Sunday, July 28, 2013

Announcing...

Here they are! These glamour shots were taken at 4 days old. Naming them has been challenging, but fun. There is a theme, somewhat. There are also a few unique names, but there are quite a few unique puppies. So, what the heck?!
Their weights are from 4 days old as well.

The BOYS:


Spark (12 ounces); Charcoal or "Coal" (14 ounces)


Nomex (12.5 ounces); Hotshot (13 ounces)


Torch (13 ounces); Tinderbox or "Tinder" (13.5 ounces)


Commando (12.5 ounces)

The GIRLS:


Amber (14.5 ounces); Violet (1 lb 2 ounces)


Chena (15 ounces); Daisy (1 lb 1 ounce)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Canine Warriors, Continued

This is the last week of the Summer 2013 Canine Warrior test protocol. Through 90 degree temperatures, drenching rains, monster mosquitoes, troublesome porcupines and a wild fire evacuation, our team of 16 SP canines and 4 SP humans have walked increasingly longer treks on trails near Two Rivers. This is week 7, so the test groups will complete 14 miles each day for 5 days.

During this exercise regime, groups of dogs have ingested different amounts of protein. Blood sampling at the beginning and end of this week will provide data to determine the effects of protein levels on canine hydration during exercise. Results will help to improve the stamina of military bomb sniffing dogs in the Middle East.

Dingle, Tug, Lester, Beemer and Nelson trek through Iron Creek. Note the GPS collars


Scooter, Spicy, Spoog, Jezzy and Ryne begin a trek.

Just a reminder:
Here are the 16 SP dogs who are taking part in the Canine Warrior testing this summer: Chemo, Waylon, Viper, Honda, Rambler, Nelson, Lester, Tug, Dingle, Beemer, Spicy, Spoog, Scooter, Willie, Outlaw and Boris.





Dr. Mike and Amanda transport dogs back to waiting dog trucks.




Dr. Mike Davis, from Oklahoma State University, and his support staff, Christa and Shannon arrived on Sunday to set up the blood testing lab and to help transport dogs to and from the trails. They join Ryne, Amanda, Kristina and Aliy, the dog walkers!



Despite sometimes challenging conditions, both dogs and walkers have enjoyed being free to wander in Interior Alaska hills and forests this summer. As you can see from the photos, they are all smiling, dogs and people. I think they may be sad when it's all over.

Nelson, the canine collector.
P.S. Nelson gets the prize for collecting the most "stuff" (mud flaps, old clothing, critters, bones) in the 7 week period. Boris gets the prize for having had the most porcupine encounters. A dubious achievement (with no lasting scars).

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Retirement for Rose

Lynne Danielson has been Rose's Sponsor for most of the years that Rose has been racing. Lynne has even been in the incredible position some years to watch Rose as she competes in the Iditarod. Just last year, Lynne was a volunteer in the village of Kaltag!

Lynne and her granddaughter, Kyleigh, came up to the kennel and brought Rose back home with them. So far the reports from the home front are that Rose and her new canine and human companions are doing well.

Anyhow, as the puppies become the center of the excitement at the kennel, some of the veteran dogs are leaving us. It is sad in some sense. For me to say to some of my best canine buddies "thank you for all you've given me, now go have fun in the rest of your life". BUT - if they all stayed here at SP Kennel, we would need a heck of a couch! When an SP Kennel dog is retired from racing, their new home must be a perfect match. Lynne and Rose certainly fit the bill!

So... "Thank You Rose!"


Lynne gives Rose some old fashioned loving; Rose explores her new driveway.

Rose naps with Jan on one of our Natural Extremes Adventure trips.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Olivia Puppies: Day One Photos


24 hour old Olivia puppies.


24 hour old puppy; Mama "O".

Thanks Meghan for taking these shots!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Eleven!

Oh my goodness! Eleven Puppies. Honestly, I can not believe it.

Olivia started whelping at 11 PM (July 20) and had five puppies by midnight. She had four more pups by 4 AM and the last two at 6 AM (July 21).


Twelve hour old puppies nurse fro their Mama "O".

Of course, I am concerned about Olivia caring for so many pups, so I have kept a vigil to make sure no one gets pushed aside. Olivia seems quite attentive and is not very stressed about the whole situation. (I could learn from her!)


Olivia and pup try to nap; Nursing puppies.

I need to take a few days to make sure Olivia and all of her beautiful puppies are healthy before I announce any names or sexes. I promise to keep everyone up to date and videos will be coming soon.

Oh... by the way, Nacho is fine as well. A very proud Papa!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Kate or Olivia?

