Archive for the ‘Gemma’ Categoryby Northernmost on April 14, 2015 in Gemma, Hilary, Lapland, Leia, Lyra, Skijoring & Sledding, Thunder, Titan, Tuisku, Wilder with No Comments
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 🙂
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’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!”
Today we got tired of waiting and went on a road trip in search for more snow. There’s usually more snow in the inland than on the coast so in the early morning we packed the dogs and the sleds and travelled in a westerly direction in search for the “white gold”. There wasn’t a huge amount of snow in the western parts of the county either, but when crossing into Southern Lapland we found just enough snow to secure an anchor and a nice lake trail suitable for a daytrip. The dogs were happy to finally be out on the trail again – and so were we!
Mtn Home’s Northernmost Gem, WTD, WPD and Nordiclight’s Thunder, WTD, WPD
We got up at five in the morning to make the most of the brief daylight hours…
What better way to spend a Sunday?!
Tuisku worked in lead and Thunder and Gemma in wheel. Ahead of us on the trail is Fredrik’s team with Hilary, Wilder and Titan.
The ice on lakes and rivers can be treacherous in the early winter so we travelled close to the shoreline and the dogs only got their feet wet a couple of times.
Tuisku was SO happy to be working in front of the sled again!
Frosty faces at the end of the run.
We completed the trip just before the sun disappeared behind the fells.
The January days are short but the colours are often spectacular this time of the year.
★ ★ ★ Happy 2015, everyone!! ★ ★ ★
We visited our dog club today with Gemma, Titan, Wilder and Hilary to train agility at Åbyn-Byske Brukshundklubb’s new outdoor training area. We’ve had a long break from agility during summer as it’s been too hot to do anything strenuous, but now that autumn is here we plan to continue our weekly training sessions at home and at the dog club. Agility (and rally obedience) is a great complement to exercise in harness as it provides that extra mental stimulation that most Malamutes need. It also improves their coordination, strengthens muscles, increases endurance and helps boost their overall confidence. There are many reasons to train agility with your dog and above all, it’s fun!
Below is a short clip of Fredrik and Wilder from today. Wilder is getting soo good at agility! He is fast, accurate and simply LOVES this game!
After a hot and lazy summer it’s time to get in shape again. We have slowly started conditioning work by heading out for long and brisk walks in the evenings and taking the dogs jogging and bikejoring when the weather allows. Today was a perfect day for work in harness as the temperature dropped down to 5°C degrees (41°F) in the afternoon. Fredrik hooked up Gem and Wilder while I ran our seniors, Leia and Thunder. As you can see in the pics, we left our helmets at home by mistake, but the rule is – ALWAYS wear a helmet when you go bikejoring!
Wilder teamed up with his Auntie Gem today. Wilder is nearly 20 months and Gemma is turning 7 years young next week. Time sure flies by fast!
Gem has a soft spot for her nephew and enjoys working with him…
…and Wilder continues to impress us with his focus and drive. He prefers to be up front at all times.
Also Leia and Thunder seem to be in fairly good shape after the summer…
…they leaned into their harnesses and gave me a fun ride on the bike!
Running on sand is FUN says Leia!
We let the dogs cool down in the sea before we turned around and headed back to the car.
Hope y’all are having a happy and active weekend!
They say that dogs instinctively know how to swim. But not every dog knows how to swim well and many dogs don’t even enjoy being in water. Until yesterday, our 5-year-old boy Titan had never been out deeper than his stomach. We never force a dog to swim, that doesn’t go into deep water on his or her own accord, but since we live on the coast we encourage all our dogs to play in and enjoy water as it’s a great way to cool down and to get some exercise too. Yesterday it was really hot and Titan seemed more tempted than usual to get his whole body wet.
Why can’t I walk on water?
What happens if my nose goes under the surface?
We had a nice picnic on the beach and Titan joined us every time we went swimming.
Gemma preferred to only get her belly wet as usual. She is 7 years old in September, but who knows, maybe she’ll try swimming one day too?
The forecast for the next few days is HOT so we’ll be heading for the beach again very soon!
I’m sorry that I’ve been absent from the blog lately, and that I’ve been so slow in replying to emails. We jumped straight into taking care of spring chores at home when we returned from our holiday in Lapland. May is always a busy month for us; the dogs need bathing and grooming and their kennels and play areas need spring cleaning. Our potholed lawn needs raking and repairing, so that we can set up the agility course in June, and the dog houses that we built last autumn need painting. In fact, some of the old dog houses could do with a fresh layer too. Keeping the kennel shipshape is a never ending project but maybe, this year or next, there will be time for us to have some puppies too? 😉
Nearly all the old snow is gone now but it will take a couple of weeks before the grass and the trees turn green. Summer arrives late to northern Sweden but I don’t mind as I prefer having four distinct seasons – it keeps things interesting because you always have something new to look forward to.
The Bird Cherry tree is among the first to turn green in spring. In June it will be in full bloom.
Our flowerbeds are slowly waking up too – the Grape Hyacinth came first…
…and was soon accompanied by the Pickwick Crocus.
This time of the year, when the air is still cool, our Mals enjoy basking in the sun on their porches. Gem is still hanging on to her thick winter coat but I bet it will drop quickly after her bath, and she’ll go back to looking like a puppy again 🙂
Tuisku didn’t accompany us on our holiday in Lapland this year. He has been limping slightly on his rear leg during spring and had to rest from working activities during the end of the season. After two visits to our local vet we saw an orthopedic specialist in April but he couldn’t make a definite diagnosis either, but asked us to come back in a couple of weeks for more x-rays. Please keep your fingers and paws crossed for a speedy recovery for Tuisku!
Spring is a wonderful time but it also means bitches in season…young Wilder has recently discovered the allure of the opposite sex and is keeping us awake at night complaining that he has to be separated from his sister. I took him to a ring training class on Sunday but it quickly turned into basic leash training instead, as Wilder wouldn’t focus on me for a split second when there were FEMALES around. Let’s hope that our girls get their seasons over and done with soon so we can all go back to normal and get a good night’s sleep!!
We went skijoring this morning but the trail was too soft and punchy for the dogs and we had to travel slowly to avoid injuries. Can’t believe how mild this winter has been…we have hardly had two weeks of continuous cold weather since November! Today we had +4°C which is much too warm for double-coated Malamutes. The forecast for next week is rain and even higher temperatures, I wonder if there will be any snow left by the end of this month?! I’m glad we still have our holiday in Lapland to look forward to as we haven’t been able to complete many miles this winter. But, why stress about snow and mileage when the dogs are happy and healthy? It’s not like we’re training for the Iditarod… 😉
Pretty Gem at nearly 6.5 years of age.
It’s too hot!!!
We continue to add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to Gem’s food and her coat looks great!