He has an intense drive and focus in harness, never slacking. His open country leader skills are exceptional.
Canyon, a McKenzie/Cranberry daughter, has taken her sweet time coming into heat this fall. It actually didn't happen. We had resigned ourselves to the fact that we would wait until spring for Phoenix's "participation" in this long distance breeding. You see, Canyon lives in Alaska while Phoenix calls his home Minnesota. A long distance "romance" has been in the works for months. All of the details have been ironed out. Upon a phone call from Canyon's person, Rose, we would rush Phoenix to our special reproductive vet where he would make a "deposit". This chilled deposit would then be Fed Exed over night to Alaska and delivered promptly to the lady, Canyon, in waiting. Artificial insemination would commence and in 63 or so days, we would have the arrival of a new litter of deep line Hedlund Husky puppies to help further this special line of Alaska Huskies. But first, Canyon has to cooperate!
The time as come! We received an email from Alaska the day after Christmas indicating that Canyon was indeed and finally in heat! Progesterone testing will begin on Friday to determine the likely window of opportunity. Then the tricky part comes in. We need to be in town in order for Phoenix to assist in the process. Our plans to be out of town next weekend can be adjusted to accommodate the process. Phoenix's contribution will last up to 72 hours and we've been told that the likelihood of success is excellent.
If you have been following the blog for sometime, then you will recall that this will be Phoenix's FOURTH try. Not for the lack of trying. Things just haven't worked out for whatever reason. A few years ago, we had a visitor from the Voyageur Outward Bound Kennel near Ely, MN. Polka is a beautiful 65lb, white, Hedlund Husky compatible, female. She and Phoenix hit it off quite well, however upon her return home, an emergency hysterectomy was required due to an unexpected uterine infection. Sadly, puppies were present but could not survive to preserve Polka's health. Second time around was an attempted breeding with Zimbi, Wimzi's mom. Phoenix was not interested enough at the time Zimbi visited to complete the task and it had to be passed on to "Q" who is Oken, Zodiak and Zala's brother who lives in a nearby kennel. And finally there was the attempted breeding of Zala. Phoenix completed the task, Zala was not at all happy about the entire process. Even so, the end result was surprising...... no puppies. Zala's issue or Phoenix's issue, we just don't know.
SO, on to try number four for Mr. Phoenix. He is an excellent all around companion and sled dog. At 29 inches high at the shoulder and 72lbs with a nice dense coat, he is inspiring in harness and has become a turn-on-a-dime open country leader. We are so looking forward to the perpetuation of his genes in this special Hedlund Husky line.
Canyon lives in a small recreational kennel approximately 50 miles north of Anchorage, Alaska. She is an excellent house dog/companion and loves to run in harness, although her drive is not as intense as Phoenix's. She has an amazingly huge coat, thought to be a throw back from the Malamute in the Hedlund Husky line that will be a nice addition to the Points Unknown kennel as we strive to bring a bigger coat into our Zulu line Alaskans.