Willow's First Week

Willow has been with us almost a week and a half now, and she's fitting in very well. Dexter took to her instantly, and has been the most tolerant of her puppy antics. Knox loves to chase her and pin her to the ground, but so far he's managed to be relatively gentle on her.

Denali was the hardest to crack, despite being related by blood. She still grumbles if Willy gets in her face, but she's been playing with her a bit, here and there:

So far, Willow has been a breeze. She rarely has accidents inside, and when she does, they're usually my fault for not hurrying up and getting her outside. She's super friendly and sweet to everyone she meets. I was worried my house would be in chaos, but she acclimated herself to our routine instantly. When the big dogs nap, she naps. When they play, she plays. 

I couldn't have asked for a more perfect pup!

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Coming Soon to BE&S!

The big news has finally been revealed! This weekend, I'm bringing home the fourth member of my ragtag team of ruffians. Presenting the new little lady:

(All photos belong to Jaye of Sibersong!)

Her name will most likely be Willow; Willy for short. She's actually Denali's niece, also bred by Jaye Foucher of Sibersong Sleddogs.  You can check out her ancestry here. She's sure to be a great addition, both in harness and out. 

My non-musher friends may want to know, "Why another dog? Are you crazy?"

Well, yes, of course. Any suburban musher is definitely crazy. But the real reason I'm adding to my team is so I can retire Dexter. I'm hoping he has one more season in him, but beyond that, I don't expect him to keep up on longer runs. Denali and Knox have no problem running eight to ten miles at a time, while Dexter loses enthusiasm after two or three. I don't want to force Dex to run beyond his limits, nor do I want to limit the youngins. 

It will be hard to leave Dex behind because he still acts like a nutjob when he's on the drop line and for the first few minutes of any run. But I know he'll ultimately be happier going for leisurely hikes and imprinting his dog-stink into my recliner.

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Thankful

Two weeks ago I visited the very green and blue Pacific Northwest. Next week, I head out to the Southwest for a completely different landscape of desert and red rock. 

I'm so thankful that I have a job that allows me to go on these adventures, and also pays me well enough so that I can afford them. And let's not forget my Mom, who's always willing to watch the dogs and drive me to various airports at all hours.

After I return, I'll be sticking around the Northeast for awhile. I'll close out the summer with lots of dog-friendly camping, so don't worry -- this blog will have dogs in it again, I swear!

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Snow in the Summer

 I found some snow while hiking at Mt. Rainier National Forest. Only 181 more days ‘til winter.

I found some snow while hiking at Mt. Rainier National Forest. Only 181 more days ‘til winter.

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Athletic and Working Dogs - SportsVet.com

A great big thanks to Rob Gillette for supporting my little sled team through B.A.R.K! Be sure to visit his website and ‘like’ his Facebook page, especially those of you in the NJ-area with athletic working dogs.

B.A.R.K stands for “Buy A Round of Kibble”, for more info: www.sleddogcentral.com/bark.htm

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Columbia River Gorge

 Washington overlooking Oregon at Beacon Rock, Columbia River Gorge  It’s hot out in Jersey, so while the dogs enjoy their “summer vacation”, I’m out exploring the west coast. Headed to Seattle next, keep on truckin’!

Washington overlooking Oregon at Beacon Rock, Columbia River Gorge

It’s hot out in Jersey, so while the dogs enjoy their “summer vacation”, I’m out exploring the west coast. Headed to Seattle next, keep on truckin’!

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Finishing the Season

The dogs and I hit Brendan T. Byrne this past weekend to finish out the mushing season. I had a three day weekend thanks to the holiday, but Friday was a wash with 70 degree temperatures and rain. We made the most of Saturday and Sunday, though!

Saturday morning we arrived early and got a quick five miles in before it got too warm. Then I spent the afternoon reading Wild and cooking on my new camp stove while the dogs lounged around.

We were up before the sun the next morning and started our run directly from the campsite, which is something I’ve always wanted to do. It was a struggle to pull myself out of a toasty sleeping bag into below freezing temperatures, but it was worth it. All I had to do was throw clothes on myself, harness the dogs, and roll out.

We finished the season with our longest run of the year at almost 10 miles. There were a few points where it was slow-going, but overall, I’m very happy and proud of the pups. Especially Dexter, who has shown he can still keep up with the youngins’… at least after their initial burst of speed. I’m working on controlling their pacing, which will work out better for all three of them.

Cheers to the 2014/2015 mushing season coming to an end, and here’s to the beginning of 2015 hiking season!

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