Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Happy New Year and a Couple Days Off
How wonderful it was to begin the new year in northern Minnesota with friends, new and old, and the sled dogs. Erik, one of the Points Unknown mushers, Hailey, one of the Points Unknown dog helpers and I treated ourselves to dinner at the lodge for New Years. After dinner, Hailey and I went back to pick up the house dogs and then headed down to the bonfire that was staged in front of the lodge for the New Year's celebration. At midnight we walked back to the dog yard to attempt to get the dogs to howl to mark the changing of the year. Ever since Amaruq passed away there has been very little howling in the kennel. Amaruq was the one who started most of the howls with his faint sweet voice and he set the tone for the kennel. After several attempts, we were unable to get the dogs to howl. Maybe one of those three pups will be the next cheerleader for the kennel and can help bring that team spirit back. We did promise the guests a midnight howl. We didn't say that it would be the dogs doing the howling....
Yesterday I treated myself to a massage at the lodge. That is something I hope to make a weekly ritual. Sore muscles no more! (or at least not for the moment)
Today was another much needed day off. A "day off" for a musher isn't really a day off at all. What did we do on this day off? We awoke at 7AM to feed, then we walked the house dogs, ran four teams of dogs, walked a puppy down to the lodge for socialization, cleaned out the straw from a puppy house, walked the house dogs again, brought Journey down to play with her brother Flint in the fenced in enclosure, brought the puppies down to the play area, fed the dogs again, walked the house dogs again and now here I am updating the blog. That's my day off and I'm not complaining. Its a chosen lifestyle. A lifestyle that can be exhausting at times but also very fulfilling.
Hailey leaves tomorrow. She wishes she could spend the entire winter up here with the sled dogs. I don't think we convinced her mother that online High School was the way to go. I wanted to make sure that she got to run some dogs today after spending the week taking care of them. She did a wonderful job with her two teams of two. You don't need any more than two to start when you are working with dogs trained to haul freight. Two will take you places!