Friday, December 30, 2016

Amber Wins New Year Dog Fan Club Draw

Happy New Year! We hope 2017 is the best one yet! We wish you good health and happiness... and why not world peace while we're at it.

Congratulations to Katy Hund from Maine who is a fan of Amber!

Amber is super excited and ready to launch (literally) into this season. Her enthusiasm is priceless. She is small but that won't hold her up. She is stepping up into a lead dog position this season.

Katy Hund wins a signed Iditarod 2016 poster plus an SP Kennel patch. Of course she will get a photo print portrait of Amber also. We hope you enjoy your packet Katy!

Our next scheduled Dog Fan Club draw will be on January 13th and will be Copper Basin 300 themed! Everyone who has joined by then and hasn't already won will be in the draw to win! Before that we will do a bonus draw - we are fast closing in on 200 dog fan club members and once we hit that magic number we'll draw again so keep an eye out for that!

Click the button below for more information about how to join:

Click this button to take you directly to the Dog Fan Page.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Sharing the Christmas Treats

Okay... heads up this is a LONG video. Elf Aliy and Elf Wendy passed out some of the treats that were sent to SP Kennel from all you lovey folks. THANKS!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016


For those of you who have been crossing your fingers, toes and paws for snow... it WORKED! The white fluffy stuff is falling.
Weather service is calling for an impressive Winter Storm in Interior Alaska for the next few days ~ "Heavy Snow" predicted.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

From Our Home to Yours

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us here at SP Kennel!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Spark Wins Bonus Dog Fan Club Draw

Merry Christmas, Seasons Greetings and Happy Holidays to everyone celebrating at this time of year.

The best gift we at SP Kennel could hope for is something we already have: the support from our fans! Thank you so very much for all the support you give us: be-it monetary, vocally, a comment on our blog or simply a "like" on social media. We appreciate you all.

We've made a bonus Fan Club draw today and congratulations to Nancy and Gaige boy from New Hampshire who are a fans of SPARK!

Spark is a talented goofball. Probably the most happy dog at SP Kennel, he runs with his tail half way in the air (in case he needs to wag it excitedly!) He flirts with everyone, all the time. He is running in lead position often, we will count on him this season.

Nancy and Gaige boy will receive a holiday themed "glam" shot of the Olympic puppies, some SP Kennel goodies and a glossy glam of Spark. We hope you enjoy your packet!

Our next scheduled Dog Fan Club draw will be on December 30th and everyone who has joined by then and hasn't already won will be in the draw to win!

Click the button below for more information about how to join:

Click this button to take you directly to the Dog Fan Page.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Hello on Solstice!

I was driving home yesterday and thought how G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S it was in front of me. Since many of you have never driven the last mile to SP Kennel, I invite you to come with me now! I used a Dire Straits song, "On Every Street", because I think of the last mile to home very fondly and I hope you think of the last mile to your home the same way.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Aliy Speaks about Iditarod Assault Court Case

I, was not, and am, still not, very comfortable talking about the assaults on me during the Iditarod 2016. Originally, I thought that by sharing that horrible story, it would only create a world of drama and undercut the terrifying reality of the attack on me. There seems to be enough make believe drama in our world that I didn't want this serious of an event to be trivialized. Also it just plain hurt to talk about. Imagine someone actually trying to kill you. Yea... not a great thought, eh?

But now, I have come to realize that by not sharing the awful details of March 12th it has left many people not understanding how much the attack affected me. So the reality is that I have struggled for over 10 months to try to return to the 'person I used to be.' I have only recently come to the realization that I will never be that person again.

But today is a good day. It is the first day in over 10 months that I can start to look forward instead of back. Arnold Demoski plead guilty and was sentenced to serve a six-month prison term for his attacks. I was able to say a few words to Demoski - the man who single-handedly created many nightmares and current fears in me. I was glad to speak my mind and it helped me tremendously.

The exact outcome and prison sentence is simply a resolution. I have learned more than I ever wanted to know about the State of Alaska criminal justice system. I can only hope to never be a victim of a crime again.

For me, today was the end of waiting and worrying and waiting. Now, I can focus ahead. There are only 74 days until Iditarod starts. I have not yet been able to picture myself or my dog team out on that trail again. So now my job is to focus ahead and bring back the 'Aliy' that loved that trail for many years. As always... I will do my best.

