Rant and Raves - April through September 2005

September 2005:

Received confirmation that our entry to the Can-Am 250 was accepted. Unlike the UP200, the Can-Am 250 does not allow handler assistance or access to your dog truck. To help defray running Can-Am, we have developed a checkpoint sponsorship program. Click here for further details

Rhonda sat for and passed, the New Hampshire real estate salesperson exam. With all of the time she has spent scouring the internet in search for vacation property and referring friends to real estate listings; it seemed only natural to actually be paid to do it.

Trained the dogs a few times with the cart. While running smaller teams, we are going back to the concept of single leaders and dual leaders with no neckline. The yearling boys especially, are unbelievable. They do not tire easily. Hopefully this ability will continue as the miles increase.

The kennel visits continued throughout the month, starting with Labor Day weekend. We drove out to western Massachusetts and hung out with Ashley and Lev. Got to see Lev's new house, kennel set up, and the dogs that he brought home with him from a trip to Alaska this past winter. Another weekend while Bob was up north at a snowmobile club meeting, Rhonda decided to spontaneously drive down to CT. Finally got to see Kathy and Bill's new house, all of their new adults, Mandy's leggy yearlings and the Nina pups. Nina (aka Gem) is one of the dogs that struck Rhonda's eye during a visit to the Northome kennel. While Nina was whelping her pups, Rhonda kind of joked and mentioned to Kathy that she ought to name one of the pups 'Help me Rhonda'. Well, wouldn't you know, they did (he he he)! Another day during the month, Rhonda drove up to visit Corina. Corina already had two Northome dogs in her kennel but recently purchased three others. One of them named Viktor, is the son of Skippy who Rhonda fell in love with during a visit to the Northome kennel. We almost used Moki ( Skippy and Nina's father) at stud until Jello made the decision for us. The month ended with Rhonda taking a ride up to Maine to visit Jean Perron. We sold Jean one of the Ivory pups named Tonka. He sired a litter earlier in the year. It's amazing how much they took after their father, so much so that Jean named one of them 'Minnetonka'!

August 2005:

Mother Nature has been sending a few cool days our way recently but not enough for our liking. The Dog Days of August can not come and go fast enough!!

Rhonda participated in the Sandown 5 Miler. It is a road race in our town, held each year during Old Home Days. The race boasts a course which includes 13 hills. Rhonda had not been in training for this race and ended up only 3:35 off her 2003 finishing time.

Although we had a very brief rain storm later in the day, our BBQ/open house went off well. It was a great chance to catch up with friends (high school buddies and mushers alike). Also, we finally had the opportunity to share our kennel and home with some musher friends who had not previously been here.

Attended the annual NHMA meeting. This year it was held at Sendaishi Pet Resort. One of the guest speakers was the Fish and Game officer who headed up the investigation when Steve Hessert was injured. With the dog sled training season about to begin, the presentation was a strong reminder of why the NHMA was founded.

Our friend Karen, whose son we mentored a few years ago, is getting out of dogs and has a few yearlings for sale. We went to visit them. Their maternal grandmother is the sister to our Nikki and Steel. While there, we got to see how Rocky and Kona's brother named Nobel has matured.

July 2005:

Took Allagash to hang out with us at a fellow musher's 4th of July party. Allie was staring at a friend who was eating and Rhonda made the casual comment, like "don't bother trying to get her to work for the snack, she's not about to sit". Not sooner than the word were out of Rhonda's mouth, Allagash put her butt on the ground in a perfect sit!

In the process of moving 1/2 yard of screened sand into the dog yard to fill in holes the kids dug. Where in the heck does the dirt go when it's displaced?

We took Osage to Hampton beach one Saturday evening and walked the boulevard. You should have seen him navigate the crowd. It was a beautiful testament to the years during his prime when he was leading our team.

Brought the Zen boys swimming in a nearby river. What a riot!!! : -)

Attended the monthly NHMushers Association meeting.

After the last visit to the beach, we decided that this would be a fun thing to do on a regular basis. This time, Rocky went with us. Not too many folks walk the boulevard with their dog. So of course Rocky was quite an attraction for the kids who would point and say 'doggy' or 'oh a husky', and then ask their parents if they could pet him. We met a couple from a neighboring town and spoke to a few other folk who were all quite amazed to learn that mushing does indeed take place here in New England! We started out walking Rocky using a pinch collar. By the end of the walk, he was doing pretty well without it. So, now we've got him doing all the necessary steps for a CGC except the required down on command.

