Scott Chesney with Tailspin Media has been visiting the kennel to update the athlete portraits for the upcoming season. Here are a few teasers until they have all been finalized. It's particularly fun to see how much the puppies have changed! Enjoy!
Remember this cold race a couple years ago? The one that hovered around -35F to -55F for the first several days? Well, we've signed up to do it again!
Today was sign ups for the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race! That's right, we're having another go at this incredible 1000-mile race. Starting on February 4, 2017 the race will begin in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory and finish in Fairbanks, Alaska.
WE CAN'T WAIT!!!! WOOHOOO!!!!
And just like that, it's July 31st. Tomorrow begins another August in Alaska where the nights start to have darkness, the air seems a little more breezy, and the cold chill on a rainy morning smells of the coming winter. I'm getting jittery just thinking about it. Even though the summer has flown by, winter can't come fast enough. The dogs have enjoyed a long relaxing summer and are starting to get antsy (and slightly destructive by digging holes and chewing on their houses). We're ready.
When the temperatures permit, we've taken teams out on short runs, trying new dogs in lead and teaching manners. Some of the upcoming yearlings are already showing leader potential including Wingman, Crunch, Ewok, Yuker, and Gringa. Gringa was dynamite up in lead, and she's only 10 months old! Several of the newly turned three-year-olds look stronger than ever. I have a feeling it will be a real challenge to pick the "A" Team this year!
The puppies have been growing so fast, there is a noticeable change every day! "Flash" Flood joined the African Litter from Jeff King's Husky Homestead to make up a total puppy class of six. There are a couple more puppy recruits in the works, so I'll be sure to keep everyone posted.
Nessie- Nessie is very affectionate and confident. She's happy playing with her siblings, resting in your lap, exploring by herself, or doing just about anything. She looks just like Perm except white.
Nile- Nile is a handsome, leggy pup who reminds me of his older brother Yuker. They have a similar coloration and sweet, but cocky, attitude. He devours food faster than his siblings, so it's not uncommon to see him with a potbelly.
Badger- Badger has a very distinct face and coloration, so he's often picked as a favorite by visitors. He instinctively heels on puppy walks and rushes up to any new friendly face. He's quite the social butterfly.
King Louie- Although Louie is one of the biggest, he's the most reserved and occasionally timid. He does love people but prefers that his siblings check out the situation first. Some might call him smart.
Nala- Nala is in-your-face crazy. She's always jumping up for extra attention and is the first to come running whenever I call "pup, pup, pup." She has boundless non-stop energy.
Flash- Flash looks houndy like her mom, Zig. She has one blue eye and one 1/2 blue 1/2 brown eye giving her a very unique look. She loves to play in water and spends the most time in the kiddy pool out of all the puppies. She's playful and sassy.
While unrelated to dog mushing and Ryno Kennel, I have to share a picture of my very first King Salmon. Allen has gone down to the Kenai River for the past 25 years to fish for Red and King Salmon, and this year, I got to tag along. I'm told King is not quite as tasty as the smaller Reds, but the 15+ hours we put in to catch this one 40 lb King was totally worth it. Allen's record is a 74 lbs King. Can you imagine?!
And just like that, Solstice came and went, which means....it's getting darker! Granted, it has yet to actually be dark, but since the solstice, we have lost two minutes of day length! This time of year, it never gets dark in Fairbanks, but the sun does drop below the horizon for a couple hours. The length of day on the solstice was 21 hours 51 minutes and 1 second. Today it's only 21 hours 49 minutes and 1 second. We're getting closer to winter!
Of course, we can't just sit around waiting for snow and darkness. We might as well enjoy the glorious Alaskan summers. Here are a few pictures from our outings.
"I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny, but we can have lots of good fun that is funny." - Dr. Seuss
Most of the summer, the athletes at Ryno Kennel lounge the days away, soaking up the sun and enjoying the occasional free run. However, some days when the rain pours and the temperatures drop to the 40s and 50s (when any normal person curses summers in Alaska), we rejoice! It's time to RUN!! Last weekend, we had incredible weather of heavy rains and brisk morning temperatures, so everyone had a chance to stretch their legs. As you can see from the videos, they were pretty excited about it. The only adults that didn't run were Perm (she has puppies) and Boone (we're just being extra careful about her wrist from this winter- tendons take a looong time to heal). Chagga and Earl are down at summer camp in Juneau with Maliko. They will be back to start training in early September.
Can you spot your favorite dog?
Team 1- Ham and Lefty, Coot and Derby, Niagra, Ewok and Supai, Fish, Wingman and Crunch.
Team 2- Katy and Jana, Brant and Drummer, Blitz and Wombat, Kindi and Uno, Gringa and Yuker, Rucu
Team 3- Fire and Cartel, Teflon, Fez and CJ, Fenton and Belle, Sally and Frosty, Drake