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Friday, April 29, 2011

Daisy/Tumac Puppies Update

Wishbone, half asleep


Rigel the super giant!

Honey and Pear(with the piercing eyes)
*Illy and Aise photos in a previous post.

Five months ago now, Daisy (Journey's sis) gave birth to seven healthy puppies at Uktousa Kennel in New Hampshire. Our own Tumac (Tuloon/McKenzie 2009 pup) was the sire. It's hard to believe how quickly they have grown. Illy and Aise are now bigger than our smallest adult, Zala. Their thick legs and big feet tell us they've got a lot of growing to go! We couldn't be happier with our two pups from this beautiful litter.

This breeding brought out some very interesting coats in the Hedlund line that we've not yet seen; some very BIG coats which may be a throw back to the Malamute that was introduced in the Hedlund line many years ago. Illy, Wishbone and TJ appear to have a more typical northern breed coat. Illy's coat is very similar to that of an Inuit dog puppy with its dense undercoat and coarse guard hairs. Wishbone has bright sky blue eyes that are not as typical but have appeared in the Hedlund line throughout the years. Pear's intense gaze is very much a Hedlund trait and Illy's aloofness and independence remind me of her Grandma Tuloon when she was a puppy. Rigel, living in Mornington Crescent Kennel in Maine, reminds me of their Grandpa McKenzie with his thick legs, big feet and big coat. Those ears will come up soon! I recall it taking 6-7 months for Phoenix's ears to stand straight up.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Oake Lake; Early Spring Evening

Oake Lake is undoubtedly named for the large Oak trees that line its shore.

The storm clouds pushing east make an artistic backdrop for the now highlighted opposing shore.

Ari Injured

Ari is a Hedlund Husky and brother to Phoenix.

Ari makes his way into the house again. Poor boy sliced one of his pads open. Interestingly enough, there was no limping that alerted me to the issue. Hundreds of blood spots dotted the surface of the deck with a big smiling Ari sitting right in the middle of it all.

He was a gem when I cleaned it out with a concentrated vet solution . It was filled with sand and dirt and needed quite a lot of attention. I then filled the slice with antibiotic ointment, packed the now closed wound with gauze, wrapped it with vet wrap and covered it all with a bootie. Of course, shortly after the incident, it began to rain so each time he went outside, I had to place a baggie over his foot that was secured with a rubber band. Can you believe that he has yet to even acknowledge the existence of this contraption on his foot? Many other dogs in the kennel would have not only chewed it off by now, but likely eaten it. I think he's just happy to be able to sack out on the couch and spend extra time with all of us inside.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Ebony at 5 Mos Old

Ebony runs through the thick carpet of bluebells

This appears to be Ebony's signature play pounce. Note the beautiful rock wall in the background.

Ooh la la!

If you recall, Ebony is Neil's mum's rough Collie puppy, living in England. She is slightly older than Aise and Illy. Neil took these photos yesterday. As you can see, they are in the midst of spring! Notice the beautiful carpet of bluebells in a place they walk the dogs called Bluebell Wood.

Ebony has a playmate on her block named Jess who is a year older. Beautiful dogs!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Aise & Illy; Nearly 5 months old

Illy has the identical build to our Journey which is her mother's sister; stocky and solid with an excellent dense coat. Although she has shorter legs, she is exhibiting a lot of our other ideal "Hedlund" traits.

Aise is very attentive and less aloof than Illy. She has longer legs than Illy and a very dense but different coat. She has quite a few "Hedlund" mannerisms and her build fits in with our Hedlund ideals.

Sweet Pea, the beloved adoptive mom, deserves a lot of credit for helping to raise these pups.

Aise is still above Illy in the pack hierarchy, however Illy tries to assert herself every chance she gets. This didn't begin to happen until her head tremors ended, interestingly enough.

