More to Learn

The longer that we are involved with sled dogs, the more we realize how very little we actually know about training sled dogs.  There always seems to be something new to try to figure out, or a new way to approach any situation.  This is one of the reasons I really enjoy being in a place where I can learn from other teams and watch other people work with their dogs.

img_2466The Colorado Mountain Mushers hosts an annual fall campout each year in early October.  It is one of our very favorite events, as it is a great opportunity to get a group of people together who love dogs to do some fall training and just enjoy a beautiful fall weekend.  Our Colorado club has a big variety of members, from Iditarod mushers, to champion sprint racers, to people brand new to human-dog team activities and everyone in between.  While Dave and I have become more of a longer-distance team (by Colorado standards, anyhow), we started off doing sprint races.  Logically, our training strategies have changed considerably over the years to meet the needs of our dogs and our goals for our team, but all of those tools have come from watching, listening to, and talking with other mushers.

So this campout, when I had the chance to catch a ride with National Sprint Racing Champion, John Perry and the Perry Racing Hounds, I was all in!  John has been training dogs in one capacity or another for many decades, and what he has been able to accomplish with his German shorthair pointers in harness is truly amazing.  And while yes, his training goals are different than ours, I knew I would still learn a tremendous amount watching him work with his yearlings.

John is a slight man, retired wrestling coach, and full of good humor and entertaining stories, however, when he is racing, he can be very intense.  When I showed up at his truck, he already had three bouncing dogs on the line hooked to his little yellow ATV.  I am pretty sure it was a kids ATV, because putting 2 adults on it was a challenge.  Once we got the dogs pointed in the right direction and the snub line to the truck pulled, John’s wife yelled “hold on tight and don’t fall off!!” and we took off.

I was musing the thought of holding on tight and not falling off with 2 adults and an ATV that wasn’t running being pulled by only 3 dog as I felt the little ATV fly away from under me as the dogs sprinted up the hill from the truck like they were tied to nothing at all!  Gravel sand-blasted our faces as the dogs shot down the trail.  As I struggled to maintain my balance on the bouncing ATV, John calmly explained that he tries to maintain a speed of  22-23 miles per hour, but his leader on the left doesn’t break into a lope until they reach 25 mph.

The dirt road was very rutted and pot-holed, which I had not really noticed when I took our team of 14 dogs out for a cruise at a modest 8 mph earlier….  Now, each rut and hole jarred my spine and left daylight between my rear-end and the tiny back space of the ATV.  I looked at the leaders and noticed they were both loping.  I could feel little bloody spots on my face from all the flying gravel.

John also talked to me about his training program, and how he runs speed intervals and trains for mandatory rest on the trial.  The speed that his dogs will travel, and the short distance of 6-8 miles that they race, means that if they have to stop for any reason on the trail, the dogs are not even beginning to be tired, so they need to know how to stop and stand.  John also does a lot of free running with his dogs through the fields near his home in eastern Colorado.

img_9627It was over too soon, but I came away with a lot of new insight and some ideas to try with our dogs – even with different training goals there was a lot that can be transferred from John’s team to ours.  I am very grateful for the time and frank discussions with John and many other teams over the weekend, and my head is now filled with ideas to put to use this season.



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A Packrat Named Jeffurry

Dave writes:  Have you ever had the experience of lying awake in a hotel room trying to sleep while someone’s unattended children run up and down the hall outside your room?  The noise keeps you up, and then when there isn’t any noise you remain awake with the anticipation of the next bout of noise.  The cycle continues until you struggle out of bed in the morning unrested and annoyed.  If it hasn’t happened to you before, can you imagine the frustration?  Now imagine that those kids are in the basement of your house.  Not in a creepy Silence of the Lambs way, but similar intervals of footprint noise and expectation of more noise.

About a week ago, TC was awoken from sleep by repetitive scurrying/chewing sounds emanating from the basement ceiling below her side of the bed.  Nighttime scurrying is a common thing around here, but a brief investigation showed our two cats sleeping soundly on top of the covers and the dogs snoring on their beds.  Our 90-year-old house is founded on a stone foundation and insulated with exposed batts of mineral wool insulation in the ceiling of the basement.  It is not uncommon to have mice find their way through the rock foundation into the warm(er) interior of the basement, but these noises were pretty obviously something furry and uninvited working on making a winter habitat.  We scheduled project RodentAway for the next day – a day that happened to have me with the day off and TC having to go in to the office.