Who will be first? Both 'mothers to be' are due about the same time:
Kate is July 19th.
Olivia is July 23rd.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

SPIN #4 (SP Interesting News)

FIRE
"As of 8:00 p.m. July 15, the Evacuation Watch for residents of Two Rivers along Chena Hot Springs road between Mileposts 16 and 27 has been lifted," writes the Alaska Interagency Coordination Center (AICC). Hooray!! Our fire is now 57% contained at 84,475 acres. The fire continues to grow slowly to the east and northeast into State recreation land with few people or structures. Our west side is 100% contained. But we remain vigilant.

According to Ray, who is the manager of AICC, our Stuart Creek 2 Fire is now the #1 fire (biggest and baddest) in the US. That's a title we certainly didn't want.

VISITORS
Sunday was a first for SP Kennel. At about 10:30 AM a luxury coach (big bus) drove down our mile of dirt access road, into our gravel driveway to the narrow trail at the Skunk's Place sign. Out climbed the Anchorage Glacier Pilots Baseball Team, 30 young men, and their coaches. The Pilots are a college summer baseball team headquartered in Anchorage. They are among the finest players from colleges throughout the US.


The Pilots' 'luxury coach' couldn't quite fit.


The Anchorage Glacier Pilots with Aliy and Mac.

So our team of canine athletes got to meet this team of human athletes. The humans learned a bit about sled dog training and racing. The canines learned that baseball players give pretty great back scratches.

Athletes' mutual admiration.

Three hours after they left the kennel, the Pilots beat the Goldpanners 9 to 1, in the last game of a weekend series. Great job, guys! We'd like to think that SP Kennel helped get you psyched for the game.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Stuart Creek Fire Update 7/14

According to the AICC website:

The fire activity increased yesterday as anticipated with some isolated flare-ups along with small group tree torching inside the fire's perimeter. However, the perimeter growth was minimal as containment lines continue to hold.
As of July 14 8:00AM the size of the fire was 84,275 acres with 38% contained.
A total of 730 personnel are working the fire.


A list of Firefighter home states; Becky stands outside Pleasant Valley Store.

The backbone of this community is Pleasant Valley Store. Store owners, Becky and Alex, have always been tremendous community supporters. Even now, the firefighters are treated as family.

Two Rivers residents are still under a Evacuation Watch.

From SP Kennel's "bird's eye view" the fire has settled down tremendously after this past week's rain and favorable conditions. We can still see smoke and occasional flames (at a distance) from the porch, but the fire crews seem to have stopped much of the movement of the fire. They are obviously feeling good about the fire because the hoses, pumps and water tanks that were positioned around the neighborhood are now being collected.


Mickey and Doug monitor fire activity from SP Kennel "bird's eye view".

So, we will continue to be wary and keep and eye on the horizon, but overall, we are pleased to be sleeping again at night! (In our own beds!)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Congrats Allen

Allen was invited to be a special guest Tuesday, July 9th, at the Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce meeting. During the lunchtime event, the Alaska State Legislature honored Allen for his record accomplishment during this year's championship Yukon Quest run.

The Honor plaque is framed with the Seal of the State of Alaska. It is signed by the Prime Sponsors: State Representative Tammie Wilson and State Senator John Coghill and was co sponsored by the entire State Legislature.

This goes to show that the State of Alaska certainly does take it's dog mushing seriously!

A hearty congratulations to our respected and honored champion: Mr. Allen Moore!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Kudos to Well Pet!

Well Pet, the dog food manufacturers who make our premium racing sled dog food:
Eagle Pack Natural Pet Food, have really stepped up to the plate in Alaska this summer.


An article in the Fairbanks Daily Newminer talks about the company donating several ton of dog food to the flood evacuated dogs along the Yukon River.

It's great to see a company giving back to their patrons!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

(Good News) X 2

EVACUEES RETURN
On Monday evening the evacuation order was lifted for Two Rivers. We are grateful for heavy rain showers, reduced humidity, a change in wind direction and about 700 firefighters attacking our Stuart Creek 2 Fire. Our 4-truck caravan brought us all back to SP Kennel at 4 PM Tuesday. The fire is still active and we could be asked to evacuate again if Mother Nature wills it. But, for now, we are safe and happy to sleep in our own beds/doghouses.

The Alaska Interagency Coordination Center provides current news on our fire and other fires in Alaska.

FAMILY
Thanks to all who sent offers of help, good wishes and prayers our way. We are so fortunate to have our loyal SP family and friends!

