Archive for the ‘DOGS’ Categoryby Northernmost on January 13, 2015 in HEALTH, Health Exams, Hilary, Wilder with No Comments
Hilary, Mtn Home’s Northernmost Hiking Hilary, WTD, and Wilder, Mtn Home’s NM A Touch of The Wild, WTD, had their eyes examined today and passed with clear/normal eyes! Congratulations to their breeders Sue and Roy Fuller!
Wilder and Hilary in April 2014.
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 ♥
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!! ★ ★ ★
On Boxing Day we woke up to brilliant sunshine and packed our bags for a picnic by the sea. My six-year-old nephew Calle first didn’t think that visiting the beach in December was a great idea, but once we got there he realised that the beach is actually a big playground also in winter. Hilary and Wilder had fun too, although they had to remain on leash throughout the picnic, as Hilary would otherwise have jumped straight into the water (most probably accompanied by her partner in crime) and we didn’t fancy having to blow dry two wet dogs on our return home, as even with a HV dryer it takes a couple of hours to get their thick coats completely dry.
We enjoy visiting the beach during all seasons and I’m always amazed to see how different it can look depending on the weather, the time of the day and whether it is high or low tide. On Boxing Day the snow sparkled on the ground and the sea was calm and crystal clear – it was one of those days that will be etched in my memory for a long time to come.
♥ My sister and my Mom ♥
A fast way of cooling down hot chocolate!
Hilary is dying to jump into the water here – an excellent opportunity to train impulse control.
Calle collecting *ice diamonds* from the shoreline.
Fancy a swim?
When the sun started to sink into the sea we packed our bags and returned home.
A great Boxing Day!
While we’re waiting for winter to arrive we’re making the most of the mild weather by working on the new hut in the dogs’ play area. The idea is to create a cosy place where the dogs can find shelter from wind and rain, and from heat in summer, when spending time in their play area during daytime. Normally, if it’s pouring down we let the dogs return to their pens but when the new hut is ready the plan is to let them spend more time in the forest enclosure instead. There is still some work to do on the hut, we need to lay down the floor and build the rear wall, and add metal liners to the edges of the roof to make the hut more chew-proof, but at least the major work is done now. We look forward to letting the dogs try out their new hut, though it wouldn’t surprise me if they choose to stay outside in the rain instead of seeking shelter inside. Malamutes are not made of sugar – even though they are often sugar sweet 😉
It’s been a great weekend for training, still no snow but low temperatures so we’ve had some nice runs with the dogs. Right now we’re mostly using a local trail which runs in loops in the forest between our village and the next. This is our favourite trail for off-snow training as the soft sand is gentle on the dogs’ feet and perfect to run on until the snow arrives. Unfortunately my camera refused to cooperate and nearly all shots came out off-focus but below are a few snaps anyway – felt great to see Tuisku back on the trail today, even if he just came along for a shorter round.
A happy Wilder ♥
Hilary and Wilder pulling hard uphill. I love how dedicated these two are!
Tuisku (in the back) is wondering what’s the hold up??
Tuisku hasn’t been working in harness for a long while but our vet suggested that we try him on some shorter runs to see how his foot holds up. He seemed fine after the run but we’ll have to watch him carefully to see if we notice any changes during the next few days – fingers crossed!
Three happy tails!
♥ Happy dogs, happy life ♥
Hilary took part in a dog playdate in Skellefteå today and had a great time running off leash together with eleven other dogs of different breeds. There were three males present and eight bitches and apart from a minor squabble between two males everyone got along fine. Visiting a dog park isn’t something that we would normally do with our Malamutes (you can read an article about the pros and cons of dog parks here) but since Hilary genuinely enjoys playing with dogs of different breeds and gets along with dogs of both sexes, we decided to give it a try. Hilary first looked surprised to see so many new dogs in one place, but it didn’t take long before she joined in the fun!
Photographer Jörgen S Öfjäll took this great pic from the dog park today. You can see more of his great dog action photos on his flickr page: flickr.com/photos/jstonehill/
Another great shot by Jörgen S Öfjäll – there are five dogs in the picture!
My own pics didn’t have quite the same sharpness but at least you can see that everyone – big and small – are having fun together.
The organisers of this weekly event have set up rules for behaviour for both dogs and owners and the focus is on making sure the playtime is fun and safe for everyone.