After seeing TC off and donning some long sleeves, safety eyewear, hat, gloves, and dust mask I ventured into our dirt-floored basement in a manly fashion to assess the situation.  Once I scrounged around to find additional light for the suspect corner of the basement, I began to remove the nearly century-old insulation from the ceiling.  It became immediately apparent that there was indeed an animal nest above the stone-and-concrete walls along the sill of the first floor ledger.  As I stood delicately (but in a manly way) balanced atop a 5-gallon pail and began to remove this tangle of dried branches and bundles of insulation, a much-larger-than-expected brown streak shot out of the nest, down the rock wall of the foundation, across the dirt crawlspace, and out of sight in the darker regions of the basement.  This was no field mouse – from what I could see of it and based on the contents of the nest, this was a variety of packrat.  I managed to barely maintain balance and composure by madly swinging my arms about and probably squealing a little bit out loud in a less-than-manly-manner.  I was also fully convinced that this nest needed to go so that our faster than the speed of light furry friend would relocate elsewhere.

Five huge contractor trash bags and one very dirty dust mask later, I had removed all of the itchy old batts of insulation, some mysterious bits of ribbon, two buttons, five pencils, several shampoo lids, a pair of underwear that didn’t belong to anyone in this house, a missing sock of TC’s, piles of pebbles, and an impressive network of nests and food stashes.  The nests looked like cozy dens of insulation wrapped in twigs and dried mint from our garden, which actually smelled pretty pleasant considering the activity in work.  The nest filled the sixteen inch void between floor joists and the eight to ten inch depth of the foundation wall.  The food stashes contained POUNDS of acorns collected from our nearby scrub oak bushes and sunflower seeds and peanuts our neighbor leaves for the birds.

I wielded the shopvac like a medieval sword, waving the end about in a flurry of motion to catch the acorns rolling off the top of the foundation wall before they worked their way behind a shelving unit full of paint and automotive supplies.  The acorns that made it past the shop vac suckhole sounded like the old Plinko game of balls dropping across various nails on a torturous path to the bottom.  I had removed all signs of the packrat habitat and considered it a successful day of cleanup.  Once TC got home from work, we found several places in the stone foundation where the creature was getting through and plugged it with some handy wood blocks.

Lying in bed that night, tired from the day’s activity, we were about to fall asleep when the scurrying footprint noises from the basement recommenced.  This time, perhaps without the insulation and nest to deaden the noise, the sounds were even louder; as if the animal were purposely banging on the furnace ducts below our bedroom.  It’s hard to sleep when one’s eye is twitching in frustration.  I tried to run to the basement a few times though the night, which involves going outside to the basement entrance, but each time I entered the basement and turned on the light, there was no packrat in sight.  Exhausted, we dragged ourselves out of bed in the morning to take the dogs for some fall training.

Returning to the house in the afternoon, we could see a large new nest already rebuilt in one of the joist voids; in one night this packrat had created an impressive warm safehouse in our basement!  The fist-sized burrow under the foundation was also reopened for business, as the wood blocks had been pulled out of the space and moved several inches away from the wall.  I shop-vacced up this new nest (happily unoccupied this time) and we searched the foundation perimeter for entry signs to eliminate where this critter was getting into our house.  This confirmed hole and two other possible tunnels were filled with 80 pounds of anti-rat-diggable concrete.

Feeling accomplished that we had now eliminated both the rat’s nest and its way into the basement, we climbed into bed excited about the prospect of a night of uninterrupted sleep.  Within 15 minutes, we apathetically looked at each other while below us came the sounds of scurrying feet.  TC went to try and sleep in the back room while I lay in bed listening to the mocking nest-making noises.  We had apparently walled the rat INSIDE the basement.

In case packrat removal was not enough fun for one weekend, we also spent much of Sunday removing the drywall in the upstairs dog porch to eliminate some mouse nests there as well.  Six full heavy contractor bags later that task was complete, but the basement rat continued to be a problem.  I picked up a live-cage style trap at the hardware store and TC set it with an apple core for bait.  At one point in the evening, I sat quietly in the dark of the basement, flashlight in hand to track the rat’s movements.  It was like a bad remake of Blair Witch Project (oh wait, that already happened), trying to sit still and not imagine a large, scratchy packrat dropping down onto the back of one’s neck.  Another night of noisy chewing and footsteps and I was convinced that the rat was making giant nests in our furnace ducting, ready to ignite into a nasty fire the next time we turned on the furnace.  I sat listening to the rat running through the ducts (or at least it sounded like that), anticipating the unscheduled expense of another duct cleaning.  I checked the trap and the apple core had some bites out of it, but a thorough inspection of the small cage verified it was indeed packratless.

