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.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Tony Baloney

Here is a peek into the life of yet another retired SP Kennel racing dog.

Tony was born over 12 years ago in the spring of 2002. He was one of a litter of 5 boys, also including Maurice, Hoss, Leroy and Oddball. He followed quickly in the footsteps of his parents, AJ and Girlfriend, to become a critical member of SP's racing squad from 2006 to his retirement in 2012.

Tony, third pair back, on right. In racing form!

Tony, AKA Baloney, raced at about 49 pounds and was one of the physically strongest team dogs. He raced the Iditarod in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. During training, racing, traveling or meeting scores of volunteers and fans he had "a positive attitude ALL OF THE TIME", according to Aliy's training logs. He has that exact same positive attitude today. Even as a retiree, he is a joy to be around!

Tony's current lifestyle is a bit nomadic and he is perfectly happy with it. Though he is officially still an SP Kennel resident, he was semi-adopted a short time ago by Wes and Wendy Brightman, former kennel handlers. When they are in Two Rivers, tending their peony farm, Tony hangs out with them and 'helps'. Their driveway is adjacent to one of the main dog mushing trails in our area. Tony watches the teams go by, standing at Wes' side. He perks his ears and wags his tail thinking, 'My life is different now'.  Tony takes fun runs along side Wes' ATV and then sleeps on a striped cushion inside. The Brightman's traveled to Valdez, AK with Tony this summer and introduced him to motor home camping and panning for gold. Different, indeed!

In Valdez this summer. What a handsome dude!

Now that Wes and Wendy are out of state for a month, Doug and I are enjoying Tony's company and he is very much at home with us. He loves chasing grouse and butterflies around our yard. He loves jaunting around the neighborhood while Sammy and I ride our bikes. He has been helping us harvest the last of our veggies and get our little place ready for winter. And sometimes we visit the kennel, to keep tabs on Aliy and Allen.

Sammy and Tony on a late summer jaunt.

What is this little creature? Tony meets Scooby the pup.

When Wes and Wendy return Tony will be peony farming again. And sometime this winter, when the Brightmans travel to their work overseas and we are back in Florida, Tony will move his striped cushion into Aliy and Allen's house. Accompanied by the old girls, ChaCha and Bullet, he will look out the widow at the training teams leaving the dog yard and think, 'my life is different now'. And he'll perk his ears and wag his tail and have "a positive attitude ALL OF THE TIME".

Kennel Mom


marilyn cozzens said...

Tony is indeed a handsome dude. A positive attitude is so important, what a wonderful asset. Tony seems to be enjoying his life. Scooby seems to be gazing intently at Tony. Pick up that positive attitude, Scooby! Thanks for the post.

Dawn E said...

He's Beautiful!

Heidi Phillips said...

Fantastic Tony story!! Shared custody by those that love him, can't get any better than that!!!

Linda Bennett said...

loved the story great hearing about the retired dogs

Nessmuk said...

Nice post there Kennel Mom!! Tony Baloney....he has had quite the life....can't ask for anything better!! I like how you got into his head..."my life is different now"...wise old SPK Dawg!! Scooby can learn a lot from that ole fella!!

Ruth said...

Wow what a trip down memory lane! Scooby looks like she's found her hero and mentor.

Cal OSME said...

Kennel Mom! I love your posts. Thanks for the update on Tony Baloney. Even though his "life is different now" he is still a shining example of a competitor. Thanks for the post.

Charlene and Lisa
Erie, PA
(P.S. Brenda says Hi!)

Hoss (amy my humans Tom & Cindy) said...

Wow..so my brother finally retired! If you haven't guessed..this is Hoss. I made the decision "for the good life..woof..woof" in 2009. I wish you all the best in "retirement" and I miss you all!

Melissa Krahmer said...

Oh Tony, how I love you! Thanks, Kennel Mom, for posting pictures of my heartthrob.

Linda Bennett said...

love hearing about the retired dogs!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much, Kennel Mom!!!

It is so nice to "fill in the blanks" especially because we all get to know each dog at the time we get "hooked" on SP Kennel.

But soon we realize we missed a whole lot! (I recently was able to purchase a 2000 Yukon Quest patch on EBAY, making me feel somewhat closer, at least in spirit.) It is wonderful to know what went before!

Glad to hear about Wes and Wendy, too! All SPK good dogs earn great retirement placement - especially nice to have human friends who are so accomplished.


P.S. Is that ChaCha in the first photo in lead?

A-town's Becky said...

My, Scooby is getting So BIG.

Tony is clearly well adjusted, happy will all of his human friends and their homes. It is obvious he has experienced a great deal of love during his life to be so secure.

Thank you Mickey!

NC Sue said...

I love these stories Kennel Mom! It is so much fun hearing about the dogs after their racing days.

Marla BB said...

I know that photo, I took it!
Denali Highway, December 2007
Full moon camping trip:)

Lourdes, VT said...

Tony is so very handsome and loving! And, what a great life ha has!!! But, then.... ALL the SP Kennel dogs have awesome lives, full of love, and adventure!
Thank you for this great post, Kennel Mom! ;) ;) :)