Here is some family news that was overshadowed by fire news this week. Our SP family is about to get bigger. And we are all pretty excited! Olivia and Nacho are expecting their second litter of pups on July 23. Big O is a petite blue-eyed spitfire, overflowing with strength and determination. Nacho sports a happy-go-lucky and friendly personality. In harness he is a long legged, smooth running all-star who never gives up. Aliy and Allen are eager to see what combinations of their parents' traits these new little athletes possess.

Parents-to-be Nacho and Olivia pose with Aliy. Their yearlings Lydia and Kodiak play in the background.

Do you remember that Olivia and Nacho had a litter last summer? Junior, Lydia, Kodiak and Dutch were born on August 8 of 2012. These four happy pups have dog houses at the entrance to SP Kennel where they greet family and visitors daily. They and their new siblings are the future of SP Kennel.

Meghan and Dutch last October

Meghan and Dutch last month
MORE FAMILY
Last week Olivia's sponsors (who are surely part of the SP family), visited the kennel with their granddaughters. The girls shadowed Aliy and learned a bit about Alaskan huskies. They were among the first to learn that Olivia is expecting. We always love our sponsor visits.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Life as a Evacuee

Ironic, isn't it, that we should house the flood evacuated Galena dogs for five weeks only to have to evacuate ourselves? I'm not sure what it all means, if anything, it's simply ironic. I've been thinking about things a lot lately.

Our current situation away from our home in Two Rivers is far from a hardship. We are fortunate enough to have family, friends and even simple acquaintances who go out of their way to help or send well-wishing's.
So.. DO NOT worry about us. The dogs are fine, we are fine and the whatever else happens is out of our control.

Our evacuation was uneventful. The caravan of dog trucks and trailers made it's way to Bridgett and Scotty's home south of Ester, Alaska. There were spots ready for each individual dog underneath a groove of tall spruce trees over looking the Alaska Range Mountains to the south. We brought a ton of Eagle Pack Dog Food with us, so I guess we could spend the month, should we like it better on this side of town!


Allen looks over the Alaska Range with the dogs.

I was reminded yesterday during our evacuation that: Our dogs are the best. They get along great with each other - no arguing or bickering. No running away. No panicking. They are well behaved. We expect them to listen to us and they do. They are truly awesome dogs and I thank them for their cooperation.


A photo of twenty evacuated SP Kennel dogs.

The race dogs have taken everything in stride and many are stretched out in the shade and cushioning of the forest understory. They must be thinking "I wonder what kind of adventure Aliy and Allen are taking us on now?"


Scout, Bonita, Pud, Tony, Boondocks and Bullet aren't too stressed.

The young dogs are acting like they are at Summer Camp - and for some of the them I guess, it must seem like they are! Lydia, Dutch, Junior and Kodiak went on their first dog truck ride yesterday - ever! Woody, Wedgy, Chipper, Sandy, Iron and Driver are camped under the trees, playing with twigs, as if it were an afternoon picnic. (I have to admit that Driver did chew the internet cord to the house last night. Opps, sorry Scotty. But, I'm sure he thought it was just a twig!)


Tatfish and Dutch check out the lawn; Schmoe ignores Sandy just before she pounced on him!

The sixteen Research Study dogs are in their own "area" because their special meals must continue despite the evacuation inconvenience. They might have a few days off from exercise, but we have plans to start that up again in a different location, if needed.

The fire fighters are doing their jobs and are trying their best to control the fire. Our house is safe, as of now, and folks are in the area watching it for us.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Evacuation!

Howdy!... Macgellan here... I just texted with Aliy... This is all I know!



I'm sure you all join Happy and me in wishing all our friends at SP Kennel -- canine and human -- a safe relocation and a speedy return home!

Evacuation Complete

At about 1:30 pm, we received the evacuation order for Chena Hot Springs. The kennel and the surrounding family was prepared and swiftly got ready to leave the area. Aliy, Allen, Kaz, Sammy, Mickey, Doug, Wes, Wendy and all the dogs left Two Rivers. SP Kennel has safely arrived at Bridgett and Scotty's home and are setting up a temporary kennel.


Ray, Ryne and Derrek, who are all wildland firefighters, are working with the hundreds of other firefighters to protect our homes and neighborhood. 

Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers.  


Friday, July 5, 2013

Stuart Creek Fire Update 7/5

We have NO EVACUATION orders yet.

We are trying to keep a normal routine despite wind changes and smoke. The view from our porch changes constantly.

Here are some fantastic sky photos that we have to share.


The sun on a smokey afternoon.


Sun hiding behind a cloud.

Oh yea... this is SPK Dog Log, isn't it??? So, here's a great dog photo too!


Sissy lays in the wild flowers last week.