Archive for the ‘Gemma’ Categoryby Northernmost on January 26, 2014 in ACTIVITIES & WORK, Gemma, Hilary, Lyra, Skijoring & Sledding, Thunder, Tuisku, Wilder with No Comments
I’ve had a stubborn cold for the last couple of weeks and haven’t been out and about much lately. Today I felt a little better and went out to help Fredrik get the dogs ready for a run. We don’t have ideal conditions for sledding yet, since there is no base underneath the powder it is difficult to secure a snow hook, but it works okay to sled on the lakes surrounding our home. Hopefully February will bring some more snow so that we can go on longer runs – fingers and paws crossed!
We placed Tuisku and Lyra in lead, Gem and Thunder in swing, and Wilder and Hilary in wheel.
Wilder was hooked up last and nearly screamed his heart out when he thought he would be left behind…a Mtn Home dog that screams?? Must come from the *other side* of the pedigree LOL!
Lyra does well in lead together with Tuisku. As always – dogs learn best from other dogs.
Wilder is a typical yearling – he has a lot to learn about pacing himself and saving energy for the way back. But with some training we think he’ll be a fantastic sled dog, possibly even a leader.
Gem and Thunder are often paired up as they keep the same pace and work well together.
A bonus picture of Thunder for his fanclub 😉
Tuisku did a good job keeping the gangline taut during the hookup…
…after eight winters in harness, he knows all about conserving his energy before work 😉
The weather cleared up quickly after the storm on Saturday night. On Sunday morning we woke up to blue skies and a cold house so instead of staying in and waiting for the electricity to return we put our running shoes on and went for a trip to the coast. The snow-free beach is perfect for jogging and we had a nice day out with Gemma and Tuisku. People say that running is addictive and maybe it’s true, I mean, why walk when you can run?
♥ Our running buddies Gem and Tuisku ♥
The sand dunes are great for running…
…but after a while your legs feel like jelly.
Tuisku always gets wild when we go to beach but we didn’t let him go swimming this time as the temperature was below zero.
The sea has many faces – it can be wild and cold…
…and calm and inviting.
I love my new running shoes – Pytho 2-L BUGrip from Swedish Icebug. They are lightweight and water resistant and keep the feet dry in both rain and slush.
The sole has integrated steel studs which provide good traction on everything from ice to slippery rocks. A perfect shoe for safely walking and running the dogs during fall and winter.
Tuisku doesn’t need studs to manoeuvre on slippery surfaces – Malamute feet can do that naturally.
Our precious Gem at 6 years of age.
Posing for the camera 😉
And here’s another one of G & T together – they look so cute in their red harnesses.
The power didn’t return until late on Sunday night but it didn’t bother us much as we spent the whole day out of doors, cleaning up the garden after the storm and playing with the dogs. In fact, being without TV and internet during the weekend is not a bad thing. Maybe we’ll try that again next week?
We introduced Gemma to a new toy yesterday – the KONG Bounzer! In the adverts for this toy it says that dogs will go crazy for the KONG Bounzer and I can say without exaggeration, that’s exactly what happened – Gemma went totally wild!!! 🙂
Unlike most KONG toys the Bounzer isn’t designed to be stuffed with treats and it doesn’t squeak, instead this is a lightweight interactive toy with a handle on top which makes it great for tossing.
The Bounzer squishes and releases air when grabbed by the dog, before it quickly bounces back to its original shape. I think the quiet hiss of air is part of what makes this toy so intriguing.
This is fun!!!
When tossed and rolled the Bounzer bounced all over the place and gave Gemma a real workout!
The Bounzer comes in three sizes: Medium, Large and X-Large, we use X-Large for our Mals.
Nice attempt at a balancing act!
The determination in her eyes says it all 🙂
I’m gonna get you!
Weeeee!!! Gemma played nonstop for about 20 minutes with this toy. A perfect way to have fun on a cool morning or evening at home or in the park.
While the Bounzer is made from a durable material, this is NOT a toy that we let our dogs play with unsupervised. Instead we use the Bounzer for interactive games and when the play session is over we put the toy away until next time – that way its attraction will remain high and the toy will last longer. You can buy the KONG Bounzer from www.vetzoo.se in Sweden and from most well stocked pet stores around the world. Highly recommended for dogs that love to fetch and retrieve 🙂
The weeks are flying by right now and we’re busy from sunrise to sunset. I haven’t been able to keep up with my email lately due to a busy schedule at work, but I promise to get back to each and everyone as soon as my summer holiday starts. Below are some pics from this weekend’s agility fun with the gang. All dogs took part except for Thunder, who spent the day being pampered at Grandma’s. Our best jumpers are definitely Leia and Hilary who have great technique and fly effortlessly through the obstacles. But everyone did their best and had FUN! And that’s all that matters 🙂
We went for a long walk along the coast with Gemma and Thunder today. In spring and summer the coast is our favourite place to rewind and recharge our batteries. Our Malamutes love to play on the rocks and in and out of the water, it’s like a huge play park where they can run around for hours before finally settling down. Seeing our dogs so happy makes us happy, and I guess that’s what having dogs is all about 🙂
Gemma and Thunder were WILD today!
Even Gem, who isn’t normally keen on water, played with the waves today and got wet!
Must be that spring in the air?!
Quality time ♥
We often notice that new rocks have been added to the pile, but we never see any people around…
My favourite dog is always the one I’m spending time with.
Thunder is only 9 years of age, but he’s the oldest dog in our pack and deserves some extra TLC.
Gem loves to run off leash but we don’t trust her everywhere as she likes to chase birds and small animals when she gets the chance. The coast, however, is a good place to practise, as there are no roads or people anywhere near.
She found a patch of snow to have a good roll in. In a week or so, all traces of winter will be gone.
