Friday, 22 August 2014

Derby's Puppies

Polar, North and Arctic!

Third time lucky! Derby loves puppies and always tries to mother and play with the litters from other females, now finally after two previous breeding attempts she's found her perfect match and got her own 3 wonderful puppies.

Derby is my best lead dog and was the first Alaskan Husky I bought in 2011. Leading the team to our first finish at the Polardog Race 100km in February 2012 and being my main leader in every big race the team has finished since; the 2013 Femund 400 & Finnmark 500 and 2014 Femund 600. Derby led us over the mountain range from Skoganvare to Levajok, through the night blizzard in Finnmark 2013, when many other top mushers got lost or had to travel with other mushers. While Toivo can "feel" the trail underfoot, Derby is an awesome marker follower at night. I couldn't see to the front of my sled most of the way, but all I had to do was swing my headlamp beam back & forth and wait for the jerk forward as Derby picked out the reflex marker out and aimed the team for it, sure enough, a minute later and my elbow would brush the marker as we passed it.

Colvil is the father. He comes from John Baker's kennel (Summit x River) both from Baker's record setting 2011 winning Iditarod team. Colvil is a huge dog, weighing in at 35kg, naturally he is the most powerful dog in the kennel, but he is also fast and agile, at just 2 years old, he is showing off his Iditarod Champion parentage.

3 Pups: 1 male & 2 females - follow them growing up!

Pup1) Black & White Female (Arctic)

Pup 2) Black Male (Polar)

Pup 3) Grey & White Female (North)

Eyes open & a Good Morning from the little guy!

As both parents come from
The Arctic; Derby from Arctic Sweden and Colvil from Arctic Alaska, we decided the pups would be known as:
"The Arctic Litter"
Their names are: Polar, North and Arctic!

All 3 are doing great, big strong bouncy puppies, full of full and enthusiasm, very social and love to cuddle and play.
They are currently 15 weeks old and still living with mum; although she self-weaned then several weeks ago and has been training with the race team several hours a day. The pups have been on meat ever since, obviously it is doing fantastic as these "little guys" are huge: all weighing in at 12kg.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Summer jobs at MAD Kennel

Summertime means good RnR for the dogs; free running, swimming, playing football & sunbathing.
But for every professional sled dog kennel, this is the time of year that the humans prepared the kennel for the winter. Back to the UK appealing to possible sponsors, purchasing and driving a 'new' truck back to Norway and full time jobs with plenty of overtime to bring money in, kennel maintenance, fence building, dog houses disinfected & revamped, kit & sled repairs, dog care: medicals, massage, physio, teething brushing, personal fitness training and of course loads of time socialising & exercising puppies…and much much more!

After surgery on both legs, Mel needed to rest for at least a few of the 8-10 weeks she was ordered by the Doctor too. Rest not really being compatible with her hyperactive nature, so jobs were split up to keep her off her feet as much as possible!