, where her offspring account for 8 of the 16 starters. And 6 of the Black Team starters. She must be a wonder.

Oddball has done his part too , fathering 10 of the 32 starters.

Thank you for the updates and for providing a range of perspectives on the race and what it takes to mount such an effort.

Anonymous said...

Hi Aliy and Red Team. Posted for the night on Facebook folks are praying and pulling for you! Here is the posting:
Aliy and the Red Team will be running all night
Aliy Zirkle Bib 10 OUT OF Koyuk AT 03-09 17:51

On the way to Elim. Elim is 48 miles from Koyuk.
When Aily and the Red Team arrive in Elim it will be 123 miles to Nome. they have gone 852 when they arrive in Elim.

Aliy and the Red Team rested for 3h 44m in Koyuk.

The Red Team is now 11 sled dogs.

Everyone please keep them in your prayers, thanks.
Ron in AZ

A-town's Becky said...

Woops, more BAD math.

I miscalculated Elim to White Mountain.
Sleep deprivation + me = big mistakes!

I'm Estimating Aliy's arrival between 3pm and 7pm "race time" Monday, tomorrow afternoon/evening

Sorry, I'm gonna get some sleep tomorrow night :-)

Anonymous said...

Will the Black team make it to Shaktoolik in time for Allen to watch Aliy finish ? ? ?

Linda Toth said...

Wes and Wendy - thanks for reminding us that circle of life is unbroken .. love continues on at SPK.

Joyce Goehring said...

Go Aliy, GO!!!! We're rooting for you! You can DO it!!!! =D

Anonymous said...

We are with you all of the way, SPK, so amazing and special... the very best... Aliy and dogs! Allen and dogs! Wow!