Each summer we retire select dogs from their SP Kennel racing careers. Our philosophy has always been and will always be: "the right home, for the right dog, at the right time". We are never in a hurry to "move dogs" and they will stay here until the timing is correct for them to leave. Of course, some dogs will never leave. But, the fact is: "We only have one couch, and Allen has to fit on it too!" So we try to keep our retired dog population living at SP Kennel to a minimum. At this time we have six older, non competitive dogs: Bullet (15 years), Nutmeg (13 years), Biscuit (12 years), Quito (11 years), Nacho (11 years) and Tig (9 years). We also have brother and sister: Scout and Olivia (10 years) who may or may not race next year.
It is with a mixed blessing to retire any SP Kennel dog. But the fact of the matter is that we are a competitive racing kennel. When we are truthful with ourselves (and with our fans), that fact needs to override the desire to keep every one of our awesome dogs and turn our kennel into a Alaskan Husky Fun House. Sounds "fun" but not real competitive, huh?
It is only because I spend a great deal of time finding the correct home for each retiree, that I am able to let these dogs go. Of course you know how much time we spend with each dog, so it is very emotional when the perfect home comes along! The "right home at the right time" has come along for Hotshot.
L - R: Mal and Hotshot in Anchorage before flying to Nome; Husky "helping" with Homework!
With Hotshot's move to his new home, he will be the center of the universe for a very neat young girl. Hotshot will bring great joy to Mallory and her family in Nome, Alaska. His life will be very different from his racing season earlier this year in which he competed in: the Cooper Basin 300, Two Rivers 200, Yukon Quest 300, Burger Run and Iditarod. Mallory and her Dad are very active skiers and enjoy the company of several huskys to pull them along. Mal's Dad sent me a photo of the pair on an adventure in the Arctic last winter. In every photo, Mallory was far in front. I asked him if he could ever keep up with his daughter. He laughed! He has been skiing with one older dog and he said that most of the time Mallory has to wait for him. I thought... "Hummmmm. I might have the perfect dog for you guys!" My only fear now is that Mallory will add Hotshot to her skijor team and poor Dad will be left even farther behind!
A photo from last winter - Mal waiting for Dad.
As I write this (and lecture myself this morning) let's all remember that it would be self-centered, and certainly not in the best interest of SP Kennel as a whole, to keep every dog all the time. So, hopefully you can smile at Hotshot's retirement from SP Kennel.
We have a few dogs retiring from the kennel this summer. I promise to keep you up to date.