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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Audubon Center of the Northwoods Family Event

We awoke to beautiful pink skies; a foreshadowing to the weather change that would occur later that evening.

Our visitors were of all ages

Topa with a young guest

Phoenix likes to get close and personal while Sweet Pea would rather nap at the moment

White Feather and Guest

Zodiak makes certain our guests are tucked snugly in the sled

Oken and Klaus indicate they are ready for action

Journey and Topa wait calmly on the gang line

These dogs aren't just beautiful. They are extremely hard pullers to boot! This is our first of three teams out on the trail. This team was run by either Neil or myself.

Hailey was the musher of our second team with Zala and Tuloon in lead. This is Hailey's first year as an official musher for our winter events. She couldn't have done better!

This was our third team out; a three dog team lead by Phoenix and driven by a guest 12 years or older (at the musher's discretion) after extensive safety instruction from Rebecca. See how Phoenix and White Feather give 110%. Sweet Pea has earned the right, over the years, to give only 100%.

Our third happy team and new musher

We took our guests out around a one mile loop, every 30 minutes and were able to give mini adventures to 60 people yesterday! Our typical adventure lasts from an hour and a half to a long weekend but this event is a nice new experience for the dogs and keeps them on their toes. (Along with the mushers!)

Hailey with our second team and new musher behind. As you can see, our new musher is illustrating what NOT to do when on a dog sled. "Look mom, no hands!" is not a safe way to run a team of our dogs.

Topa and young friend

Olive, Neil's mother, looks the part of a north woods woman

Phoenix keeps the line tight as the remainder of the team is hooked up

Ari and Sasha wait patiently at hook up. It took six hook ups for this to happen! This is exactly why this is such a wonderful experience for the dogs. They learn to relax and pace themselves.

White Feather and Sweet Pea. White Feather watches as the neighborhood Ermine continues to taunt the dogs between runs.

Zala and mother, Tuloon

Second to the last run of the day and they continued to look fresh

Second and third teams

Hailey and team

Olive was in charge of the dogs' fat snack and treats, in addition to being the honorary poop scooper.

Olive hands out the dogs' Redpaw Performance Recovery treats

Zodiak stares intensely at the taunting Ermine while Zala catches a cat nap

At the end of the runs, Topa is more emotionally worn out than she is physically. It's hard for even dogs to be "on" all day.

Tuloon curls up with her nose under her tail for complete warmth

Rebecca gives Klaus a much needed massage wile Oken waits his turn

Oken presses up against Rebecca to remind her that he is still waiting

Journey has a habit of "winding" herself up when she is harnessed. She begins to go around and around in circles

C'mon! Oken implies as he lays down next to Rebecca. Is it my turn for a massage yet?

Phoenix catches some winks

White Feather looks nice and cozy in her snow bed

Time for a nap for Sweet Pea too!

Yesterday was the most sedate we've seen little Miss Sasha. She settled right into the routine.

A good day. Now time to sleep

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