Archive for the ‘Leia’ Categoryby Northernmost on February 27, 2013 in Daily Life, Leia with No Comments
Our Leia Bear is 8 years old today! We celebrated her birthday by going for a long walk in the sunshine. The thermometer showed +9C (48F), so it’s too warm to work the dogs in harness but hopefully it will cool down again by the end of the week. Leia loves to go on off-leash walks and play rough games in the snow with her buddy Thunder. Ever since they first met (when Leia was 8 weeks old and Thunder 9 months) she has had him right under her thumb. Luckily, Thunder doesn’t seem to mind one bit. Happy Birthday Leia Bear, we love you!
Snowhow Shade of Raven, WTD, aka Leia, 8 Years Old!
When I went out to fetch the dogs at noon I was greeted by this smiley face. When Tuisku sees a harness he knows we’re going sledding!
I took Tuisku and the Big Bears for a run along the village trail, a perfect way to spend my lunchbreak. It was only -8C (18F), that’s mild weather for January.
Three elks crossed our path but the snowhook held the team in place. In Lapland we had reindeer encounters practically every day, so Tuisku, Thunder and Leia are quite used to wildlife. But of course, elks look and smell a bit different from reindeer. And they’re bigger too!
Despite the mild weather the ice conditions are good this year and we can travel safely on lakes and sea bays. This gives us more options for sledding and means we can vary our runs more.
So far this winter we haven’t had more than one week of really cold weather. The temperature has rarely dropped below -20C (-4F) during Nov-Jan. I guess that means February will be really freezing!
It was way too beautiful to stay home today so I went for a gentle run with the dogs in the afternoon. To avoid putting any strain on my back I stood completely still on the runners and let Tuisku, Leia and Thunder do all the work. My back is healing well and I’m fine walking and standing up now. Sitting down, however, is not comfortable so I try to avoid that as much as possible. The dogs have noticed from the way I’m walking that I’m a little fragile right now so they didn’t jump up to greet me in their usual boisterous way. But they were eager to hit the trail and we had a nice run through the wintry forest. S n o w = h a p p i n e s s 🙂
The trail was groomed to perfection yesterday but more snow fell during the night.
Happy Mals – Leia & Thunder
Tuisku takes a breather.
Travelling home through winter wonderland.
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!
Went on a nice run with Tuisku, Thunder and Leia this evening. We explored a new trail which turned out to be mostly uphill, but the trio did well, especially Tuisku in lead. Thanks to the cool and rainy weather we’ve had this summer we’ve been able to go on many early morning and late evening runs and the dogs have stayed in good condition, even during what’s normally our “lazy months”. Will be interesting to see how this will affect our sledding season, maybe we’ll be ready to hit the longer trails early in winter?
Waterbreak, about halfway into the trail.
Is there an end to that uphill??
When things are busy at work and the days are quickly getting shorter it’s great to have an agility course at home where we can activate our dogs without having to travel anywhere. In less than five minutes the obstacles are assembled and we’re ready to go. Today was a perfect day for agility as the grass was dry and the sun came out from behind the clouds. As soon as we bring out the obstacles the dogs start howling “Can I go first?!!”, “No, me, me!!”, as everyone wants to have a go at this fun game. Leia and Thunder were most eager so we let them and Titan and Gem do agility today and then ended the evening with a walk along the coast with Tuisku and the girls. Feels good to know that we’ve involved all dogs in fun activities, despite being quite tired after work. Managing a multidog household is not an easy game, but we love it 🙂
Having happy dogs is our main goal, always.
Our Gem inside the tunnel.
Titan is polishing his jumping skills.
Summer is nearly over but the sea is still warm enough for a swim. Last evening we brought Tuisku and Leia along for some fun on the beach. Tuisku has always loved to swim and play in water while for Leia it has been a more gradual process. She usually waits to see how Tuisku gets on before she enters the water herself. When we returned home it was dark and the temperature was just a couple of degrees above freezing. Time to start preparing for fall and winter!
Here are some pics from last Sunday’s agility session. Two of our girls are in season right now so we do our best to distract the boys with fun activities to make them focus on something else than just “GIRLS” for a while 😉
Leia goes absolutely crazy when we bring out the agilty obstacles, she loves it!
Tuisku trotting out from the closed chute.
Lyra waits while Fredrik adjusts the height. This pretty pup turned 1 year old last week – time flies!
Sunday is Funday for our Mals as if the weather allows we practise agility together in the garden. All our Mals LOVE agility and can hardly wait for their turn. Some are natural jumpers while others do better at the more “brainy” obstacles. We have lots of fun training at home and also take classes whenever they are available. At the moment we are nowhere near ready to compete with our dogs but it’s a great way of bonding and having fun together, while keeping bodies and brains in good shape!
Lyra tries out the tyre jump.
Thunder practises the weave poles.
Tuisku completes the chute.
AGILITY IS FUN!!!
I love the way Leia’s body language speaks for itself in this photo – her tail is up, her ears are forward and she has one paw placed demonstratively on Tuisku’s shoulder, saying hey boy, I’m the boss around here. 😉
Leia, Thunder and Tuisku in 2006.
The mosquitoes that have plagued us since midsummer are beginning to disappear and the cool evenings are once again perfect for running the dogs in front of the cart. We went out late this evening, thinking we’d have the quiet country road to ourselves. Apparently the equestrian folks in the area were thinking the same, as we encountered a woman riding a big horse, a man driving a sulky and a group of kids walking a pony together with their two dogs. Felt like an entire circus was on the road tonight!
While most Malamutes prefer to live either outdoors in kennel facilities, or indoors as house pets, some dogs have individual needs that must be considered when arranging their housing. Our 7-year-old girl Leia is allergic to house dust mites which means that she can’t spend a lot of time indoors with us without developing an itch and sometimes also hot spots. However, the soft coat she developed after being spayed is not ideal for living permanently outdoors during wet weather and therefore we have come up with an alternative solution; Leia and her buddy Thunder sleep inside our barn, in a clean and dry environment that is free from the house dust mites that thrive in the indoor environment provided by homes, specifically in bedding, carpets and fabrics.
Leia stepping out on a beautiful day in June.
We have built dog houses in the barn to keep them warm in winter and from their indoor quarters they have a doggy door to their large outdoor enclosure and can go in and out as they please. Through this set-up we have managed to almost eliminate Leia’s skin problems. She hasn’t had a hot spot in many months and both Leia and Thunder seem to love their comfy accommodation at the “Malamute Inn”.
A sleepy Thunder early in the morning.
There exist different types of mites, besides the house dust mite there are also different types of “storage mites” that live on poorly stored foods in cupboards, on kitchen floors and are often associated with barns, hay and stored grains. Luckily, Leia is only allergic to the house dust mite, not the storage mite, so for her, living in the barn is the ideal solution. In dogs, atopic dermatitis and eczema are quite often caused by an allergy to mites. You can read more about this problem on these pages: