Friday, December 31, 2010

The Name Game Again

I was asked the other day how Togo got his name.
I had no idea that people didn't realize who he was named after. Togo (pronounced Toe-go) was named after a very brave sled dog.
In 1925 Nome, Alaska was in the deep of winter when a deadly diphtheria epidemic broke out. The town was out of life saving serum and children were dying. The only way in or out of Nome was by dog sled.
So a relay of 674 miles was organized with 20 mushers and dog teams passing off the serum. Many times the temperatures plunged to 50F below zero but every musher did his part, at peril to themselves and their dogs, to save lives.
The hero of this run was the diminutive Togo.

Togo at 12 years old (Reuel Griffin Collection)
He was a Siberian husky with a splash of Malamute thrown in.
At the time of the serum run he was 12 years old but led his team and his owner Leonhard Seppala, through the most dangerous part of the trail and raced the longest distance.
To meet the serum he had to go 170 miles and then turned around and ran his leg of the relay for 91 more miles. On one day he covered 84 miles!
Leonhard Seppala and Togo say good bye on the day he was put to sleep at 16 years old (Ralph Morril, Peabody Museum, Yale)
Togo brought the serum and his musher in safely and I thought, that my guardian dog should be named after such a great dog with so much heart.

Young Alaska's name carries a little less weight with it but it is still in the mushing spirit.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Apprentice

I promised Togo that if he was a good boy, I would get him a back up guardian dog and a playmate.
He worked hard this summer and fall to get his name off the naughty list so we rewarded him with his very own puppy for Christmas!Alaska is an Akbash which is a guardian breed from Turkey. In fact, her grandfather was imported from Turkey.
It is rare for an Akbash to have grey on their face but once in a while it happens and usually fades before they are adults.Alaska is much more active than Togo was at this age.
He resembled a fluffy slug at 8 weeks but she's game to experience everything she can on the farm.
She prepared for her meeting with the sheep by tasting some wool for the full ovine experience.
Then it was time for the real thing.Hmmm. Maybe we'll just stick to the wool for now.

Most importantly,
does Togo like her?You could say that.

So coyotes,
be wary of Alaska and Togo!Well, at least for now, be wary of Togo and keep your eye on his side kick.

Friday, December 24, 2010

From All Creatures Great and Small
at Alta Pete Stockdogs,

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Togo's Christmas Present

Thursday I am going for a drive up to the Calgary area to pick up Togo's Christmas present.
I'm not going to say what it is right now because I don't want someone to tell Togo.But I'll give you these hints:
It's white, fluffy and also a present for me.
But really, it's mostly for the sheep.
Discuss.Oh, yeah, and they won't appreciate it for a couple of years.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Minimal Monday - Ghosts Of Christmas Past

Some people take their kids to visit Santa...

Most of these pictures were taken circa 2000 -

First up, we have Emerson who was getting old when this picture was taken.
Emmy was a guide dog puppy that I raised that didn't make it because he had dysplasia.Best dog ever.

Then we have Nessie at about 4 years old.Not the best dog ever but she enjoyed life.

Ahh, Chippy.
He's about 2yrs old here.If I could only have him back.

when he was just a kid.
At one year old we were just starting our herding together.
Little did I know it would lead to a husband and a house on the Canadian prairies.

THEN I'm sure you are all familiar with The Great Disaster of '07,when Skid tried to bite Santa's helper and Laddie had to save the day.
We haven't tried that again.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Time Is Here Again

We have started our Christmas decorating at Alta-Pete Stockdogs

The stockings are hung

and the tree has been set up.
What is that ugly box doing there next to the tree, you ask?
Is it an early Christmas present?
No.It's just a desperate attempt to distract Poe from harassing the tree.

Well, it was worth a try.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Knock, Knock

Um, excuse me.
It's a nice day outside,can Mom come out and play?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Minimal Monday - Snow Shots

(you'll shoot your eye out!)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Snowy Outruns

When I lived in California, my friend and I used to think about how it would be neat to send a dog on an outrun to pick up sheep in a pristine, snowy field.
You could look at the tracks and see if your dog did it exactly right.
So, this one's for you, Janna...
Good boy, Hemp!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Teddy Bears

This picture of Skid was taken a couple of days after we picked him up.
After his first bath.He was only about 8 months old.
Remember his story?
People always ask why in the world we would keep a little dog.
Don't we have enough dogs?
The reason has to do with this boy and this dog. This was Scott and Teddy.
Teddy was Scott's best friend when he was a kid.
Kinda resembles someone doesn't he? Teddy was Scott's constant companion when he was growing up.When Skid came along, I think Scott figured he'd get his Teddy back.
But Skid picked me.Turned out, I needed a Teddy Bear more than Scott did.