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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ryden's Dental Surgery

Ryden with Sweet Pea (left) and the puppies
Ryden resting after his procedure

Ryden is one our beloved sled dogs, or in his case, a sled-dog-to-be, as he is yet too young to be in harness. He was born with an extreme overbite which caused his baby canines to pierce holes in his upper pallet. Those were removed at 9 weeks of age. We were hoping to be able to wait until he was a year old to do the next procedure, however, he is growing so fast, it was necessary to remove his protruding lower adult teeth. They were beginning to pierce holes just inside of his upper canines and on the roof of his mouth. Today was the day!

Instead of removing the lower canines, which would create an unstable lower jaw. The canines were cut off and various layers of material were placed on top of the tooth pulp and just under the filling. This "material" will help encourage the tooth to grow it's own cap. The procedure went well. He'll be resting for the evening in his crate and will be completely back to normal by morning! We'll just have to keep soaking his food for a few days which we do anyway at this time of year.

He's such a good boy! 

Last Oake Lake Experience of the Season

Look! That's Rayna up in front with Phoenix.

This was one of the "good" sections of the trail.

Happy guest, nonetheless.

It was a blustery day with conditions on the lake much more conducive to water skiing than dog mushing but our final guests couldn't stop smiling! Rain on Saturday, during our final Girl Scout event, made a right mess of our dog sledding trail and we were fully immersed in the slushy aftermath. Roughly a quarter mile of our six mile trail was the way a dog sledding trail should be; snow covered. However, I don't think that anyone, except for White Feather and Journey were too bothered.

Neither White Feather or Journey were impressed with the trail conditions so each one was placed back in the team during their runs while a new leader joined Phoenix to trudge through the slop. Zala was a trooper and led with reliable heart. Our second leader swap was rather interesting. I decided to give 18 month old Rayna, who has never run in slushy conditions and never run in front of a team larger than three, a chance to show me her stuff. And that she did! She kept her line tight and trudged through the slush like a pro, only to wander off the trail once when the puppy in her was awakened by a whirling leaf that blew in front of her.

Despite the trail conditions, I would say we had an excellent last run of the season. Now it's on to tax season and building up a nice beeswax candle inventory before our big move up north in June!

Miss Squish Delivery to New Hampshire

Irish/Ilo puppy Kwanzaa, now called Miss Squish, with her new mom and our dear friend, Lidia

Richard with a few fuzzy family members

Rosie is Phoenix and Ari's littermate and Ilo's daughter

Hana is a Tuloon/McKenzie puppy and is sister to our White Feather and Topa

Dougie is an anomaly! Can you believe he is Tuloon's grandson? He is 3/4 Hedlund lineage and 1/4 our Zulu line. Cookqiz (Oken, Zala and Zodiak sister) is his mother and Tumac (Topa and White Feather's brother) is his father. He is also Zola's littermate.

Lidia has named Zola's sister and our White Feather's niece also White Feather. She appears Hedlund but is all Zulu line in personality.

Tumac is a Tuloon/McKenzie son and Topa and White Feather's littermate.

Cookqiz is Oken, Zodiak and Zala's littermate.


Kennel with 4' extension. Note - yesterday we deconstructed the extension and put it on another kennel made with heavier gauged wire and dig out wire. Can anyone guess why?

There she is; attached to her chain and cable. She'll get plenty of house time and I only wish I could trust her enough to let her run loose under the current circumstances.
It's not like I wasn't warned. When our 2 week old puppy made her way out of the whelping box not once, but twice, I should have known we'd be in for a challenge.

I received some wise words from a young friend when told of Irish's current behavior. "It's kind of like a pregnant teenager missing all the fun, so once that's over with she wants to get out and have some fun!" That's exactly what she planned to do.

I got a call from Neil as I was making a visit to friends in New Hampshire. "Irish jumped out of her kennel". Not surprising but so frustrating to hear. Neil thought she may have wanted to be away from her now 12 week old puppies so she moved Irish to an adjoining pen with her grandma Tuloon. He watched out the window as she looked up at the top of the kennel and with two steps forward and one big leap, she was over the fence. She didn't run away. She just began to play and run in big fenced play area. So while I was gone, Neil set out creating an escape-proof pen for our dear sly fuzzy friend. And we thought this was the end.

I returned home and things got back to a new normal. That's what we call it when we get tossed a curve ball and have to restructure things, be it a dog behavior or what have you. We had Girl Scouts over and as we were preparing to go outside to meet them there was a knock on the door. "Your dog's loose". Geez. Irish had jumped the play area fence that she had been in with her puppies and a few other dogs. She was now just checking every one out. She came instantly like she always does and we tossed (not quite tossed) her back into her kennel. My new thought was that I would now have to be outside with her whenever she went out to run free and play.

