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Monday, August 8, 2011

Klaus and Sweet Pea; 9 Years Old!

Klaus at 6 weeks

Klaus at 9 Yrs

Sweet Pea at 6 weeks

Sweet Pea at 9 Yrs

The Zulu puppies, Klaus and Sweet Pea turn 9 years old today! It is so hard to watch all of the dogs age so quickly and even harder to imagine these two being 9 years old already.  They are each such a special part of our lives, the dog pack and our dog sled teams.

Klaus is just as good an open country leader as his dad, Zulu, was for us. We did see him begin to slow down just a tad last year, letting Oken do more of the trail breaking in difficult conditions. Because of his exceptional work ethic, we anticipated that he might begin to slow down at this age and we are noticing a bit more stiffness in his gait. We'll see how he does this year and work with him where he is, making sure he enjoys what he's doing and that it doesn't cause him any discomfort. Klaus has never been an exceptionally good house dog as he tends to try to swallow up anything that isn't out of reach but his "edge" seems to be dulling with age. He's been known, lately, to chill out with us in the evening, rather than pace around looking for trouble, after we give the place a good Klaus proofing for our own piece of mind, of course..

Sweet Pea has always been one of our main back up leaders. She can do it but would rather someone else take on the stress. She's as sweet as her name implies. Last year she began giving us signs that she'd prefer to be a house dog more often and we've listened to her wishes. Now she divides her time between keeping the puppies in line and sharing toys in the house with the little dogs and sacking out on the couch. I'm sure she will still want to come along on trail adventures with us for quite some time but I'm guessing there better be a good doggy massage in it for her afterwards.

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