Archive for the ‘Hilary’ Categoryby Northernmost on March 5, 2013 in Daily Life, Hilary, Tuisku with No Comments
Today was a perfect day for just staying home and being lazy. I took some pics of Hilary while she was playing with her favourite black Kong. This toy disappears in the snow during every snowfall but Hilary always finds it and brings it up to the surface again
If we sit pretty, maybe we’ll get a treat??
There’s a blizzard raging outside so instead of being out sledding I’m catching up on some work in front of the computer today, even though it’s Saturday. The snow is really dumping down right now so I wonder if I’ll have to shovel my way into the dog pens in the morning??
Have a happy weekend everyone!
We had a visit from Fredrik’s mum’s Labrador James who had a good romp in the snow with Hilary and Lyra. James is an extremely good natured dog and a great playmate who can keep up with (and wear out!) even the most exuberant Malamute teenager. If we have a litter in the future we’ll have to borrow him for puppy play sessions as this fun loving boy is a perfect introduction to other breeds.
Are you tired already??
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!
These photos are from yesterday when the sun came out for a while during our morning run. Today when I went sledding with Lyra and Titan the weather was grayer than gray. It was so cold and windy that I think the dogs were almost happy to return to the cosy calm of their dog houses. According to the termometer it is only -15C (5F) outside but the wind chill must have added at least another ten to that, brrr! Now I’m going to cuddle up under a blanket with a big cup of chocolate and finish the book I’m reading.
I’m expecting Fredrik home later this evening with news from the Swedish Alaskan Malamute Club’s annual general meeting in Jämtland which he has attended this weekend. Always interesting to hear what’s been said and what’s been decided. Fredrik is now on the club’s board, hopefully that will help us move the club in the direction we hope for – towards a stronger focus on preserving the Breed Standard, highlighting health issues, and making the club more democratic for all involved. Since it is my birthday today, these are my three wishes!
We had a big dump of snow this week and had to spend Friday evening and all day yesterday “rediscovering” our snowed over trails. Maintaining and grooming trails is time consuming, especially when you’d rather spend time with the dogs, but it’s nice to have decent trails to sled on so we try to keep them open the best we can. This morning our hard work was rewarded as we woke up to clear blue skies and brilliant sunshine. I took four of our dogs out on a fun ride while Fredrik went ice fishing. A perfect start to February!
Hilary, Thunder and Lyra wait while I get the sled and the lines ready.
And off we go!
Hilary and Tuisku in lead, Thunder and Lyra in wheel.
Few things are so beautiful as nature on the first sunny day after a storm.
We stopped for a break in a sunny spot to practise “settle down”. We try to include a brief rest stop on every run to make our youngsters, Lyra and Hilary, accustomed to the stakeout. This type of training will come handy when we go on overnight trips and need to secure the dogs at night. Thunder, good boy, already knows how to settle down.
Sledog Dream Leaper, aka Lyra, will be 18 months of age next week.
Flirting with the camera or just sun in her eyes?
Hilary, also 18 months in February, with some sugar on top.
Tuisku looked sleepy in the sun, I think he was still a little tired from Saturday, when he ran off leash alongside the snowmobile while Fredrik was grooming our trails.
Going home in the afternoon, the sun was still visible above the tree tops.
February means longer and brighter days and more time to spend on the trail.
Oh happy days!! :)
We went for a picnic today with Lyra, Hilary, Tuisku and Thunder. The sun was well hidden behind the clouds but it was still a nice day for an outing. We followed the forest trail to the sea bay and sledded along the shorelines of the islands in the archipelago. It’s a different experience sledding on the flat expanses of the ice. Not as exciting perhaps as a mountain trip but still an adventure. We saw a cliff island that we want to return to later in spring. Bet it’s a nice place to soak up some sun in March or April.
Heading out on the sea bay near our home.
Tuisku and Lyra worked together.
And Hilary & Thunder.
Tuisku had to work hard to keep up with eager Lyra who pulled like a locomotive today.
We stopped for a picnic where the bay opened up to the sea. This is where the trail ended and we didn’t want to be the first to break trail on deep water ice.
While Fredrik and the dogs ate most of our picnic I had fun taking photos.
At eight and seven years of age, Thunder and Tuisku have never been more beautiful.
Sweet like sugar :)
Hilary too did well today and enjoyed working with her older buddy Thunder.
Thunder has taken a fancy to Hilary and spent every available moment courting her – licking her ears and grooming her coat, and she’s not even in season ;)
We had a nice Saturday in the snow, now it’s time to take the rest of the family for a walk and then end the evening with a good movie. Happy 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!
We kicked-off the sledding season with a weekend trip to magical Aktse. Aktse is an old mountain settlement in Swedish Lapland, known also as The Gate to Sarek. This is where many hikers start their journey into Sarek, which is a large and mountainous wilderness area located north of the Arctic Circle. Dogs are only allowed to enter the Sarek National Park between January and April so we could go no further than Aktse. But from here we enjoyed amazing views into the famous u-shaped Rapadalen valley.
