Thursday, July 29, 2010

Very Much Fun

I got to do something this week that I have always wanted to do.
I'll give you a hint...
OK there was no snow, but I got to take a ride behind an Iditarod sled dog team!
Karen Ramstead of North Wapiti Siberian Husky Kennels invited me up to Northern Alberta for a ride. Karen and her dogs have finished the Iditarod 4 times. I was honored to be pulled on a quad bike behind such accomplished dogs.Then Karen picked two trustworthy dogs to baby sit me on a scooter ride!The scooter has no motor. It is completely powered by dog as you balance it on it's two wheels.
(It's faster and more scary than it looks!)Did I fall? Of course! There is a reason Scott calls me, Grace.
However, I learned to not break around the corners, especially in the soft sand and my two leaders stayed patient and hauled me around.
That's Wonder on the left of the picture below and Iditarod finisher, Dasher, on the right.
After my tutorial with the dogs it was time for Hemp's lesson.
This is what I enjoyed the most!
Iditarod veteran, Q, was picked for this job.
Q took one look at me, the rookie, then at Hemp and decided that he wasn't going to have anything to do with this non husky amateur.After a little persuading, his better nature kicked in and he took us on the trail. I'm afraid I don't have any good pictures of Hemp's adventure but he was getting the hang of it and even pulled some up the hills.
Most of the time he just ran along with Q and let him pull my weight around.When we were done, there was some time for puppy cuddling and hanging out with Corrine, Karen's niece. Corrine is training for her first Jr. Iditarod that she'll try in 2 years.
I can't wait to hear about her on the Iditarod trail with all my new dog friends.
Go Team Corrine!Thanks again for a spectacular day, Karen!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Minimal Monday - Windows

Poe- King of all he surveys.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Home, Sweet Home

This winter Scott upgraded our dog's lodgings from barrels to home made dog houses.
This week I painted them. Now the dogs have the fanciest houses in the neighborhood.I pondered a while on what colors to use and I decided on red with white trim.
Why?I just figured it would look nice if they matched Togo's dog house.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Minimal Monday - More Summer Pictures

More beauty from around our area...

Farmer's fields down the road from us

Part of an abandoned homestead surrounded by canola flowers

The bridge in Lethbridge (the nearest "city")

A rainbow last night near our grainbins, after a prairie storm

Thursday, July 15, 2010

True Identity

This summer we have seen some changes in Togo.
He's becoming more mature.
Someone told us that his breed(s) start to mature at about 18 months and he's almost 16 months old now.
What breeds is he, you ask? Well alot of 'em- and you've probably not heard of most of them.
His Mom is a pure bred Sarplaninac and his dad is what they call a 4-way down in Kentucky.
A 4-way is an Akbash, Anatolian, Maremma and a Pyrenees cross.
All of those are common guardian dog breeds and I see physical and mental traits of all of them in him.
However, today Togo added one more breed to the mix.He found his inner-Golden Retriever. I'm not sure how this is going to help him fight off coyotesbut never let it be said that I prevented one of my dogs from finding his true calling. And he seems pretty proud of his new vocation. Sigh.
I guess he's not quite as mature as I thought.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I have one big project for Scott this summer.
I want new kennels for the customer dogs.
I want to use this building. I want them to be chain link with a roof on top and cement on the bottom to make my cleaning easier.
And I want them to be indoor/outdoor so the dogs will have a warm straw filled bed to go to when it is cold outside. I figure the more I say it out loud, the more chance Scott will do it.
Putting it on the blog should be the ultimate insurance.
When you run into Scott this summer, ask him how his kennels are coming along. "Please, Sir. Can we have new kennels?"
(Don't think for one minute that just because Skid is helping me beg, he will be giving up his bed in the house for one in the kennel!)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Minimal Monday - Farm Beauty

This time of year in Alberta is so beautiful.
Our barn in a summer sunset

The weather is gentle with breezes that keep the mosquitoes at bay.

The sheep graze late into the evening

The view from our front yard takes in Tyrell Lake and Sweetgrass Mountain over the border in Montana

Scott and I make sure that in between yard work we take the time to enjoy the farm we are lucky to own.

Togo with his charges

Friday, July 2, 2010

If You Don't Like The Weather...

Alberta weather can make dramatic changes in a day.
I have enlisted the help of weather pups Scamp, Bliss and Tick to demonstrate today's weather:

AM Rain