Every kennel has a story of a dog who started it all, and for Ryno Kennel, that’s Stormy. I fell in love with Stormy at SP Kennel. After leading my first Iditarod in 2012, Stormy retired to my couch and was the nanny to all the pups at Ryno Kennel. Stormy taught kindness, calm confidence, and manners. I’m not sure her hackles even worked, or if they did, she never used them. Stormy passed away last summer, but her calm presence is still felt at the kennel in the actions of all the pups who grew up under her guidance. The first cabin we built on the property has been named “Stormy’s Cabin.” She oversaw the entire building process as well as ensured that the wood stove was warm enough and functioned properly. Thanks for the sign, Cody!
Last week, Kalyn, 17 canine athletes, and I headed down Chena Hot Springs Road for a day hike. There’s a beautiful trail that isn’t on any recreation maps, so (knock on wood), every time we’ve headed there for a hike, we’ve had the place to ourselves! Most of the time we stick to trails close to home for our summer walks, but every now and then it’s fun to take the pack and get up into the high country. And this trail goes up and up and up and up and up, so in a short period of time, we’ve climbed from the Chena River Valley bottom to the very top of the surrounding peaks. The views are spectacular! Some day I’ll try to take photos with Kalyn in them, but for now, she’s the primary photographer and snapped some magnificent photos.
We’re pretty excited to welcome FIVE new recruits to the Ryno Team! These five are special for a couple different reasons-
1) They’re from our friends at Hey Moose! Kennel. Kristin and I have traveled many miles together, including an entire Iditarod and Yukon Quest! I’ve always loved the spunk and happiness of her dog team and am excited to add these five to the roster.
2) They’re all relatives to our current Ryno all-stars!
Smoky and Otis
These two powerhouse boys are direct brothers to our rockstar- Cooke! They’ll be turning three this summer. Smoky and Otis are inseparable, hence why we don’t have a single photo of them individually. Otis is outgoing, boisterous, and the loudest dog in the yard. He does best running near the back of the team. Smoky is playful, yet more of an introvert. He can be a bit hesitant meeting new people, but he quickly warms up and seems to stare into your soul. This spring, he ran in team, swing, and wheel. I’m hoping with a bit of confidence, he might be a leader like Cooke!
Oryx is part of the African litter, meaning she’s siblings with King Louie, Vanessa, Nile, and Badger! She has their INSANE energy and spunk. This past winter, she finished the Yukon Quest with Andy. Good job Oryx!
Loretta and Dolly are Cooke’s older sisters. They have the same parents but were born a few years earlier. Loretta has quite a resume including Yukon Quest (3 times) and Iditarod. Her personality reminds me of Katy- super affectionate with a calm, confident demeanor. She’s been around the block (aka 1000-miles) just a few times.
Talk about adorable. Dolly is Cooke’s older sister, and like Loretta, she has finished multiple 1000-mile races. Dolly led the majority portion of Andy’s Yukon Quest this year. She’s very loving until it’s go-time, then she’s harness banging to run!
We’re so excited to welcome these athletes to our team!
With yesterday’s cooler temperatures, we took all the dogs out for a nice, short stretch-out run! For Bert and Ernie, that meant it was their first time in harness, and they were excellent!
When putting pups in harness for the first time, we typically run each dog by themselves so that they can focus on the task at hand and not worry about playing with their neighbor. We also hook the team up slightly away from the dog yard to try and create a slightly more quiet, calm environment. Both Bert and Ernie were naturals, although Bert did try to turn around in harness a couple times, which can cause a pretty big tangle! Spinning around, excitedly barking, chewing on lines, or trying to chase squirrels are all common behaviors for a first time pup. It’s the manners part we have to train, the pulling comes naturally!
Petzl and Scarpa have also been rockstars! Scarpa can be a bit of a heathen at hook up (pouncing all over her neighbor), so for this run we had her run by herself. That being said, once we give the READY?! command, both girls are leaping forward in harness and ready to go. We’re very excited about their futures! Petzl is food motivated and loves human affection. Scarpa loves adventure and exploring and isn’t as concerned about whether or not a human is nearby, which is interesting because as a pup, she stayed right by my heels on every puppy walk. Go figure!
We’re looking forward to cooler temps over the summer and next fall so that we can really start working with this puppy class!