We purchased a Kubota tractor. Woo Hoo! No more wheelbarrow-ing sand around the dog yard.

Saint was looking rather sad, so we took him for a walk down the boulevard of Hampton Beach. There is a draw bridge that we go over in order to access the boulevard from where we have been leaving our vehicle. The sidewalk space on the bridge is very close to the passing cars. With the ocean on one side, cars on the other and fireworks going off, I can't think of a better place to desensitize the dogs to running past Lake Superior in the UP200/Midnight Run! Saint got many 'cool looking dog' and 'nice eyes' comments and one woman who gave us the thumbs up because she recognized him as a white Sibe. We walked past a Pomeranian and I was very nervous as we did. Saint didn't bat an eye. I couldn't help but exclaim what a good dog he was. This of course led to a conversation with the owner of the Pomeranian. While the owner was in the process of telling us that her dog grew up with a Rottweiler, the dog was giving Saint kisses. It was one of those moments when you wished you had a camera! Toward the end of our walk, a father and his two daughters stopped us. We learned that they are from Moretown, VT. The father is an employee of the television station up there and thought he might have a clip of Bob and our team from the Craftsbury race. Since Ingrid B. is looking to train someone to take over the management of the race, we relayed that information and he was quite certain he knows a few people who would be interested in getting involved.

June 2005:

Our friend Cyndi is offering private obedience classes here at the kennel. The long term goal is for a few dogs to hopefully earn their CGC. To start, we are working on just getting the adults to sit.

Took out an ad in the Yankee Siberian Husky club Specialty catalog in memory of Nikki (View Ad).

Hung up the shade cloth.

A major rain storm hit the county of NH where we live. A large limb of a pine tree near the house broke off... falling to the ground and taking in it's wake, Falcon's dogwood tree : ( The limb just missed using the Fritz cart as a pillow.

Rhonda and Raven went on a 6 mile hike with a few friends.

Attended the Yankee Siberian Husky Club annual meeting. Cosmo escorted Rhonda to the event. He was very well behaved. Very possibly, a CGC candidate!

Participated in the first annual Two Training Trails Trek (aka 4T ride). This was a cycling event organized by Ed Clifford of Silver Bell Kennel and Feeds, in an effort to fight Musher SADD ( Seasonal Affective Dogdriver Disorder caused by too much sunlight and days that are too long). There were two courses options. A 44mile road ride as well as a shorter loop of 16-18 miles in response to a few folks who expressed interest in a kinder, gentler distance. We chose the latter.

Attended the monthly NHMushers Association meeting.

May 2005:

Took a much needed non-dog related vacation. (View Photos) While we were gone, 1/2 the team was boarded up to our friend Gail's place. Thanks to Kim Berg for surprising us with a crispy clean team upon our return. Our grey/white and pinto dogs now glow in the dark!

Allagash is in heat. Watch, now the rest of the girls will come in as well, argh!

The weekend Rhonda's Mom had Evan, there was a dog show in Manchester that included a handling class. Evan just loves Dharma, the female we kept from our last litter; so Rhonda, her Mom, Evan and the dog went to the show. Rather than Rhonda handle the dog, Evan wanted to. The Judge basically told Rhonda to shut up and get out of the ring so that she could work directly with Evan. It was awesome and Evan just loved it! Dharma won BOB!

The Zen puppies turn a year old.

Attended the monthly NHMushers Association meeting.

Trained the team a few times this month using the Fritz cart.

April 2005:

Launched this new section of our website where we can share with you what's been happening. Since Rhonda loves to chat on the internet, this log has been dubbed 'Rant and Raves'. The use of the word rave has another connotation, in that it's Raven's nickname.

The dogs are producing too much stool when fed Eagle Power. We have started to research other options for dry dog food.

Bought two professionally constructed pieces of agility equipment from Scott Alexander.

Sold Exxon to a musher in Vermont.

Trained the team a few times this month using the Fritz cart.

Link to all Past Rant Raves

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