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Saturday, August 2, 2008

A Break in the Humidity

Digging the trench

Setting the silo blocks in place

Melanie working away

An extra pen complete!

There was a welcome break in the heat and humidity today which made it the ideal day for some kennel work. Since our return from the winter season, there have been two kennels of Inuit Dogs side by side. This hasn't been working as hoped with occasional bickering between the bunch at the fence, creating unwanted stress in the kennel(and more so to the musher!). It was time to make a change and install additional fence panels to divide one large kennel into two smaller pens. Two of the laid back Hedlund Huskies would then be strategically placed in the new kennel between the bickering bunch with hopes of lowering the stress level.

The three hour long journey to retrieve the fence panels was done earlier in the week so they would be on site just in case there was a cool day for installation. Today was the day. The panels were lifted over the existing kennel walls and attached to the existing posts where fencing at one time existed, making for a much easier installation than it would have been if posts also had to be sunk. A trench was dug below each panel and down to the dig out wire. Silo blocks, which are flat paver-like cement blocks, collected from a nearby friend's farm were sunk in the trench to make certain no skinny little puppies (Zala) dig even the narrowest of holes and slide under to pay a visit to the neighboring kennel.

Phoenix and Journey are the first to test this pen. So far, there has been no bickering, only the play bark of Phoenix as he attempts to lighten up the "oldies" on one side of the fence with a few of his comedy acts. After that..........silence. Thank goodness.

When working with a group of sled dogs, there are never any clear cut rules - this is going to work or that will work. Its more like, let's try this and see how it works and if it doesn't then we'll try something different. Trial and error. For now, this is working. Let's now wait until Journey goes into heat and then we'll have to try something else!

This kennel management is one of the things I like about working with these wonderful creatures. There is always something new to learn and always change and adaptation to new circumstances or events. It keeps both dogs and musher on their toes and there is never a dull moment.

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