Being a Malamute, Hilary is perhaps a little more concerned about canine etiquette than many other breeds, but all the dogs that were present today had a well developed language and got along fine. Someone said that “Dog parks are for dogs that already have good social skills; it is not the place for a dog to learn them.” and I fully agree with that notion.
There are three girls and a boy in this picture.
Hilary had the chance to socialise with puppies and toddlers too…
Here she is greeting a cute Finnish Lapphund bitch.
Playing at the dog park was a new experience for Hilary – but it was a wholly positive one. A big thank you to Nanna and Lovisa for organising this event!
Remembering one evening in Lapland a number of years ago…Leia and I were snuggling up on the couch after an eventful run with the sled in heavy snowfall. It was late in March and the snow was already mushy and the ice on lakes and rivers was starting to open up. When we crossed Lake Ounasjärvi on our way home from the fells, I stepped through the ice up to my hips. The water was painfully cold and when the ice was beginning to break up around the dogs in front of me, I knew that we had to make a fast move and go back the same way we had come before we plunged any deeper. Luckily, when the other dogs pulled desperately in every direction, clever-girl Leia listened to my “turn around” command and managed to pull the team safely back to the shore.
Leia has always been reliable that way – a dog who knows when it’s time to work and when it’s time to play. She hasn’t exactly been the kind of Malamute who jumps with joy at the sight of her harness, however. On more than one occasion she has tried to escape the task by hiding in the back of her dog house! But once hooked up to the team, Leia runs like a locomotive and she always puts in a higher gear on the way home 🙂
I took half-day off from work today to spend some quality time with Tuisku. Since Tuisku cannot work in harness due to his foot injury (involving the extensor digitorum longus muscle in his rear foot) we try to compensate for that by spending some extra time with him doing other things instead. Today was a perfect day for hiking so Tuisku and I headed for the sea where we hiked along the coastal trail for a few hours between noon and dusk. The temperature was only a few degrees above freezing but Tuisku still had to go for a swim – it doesn’t matter if the water is ice-cold, swimming is compulsory unless the sea is covered by ice! We had a nice time together, training left and right commands along the invisible trail and sit-stays in front of the camera.
Our dog physio has recommended that we take Tuisku for walks in uneven terrain as it encourages the use of the affected muscles and also helps rebuild lost muscle mass. An untrained eye probably wouldn’t notice that Tuisku has an injury, but when you study his right rear foot more carefully, you can see that he doesn’t extend some of his toes fully. Nevertheless, Tuisku is still running around and the injury doesn’t seem to stop him from being a happy dog. And that’s the main thing.
In this picture you can see that his right foot isn’t in the same position as his left foot. He doesn’t limp when walking or running, he just doesn’t extend his toes properly.
We had wonderful weather today – Tuisku enjoyed the sunshine too.
I took plenty of pics as the light was so beautiful.
I even managed to get a photo of us together using the self-timer. But I couldn’t convince Tuisku to look into the camera and smile – maybe next time?
Hot chocolate and a cinnamon bun tastes good when you’re out hiking.
♥ ♥ ♥
Tuisku got in a hurry when we came close to the beach…
Yay! Time for a swim!
Tuisku is definitely a Dog of the North, he shakes off icy water like a polar bear.
I think someone had a good time today!
Imagine my surprise this evening when I opened the door to go for a walk and found the garden covered in a thick layer of snow! Plenty can happen when you get stuck in front of the computer for a couple of hours. I’m glad we stowed away the lawn mower and the agility obstacles yesterday, as that part of the year is clearly over.
The first layer of white fluff usually doesn’t last more than a couple of days here on the coast but there’s always something special about catching that real first snow of the season, even if it’s just for a few moments. Suddenly the world becomes brighter, sounds are muted and our Malamutes are smiling with their eyes and with their tails as they leap through the snow like big cats. You can tell how much they love winter by the way they chase snowflakes and dive into the drifts head first – snow must be in their genes!
I didn’t see much during our 9-kilometre evening walk, only the snowflakes that blew across the light of my headlamp. I walk this route almost every evening, bringing different dogs on different days, but tonight I had to guess where we were at times, as everything looked so different when covered in snow. Also, there was a new moon tonight, so no light in the sky to rely on. Glad the dogs know their way in every weather – they probably wondered why I was walking so slowly behind them, but I could hardly see two steps in front of me!
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.