On Monday, after describing the weekend’s rat rodeo actives, a co-worker asked TC if she had named the rat (surprisingly not yet).  TC asked what the rat’s name should be.  The young woman immediately scrunched her face and with a tone of bitterness and disdain slowly said, “Jeffrey.”  Three syllables – “Jeff-fur-ry”.  (I am not sure what some prior Jeffrey did to this nice woman, but it must have been bad to warrant such an ill-spoken legacy.)  And so it was – a packrat named Jeffurry (said in the same manner of Jerry Seinfeld saying “Newman”).

TC got home and decided to introduce the cats into the mixture as incentive to convince Jeffurry to relocate.  After putting the two cats in the basement and locking the door, she washed dishes while listening to the resulting yowls and crashing noises from below.  After it had quieted down for a while, she went to retrieve the cats… and found them looking fluffed up and tormented with one angry packrat sitting on the shelving unit unphased by their presence.

That evening, I replaced the chewed apple core with some peanut butter smeared onto the trigger plate of the trap and TC threw some nesting material in the far back of the trap.  We tried watching TV, but our eyes constantly looked at each other and then down at the basement, waiting for the inevitable scurry noises to recommence.  TC retreated to the back room for sleep, and as I laid down in our bed and closed my eyes, I heard the angelic noise of the metal trap door sliding shut!  We both slept hard and contentedly that night.

20160928_065210_resizedThe next morning, there was indeed a large packrat (covered in peanut butter with nesting fluff stuck all over his fur) in the trap.  He was not a happy rat, and quite sticky.  No matter – we covered the trap with a rag and set off for the next county.  Jeffurry was released near a grassy bend in the creek, miles away from any human residences as we didn’t want to share this experience with someone else.  With him calmly in the trap, we measured him to be about 6” of rat body and 5” of furry rat tail and a really cute face and four feet with noisy scurrying claws.  I have no doubt that Jeffurry will find a suitable place to make a nest and obtain a new stash of acorns for the coming winter.  Given his productivity in the basement, the nest was probably complete by the time I drove away.  Enjoy your new digs Jeffurry, and sleep well through the fall nights.  I know we will.20160928_065229_resized


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A Happy Little Post

I sympathize with our few dedicated blog followers.  The past several blogs have been rather emotional as we have said goodbye to so many of our old dog friends.  I fear that some people may come to dread a new post to read, wondering “oh no, who now?”

But this isn’t that post!!!  No, this post is not sad at all!!  This is actually a blissfully HAPPY post.  Fear not, dear reader, no tissues needed!

This weekend, we packed up the crew and headed out to the hills to do a brisk fall overnight training trip and enjoy the changing leaves.  There is nothing like unplugging, getting out, sleeping on the ground under the stars (which were eventually overshown by the HUGE day-after-harvest moon), listening to the songs of the coyotes and the rustle of the leaves, with the gentle sleep sounds of your dogs around you.  And so we did!  And it was wonderful!

“Come said the wind to
the leaves one day,
Come o’re the meadows
and we will play.
Put on your dresses
scarlet and gold,
For summer is gone
and the days grow cold.”
–  A Children’s Song of the 1880’s

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Cancer Sucks

Dave writes:

Way back in 2002, some CO mushing friends of ours entrusted us with my first team of eight young and happily crazed Siberian Huskies.  When I first saw them, seven of the group had sleek, beautiful coats, the eighth dog looked a bit ratty with a dusty, shaggy, shedding coat.  As much as I love all of our dogs, I took particular interest in this little messy girl with her moth-eaten coat.  Much to the amusement of her previous owners, our inexperience with huskies became apparent soon after; the ugly duckling Airaphin’s coat was simply in the midst of her semi-annual shedding process.  She quickly transformed from a dreadlocked mess of a dog into an incredibly beautiful agouti brown and off-white supermodel with streaks of burgundy highlighting her coat.  Airaphin (also referred to as Finny, Farmer Face, FinFin, etc.) was the grand-daughter of a big male named Worf, also part of the group of eight, and her grandpuppy Liam was another great member of our dog family who came along a bit later.  She had canine family in Alaska, including 3 grandpuppies that lived with other kennels.