Surrounded by three distinct mountains; Tjahkkelij, Nammásj, and the holy mountain of Skierffe, Aktse is a unique place in many ways. For over 200 years a Sámi family has maintained a homestead on the meadows just below Skierffe, making their living from hunting and fishing, and later also by providing a boat-taxi service to summer visitors. The Swedish Tourist Association (STF) has a mountain hut close to the homestead but this time of the year all guests are long gone and won’t return until February, when the sun yet again rises above the horizon.
Heading towards Aktse on the ice of Lake Lájtávrre. We kept as close to the shore as possible as the ice conditions are still unpredictable in early December.
Fredrik and I enjoy visiting the mountains during the off-season, the scenery is so quiet and beautiful this time of the year – like a dream in blue, pink and white.
Our initial plan was to run three dogs in front of the Nordic sled and attach both mine and Fredrik’s skijoring line to it, but the trail turned out to be so narrow in many places that there wasn’t room for both of us. Instead we placed Thunder and Hilary in front of the sled, while Tuisku had “the day off” and pulled only me behind. As you can see in the photo, Tuisku was all fired up and eager to go.
Passing through the snowclad virgin forests of Ultevis Fjällurskog Nature Reserve.
Fredrik, Hilary and Thunder with Tjahkkelj in the background.
The name Aktse means “nine” in the Lule Sámi language and, according to the legend, nine bears have been killed near the large “aktsekallio” boulder which rests on the ridge leading up to Skierffe.
Luckily we didn’t encounter any bears on our trip, but reindeer and elks crossed our path on Sunday.
Hilary completed two legs towards her WTD-title during this excursion. She has a fantastic pulling ability and always wants to keep going, regardless of weather or trail conditions. These are qualities that we really value in a Malamute and since we run small teams, the effort of each dog really counts.
We had planned to spend the night camping under the star-studded sky but the winds picked up during Saturday evening and the combination of strong winds and chilly -22C (-8F) made us opt to sleep indoors instead (as a precaution we had borrowed the key to one of the cabins). When we arrived to the cabin the indoor temperature was -13C (9F) so we had to work hard to keep the fire going and warm up the place to an acceptable sleeping temperature. After feeding the dogs and ourselves we listened to classical music on the battery-powered radio and stayed awake until the candles burned out. A very relaxing weekend in the mountains and a great start to the sledding season. You can see some more photos from our trip in our Aktse Gallery.
We left home before 3.00 p.m. today and it was already dark. Without fresh batteries in our headlamps we couldn’t see much of the trail in front of us and when a thick fog settled over the forest we couldn’t see anything. Luckily the dogs can see and sense the trail better than us and took all the right turns in the woods.
Thunder and Hilary were well matched in wheel, working with synchronized steps and heads down.
Hilary is learning a lot from the older boys. When she gets too impatient, her natural instinct is to chew the lines but with some training she’s learning to sit down and wait for the command “Go!”.Thunder was a line chewer too as a puppy but is better behaved today…
…but when he thinks we’re not watching…!!
After nearly a month of constant rain we woke up this morning to blue skies and a garden covered in glimmering frost. The thermometer showed minus three degrees Celsius – perfect weather for running dogs! We decided to hook up the girls and take them for a spin with two of our experienced boys, Tuisku and Thunder, to see what they remembered from last spring. Hilary and Lyra haven’t worked in harness since April, as we have wanted to give them time to grow and develop during summer, and just be “pups” for a while. They are now 14 months of age and seem ready to start a new working season. As soon as we put their harnesses on this morning they leaped into the air with excitement!
We placed Hilary and Tuisku in lead and Thunder and Lyra in wheel. Next time it will be Lyra’s turn to work up front. We always try our young dogs in different positions before we see which position they excel in naturally. Just as important as drive, is the ability to listen and learn.
Even though the girls have had a long break from work in harness, they knew exactly what to do and continue to impress us with their focus and drive.
Both girls stepped up today!
The frost from the morning lasted all day – now it won’t be long before winter is here
Today was a beautiful autumn day, perfect for going on a small packing trip in the forest near our home. Hilary is still too young to carry weighs so we filled her bags with lighter stuff, just to make her accustomed to carrying a bulky pack in preparation for future packing trips. She did not seem to mind the pack at all, so that’s a good sign.
My trail companions: Thunder 8 years old and Hilary 13 months.
The forest is beautiful in autumn, no mosquitoes to worry about, just soft and quiet.
There’s still plenty of ripe blueberries so we stopped to grab some along the trail.
Hilary looks more and more like her handsome sire, Jake.
Especially in this picture…
We practised “sit” in many different places today, here on top of a rock :)
This summer we have been on many smaller hikes but it has mainly been along the trails by the coast. I miss the mountains…hopefully we will be able to squeeze in a longer packing trip before winter. *Fingers crossed it won’t snow until November*