For more details on the actual Court Case both the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner and the Anchorage ADN have articles today.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Arctic Sunset

A training run last week brought my dog team to a high ridge just to the north of Two Rivers. The view was amazing and simply HAD to be shared. Honestly... it took some effort to dig out my video camera that was buried deep in my insulated under parka pocket (trying to keep it warm.) But I think this video clip is truly worth it. I hope you enjoy.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Moon Howl

A very full moon and a few enthusiastic dogs.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Joe-Schmoe wins Dog Fan Club Draw

Congratulations to The Willette Family who are a fans of SCHMOE!

Schmoe is a true sweetie. He is mega excited to run, eat and howl. It's amazing to think of all of his amazing accomplishments: he is a Yukon Quest and Copper Basin 300 champion and has run in the Iditarod five times. Along with all that, Schmoe simply makes us smile!

The Willette's will receive a holiday themed "glam" shot of the puppies (we'll share that with y'all next week), some SP Kennel goodies and a glossy glam of Schmoe. We hope you enjoy your packet!

We will have a bonus Christmas draw next Friday and everyone who has joined by then and hasn't already won will be in the draw to win!

Click the button below for more information about how to join:

Click this button to take you directly to the Dog Fan Page.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Puppies on a Leash

Gold, Prata and Bronze are growing up. They have had great fun with Ruth exploring many of the neighborhood forests, learning to come when called and racing each other across the fields. But as they become older they have become independent pups. There personalities are truly blossoming. Each pup deserved personal time and soon they will have full time individual homes. This has become necessary as the threesome have recently had a few 'discussions' about who is taking up too much space in their puppy house.

In order to prepare the youth for their own houses they are given individual collars and are walked on leashes. Sometimes this happens in a group (quite challenging as you will see) and sometimes individually. This way the youngsters will be completely comfortable adjusting to their own homes. Their houses are situated in a tight group so that the three can play and harass each other as much as they desire but can sleep independently.

Ruth took this video while walking the threesome ~ quite talented!
Thanks Ruth.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Yearling Camp Out

Ruth and Chris took some of the yearlings on their first Camp out. This is a 'big deal' for some dogs. It's sort of like a a troop of 9 year old Boy Scouts heading out into a National Park for the weekend. Away from Mom and Dad. Away from your bed. Away from heat, electricity and comfort. Oh my.

Our yearlings (and Ruth and Chris) had a good time. They camped out for several hours and mushed home on some challenging trails. The Yearlings had the following day off (The Mushers should have... but didn't!)

Here are some photos of the youngsters (Thanks Chris!)

R-L: Chevie, Bruno and Sanka stand near their straw beds whereas Ginger sits in her straw. Barista gets the camping idea! Good Girl!

This is the best photo! McCaw ~ the giant ~ and Bean ~ the pipsqueak ~ can't understand why they are sitting around near piles of straw with no dog houses nearby. Can you imagine their conversation?

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Thank you for Loving our Dogs: Spicy Meets Her Sponsors

When Spicy was a racing dog, Greg and Vivian from Atlanta were her sponsors. They always kept in touch via cards and letters ~ even after Spicy's retirement. Unfortunately they never got to meet Spicy at SP Kennel before she went home to New Zealand with Moira.

Last week Greg and Vivian were in New Zealand as part of an Australia/New Zealand cruise so Moira, her Dad and Spicy took a trip up to Auckland to meet them! They took in a local beach, an extinct volcano views of the city and a walk in the park.

We love when our dog sponsors get to meet "their dog" and we're so happy Greg and Vivian got to meet Spicy. They really went "the extra mile" for her!

Thank you to ALL of our dog fans, sponsors and team members. Your contributions and enthusiasm for the entire SP Kennel philosophy is outstanding. We could go on and on about ALL of you, but let's just say that the personal attention that our dogs receive from you is spectacular.

And if you were wondering... Yes... when we receive biscuits and dog treats in the mail ~ they are personally passed out (YUMMY)~; when a dog receives a Love Letter from a Fan ~ there is immediately a 'Dog of the Day' ~ when a dog gets a special bone delivery ~ he or she enjoys the tasty treat!~ The dogs are the reason we are dog mushers. This isn't just a saying or phrase... it's the SP Kennel truth.

