Supai and Izzy Pups!

We’re very excited to announce the arrival of Izzy and Supai puppies! Izzy is an all-star at SP Kennel with 4 Iditarods and 3 Yukon Quests on her resume. She’s spunky, happy, and an amazing sled dog! We were so thrilled when Supai was selected as her date.

Supai has been a core athlete for Ryno Kennel since the very beginning and finished every race. He has an insatiable appetite, strong work ethic, and one of the friendliest personalities around. Supai was born at SP Kennel (I was visiting my brother in Ecuador at the time) and his mother is SP Kennel’s, Scooter. We’re hoping these pups are the perfect mixture of both their parents. Perhaps a future Golden Harness Winner in the mix?

Until the pups are older, they’ll be staying with Izzy at SP Kennel. Eventually, Ryno Kennel will be taking home two of these pups to join our puppy class. We can’t wait for them to join the team!

Season Logo

Each winter, Roxanne designs a new logo for Ryno Kennel to represent each unique race season. And this year she out-did herself again!

Roxanne is a friend from high school, and I'm always amazed with her creative abilities! It can't be easy to come up with a new design each year, but she does it.

Warning Long Tangent (I didn't start out writing the blog post with this, but as I started writing about Roxanne, I couldn't help myself):

As I look back on the past six years since having our first litter of pups (the Ecuadorians), I'm in awe of all the friends, friends of friends, or friends of friends of friends who have helped us along the way. A Durango friend designed our main Ryno logo. Another Durango friend (Roxanne) has designed all of our yearly logos. Scott Chesney, Julien Schroder, and Whitney Mclaren have given us so many incredible photos to decorate the website and share special moments from the trail. Riley, Maliko, Gunhild, Liz, and Tyler have all given us so much time and energy caring for the dogs, building our home, or improving the kennel. Not to mention all the sponsors, friends, and family who have sent notes of encouragement or just a brief email that they're following along. While I try to individually say thank you and that this kennel couldn't function without all the support, sometimes notes fall through the cracks. For that, I apologize! But we truly couldn't live this life without you all, so thank you!

Resuming Original Blog Post:

Back to Roxanne- she's designed lots of incredible logos, so let's take a look back:


Just look at that diversity! So many different styles, colors, and designs. Thank you Roxanne! With this year's new logo, what would Athlete Sponsors like to see as part of their packet? Another hoodie sweatshirt? A tote bag? A regular sweatshirt? Baseball tees? Let me know your thoughts!

Final note- While the dog portraits are complete (thank you Scott), I'm still working on updating the Athlete pages. Most of the portraits have been uploaded to the main athlete page; however, their individual pages aren't finished. Don't cheat and look at the Athlete Page just yet. I'll let you know when it's complete! Once the pages are finished, and we can start the Dog Sponsorship for the 2018-2019 Race Season!

Here We Go!

We're kicking off the season with rainy runs and school portraits!

Ewok lounging on the couch.

Jezzy checking out all the equipment.

Scott Chesney with Tailspin Media visited the kennel last weekend to kick off the season with school portraits! The canine athletes could choose between a couch photo or a white backdrop. Getting highly active sled dogs to relax and pose for the camera is quite a feat, so Scott normally has to come back for another photo shoot to retake any images with the pups who just couldn't sit still. I imagine it must be similar to taking school photos for kindergartners! We have lots of distractions ranging from treats to squeaky toys to jumping up and down and waving our arms. The award for most challenging canine to photograph goes to.... FLASH! Flash never ever stops moving, and she likes to look everywhere but the camera. Treats, squeaking toys, sound effects like barking fox or squeaking rabbits- nothing works. She just wants to say hi to everyone. That being said, Scott successfully got a fantastic photo this year! I'll be updating the athlete pages with their new photos and bios soon, so keep an eye out! Once the Athlete Page is updated, we'll be sending out dog sponsorship information. Thank you to everyone who has expressed interest!

Vanessa sitting pretty with the white back drop.

While the dogs put up with our silly human activities (like taking photos), what they're most excited to do is RUN!!! We officially started fall training, and the teams are doing great! The yearlings fit right in with the older dogs, and there are lots of new athletes who have expressed interest in running lead. Cooke, Elmer, Wingman, Vanessa, and Yuker have all had turns running up front. We're excited for the temperatures to keep dropping and the miles to get longer!

Building, Building, Building!

We've crossed a couple BIG projects off the list these past couple of weeks: Last Frontier Mushing Co-op Storefront Yurt and moving our old handler cabin.

1- Last Frontier Mushing Co-op Storefront

Last season, Matt and Amanda of Smokin' Ace Kennels were kind enough to allow us to run tours out of their yurt, but this year, we're expanding. Over the summer, we've prepped a new storefront location directly between our two kennels. With the help of a few friends, we erected our Mongolian Yurt in just a few days! The video below provides a visual of a few of the steps. In the video you'll see Matt, Amanda, Kelsey, Tyler, and myself running around. As they say- it takes a village! Basic steps for the yurt assembly are:

1- Build the deck (thanks Matt and Tom!)

2- Set up the door and arrange the lattice around the door.

3- Put the center ring on pillars and place it in the center of the deck.

4- Place one spoke per "x" in the lattice and secure it to the center ring.

5- Pull a white sheet around the frame.

6- Place felt insulation around the yurt. We used two layers given our cold winters. 

7- Wrap the house in the waterproof outer layer and tie everything up with the three long ropes made of horse hair.

8- Wrap the house in the blue "skirt" and give everyone high fives!

Our other big project (or I should say, one of the other big projects) was moving the handler cabin. A few years ago, we built a small 12x14 cabin. This was the first cabin I helped build, so I'm rather attached to it. We considered leaving it at our old house, but we decided- when there's a will, there's a way- let's bring it with us!

The cabin itself is about 12x14, but when you add in the roof overhang, it's a hefty load. We rented a double axle trailer from a place in town and went to work with bottle jacks to hoist it up and on the trailer.

Once on the trailer, we drove the cabin to our new kennel and positioned it back in the woods. A big thank you to Tyler and Tom for all your hard work! We weren't sure it was going to be possible, but I'm so thrilled it all worked out.

The cabin is almost ready for the trailer to slide underneath.

Bottle jack supporting the front corner.

Securing it to the trailer.

Off we go!

The video below is of building the cabin from a few years ago. It describes how we harvested the logs, peeled the logs, stacked the logs, and scribed between them to make the cabin.

So what's next on the construction list? Sanding the inside walls of our new home, wiring the upstairs, and insulating and sheet rock of the upstairs. And of course RUNNING DOGS!!!! We'll officially start Fall Training on September first. We've run the dogs occasionally the past week just to stretch out and keep them happy, but our real season will start in about one week. This upcoming Saturday, Scott Chesney will be taking class portraits, so keep an eye out. It's about time for MUSHING SEASON!!!!