It was a beautiful today and if the forecast is right we have a warm and sunny week ahead of us.
Maybe spring and summer is finally here?
We went on a trip along the coast yesterday, skijoring on the ice of the Bothnian Bay with Gemma, Thunder and Tuisku. We call this stretch of coast our own “Little Greenland” and each time we visit we’re surprised there are no other visitors there, as this beautiful world of snow and ice is a fascinating place to explore. Skijoring on the ice can be tricky though, as in some places the ice is covered in a deep layer of snow and in other places the slippery surface is exposed which makes for a rather uneven ride. Since the ice can break up quickly due to strong currents we make sure always to stay on the landfast ice closest to the shoreline. Adventures are fun as long as they are safe.
On our way to “Little Greenland”
The snow covered chunks of sea ice in the distance look like the stiff peaks of a meringue pie.
Tuisku & Gem kept a good pace.
On the icier sections it was best to just stand on our skis and let the dogs pull us forward. None of the dogs slipped during our trip, seems they can handle ice pretty well.
It’s fun to run!
We found a sheltered spot where we stopped for a quick lunch break. Tuisku watched closely as we unpacked the picnic to see if there was something there for him 🙂
Thunder in front of a beautiful ice formation.
Miniature fells or meringue pie?
When travelling on skis, the ups and downs of the pack ice can be a real balancing act.
We spotted a lonely cabin on the easternmost point of the coast.
Wonder if this cabin is available for rent? Would be nice to stay here overnight to admire the sun set and rise over the sea while the wind is blowing outside. That’s my idea of a romantic weekend 😉
Gem and Thunder teamed up on our way home.
We had a great day by the coast and will be going back for more adventures later this spring. Judging by the conditions today, it looks like the ice will last well into April.
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?
The weather forecast promised sunshine and unusually mild temperatures for January so we decided to make the most of it and go for a weekend trip to Borgafjäll. This small mountain resort is situated by Lake Borga which is surrounded by two massive fells; North Borgafjäll and South Borgafjäll which are situated on the opposite sides of the beautiful Lake Borga. The border between Lapland and Jämtland is drawn across the lake, placing North Borgafjäll in Lapland and South Borgafjäll in Jämtland. We spent most of the weekend on the northern side of the lake, skijoring along the trail to the Slipsiken mountain hut, and to Saxnäs in the opposite direction.
The picturesque peaks of Klöverfjället provide the backdrop for the village of Borgafjäll.
The weather forecast was right – clear blue skies and no wind. A perfect day to climb the mountain!
On Sunday Fredrik went for a run with Tuisku, Thunder and Gem while I stayed in the cabin to rest my back a little. Fredrik reported that there wasn’t a single soul out on the trail that day, despite the amazing weather. Maybe the Borgafjäll villagers are still in hibernation?
The snowmobile season was just kicking off which meant that some trails were opened but most of them were still pretty soft. If you want the scenery all to yourself, and are prepared to sometimes break trail, then January is a good time to visit southern Lapland. However, if you want to travel on hard packed trails, you had better wait until March or April.
My sturdy Åsnes skis worked well on the crusty mountain trail. These skis are a few years old and Norwegian maker Åsnes now has a wider model called Breidablikk which is specifically designed for backcountry touring with dogs. Maybe I’ll add them to my birthday wishlist?
The weekend was a nice mix of work and play – Tuisku looks pretty chill doesn’t he?
We had a great time in Borgafjäll and would definitely like to return some other time to go on a longer excursion. There are trails in every direction starting from the village and if you have a week to your disposal you can ski or travel by dog sled to Klimpfjäll and Stekenjåkk in the northwest, to Marsfjället in the north, and to Frostviksfjällen in the south, or tour the entire area in a circle. It’s a real musher’s paradise, especially during the early part of winter, before the snowmobilers have invaded the trails. To see more photos from our weekend, jump to our Borgafjäll Gallery.
The forecast promised sunny weather so we swapped the coast for the mountains and have had a great Saturday on the trail today. It’s ten degrees colder than expected but stunningly beautiful. Will share some more pictures when we get back home. Have a great weekend everyone!
Things don’t always go according to plan. Just as the sledding season was kicking off I had to visit hospital to undergo back surgery due to a slipped disc that has caused me pain for a really long time. The surgery went well and I’ve now been allowed to return home. However, while my back is healing, I have to stay away from both skijoring and sledding. I bet you can imagine I’m more than a bit frustrated right now. Hopefully, if I follow doctor’s orders, my back will heal sooner rather than later but it will still take a long time before things are back to normal. In this kind of situation it’s good to have back up and luckily my mum lives just next door to us and can help out with the dogs when needed. Fredrik does most of the work but when he’s occupied my mum helps out with feeding and watering the dogs for example, and she also takes them out for walks. I’ve been watching their activities through the window today, feeling a little sorry for myself as I can’t go out and enjoy the snow. But as long as the dogs are happy I shouldn’t complain, we have a long winter and hopefully I won’t miss out on the entire season.
Thunder’s looking handsome in any weather.
Tuisku and Hilary hanging out with Fredrik in the playarea.
Look at Tuisku’s face… 🙂
Leia comes out from her dog house and gets a big kiss!
Grandma Kaisa and Gemmy go for a walk. This is fun says Gemma!
Since I have to take to easy at the moment I’m taking the opportunity to do some good reading. Right now I have three books lined up: “City Wolves” by Canadian author and Malamute owner Dorris Heffron, “On Time Delivery – the dog team mail carriers” by William S. Schneider, and “Malamute Man – Memoirs of an Arctic Traveler” by Joe G. Henderson. Three really interesting books which in different ways tell stories about sled dogs and Malamutes. I will post full reviews when I’ve finished reading them. Have a good weekend everyone!