Finn was a definitely contributor to our team, she would run wheel alongside Worf, or match her icy blue eyes to another and pair up with Rabbit.  For many years, Finn joyously ran as part of the main team on her powerful stocky legs.  In the yard, Finn got along great with the other dogs, and enjoyed being pet to the point where her eyes would mostly close and her body would relax to the point of bonelessness.  She was renowned for her ability to get filthy, but loved having a good snuggle.  Finn continued running with the main team until her spine began to give her problems as an older dog, but even then she would run with us on smaller, less powerful teams for shorter distances.

Last fall, at age 16, some aggressive tumors cropped up on her neck and shoulder.  We removed them and the vet determined they were soft tissue sarcomas.  Finny was otherwise extraordinarily healthy and a wonderful patient, rarely if ever needing a cone, and very much enjoying some indoor recovery time with us by the woodstove.  Two more times additional lumps recurred in the same area, and we had them surgically removed.  In spite of the tumors, Finny’s spirits were great and she continued with a wonderful joy of life – a blessing in that she could still act like herself, yet extremely frustrating that she seemed otherwise fit and the cancer was stealing her from us too soon.  The final time the tumors returned even more aggressively, and after consulting with our fantastic veterinary team, we decided that further surgical treatment was not in Finny’s best interest.  So we enjoyed our time with Finn until she made it clear that her quality of life with her tumors had tipped the other way.  With a final lick to my chin and nose, she headed off for a reunion with her teammates along the Great Trail earlier this week.

We so very much miss her piercing blue eyes, super thick agouti coat, gentle short licks of contentment, unabashed joy of running, persistent shouting about dinnertime, and her presence in the yard among the other dogs.  Having a kennel of many dogs mathematically equates to losing our dear friends from time to time, but no loss is easy or taken lightly, and five dogs this summer leaves five big holes in our hearts.  We think that maybe the other dogs that have passed on came by on Monday and helped lead Finn out onto the Great Trail (she was a great sled dog, but not a terribly good leader…).  We hope the journey to the other side is another grand adventure, as the dogs always enjoy seeing what is just out of sight around the next corner on new trails.  She was the last of my original team, and we are heartbroken.  Run fast, run free, run happy; we will see you again one day, sweet girl!


Posted in Cast of Characters, Setbacks | 1 Comment

Billy and Donna, a Love Story

100772667His name was William J. Mahoney II, but he went by Billy.  He had a handsome face that could be equally goofy and he was strong and athletic.  On the morning of September 11, 2001, he was 37 years old, was married to the love of his life, Donna, and had 4 beautiful kids.  Billy loved sports, particularly baseball and swimming, and was a handyman who enjoyed working on projects and building things with his hands.  He was also a firefighter with Rescue 4 in Queens, New York.

mahoney_williamI never knew Billy or his family.  I probably heard his name over the past 15 years, but it wasn’t until yesterday – 9/11/16, fifteen years after he died – that our paths crossed.  I signed up to hike the memorial stair climb to commemorate the loss on 9/11/01 by climbing 110 stories of stairs (the height of the World Trade Center buildings) with Dave and the men and women of Inter-Canyon Fire/Rescue, who have done this event every year.  Although I had gone and supported in the past, this was my first time to sign up and actually walk each of those steps.  When I picked up my entry packet with my commemorative t-shirt, I found Billy.  Each person who climbs is assigned a person who was lost on 9/11/01 to climb in memory of – so there he was.  “William J. Mahoney II, Firefighter, Rescue 4 Never Forget.”

Photo By Kathryn Scott/Special to The Denver Post

Photo By Kathryn Scott/The Denver Post

Nearly 3,000 people climbed the 110 stories of stairs at Red Rocks on 9/11/16.  Ironically, almost the same number of people who died on 9/11/01.  Each person climbing had the photo of someone they were climbing to honor.  So many people, so much loss.  As my friend Kristine said, sometimes it felt like they were right there beside us.  It was powerful and moving to tears.  As soon as I got home, I did some research and learned more about Billy, but almost nothing about his widow and kids left behind.

