Archive for February, 2012by Northernmost on February 27, 2012 in Activities & Work, Hilary, Lyra, Tuisku with No Comments
We introduced our puppies to sledding today and they did great! The sun was shining from a clear blue sky and the trail was hard-packed and frozen so the conditions were perfect for hooking up Hilary and Lyra in front of the sled. Tuisku worked in single lead and did a good job of keeping the gangline tight and showing the girls how it’s done. We only let the pups run a tiny distance since they are still young, instead the purpose of training right now is to get them accustomed to the set up and make sure they look forward to their next time in harness. Lyra and Hilary showed they are natural sled dogs by keeping their tuglines tight and staying focused on the trail ahead. Well done pups!!
Mild weather and punchy snow – not ideal conditions for sledding but Tuisku, Leia and Thunder nevertheless had a nice day out on the trail today.
Our Big Bear, Leia, will be seven years old next week (February 27th) while Tuisku and Thunder have their birthdays in July; Tuisku will be seven while Thunder will be eight. Where have the years gone??
I hope they will stay healthy and be able to work in harness for many years to come.
The northern coast was hit by a storm during the weekend and we got stuck in a snowdrift on our way home from Hilary’s puppy class on Saturday afternoon. It was an eventful evening but all went well in the end. The heavy snowfall continued on Sunday and we spent a few hours shovelling out the area in and around the dog pens to be able to open the pen doors and prevent the dogs from jumping across the fence. The storm blew over during the night and this morning we woke up to a beautiful sunrise and took Tuisku and the pups out for a walk on the lake. Isn’t it typical that the sun is shining from a clear blue sky when you have to stay inside and work…my dad used to call it “Monday weather”…
Our girl Hilary – Mtn Home’s Northernmost Hiking Hilary turned 6 months old on Sunday. We took advantage of the beautiful weather on Friday morning (before the storm) and took some new photos of her. Hilary is still in puppy coat, will be interesting to see what her adult coat will look like…
Tuisku and Hilary joined me on my lunchtime walk today. We make an effort to separate our two pups now and then, as they spend so much time together anyway. Also, training the recall with two pups is not ideal, they usually have too much fun together to bother to come when called. Instead we bring along a reliable adult dog whose behaviour the puppy can copy. We had a big snowfall last night and had to struggle through deep snow on our walk – great exercise for everyone, including me!
Today it was time for Lyra and Hilary’s second run in harness and they did amazingly well. I tried to keep them at a steady trot but it was hard as they were eager to run. Below are some mixed pics from today, it was a beautiful Sunday!
You can view a short clip of the pups on YouTube:
Lyra and Hilary had company in the playarea today by Fredrik’s Mother’s 7-month old Labrador, “James”. Two Malamute girls and a high-energy Lab boy – I think you can imagine the scene! We thought the girls had endless energy but when Lyra and Hilary started to slow down, James was still going strong! Playing with a friendly dog of a different breed is such a valuable experience as the pups learn to read and respond to different nuances of the canine language. James is a lovely, happy boy and the trio had great fun together! After our guests had gone home, Hilary and Lyra fell sound asleep. Two hours later they are still sleeping…
Lyra and Hilary have had a busy week. These girls have fun from morning to evening with some short breaks for napping. Yesterday both pups took part in the final session of Lyra’s puppy class which consisted of a socialization walk in the city centre. We are very pleased with both girls who, despite being country bumpkins, were completely relaxed in the busy city environment (so relaxed that they rolled over on their backs, lol!). They were also great with the other dogs at class, helping a frightened Cavalier King Charles Spaniel trust larger dogs again. Well done girls!! Lyra will now have a short break from formal training, while Hilary starts her class next Saturday.
We highly recommend Hannas Hundsupport for those of you who live near Umeå and are interested in dog training classes using positive reinforcement. Instructor Hanna Vernerlund is a skilled obedience trainer with wide knowledge about canine behaviour.
We usually prefer skijoring to sledding but when the temperature drops below -30C it’s quite nice to dress up in heavy winter gear and stand on the runners in warm boots instead. Today I hooked up Leia, Tuisku and Thunder and went for a trip along the Lake Trail. The pale winter sun accompanied us for a while before sinking behind the treetops. This time of the year, everywhere you look is white and blue and beautiful…
This week’s cold spell has finally made the ice on the lake thick enough for safe skijoring. We had -34C (-29F) this morning but it didn’t feel that bad when I got out in the sunshine with Thunder and Leia. I love the open expanses of the lake, it’s a great sense of freedom being able to skijor in any direction. We’ll probably make another trip tomorrow.
You’d think after ten years of living in Lapland, I’d be used to cold weather. This morning we had -30C (-22F) but it felt more like -40. In Lapland the air is usually dry and crisp, which means that it tickles your nose but doesn’t feel as cold as you would expect, whereas here on the coast the air is damp and -30 degrees below zero really bites. We had planned to prepare some new trails during the weekend but the added wind chill experienced on the snowmobile may be a bit too nippy. While I like being out in the cold, I do not like being cold.