Archive for the ‘Titan’ Categoryby Northernmost on March 31, 2013 in Activities & Work, Lyra, Titan with No Comments
Fredrik’s new skis arrived just in time for Easter so he’s been trying them out on daily trips along the coast this long weekend. After having skijored with a pair of budget combo skis (mix between cross-country and skate) for the last few years, Fredrik decided it was time for an upgrade. His new skis, Breidablikk from Norwegian Åsnes, are especially made for skijoring with a dog in backcountry conditions. They are wider than ordinary skis and lack the metal edges that most other touring skis have, and that could potentially injure a dog in an accident. They are also very cool looking – even though I would of course have preferred a Malamute on the front rather than a blue eyed husky
Maybe we should ask Åsnes to create a Malamute edition of Breidablikk for 2014?
We had a nice picnic by the coast on Easter Eve – wearing sunblock is a must this time of the year!
Titan enjoyed his one-on-one with Grandma.
Lyra found a mermaid. Who do you think is prettier?
A snow roll before it’s time to go home.
With the goal of keeping my mum company on the trail, Fredrik and I brought only one dog each on this picnic trip. I still had to stand on the brake not to overtake my mum (who was skiing without a dog) but for the most part we were able to keep the same pace. Lyra and Fredrik travelled faster so they did some exploring on the ice while waiting for us to catch up.
Lyra is always eager to go…
It’s been a BEAUTIFUL Easter here on the northern coast of Sweden.
It’s been a beautiful week with calm weather and clear blue skies. We’ve been making the most of every day as we’ll soon need to take a brief break from sledding due to our girls coming into season. This week we’ve also been busy thinking hard about what to name our puppy who will be joining us later this spring. After writing down a long list of options, we ended up choosing the name that came first to us. But more about our puppy news later, have a great weekend everyone
Fredrik has travelled many miles on the Skidoo this winter, working hard to keep our trail open in between snowfalls. Right now the trail is in great condition so fingers crossed we’ll have no more snow this winter! I think what we have right now is PLENTY!!
Some pics from today’s outing with two 2-dog teams. What’s nice about Malamutes is that you don’t really need a big team, as two dogs, and sometimes just one, is enough to get some action on the trail. Today’s run was 18km (11 mi) with a rest break at midway point – a suitable distance for our youngsters Hilary and Lyra who are now 18 months of age. We try to vary their training as much as possible, working them individually and on teams of 2-4 dogs, and exploring new trails as often as we can to make the training more exciting for everyone. As soon as my back is stronger we’ll also be skijoring more, as skijoring is really what we enjoy most.
Tuisku and Hilary in front and Titan and Lyra behind.
Our Sledog Kids work really well together.
And they play well together too
It’s clear that Lyra has inherited her sire’s lead dog ability, we’ll be trying her in lead position soon.
This girl always has full focus ahead.
The goal of today’s excursion was a lean-to by the coast where we stopped for tea and a sandwich.
Tuisku looking dreamy in the snow.
Hilary looks sleepy too – maybe it’s the fresh sea air that is making us all a little drowsy?
Two fuzzy butts getting ready to go home.
Love our winter weekends!
This is what it looks like when Fredrik comes home from work; he’s immediately hogged by our indoor dogs Gem and Titan.
I rarely get this kind of greeting, maybe it’s because I work from home and I’m always around?
Gem (5) and Titan (3) have been living indoors since the New Year and they love it. They will probably move outdoors again later this spring but right now it’s their turn to be spoiled rotten. Every dog deserves that at least once in a while, don’t you think?
Titan’s coat has a lovely shine this winter. He’s a dark sable & white and this year his colour looks richer than ever. We’ve been adding omega-3 fish oil to our dogs’ food on a regular basis since the summer and are really happy with the results. Not only do their coats look great but their paw pads are also more supple and we no longer have any issues with very dry or cracked pads. However, something we’ve learnt about fish oil is that it needs to be introduced gradually in small doses as a too sudden introduction can cause diarrhoea, especially if the dog has a sensitive stomach. After a gradual introduction it is important to give the recommended dose (and not less) as this is critical to achieving the desired results.
When selecting a fish oil, we look for an oil that is free from detectable traces of mercury and unsafe levels of PCBs, and that contains a high percentage of the omega-3 essential fatty acids EPA and DHA. We recommend that you read the label carefully when selecting a fish oil and also compare different products.
In pet shops you will sometimes also find omega-3 made from ground flax seed. However, the omega-3 fatty acids present in flax seed oil are in the form of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) and dogs cannot directly use the ALA but must convert it to the type of fatty acids that their bodies can use, i.e. DHA and EPA. Since many dogs do not make the conversion effectively, most experts on canine nutrition recommend fish oil as the best source of omega-3 for dogs.
We buy Dr. Baddaky’s Fish Oil from our veterinarian or order it online from www.djurhalsobutiken.se The product is currently available in Sweden, Denmark and Norway and will soon also be available for dog owners in Finland and the UK.
