SPK Retirees Enjoying Recreational Mushing

Sometimes when we retire dogs from SP Kennel they are not always ready to go to a couch. We have been known to retire dogs from long distance racing to a local dog-first recreational kennel and one such kennel belongs to Rod, Julie and Edie, just a few miles from SPK.

Over the last 10 years, we have retired Zorro (edit: not Zorro Mackey), Skittles, Butterscotch, Spoog, Tatfish, Fang, Moxie, Bonita and Shiner to Rod, Julie and Edie's care.

Skittles and Moxie lead the team in spring 2016 -- Skittles' last race. 
Julien Schroeder photo

From Julie and Rod...

"When SP Kennel recently reposted their December 2008 video subtitled “Go get Tatfish,” it made me laugh. Tatfish hasn’t changed at all. (Photo on left.) He’s been at our kennel just a couple miles down the road for a few years, and we still have to hook him up last because his exuberance usually leads to tangles. He’s still a sweet, funny, playful boy — in fact we designed a corner of the dog yard with him in mind so he always one, or three, other dogs to play with all the time. Last year, Tatfish made it onto Edie’s Junior Mushers team and loved being able to go all out for 6 or 7 miles. Edie’s team, made up of more-or-less retired distance dogs, will never be able to compete with the top sprint kennels she’s running against, but she, and they, have a great time."

"We’ve been fortunate enough to share our home with several SP Kennel dogs over the years. They are the oldest — Zorro at 17-plus years (photo on right is Zorro napping in the kitchen) — and the youngest, Shiner, 6, in our kennel and still form the core of our team. Zorro, despite his advanced years, is the first one at hand if there’s food around.
Zorro shares a big pen with Freddie and Butterscotch and is either eating, sleeping or walking. He still doesn’t have an off switch."

"Butterscotch and his sister Skittles are the best two dogs we have ever had, and may ever have, in our team, as well as two of the sweetest. Skittles is a full-time house husky now. (Photo on left is Skittles helping pick blueberries.) She usually sleeps in Edie’s room or one of the dog beds in the living room and has the full run of the house and yard. She knows Grandma across the street always has a biscuit handy. Her favorite perch is the rug by the kitchen sink when I’m cooking. I’m a messy cook and she’s happy to help clean what I drop. Butterscotch will come inside if it’s cold, but he much prefers to be outdoors hanging out with Freddie."

"Spoog and Moxie are our two go-to leaders, and are also easily the loudest dogs in the yard. They can hear the ladle hitting the edge of the bucket before we even open the front door to feed, and will let everyone in the neighborhood know that supper is coming. Spoog is also one of the most powerful dogs in the yard, something I’m usually reminded of on the first run of the season as I rub the grass stains off my chin after hooking him up. Moxie is currently excavating a basement apartment for his dog house. Or looking for buried treasure. Or burying a few more dog bowls. Anything to get more attention. (Photo above is Moxie admiring his deconstruction work.) "

"Our other two SP Kennel expats are Fang and Bonita. Both are strong, steady team dogs. We tried to convince Bonita that she wanted to be a mom, but no puppies. Instead, she’s the kennel’s fun police and lets us know if Tatfish and the others in the play corner are having too much fun.
Or if Edie and her friends are in the backyard.
Or the wind is blowing.
Or the cat is on the back deck.
You get the idea."