Archive for the ‘DOGS’ Categoryby Northernmost on April 17, 2015 in ACTIVITIES & WORK, Favourite Photos, Hilary, Lyra, Skijoring & Sledding, Tuisku, Wilder with No Comments
We only have a few days left of our holiday and I’m actually starting to look forward to welcoming spring and summer on the coast. Overall, the winter of 2014/15 will be remembered as a frustrating wait for colder weather that never quite arrived. The last few weeks in Lapland have completely saved our sledding season but even here, in the Far North, spring has arrived about one month too early. Below are some snowy skijoring pics from different days last week. There’s something about big snowflakes that makes my heart smile ♥ Have a happy weekend, everyone!
My favourite pic from April – All Weather Dogs :-)
Shall we go?
Running with frosting on top!
Oh no…Lyra has spotted the camera woman…
…glad Tuisku kept her on the trail, or I would have been love-attacked at full speed
Sledog Dream Leaper, WTD, aka Lyra ♥
Time flies when you’re having fun, and we’re having a good time here in Lapland! During the first week of our holiday we had a couple of sunny days but for the most part it’s been snowy and wet, like today. The trails are holding up pretty well despite the mild weather and we’ve been out on daytrips nearly every day, exploring the trails in and around the village and visiting the Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park on an overnight trip too. The dogs seem very happy to be on holiday and have been in a relaxed mood since we arrived here – eating well, working well and sleeping well There have been a couple of less joyful moments too – like when the car broke down and when Fredrik snapped his skate ski – but we tend to forget about the debacles and focus on the good stuff instead. Life is an adventure so you’ve got to expect a few bumps along the way.
Tuisku shaking off the snow after a break. Five degrees (41 F) is balmy weather for Malamutes.
An eager Thunder checking out the trail ahead.
We went on a trip to Sissanki kota, where we cooked lunch on the fire.
Happy Malamutes awaiting their snacks.
Gemma, enjoying the sunshine :)
My Mum joined me and Leia for a day of skijoring in the national park. 10-year-old Leia is equally happy going on a leisurely “dog walk on skis” as she is going sledding with the team.
Love my fuzzy Bear ♥
Fredrik’s Mum nicknamed Leia our “Kim Kardashian” – can you guess why?
Titan inspecting his holiday dog house.
Yup, the straw smells the same as at home – this place will do.
My pretty Mom ♥
Another day, another trail.
Wilder – such a happy fellow!
My little team on an evening run around the village. I’m really pleased with how well they have worked this season. Tuisku is an absolute force in lead!
Plenty of snow in the kennels, we had to shovel our way in on the first day.
Gemmy is happy to be in Lapland again!
And Hilary…not so regal looking in this pic :-)
When you have a multidog household, it’s a luxury to spend quality time with just one dog. I find it very hard to leave the other dogs at home and head out on an activity with just one dog, especially when the dogs you’re leaving behind are loudly letting you know just how unfair this is. Still, these rare one-on-one moments are perhaps the most important you’ll ever spend with your dog, as it is only when you are alone together that you will have your dog’s full attention, and can focus on building the strong bond and understanding that is necessary for a true dog-man teamwork on the trail. Lyra and I had a good day yesterday, the trails were frozen and perfect for fast skijoring and we had the wind in our back when we sailed up on Ounastunturi in the morning. The rest of the day was spent cruisin’ among the peaks in the serene, blue and white world above the treeline. As someone said, skijoring on a fast mountain trail is as close to flying as you can come without wings.
Photos don’t do this place justice – this part of the trail is really magic.
Can you see the tiny trail post at the other end of the canyon?
Lyra did a good job pulling me all the way to the top. It’s not for nothing that we call her our “Lyra-Myra” – myra means (working) ant in Swedish.
The trail was partly closed due to the risk of avalanches but the cornices weren’t too bad so it felt safe to continue along the trail.
There’s a lot of power in this relatively small package!
In the fell areas the weather can change rapidly from spring-like “bluebird” weather to strong winds and low visibility.
When the clouds gathered in the afternoon, we turned around and headed home.
A GOOD day for me and my girl!
We’re up in Lapland enjoying a couple of weeks of holiday with the dogs. After a lousy winter on the coast it feels great to have access to good trails again, and not have to worry about ice conditions or lack of snow when planning our excursions. Having said that, this spring is probably the warmest we have experienced in northern Lapland. I can’t remember ever having had temperatures above freezing for one week solid in early April. Something seems to be going on with the weather, but hopefully it is just a temporary thing.
Below are some pics from our first excursion during Easter – a trip from Hetta to Näkkälä and back. Fredrik skijored with Hilary and Wilder, while I hooked up Tuisku, Gemma and Thunder in front of the sled.
There’s still about one metre snow in northern Lapland but it’s unusually warm for the time of the year. Normally, we don’t have wet and punchy trails until the end of April, beginning of May.
Tuisku, Gem and Thunder during a cooling break.