I have been thinking about Donna Mahoney.  My imagination has taken great liberty thinking about her.  I imagine her with hazel eyes, much like the eyes of my childhood best friend, flecked with gold and green.  If you look at her eyes, you can see flashes of joy, anger, pride, and deep, unspeakable pain – the kind of pain that comes from having your beating heart ripped out of your chest and being expected to carry on with life.  I bet she is a firecracker, not taking any crap, but quick to forgive and eager to laugh.  And I bet no one made her laugh like Billy did.

In my mind (and this is total conjecture on my part), I can imagine Billy and Donna as likely high school sweethearts.  She loved him fiercely, and even though he exImage_1234asperated her, behind every eye roll and sigh, there was love in her heart.  He was her one and only, even if she had to share him with the fire department.  And he adored her, even though she sometimes felt like she wasn’t enough, needed to lose those last baby pounds, didn’t have time to get a decent haircut, or yelled at him for leaving half-finished projects all over the house.  Donna and the kids were his everything, but he sometimes found it hard to tell them that.

On the morning of September 11, 2001, I wonder if Donna had an urge to call Billy and beg him to take a sick day and come home from the station.  Even if she did, she likely didn’t actually call him – she knew that while he was at the job, he was fully at the job.  I can almost see her getting the kids ready for school that morning, maybe listening to the news in the background while making lunches and brushing hair….  Did she see the first plane hit the tower?  She would have gotten a sick feeling in the pit of her stomach, knowing Billy was on call.  When the second plane hit, she would have maybe flipped on the scanner or called the firehouse.  She would have known that the crew from Rescue 4 was responding.  She would have known that Billy was rushing into that fiery mess, because that is what he did.  She would have been watching, like I was and the rest of the US was watching by this point, she would have gathered her kids around her, and they would be standing there together watching the news….

And when the buildings collapsed and the world became dust, did she know?  Did she run out into the street looking for Billy?  Did she have family or neighbors that showed up and held her in their arms while she shook with fear and anxiety of not knowing?  Did she hear his voice in her mind saying goodbye?  How did she manage all the mixed feelings of anguish, anger, hope, despair, and desperation?

And the days and weeks following, with so many unanswered questions and so much effort going into recovery – how long did she have hope?  How on Earth do you pick up and move forward without knowing?  At what point, exactly, does your heart stop beating?

My heart breaks for Donna.  It aches for Donna.  I wish I had a way to reach out and tell her, after all this time, that I cry for her.  That I can only imagine (and at the same time I don’t want to imagine) what she has gone through the past 15 years.  That I hope the universe has returned some joy to her heart, and that she has peace in her heart.  I hope her kids have grown, and that someone was there to walk her daughters down the aisle at their weddings, and to see her sons grow up and find their own paths in life.  I hope she knows that there are people she has never met who are touched by Billy’s actions, and will remember his name, and hers.  Donna Mahoney – I wish you love and peace.


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Kicking off Training Season


IMG_9080The Spirits of Changing Seasons finally gave us morning temperatures in the high country that are cool enough to consider starting our fall training!  And somehow, as we come to the conclusion at the beginning of each fall season that “Yes, tomorrow we will go”, the dogs immediately know.  The result is an early morning with noisy, insanely excited dogs, and groggy humans pouring coffee down their necks to get the dogs loaded before the neighbors call the cops with noise complaints.

Our closest training area is 1.5 hour drive (each way) into the high country where the temperatures are cool and there is enough dirt road to run a dog team and ATV on.  It seems so silly to do a 3 hr drive for a half-hour run, but that is what we do, and it makes all the difference to start training early as far as getting the the dogs in shape and working on all the mental aspects of developing and maintaining good habits on the line and in harness.

IMG_2259Our median age for our team this year is 10.8 years with ages between 7 and 13.  (The old ladies are in their own team (mostly the sit around harassing the younger dogs, swapping stories, and trying on their old harnesses for fun), so they aren’t included in the average here.)  In human years, that means our team dogs are roughly 50-91 years old….  So it takes some doing to get them trained up in a manner consistent with what their older bodies are capable of doing and finding the balance between pushing their limit, but not overdoing things.  It is sort of a septuagenarian team, so slow and steady progress is our goal.  Lots of rest, good food, muscle work to keep bodies limber, and medical attention when needed.