So, if you are curious... we WILL be accepting Christmas and Holiday presents for the dogs. All of our dogs have different Santa's Lists:
  • For the Racing Dogs and Yearlings: big, little or medium edible dog treats, real bones, rigid chew toys
  • For the Puppies: Rigid and Semi tough chew toys and smaller edible treats
  • For the Mature Dogs: Softer treats (not everyone has all their teeth)
  • For the Special Needs Dogs: Squeaky toys are okay (these dogs are always supervised with toys), dog beds, blankets or cushions

After the holidays, we will post a list and some photos of the dogs with their presents.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Dog Sponsor Packets are on the way!

Office work is H-A-R-D. We are done for the day!

All the goodies have arrived, been sorted, sized and repacked. The packets and boxes brought to Trailside Mail this past Monday.

Hopefully we got them out before the Holiday rush is on.

If you have 'Joined the Team' then your packet has been compiled and mailed as well.

Thank good ness for 40 BELOW days or the crew at SP K would never get our indoor chores completed!

The helpful packing crew (Tig, Scout and Scruggs) waits indoors for their next assignment. If you have any dog hair in your envelopes... well... lucky YOU!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Sled Run Photos

Chris and Aliy left the yard with 8 dogs per team. They went on a long afternoon/ evening training run. The teams ran out of the yard 30 minutes before the sun set at 2:49PM.) Needless to say, it was a gorgeous run.

Aliy Heads out of the Yard with Chena, Scooby, Nomex, Spark, Five, Rodney, Sandy and Ernie.

Chris' Team (Woody, Chemo, Driver, Ginger, Driver, Outlaw, Hotshot, Cayenne and Wedgy) cross the SP Driveway.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Yukon Quest Documentary

As the season starts to gather speed our thoughts start to look forward to upcoming races. Of course, one of the big ones on SP Kennel's calendar is the Yukon Quest.

Canadian Broadcasting & Media Production Company Red Letter Films made a documentary series "Mushers: Conquering the Yukon Quest" during the 2015 race. If you haven't seen it already, or you would like to see it again, you can watch it 'on demand' on Vimeo (click the red link to take you to the page). Red Letter Films say about the series: "It depicts the awesome and true relationship between the mushers and their pups" so check it out!

Watch the interview the team did with Allen before the 2015 race and see some fantastic action shots of the team training on the Two Rivers trails.

"...people say "Why do these dogs do this, and why do they do it for 1000 miles? The best analogy I can give is why does a black Lab go after a tennis ball? If you throw it all day long, it will go after the tennis ball. Why? Because it is bred into them. It is bred into that retriever to retrieve, it's bred into these dogs to run, and they're not happy unless they're running."

Visit Red Letter Films' YouTube channel for more exclusive interviews and let them know how much you enjoyed the series.

If you ever have any questions about our dogs or kennel you can find lots of information right here on the DogLog (check the "About Us" and "Dog Mushing Basics" buttons or the search function down the left hand side) or email us directly on Email: and just ask!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Chipper Wins Dog Fan Club Draw

Congratulations to Mary Duffy who has won today's Dog Fan Club draw. Mary is a fan of CHIPPER.

As you saw earlier... IT'S SNOWING!!! And, it's been pretty chilly in Two River this week also! So, in celebration of that, Mary will receive an SP Kennel beanie to keep her ears warm plus some other kennel goodies.

For such a wee little dog, Chipper is a handful! If we can keep her from losing her 'beans' and focusing when she needs to… she will again be the Rock Star that we know she can be.

Our next draw will be December 16th and everyone who hasn't already won and joined by then will be in to win!

Click the button below for more information about how to join:

Click this button to take you directly to the Dog Fan Page.

It's Snowing!

We have 2 inches of fresh powder snow on the ground and more is coming down.

This is ~ by far ~ the biggest snow storm that we have had this season. It's not falling at a 'blizzard rate' but if this keeps up, Alaska might look like Alaska by Christmas!

We are headed out on sleds today.

Needless to say... everyone is a little bit excited!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Training in the Cold

It has still been "chilly" in Two Rivers the last few days. Often times in the thick of winter, there is an inversion layer where warmer air rises in the hills -- so we go train the teams where it's warmer. We tried that a day ago only to find that it wasn't any toastier up high.

Many of the dogs have protective jackets and all of them have booties on their feet. You'll notice they are nibbling on frozen salmon -- YUMMY. Several dogs have on neck lines. That is because we must cross a highway and travel several miles down a logging road. The dogs wearing necklines tend to have extra energy when we 'stand still' waiting for traffic. So this additional leash adds security that these guys won't go play in that traffic.