Aise is all smiles. Considering their Aunt White Feather has missing teeth, we've been watching these pups closely and are happy to report that they both appear to have mouths filled with teeth!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Flash from the Past

(click on photos to view larger)

In speaking with a friend from Germany that now lives in England, Neil brought up the subject of dog mushing. Turns out, this friend has a family history of dog mushing and shared two photos of her uncle in the 1930s who ran a trap line with his dog team in northern Alberta, Canada. Small world.

It's hard to tell what mix is in the Alaskan Huskies in the photos but there appears to be hints of Malamute, Inuit Dog, Siberian Husky, possibly Great Pyrenees and something with a slender build, long legs and floppy ears.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Oake Lake Orchard; Operation Food Shelf!

Our "project manager", Bill Hughes

Thoroughly enjoying myself, I was pruning number 100 out of 142 of the fruit trees on our property. Talk about simple beauty; beautiful blue sky as the back drop for glistening water views enhanced by the various waterfowl that have begun to stop over on their journey north. Then it hit me. A large branch that I was pruning from below, literally hit me in the face and it took that to get my attention. What have we actually gotten ourselves into here? The idea of working the orchard ourselves this year is such a wonderful thought. But is it realistic? What happened to the idea of simplification? Here we are trying to raise two sled dog puppies and all that goes into their early training. We're planning a wedding. Making plans for breaking ground on our property up north. We're launching a new beeswax candle label and intensifying our marketing and production to lay the foundation for our move up north in the future and, not to mention, we've got the MN Honey Producers State Fair booth to manage. And guess when the apples will begin to ripen? You got it! During the State Fair!

After going through option after option, I was beginning to wonder the fate of our little orchard overlooking Oake Lake this year. Then, another path presented itself. Have you ever been in the right place at just the right time? A couple weeks ago I was discussing my dilemma with some folks at my real estate appraisal office during one of my biannual visits. Isn't telecommuting grand?! When out from another room came Bill and you could tell by the look on his face, he was thinking something big. "Did you say apple orchard?", he said. Turns out, he is associated with a very kind couple that put on monthly dinners where folks bring either a check or a bag of groceries and all of the proceeds go to out-state food shelves. What an amazing mission! Could we fashion an orchard project with a similar vision?

Since this discussion, the new Oake Lake Orchard "project manager", Bill Hughes, and I have managed to piece together a plan. In a nutshell, he will round up a crew of volunteer apple pickers who will pick, then transport apples to out-state food shelves. The Second Harvest non profit organization will also be involved as they have the proper orchard gear so some of the apples will likely be distributed locally in the Twin Cities metro area.

All of our "unborn" apples have now found someone to pick them and take them to their new homes! And Linda and Neil get to be involved in something truly amazing as they try to continue to work on their "Quest for a more simple lifestyle......", one project at a time.

If you would like to be a part of this with us, we are seeking volunteers for apple thinning that will take place in June and apple picking that begins in August and continues through September. We are also seeking donations to cover the cost of weed spraying for under the trees to minimize pests and for the actual chemicals and spraying labor that will need to be done to the entire orchard. The spraying will be kept to a minimum and the IPM (Integrated Pest Management) standards will be followed but spraying does need to be done in order to have edible apples sent to those in need. Every little bit counts!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Friends of Wood Lake Benefit Dinner

There is a wonderful urban nature center in Richfield, MN called Wood Lake. They'll be having their benefit dinner this month and we have contributed a gift certificate for one Oake Lake Adventure to their silent auction. It's for a wonderful cause so please consider attending if you live in the area. Who knows, you may end up going away with that Points Unknown adventure gift certificate!

Ice Out!

April 9th

April 10th

Winter began early this year and it ended late. What a super winter we had! Mud season lasted way too long and now we're on to spring!

On Saturday there was the appearance of a puzzle on the lake, with various sheets of thin ice floating further and further apart. It still seemed as though winter had a small hold on us. After a night of thunderstorms and winds, we awoke the next morning to a pool of beautiful blue water! All the ice had disappeared with the storms over night.