Not easy to be banished from the house when all sorts of delicious smells are coming from the kitchen…Titan gazes through the window with hungry eyes when we are baking gingerbread and cooking ribs in the oven…poor boy
Just like last year, winter arrived with a bang during the first week of December. We received one meter snow on December 2nd and it has been snowing every day since. When we moved south from Lapland in 2010, I worried there wouldn’t be enough snow here on the coast. I saw before me a nightmare of green and damp winters and muddy feet on the kitchen floor all year round. As we are now experiencing our third winter in Nedre Bäck it is clear that my worries were unfounded. In fact, we almost have more snow now than we did in Lapland. Here on the coast the autumn lasts well into November and then suddenly winter arrives almost overnight with a big dump of snow. Whereas in Lapland, winter starts in early October and snow builds up gradually during a longer period of time. Can’t say what I like better, but I’m glad that we found the right place for our new home, as winter and snow really get those Malamute tails wagging!
A couple of hours after we have removed all the snow from the porch it looks like this again!
One downside of living in an old house is that the windows can get rather draughty in winter. On the positive side – the windows are often covered with beautiful frostwork
Our lovely Sledog kids, Titan & Lyra, enjoying a snow dance together. Winter weather definitely gets our Mals in play mode!
A couple of days ago our rowanberry trees were still laden with red berries but after a visit from a flock of Bohemian Waxwings they are now all gone. Wish I had caught these pretty birds with my camera. I love this shot by Finnish photographer Juha Soininen.
Gem takes a break in her favourite corner of the couch. She is a strong candidate for the position as our *next permanent house dog*. After our girl Lily passed away in 2009 we decided not to have a house dog, but Gem enjoys indoor life so much, and has such nice house manners, that maybe we’ll make an exception. After all, it’s quite nice to snuggle up with a warm dog on a cold winter night.
Time flies during this beautiful part of winter – only two weeks till Christmas!!
The dogs’ fall shed always takes me by surprise. Just when I think our Malamutes are starting to look good after the summer, and are growing their coats in preparation for winter, they start shedding again. Luckily the fall shed isn’t anything like the shedding they do in spring, often they will just shed the undercoat and keep the guardcoat intact. Still, some grooming is needed also during fall.
A grooming tool that I really love is Chris Christensen’s 27mm T-Brush. This lightweight pin brush is made of beechwood and the clever design means you don’t have to work with your wrist at a constant angle but can relax the hand and wrist while brushing. When you have more than one dog to groom (in our case seven) using an ergonomic brush makes a huge difference.
I really like this brush and what’s even better – the dogs love it! The polished pins glide through the coat nicely and are gentle on even the most sensitive skin. We use it on short coats like Titan’s and on long woolie coats too. You can buy this excellent tool directly from Chris Christensen or from online retailers. In Sweden the brush is available from www.hallon.info
Check out the video below to see how much our boy Titan enjoys getting brushed
When things are busy at work and the days are quickly getting shorter it’s great to have an agility course at home where we can activate our dogs without having to travel anywhere. In less than five minutes the obstacles are assembled and we’re ready to go. Today was a perfect day for agility as the grass was dry and the sun came out from behind the clouds. As soon as we bring out the obstacles the dogs start howling “Can I go first?!!”, “No, me, me!!”, as everyone wants to have a go at this fun game. Leia and Thunder were most eager so we let them and Titan and Gem do agility today and then ended the evening with a walk along the coast with Tuisku and the girls. Feels good to know that we’ve involved all dogs in fun activities, despite being quite tired after work. Managing a multidog household is not an easy game, but we love it
Having happy dogs is our main goal, always.
Our Gem inside the tunnel.
Titan is polishing his jumping skills.
One thing that all our dogs that go back to Mountain Home have in common is the Beaver Gene. They love to play with sticks and they love to share their sticks with their friends. I think this type of behaviour strengthens the bond between pack members and also improves their ability to work together as a team. Carrying a stick together is a bit like being connected by the neckline – it works best if you syncronize your steps.
Gem with her half-sister Jeti – we miss you, beautiful girl <3
Autumn is here and it’s time to fill the dog houses with fresh hay. During summer we only have a small amount of hay in their houses, just to provide a soft bedding for them to rest on, while during autumn and winter we fill the houses to half the total volume to keep them warm and comfy in any weather. Our Malamutes love the smell of fresh bedding and can’t wait to snuggle up inside.
Fredrik is cleaning the dog houses while Titan is helping out.
Our Mals get excited about fresh hay – in almost the same way that they get excited about food.
Even Tuisku, who normally sleeps on the roof of his dog house, was quick to jump inside.
During rainy periods we change the bedding more frequently while during winter it’s often enough to change it once a month. The hay comes from our own field so we have a steady supply and enough to last us all winter. Most people recommend using straw rather than hay as bedding for dog houses but we have tried both and have found that hay actually works better for our climate.
The dog houses are designed so that they are just large enough for our Mals to stand up, turn around and lie down in comfortably. They are well insulated and built on low platforms to keep them off the frozen ground. We now have five outdoor dog houses and two dog houses inside the barn for Leia and Thunder. We are also in the process of completing two double dog houses in our newest kennels. The plan was to paint all houses in a pretty red colour before winter but I’m not sure there will be time for that, as it’s already rather chilly in the evenings. Maybe we’ll have an early winter this year?
A snapshot from Wednesday’s dog walk. Titan is being told by eight-year-old “Kajsa” that “Just because you’re bigger doesn’t mean you’re the boss!!” Wish I had caught Titan’s surprised expression on film as it was SO funny!!
Have a good weekend everyone!