IMG_2280The benefit of having older dogs is that they already know what to expect, and are mentally tougher than some of the younger dogs.  Not much phases them, including the group of mama cows and calves that were right next to the trail and started running when we passed.  And just as I said “at least they weren’t moose”, a moose showed up!

IMG_2284But the first few runs are in the books without incident, and the dogs are now napping in the sunshine feeling very content.

Life is good!


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Missing the HR Department


Sally having a strong conversation with Braeburn, who was bothering Hen (on the end) with Liam intervening as a peace-keeper

Nothing has highlighted the recent loss of many of our pack leadership like the introduction of a new member.  Since Pedro’s arrival, we are really finding that we miss the particular roles that Sally and Liam played as our “HR Department” for the newbies.  While all the dogs lend to the successful blending of new dogs into the pack, it turns out that Sally and Liam both had fairly critical roles that we may have underestimated.

Of course, we knew that Sally was a very dominant pack member, and Keeper of the Rules.  Many of the rules were passed along to Sally from previous Rule Keepers, Trout, and Bizzy (who created the rules and taught them to Trout).  But Sally also had some of her own rules that she enforced.  The Rule Keeper task hasn’t really been filled by anyone yet, although both Braeburn and Anvik have sort of stepped into the role.  They are just not as effective (yet?) as Sally was.

Sally was UNQUESTIONED.  She was calm and confident, and just took care of the education of new pack members as to what was tolerated and what was not tolerated.  She wasn’t mean, but she was authoritative in a way that no one ever wanted to see if she could back up her role.  There were no questions:  Sally enforced rules consistently and effectively.  She would break up disagreements before I was even aware they were happening.  She directed the pack and they respected her entirely, even as a very frail old lady.


Anvik keeping an eye on things.


Braeburn drama.


In comparison, both Braeburn and Anvik ARE questioned.  Their rule-enforcement approach is quite different than Sally’s in that they both know the rules, and know when rules are broken, but are not exactly sure what to do about it.  Both Anvik and Braeburn look to US to do the enforcing, so it comes off more of a tattle-tale sort of “Hey! You broke the rule and I am telling mom” type of thing.  Anvik has a bit more authority over the situation, and will confront the violator and inform everyone a rule has been broken, but Braeburn is much more of a pesty little brother, sticking his nose in other people’s business.  And when you are an annoying little guy sticking your nose in other people’s business, it often gets bit, creating more drama than is needed.


Liam the benevolent

Now, the loss of Liam is interesting because we really didn’t understand how important his role was for the new pack members until now that he is gone.  Liam was a dog who got along with pretty much everyone.  He was a big, bouncy, goofy lover, and he was really great as a mentor ambassador to pack life.  He would gleefully show the new dog around, introducing them to the sticks, rocks, digging spots, and cool shady places, but always in a way that mirrored the other dogs’ level of comfort.  If the dog was shy, Liam would coax him out of his shell; if the new dog was boisterous, Liam would have a calming effect.  He could be kenneled with anyone, and since he was pretty much raised by Sally from 8 weeks old, he knew and never questioned the rules.  He was enthusiastic, happy, and a really positive “buddy” dog.


Finny the over-enthusiastic

We thought that maybe Liam’s grandmother, Finny, would be a good ambassador substitute.  She has a lot of Liam’s happy enthusiasm.  But she also tends to come off as a bit of an over-passionate, ultra-gung-ho, camp counselor on WAAAAY too much coffee, singing camp songs with such over-the-top gusto that it gets a bit creepy and off-putting….  In Finny’s defense, she really did give the job a good stab, she just took it to a level 15 when it should have stayed at a level 7 or 8.  “Sing with me!  Come on!!  SING WITH ME!!!!!  SING!!!!!”


Dreamer, warming up the licker

Then there is Dreamer, who loves everyone, but is such a fervent love sponge, she just sucks up all the space and energy with her assertive attention-seeking.  When she can’t demand human attention, she resorts to head humping whatever dog happens to be nearby.  Not exactly the best first impression one wants to give a new pack member.


Pedro feeling more at ease

Even given our lacking HR group, Pedro has settled in quite well and is feeling more comfortable with us and the pack.  He has become quite sweet with us, asking for ear scratches and enjoying hanging around near us.  He enjoys playing with the other dogs, and even made a special friend with one of our frequent “guest campers”, Cayton the Dangermouse (who is not a husky, but don’t tell him that).


Pedro and Cayton being buds


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