It’s a luxury to be able to go right out of our yard and get on endless trails :)
We stopped halfway through for a lunch break in the snow.
The dogs anticipate their tasty tuna water coming up!
♥ Gemmy and Thunder in their new Neewa harnesses ♥
This is Tuisku’s 10th season of working in lead. I’m so happy that his foot injury doesn’t stop him from doing what he loves best.
Heading home in the afternoon – smooth sailing on well-packed snowmobile trails.
We have been enjoying the beautiful weather on the coast today together with Thunder and Leia. The wind from the sea was a bit nippy but we lit a bonfire and warmed up with some hot coco while the furkids had fun playing on the rocks. Leia even had a swim in the icy water but…shh, don’t tell anyone…I think she meant to leap across the water but miscalculated the jump and fell in!
Tomorrow is Kennel Clean Up day here at Northernmost, but looking at the weather forecast I realise that it’s going to snow tomorrow. We haven’t had snow for weeks so it’s quite typical that winter decides to return when we have a major cleaning day scheduled. Hmm..maybe we’ll have to go sledding instead?? Have a fun weekend, everyone!
Stay cool, says Thunder.
While winter might be nearing its end here on the coast, there is still plenty of snow in “Fjällen” – the mountains of northwestern Sweden. We love to explore new spots in the mountains and our latest discovery is the village of Stora Blåsjön in northernmost Jämtland – a place almost too beautiful to be real. We visited Stora Blåsjön last weekend together with Tuisku, Lyra, Hilary and Wilder and had a great time skijoring on the fantastic trails in the area. There are mountains in every direction and you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to trails, as this is a paradise for both dog people and snowmobilers. Next time we need to stay longer as there is still so much to explore – I can imagine that this place is stunning in summer too!
After a dull winter on the coast it was amazing to be surrounded by glistening, white snow again.
We headed out early in the mornings, and had the trails to ourselves.
There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and it had snowed heavily a couple of days before our arrival, so everything looked absolutely picture perfect.
No, only Lyra and Tuisku – ready to go!
We really like our new Neewa harnesses from Baggen, they are a perfect fit for our Malamutes!
Skijoring with a Nordic pulk in a downhill involves controlling your skis, poles and lines, while at the same time pressing down the hand break as hard as you can. It takes practice to get it all right!
Lyra and Tuisku, cooling down in the snow after a long and steady climb in the morning.
Heading into the white – the best part of the year has begun!These two love to snuggle up together…
…and to suddenly attack you with sloppy kisses!
Tuisku knows how to make the most of a break – he curls up into a ball until it’s time to go again.
Lyra is good at camping too – she attacks the snow with her front paws until a perfect bed is formed.
Imagine waking up to this view outside your window every day…
Hilary and Wilder found themselves a little mountain cabin and decided to stay ;-)
There are more photos from our trip in the Gallery Stora Blåsjön 2015.
We are trying out some new harnesses this spring, they are from Italian sports and utility dog gear brand Neewa and available in Sweden from Baggen® (which is also where we buy our comfortable skijoring belts, the Baggen Softbelt). We have been using the same type of harness for many years so it’s interesting to try something new and be able to compare fit, comfort and durability etc. The harnesses from Neewa seem like an interesting new option that’s available to a good price. Their top of the range Race Line products are developed together with professional mushers and made of super-tough yarns to be able to maintain their technical properties in extreme weather conditions. I really like the feel of these harnesses and they seem to sit very comfortably on our dogs. Looking forward to trying them on some sledding trips this spring!
Neewa’s Sled Pro Harness is designed to especially for “purebred Nordic dogs”, such as the Alaskan Malamute and Greenland Dog. They also have harnesses that are suited for more lean sled dogs with narrow chests, as well as harnesses for cani-cross, tracking and every day use.
Hilary is wearing the Sled Pro harness while Wilder is wearing an adjustable harness, which is ideal for a younger dog that is still filling out. Both harnesses are in polypropylene with padding on the neck and ribcage areas. The “Pro” model has reflective inserts for high visibility at night.
All Neewa harnesses are made with non-allergenic and breathable materials.
I love this fresh blue colour in spring!
You can read more about Neewa on their website.
We went for a walk along the coast yesterday to check out trail conditions by the Bothnian Bay. This is one of our favourite areas for sledding and skijoring but sadly the warm weather during February has melted much of the sea ice and the trail from January was completely gone.
The rapid weather changes have created paper-thin ice flakes….
…and glass-like ice on top of the snow…
…I love the beautiful formations of ice and snow that we found on the beach…
And here’s another diamond in the rough – our two-year-old boy Wilder! We love everything about this handsome fella – temperament, looks, working ability and intelligence. Okay, so we’re a bit biased – but he’s beyond amazing, really ♥
We’ve been running dogs on hard and crusty trails this weekend. A few days of mild weather has decimated our snow cover and in many places along the trail there is more ice than snow and almost impossible to secure a snow hook – I’m glad we didn’t run into any wildlife today! To get our trail back into shape we need at least 20 cm of fresh snow, and another bout of mild weather to pack it a little, but there’s no snow in the forecast for at least a week so we have to make do with what we have at the moment. Farmers and sled dog people – we always have something to say about the weather!
