Fall training has begun, the pups are getting more animated, and construction on the new property is progressing! Life is good! Tyler is handling for Ryno Kennel again this year (he helped out at the beginning and end of last year), and he'll be focusing on training the yearlings. He has already arrived at the kennel and has been helping train dogs and build. A high school friend from Durango, Colorado, Liz Schell, will be arriving in 10 days to help me train the main team. Derek will be filling in and assisting with everyone. We've got a great crew!
We've been making steady progress on the new homestead. All the logs have been peeled, the well and septic marked out, and all the lumber for the dog yard has been delivered. Three large truckloads of lumber are needed to build the yard, which will be comprised of three long decks. Each deck will be 24ft by 96ft and house 16 dogs, meaning the yard will be built for 48 athletes. I don't pretend to be a carpenter, so after picking Allen Moore's brain and visiting a few different kennels, I think I have a general blueprint of how to make this yard become a reality! Since the ground will most likely be freezing in the next few weeks, anything that requires dirtwork is our priority (dog yard, septic, and well). Once those are completed, then we'll crank out the handler cabins and main house.
Our kennel photographer and friend, Scott Chesney with Tailspin Media, visited the kennel a few days ago and took the yearly dog portraits. Stay tuned for those! Once I've updated the website with all the dogs' new profiles, then I'll open up the dog sponsorship program. Here's a sneak peek of what the photos will look like! We hope to see all our prior year sponsors return for another exciting season!
In addition to training dogs and building, we've been busy promoting our new company, the Last Frontier Mushing Co-op LLC. Amanda Brooks (Smokin' Ace Kennels) and I have been to a couple tradeshows and were recently accepted to compete in an Alaska Tourism Association Shark Tank Competition! If you've ever watched Shark Tank, the competition is very similar except it's between Alaskan businesses that are competing for a $5,000 grant for a new idea. The competition takes place in Kodiak in the beginning of October, so we'll be sure to let you how it goes!