We have talked a lot about the SP Kennel Puppies but what about their Moms? How are they doing after whelping this Fall?
Olivia is 8 1/2 years old this winter. She had six puppies on September 23rd. She weaned them when they were 5 weeks old. Her milk completely dried and she was ready to train several days later. She still plays with her pups several times a week and is very 'motherly'.
Olivia started training in harness the end of October. Her first month of training was similar to SP Kennel’s first month of Fall Training with short, slow runs to slowly build up her strength and endurance. She was able to train in a small team this first month. The second month we gradually increased her mileage and speed. She was brought into training with the main team on their 'short mileage' days or was running in lead with the Yearling squad on their longer runs.
We believe that Olivia will be able to race the Two Rivers 100 or 200 on January 22nd. If she is healthy and happy after this race she will continue to slowly train up for the Iditarod. She needs a solid two more months of training and must stay healthy in order to make an Iditarod team. We believe that she can do it with out much difficulty. Currently, Olivia weighs exactly what she did this time last season at 44.2 pounds… and she looks GREAT!
Quito is 9 1/2 years old this winter. She had seven puppies on October 11th. She weaned her puppies at 5 1/2 weeks and started short runs several days later. Quito's milk did not drop low and therefore her body shape altered very little. She looked trim even while nursing! We kept her free running through out her pregnancy and while nursing pups. She was only sedentary and indoors for the initial week after the puppies birth. She still runs loose before and after runs now -- often jumping in the Play Pen with her puppies.
Quito's first month of training in harness was excellent. We had a small team: Quito, Mac, Chica and Chena who trained together regularly. Therefore, she had very consistant training miles. She never seemed winded or tired. The second month of her training we have slowly increased her mileage and speed. Currently, she has been in harness training for 6 weeks.
Quito is the main leader for the Yearling Team now. They are training for the Two Rivers 100 Race - two 50 miles legs separated by a significant rest. This race will start just shy of Quito being in training for 2 months. The Yearling Team is the perfect stepping stone for her to get in shape. The team is slower and lacks the intensity of the Main Team. She runs in lead and can set a pace that she is comfortable traveling. Quito will continue to train after this event and it is possible that she can become fit enough to race on the Iditarod Black Team. But… one race at a time!
Quito looks like a Rock Star and is a little over her ideal weight at at 47 pounds.