Lyra and Tuisku in lead, and Thunder and Gemma in wheel.
Not only is Lyra a great sled dog, she is also a master snuggler who will gladly sleep all night with her head on your pillow – so sweet! <3
♥ Gemmy and Thunder – in fact ALL our Malamutes are master snugglers when given a chance ♥
Despite the wild Norwegian storm “Ole” that kept us awake on Saturday night, threatening to lift the roof off the house, it’s been a pretty great weekend. We have been out on the trail on both Saturday and Sunday and have had some nice runs with both the sled and skis. If I were to complain about anything it would be about the temperature, as our Malamutes get warm fast in this mild weather. But, on the positive side, it is easier to pack the trail when the snow is a bit moist and if it gets colder during next week we’ll have a fairly hard packed trail to work the dogs on.
Below are some mixed pics from the weekend. I personally love the first picture, as it reveals a lot about the personalities of our dogs; Gemma and Thunder are happy to wait while I take my pics, and even pose for the camera, while Tuisku uses his voice to let me know he’s had enough with the photo stops and wants to get going asap. I love that their personalities are unique, that all dogs have their unique quirks that make them into the individuals they are. I also love that Tuisku is turning 10 years old this coming summer but is still mad about hitting the trail. Each run is as fun as the last one. That’s the spirit of a Malamute!
Can we go already?
But it’s nice to have calm and settled dogs too – the mix of personalities is what makes a team.
Gemmy is our sunbeam!
Tuisku looks like a puppy again after shedding most of his coat in January – a happy pup! ;-)
Okay, so Thunder isn’t always happy about photo stops as he still chews the gangline at 10.5 years of age. Old habits die hard.
It would be nice if all snowmobilers could help us pack the main trail instead of creating five or six new tracks next to one another – maybe we should put up a sign?
Coming home after an 8 km run – check out my driving style LOL!
Fredrik took Wilder and Hilary for a run in the afternoon today.
They love the speed of skijoring!
Wilder is such a huggable dog ♥
On Saturday afternoon we went skijoring with Wilder and Lyra.
Lyra is probably my favourite dog to go skijoring with. Her tugline is always tight and she works at an even pace, with the right amount of power and speed for my (mediocre) skating skills. She also listens well to commands, and that means it’s easy to explore new trails together.
We had a lovely visit this weekend from Ian and Aimee, our friends from the UK. They stayed with us from Friday to Saturday, as a short break on their major roadtrip. We got to spend time with Hilary’s gorgeous siblings, Twisp and Leader, and chat with Ian and Aimee about Malamutes all day long. It’s FUN to catch up with friends, wish we could do it more often :-)
It’s been a busy weekend; we spent eight hours bathing and grooming dogs on Saturday and today we have been running them in harness all day. That’s the kind of fun weekend my non-dog-minded friends would never understand Normally, we don’t groom our Malamutes much at all during winter but right now five of our dogs are blowing their coats big time – in January!! Can’t remember that ever happening up in Lapland…Since our dogs visit our house on a daily basis we have hair pretty much everywhere and thus we decided it was time to give them a proper bath & blast to get rid of all the loose undercoat. Grooming five dogs in one day is a crazy workout!! Anyway, below are some pics from today’s sledding fun on the trail. I have included some extra pics of Gemma, as she is one of the few that is still in full winter coat. I thought she looked extra pretty with some snow on top
Mtn Home’s Northernmost Gem, WTD, WPD, at seven years of age.
Tuisku, Thunder and Gemma zooming down the trail.
Hilary and Wilder – from a distance they look almost in full coat but there’s not much undercoat left after yesterday’s grooming session. We expect Hilary to come in season in the next month or so.
Mtn Home’s NM A Touch of The Wild, WTD, aka Wilder, at 2 years of age.
We really should separate these two more often, before they grow into ONE, but it’s difficult to separate dogs who enjoy each other’s company as much as these two do…
…they are two peas in a pod!
On our way home after a nice run in the woods.
Have a good week everyone, says Gemma!
PS. Some Winter Safety Advice
When bathing our Malamutes in winter, we always let them sleep indoors for at least TWO nights after the bath. It’s important to start bathing the dog first thing in the morning, as he/she will need to stay indoors until the coat is completely dry. Blow drying the dog after the bath is a must, ideally with a cool air dog dryer, but even when using a high velocity dryer your dog may not become 100% dry and it is dangerous (and cruel) to let even a slightly damp dog sleep outdoors in winter. A coat that feels completely dry to the touch may still carry moisture which could lead to the dog developing life-threatening hypothermia. Therefore, if you for practical reasons cannot let your Malamute spend time and sleep indoors after a bath – don’t bathe your dog in cold weather!
“Yes, I’m a hardy Malamute – but I appreciate a warm bed too!”