Now that the ice is gone, we can safely close the property gate and let the sled dogs out to free run on the entire property without fear of someone trying to head out on our lake trail, which consisted of until recently, dangerous ice.

The ice went out on Oake Lake almost two weeks later than it did last year! Onward to spring!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

2011 Canicross Hike Dates Announced!

Phoenix lead us over the bridge at Forestville State Park

A water challenge!

Lilly decides that Sara is the one that can get her feet wet.

We've just added our 2011 Canicross Hike schedule to our website. Click here for details. Our group has had so much fun over the years and we're always looking for more adventurous human/dog teams to join us. If you'd like to give this a try, just bring yourself and your dog and we'll outfit you for the day. Your dog needs to have an adult weight of over 30lbs to participate and be relatively dog friendly and absolutely people friendly.

We hike. We don't run. You get to take advantage of your dog pulling you up the hills! And the best thing is; they are supposed to be pulling so praise them for something they probably do naturally in the first place. And yes, you can train a dog to pull and you can train a dog to heal and they will not be confused. They are two very different commands with different expectations. A dog pulls from the back of a harness and not from the collar. A dog heals when attached to a leash by the collar and not by the back of a harness.

Contact us for details or with any questions you may have. Try something new this year! Come out and hike with us!

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Dogs!

They each know which morsels are theirs

Ari, what a handsome boy!

Zala eats mud

Ari tries to interfere with Zala eating mud

And goofy play ensues

Noses to the ground

The only shot of Ilo I could get standing still

Wimzi and Topa play

Topa tries a neck hold on Wimzi

Phoenix. Topa is peering out from below the hill. Funny shot!


Wimzi and Topa

Journey has a very solid build and looks shorter than she actually is. Her super dense coat hides the length of her legs.

Zodiak tries to intimidate White Feather and, of course, it works. White Feather quickly recovers from the oppression and runs around enticing him to chase her.

The smiling faces of Tuloon and Sweet Pea

Zodi and Wimzi; Kennel Mates!

Wimzi at 14 months

Wimzi's uncle Zodiak at almost 4 years old

Wimzi prances around the yard

The two have very similar builds

Noses in the same place with no issues! Big change for Zodiak.

You can't believe how completely unbelievable it is that I think we just might have a good kennel mate for Zodiak! Zodiak is a real sweet boy to humans (unless he's trying to push MY buttons) and he loves kids, however he seems to have issues with most dogs. He loves to play with them until they try to take something that is his or even go in the vicinity of something he thinks might be his. He is an intense resource guarder which makes him potentially dangerous around other dogs. He also has the Zulu line "edge" versus the mild mannered nature of the Hedlund Husky, of which he is half on paper, but obviously not half in the actual genetic distribution.

Wimzi is 3/4 Zulu line on paper and displays close to 100% of those traits. She is 1/4 Hedlund Husky. Wimzi has that darn stubborn edgy thing that is buried in the Zulu line that really tries my nerves at times. It's funny how this all evolved because Zulu is nothing like most of the dogs in our Zulu line. The foundation female, Jesse, in the Zulu line appears to have had the dominant genetics in that breeding because I see more of her in many of these dogs than I do Zulu. On the opposite end, the dogs in this line are excellent sled dogs with superb drive and intense focus so we've got to take the good with the annoying.

I had wondered if the two would get along and figured that they would because they were so much alike or they wouldn't because they were so much alike. But I had wanted to wait until Wimzi was old enough and large enough in size so as not to be injured during play. Turns out that Wimzi is very similar to Zodiak but much more submissive. This makes Zodiak happy. Wimzi also has the guts to egg him on and then has the smarts to back down when she knows she can't win and won't be getting from him what she's after. So far, it works! Good thing for Zodiak because otherwise, he'd have to live the life of a bachelor, just getting out to play with a couple other dogs but never living with them.