Archive for the ‘Lyra’ 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!
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’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 :-)
Snow has been falling all weekend and we have been skijoring on the now barely visible trail that Fredrik started packing on Thursday. When you are dressed for the weather it’s fun gliding through heavy falling snow, you can almost not see the dogs in front of you and have to guess where the next bump on the trail will be – but I love the feeling of being one with the weather and having to rely on the dogs to find the best way home. That’s what Malamutes are all about, if you ask me. The big flakes continue to fall this evening and it’s starting to look a lot like real winter. Yay!!!
There is beauty in this weather too
Nearly home after a run on the lake.
Wilder, 2 years old, and Lyra, 3.5 years old – two excellent working dogs with family ties; Lyra’s sire Mtn Home’s Spring In The Air, WLD, ROMWD, aka “Sunny”, is Wilder’s maternal grandfather.
Åsnes Breidablikk Jaktskis are a good choice for snowy days as they provide good buoyancy in deep, unpacked snow. Since these skis lack metal edges they are ideal for skijoring with dogs.
Hilary and Tuisku heading out on the trail.
Yup, we love daddy ♥
We had a visit from Fredrik’s mother and her husband during the weekend and Hilary and Lyra got a playdate with their 3-year-old Labrador James. Both girls have played with James about 2-3 times before and they always have a blast together. Lyra doesn’t seem to object much to James’s “lack of etiquette”, or maybe I should say – typical Lab behaviour – she just loves to play with someone who is as wild and crazy as she is. Hilary, on the other hand, is a little more educating in her approach but still has loads of fun playing with James, who must be the happiest dog on earth. We thought about letting Wilder join in on the fun too, but since the girls have come out of season only a few days ago we decided that it’s better to let them meet away from home. As always with Malamutes, it’s best to let dogs of the same sex meet on a neutral ground, rather than introducing them on either’s home turf.
Yesterday was Lyra’s 3rd birthday so we decided to dedicate the whole day to things that make Lyra happy. In the morning we trained agility in the garden with all dogs, but Lyra had some extra time on the course, and after that we went to the beach for some wild running in the sand with her buddy Wilder. In the evening we went to Skellefteå for a stroll around town, which provided plenty of new impressions on a Saturday night. Lyra is not a dog that tires easily but after yesterday’s mix of physical and mental exercise I think she was ready to call it a day when we drove home late at night. Happy B’day Lyra and to all her siblings in the UK!!
Sledog Dream Leaper, WTD, aka Lyra, at 3 years of age.
We trained agility in the morning when the weather was still cool.
Then we headed for the beach for some wild games by the seashore.
Wilder was lucky to be chosen as Lyra’s birthday date. As you can see, we all got a bit wet and muddy from playing in the waves. We stayed on the beach until the late afternoon. The beach is really our second home.
After supper we went into town and strolled around Skellefteå city centre with the “baldies”.
There’s plenty to do, see and smell in town, especially for our country bumpkin Mals ;-)
After a long day filled with activities both Wilder and Lyra seemed quite content with their day. I think I even heard Lyra snore in her crate as we travelled home
Lyra had her pretty brown eyes examined yesterday with clear results! Congratulations to her breeders Nicola Singh and Stuart Winterton of Sledog Alaskan Malamutes & Greenland Dogs. We are lucky to have a certified ophthalmologist just 30 minutes away from home, which is quite a difference to when we lived in Lapland, and had to travel four hours to get to the nearest clinic. This was Lyra’s first exam but she sat on the table like a pro and the ophthalmologist got a good look into her eyes. I’m always surprised to see how well the dogs cope with having the lights turned off inside a small room while a stranger gazes into their eyes using a bright light. Maybe they are hypnotised into obedience?
We recently weighed and measured Lyra and she is 59 cm (23.2″) and weighs 32 kg (70.55 lb). That’s pretty much spot on what we guessed when she was a puppy
A perfect treat on a hot summer’s day is a FROZEN KONG with yummy things stuffed inside. A frozen Kong keeps our Mals busy for up to an hour, which is a decent amount of time for a treat. When the afternoon heat starts to get uncomfortable, we bring out the Kongs from the freezer and let our Mals enjoy themselves as they work on licking out the cool and tasty contents. You can use a wide variety of foods as filling, as long as it is something safe that your dog likes to eat. If you want to make it really simple, fill the Kong with fat-free Greek yoghurt and pop it in the freezer for a few hours and voilà! The party can begin!
