Monday, May 30, 2016

Golf Litter Turns Four

Our Golf Litter turns 4 years old today!

Four years ago!

Chipper, Driver, Iron, Sandy, Wedgy and Woody are an interesting mix of their father Biscuit and mother Quito. They are maturing at very different rates and are a mixture of our smallest and biggest dogs! At four years old they are entering their racing prime and we are so excited to see what they have in store for us this coming season.

Chipper is one of our smallest dogs, weighing in at just 34 pounds (15.5 kgs). She is also one of the sassiest and most confident. Chipper surprised everyone this season by running with the "big dogs" in the Copper Basin 300, the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod! She will be an important dog next season. Chipper's size absolutely stuns many of SP Kennel's biggest competitors. We have heard comments on the trail like "Does that Chihuahua actually pull?" or "Can you find a harness to fit that runt?" Chipper says that she will answer those silly questions only if they can manage to reach the finish line before her!

Chipper in November 2012 and 2014

Driver is a big lummox and has become one of our largest dogs weighing 62 pounds (28.5 kgs). He might fill out another few pounds for the coming season. Driver certainly grew into his long legs and this season proved he had the determination and drive to finish the Iditarod with the Black Team. Driver was also a key powerhouse on the Yukon Quest 300 and the Copper Basin 300. His nickname is "Driveshaft"… it makes him sound so tough!

Driver in November 2012 and 2014

Iron is built to be a champion. He is solid and strong weighing in at 51 pounds (23 kgs). He learned quite a lot this past season. For example, during his first distance race in January he chewed his harness at the starting line. On his last distance race -- Iditarod in March -- he trotted under the burled arch in Nome. Now, that's a learning curve! Iron has one of the highest pitched barks in the yard. Yes… a age 4 years, he still barks like a little yapper dog!

Iron in November 2012 and 2014

Sandy has always been one of the most talented wee girls and was the first of her litter to "make it big" when she made the R&B Team for the Copper Basin 300 in her yearling year. She is very "no-nonsense" dog who enjoys running in the wheel position or near the back of the team. She normally weighs in at just around 40 pounds (18 kgs). She has become Aliy's 'go to' girl and after Iditarod Aliy said they had a heartfelt connection. Sandy doesn't see her size as a disadvantage and while playing with her neighbor, Mac, she often body slams him on the sly.

Sandy in November 2012 and 2014

Wedgy is waiting for the opportunity to show us all just what she is made of. She is a gorgeous build and is one of the most handsome girls in the yard. Wedgy is honestly the best built dog of the entire litter. She will have this next year to step up and prove that she can do it. We still think that she can! She weighs 47 pounds (21 kgs) and is solid muscle.

Wedgy in November 2012 and 2014

Woody is a sweetheart. Last season he consolidated his lead-dog skills by leading almost all the teams he raced and trained in. We are excited for him for next season. He is one of those dogs that tries just a little too hard all the time and can hurt himself as a result. He's learning to overcome that with an interesting summer that we'll tell you about soon. Woody is a leggy, tall dog that doesn't have the body mass of his brothers. He weighs 54 pounds (24.5 kgs) but could easily weigh 60.

Woody in November 2012 and 2014

Here's a quick video from November 2012 when Meghan and Moira took Driver, Sandy and Iron, along with Tig the Labrador for a run dos stretch their legs.

Our thanks and appreciation go to all their sponsors: Padee McCrery (Chipper), Sherri Suppelsa (Driver), Crystal and Merwin Ullestad (Iron), Danielle Carver (Sandy), Barb Hartman (Wedgy) and Heidi Phillips (Woody). Also thank you to everyone who has ever joined the Fan Club of one or all of our Golfies.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Slow Mo Saturday: Iditarod Starts

We're back with our occasional summer series "Slow Mo Sunday (on a Saturday)" where we slow down some footage you might have already seen so you can enjoy it in more detail and from a different perspective.

Today we see both the Red and the Black Teams starting the Iditarod in Willow. Check out how focussed Quito is and see the smiles on all the faces!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Coffee Pups

The Coffee Pups are 8 months old. They have very similar personalities and looks as their older siblings, the Fire Litter. And they love to have FUN! We will be updating the Puppy Page on the Website soon with new portraits. Here are some recent photos.

Perky… is just that - PERKY Non Stop Go.; Decaf is a more gentle sweetheart.

Creamer is gorgeous and confident; Barista likes to flirt and play.

These two are BBFs: Bean is 'in your face' excited; Sanka is more shy of the two.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Golden Harness Pups

The Golden Harness Pups are 7 1/2 months old. They have changed so much and are looking more and more like "real dogs". We will be updating the Puppy Page on the Website soon with new portraits. In order to keep everyone in the loop here are some recent photos of the kids.

Chevie's coloration takes after her Mom; Jefe's ears never did stand up.

Bruno is non stop motion; QT has got some excellent legs!

McCaw is a Big Boy with plenty of fur; Dancer is a small gal with a 'tude.

Saturday, May 21, 2016


Yesterday was 4 weeks since I had my foot operation and I was pretty excited to talk to the Doc. Originally, the estimate for recuperation was 4 to 6 weeks. So… 4 weeks arrived (finally) and I won't say the prognosis was bad, it wasn't, it just wasn't great. He said "Looks Good. Keep doing the same." Argggghhhh.

So, I sulked a round a little on my peg leg feeling sorry for myself. Allen's been around me constantly for the last 4 weeks, so he's used to pouty Aliy. But my friend Barb, who came to the kennel to help out for a few days, wasn't quite used to new and not so improved attitude. She even started to keep a tally of "Aliy's rudes". The last I remembered, I was up to #21. Oops.

Barb also brought a Selfie Stick for a camera phone. She is quite the photographer and thought this angle of the dogs might be fun. Well… who better to have FUN than 'happy-go-lucky' me? So, I was send out to peg leg around the yard, with a supervisor, to take selfies with any and all accommodating dogs. Let me say first, that despite the all 'Aliy Cam Videos' and photo shoots I've been involved with, I am not familiar with a Selfie Stick. It took some practice. As I hobbled through the dogs, some of them were now both wary of my peg leg and the 3 foot long stick that I held over my head. "What the… ?" So here are some of the results:

These guys all wanted to HELP take photos:

Mismo adjusts the photo layout; Tinder reaches for the shutter speed.

These guys all wanted to GROOM me for the Photo Shoot. (Is that a hint?)

Nomex washes my face.; Mac feels the need to look me over closely.

Mismo adjusts my smile; Tinder thought my hat was loop-sided.

These guys were NOT interested:
Chemo wouldn't give me the time of day, Kodiak only gave me a smile when a raven flew overhead.

Izzy would rather have bum scratch (Rambler approves); Felix just wants to dance.

We did have some success:

Chevie is a lover; Ginger wants some TLC.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Graphic Art

Long time SP Kennel supporter Margaret Wirtenberg is a very talented artist and during the season sent us through a number of amazing graphics from pictures and videos posted on the blog. With her permission I am sharing a selection with you! Margaret and her husband Alfred sponsor Chena.

Clyde and Chena

ChaCha and Chena

Clyde; Roses for Quito

Yukon Quest views

Winter in the White Mountains

Beemer and Willie

On the trail to Nome; Black Team start

Felix and Schmoe