Alright. So now the Girl Scout event is fully underway and we head into the back yard to let her and the puppies out for some socialization. Irish immediately left all of the fun and jumped the fence. Again, she didn't run away but just down to the exterior of the dog kennel where our helpers were finishing up with dog chores. That's it. Irish MUST be "grounded" until we move up north and build her special pen. This also means we will be revamping the new play area to include ten foot fencing.

So, until the move, Miss Irish, will be in her newly renovated six foot pen with a four foot extension on top, in the house or on a chain attached to a 100' cable for her every day exercise. She's done too much teen aged partying and is putting herself at risk. She's grounded.


Wyakin means "Spirit Guide". We had planned to keep only two puppies from the Irish/Ilo litter. Well, then three. We had planned to place the second smallest little boy, then with a puppy name of Baby New Year., up for adoption. Wyakin just made his way into our hearts and despite our better judgement, having reached and now exceeded our desired kennel numbers, we decided that we couldn't let him go.

Full Circle

Freyja and me at the airport
A few weeks ago, one of the Irish/Ilo puppies came back to us at 10 weeks old due to unforeseen circumstances. Originally, interest was expressed by someone in our Hedlund Husky Preservation Project, however it was poor timing and she decided it best to allow her to settle in with another family. Karen was contacted again when Freyja returned in hopes that her circumstances had changed and they had! Freyja flew out to Anchorage, Alaska last Friday evening. Karen is the same person that gave me Tuloon in 2004. Frejya is Tuloon's great granddaughter. Things have come full circle and I am so happy to be able to give her a similar and connected gift!

Puppy Harness Training!

To set the puppies up for success, we had Blueberry and Copper in front, leading the way.

Aha! Off trail. Maybe this means Kamotz will be a good open country leader like some of his relatives and he doesn't need a trail.

Wyakin and Kamotz

Hey! Who let that Mastiff/St. Bernard mix into the kennel? This is actually Wyakin, AKA Mr. Pudge.

The pulling instinct kicked in right from the start

It seems we have a squabble over who will be the leader

B'Zhoo and Akai

Akai pushes B'Zhoo to the right side of the trail. Maybe he's a natural "righty". That comes in handy when trying to teach them the "Gee Over" command. Gee Over means to move to the right side of the trail.

B'Zhoo tries to pull  Akai back after he got too far ahead. Training isn't without its little glitches.

Akai barks at the big dogs while B'Zhoo checks out the sled

Akai doing a good job of keeping his line tight!

Irish/Ilo Puppy Visit

Partial family reunion!

Tyro (Tiny Tim) came back for a visit. He has a striking resemblance to both Irish and Ilo!

Girl Scout Dog Mushing Badge

Arrow is a good and patient subject.

Our young guests put collars on the dogs before bringing them to the ready line.

We take time to allow each young participant to practice the take off technique before hooking up real dogs

Off they go! Two teams running at once with other participants around the course for support and Neil on the snowmobile to catch any team that decides to take their young musher on a bigger adventure

Arrow, Phoenix and their beginner musher get "in the zone" before their run.

Ilo and Topa are on Jessica's first team.

Puppy time!

BOW Winter Event

Rayna was so excited to go! Oken watches her enthusiasm in amazement.

Among many other educational moments, our participants learned how to harness the dogs

Akai took complete advantage of the overabundance of attention

Our guests learned what the take off would feel like with mock dogs

Wimzi and Zodiak were the perfect pair.

A mass harnessing session

It was pretty close to standing room only in the puppy pen much of the day

Rayna and Klaus

Rommel and White Feather are ready to lead their beginning musher around the loop
We weren't back from our northwoods adventures but for three days before loading everyone up and heading out again. This time, it was to one of our favorite events; the DNR BOW (Becoming and Outdoors Woman) Winter Workshop. This year, it took place at Audubon Center of the Northwoods, an environmental learning center in Sandstone, MN.

Points Unknown has been providing volunteer dog mushing instruction since 2005 and we can't say enough good things about the BOW program. If you've ever wanted to try something new in the outdoors, check it out!   

Friday, March 1, 2013

In the News Today!

Aise to Zola
Photo by Chaska Herald. That's me with Wyakin and Tuloon nosing Neil.

We found ourselves in the Chaska Herald today. Check it out!