Doggie Ice Cream
Mix the mashed banana with the peanut butter and honey, and then blend in the yogurt. Pour into a clean Kong, seal the openings with some peanut butter and place upright in a sandwich bag in the freezer overnight.
- 2 dl (1 cup) low-fat natural Greek Yogurt
- 1 mashed banana
- 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons natural honey
We use both red and black Kongs but if your Malamute is a heavy chewer the ultra-strong black version, the Kong Extreme, is the safest option. So far, none of our Mals have been able to chew a Kong Extreme into pieces. Make sure the Kong is the right size for your dog.
In the photo above is also a blue Kong Quest Starpod. This toy can also be stuffed with treats but is only suitable for very light chewers, or young puppies, and should only be used under close supervision and be removed as soon as your dog is done.
The Doggie Ice Cream is a favourite on hot summer days and even dogs who normally aren’t interested in chew toys will queue up for their “Kooling Kong”. Remember to carefully wash the Kong with hot water afterwards, and remove any bits in the bottom that your dog may have missed. You can pop the Kong in the dishwasher too.
Hilary carefully licks out the contents of her frozen Kong.
Peanut Butter & Carrot Kong
- Chop three carrots into small pieces.
- Stir the pieces into about 1dl (1/2 cup) of smooth peanut butter.
- Stuff a clean Kong with the mix, seal with some peanut butter and place upright in a sandwich bag in the freezer overnight, or at least for a few hours.
Another favourite among our Mals is the Peanut Butter & Carrot Kong. If your dog is completely new to Kong toys you can smear a little peanut butter on the ends, or place a thin chew stick inside the Kong with the end sticking out of the opening as an encouragement.
Peanut butter is great for sealing the open ends of the Kong and can be used with any recipe to fill in the gaps. The healthiest alternative for your dog (and for yourself) is an all-natural organic peanut butter without added salt, sugar or trans fats.
If your dog isn’t keen on carrots you can use a grated apple instead. Blueberries and banana, and your dog’s kibble, can be added too.
Lyra’s favourite is the Doggie Ice Cream with yogurt inside.
Mmmm this is yummy!
Hilary is looking for ways to get to the inside quicker!
♥ Thanks for the treat mom! ♥
+31°C (87°F) and we’re melting away here on the northern coast. It’s too hot to do anything much but a bit of Rally training in the garden works fine, as long as we return to the shade quickly afterwards. We haven’t trained Rally-O since November last year so yesterday’s session was a bit rocky. Still, it is fun to see how much the dogs remember, especially Wilder who has only tried his paws at this sport once or twice before. What’s so great about Rally is that you are permitted to talk, praise and encourage your dog, and use unlimited commands and hand signals. Rally is a positive sport in many ways and a great option for those who dislike the stuffiness of formal obedience.
We have printed and laminated all the Novice Rally signs so we can use them for training in any weather. If you want to buy SBK’s signs for Novice class in soft plastic, you find them here.
Titan and I practise the “Halt – Down – Walk Around Dog”
According to Swedish Rally regulations, you are not allowed to use treats or toys in the ring but we do of course use plenty of rewards during training. I do my best to avoid using the leash to steer the dog in position, as in rally points are deducted every time the leash is tight (in the more advanced classes the dog is working off leash). However, I sometimes forget about the leash and that’s why it’s good to film your training sessions, so that you can spot mistakes and correct them.
Not sure what Titan thinks about Rally?? LOL
Below is a video with some clips of me training with Lyra and Wilder. Btw, you won’t recognise Wilder as he barely has a hair on his body. At least he’s dressed for the weather! After yesterday’s session I know that there are several areas that need improvement; we need to improve our sits, as they are often more than 45 degrees out of heel position, improve call fronts, and our turns are too sloppy. I also need to improve Wilder’s heelwork, as he is often crowding me. Well, there are many areas that need improving but hey, that’s what training is all about!