Archive for the ‘DOGS’ Categoryby Northernmost on April 8, 2014 in ACTIVITIES & WORK, Hilary, Lapland, Lyra, Skijoring & Sledding, Titan, Wilder with No Comments
Someone said that Lapland is a place where heaven touches the earth and I think it’s true, especially on a sunny day in spring. When the sky is blue and you’re up above the treeline, it feels as if you could almost reach out and touch the candy floss clouds with your hands. We had a wonderful time out on the trail and I’ve taken lots of photos that I’ve uploaded to a gallery. Below are some of our favourite moments from a trip that can be summed up by “perfect weather and perfect dogs” 🙂
Hello mountains here we come!
The dogs ran like clockwork, despite not having had much training on snow this winter.
Titan and Lyra teamed up well.
Me & our Miss Congeniality aka Hilary.
Fredrik setting up our tent in the snow – clear skies meant a cold night but we managed with reindeer hides and down sleeping bags. I kept my feet warm wearing nuvttagat.
From left to right – Wilder, Hilary, Titan and Lyra.
This was Wilder’s first multiday excursion and he did everything we asked from him – worked like a pro in front of the pulk and slept quietly on the stakeout at night. His big sis is a good teacher!
You could almost touch the sky here.
This was around 8.00 o’clock in the morning – we got up when it was still dark to feed the dogs and when we hit the trail a couple of hours later we had it all to ourselves.
Love my new small-sized Polaris sled – it glides on the snow like a dream.
Lyra found herself a good lookout spot – she likes to keep an eye on everything that’s going on.
Titan doing his signature snow roll 😉
♥ Happiness is tired dogs ♥
Mtn Home’s NM A Touch of The Wild
At 15 months Wilder has a lot of growing to do but he’s already a very handsome Malamute ♥
The yearning for snow became so strong that we decided to travel up to Lapland for a couple of weeks of real winter! There are HEAPS of snow in Lapland and everything is just the way it should be in April: heavy snowfall one day, brilliant sunshine the next and the trails are still frozen and fast. We’ve brought along Hilary, Wilder, Lyra and Titan and look forward to a fun holiday together. Lapland in April is pure bliss 🙂
Finally some snow !!!
The KONG Safestix is a great alternative for dogs who love to play with sticks but need a safer toy that can be carried around, chewed, thrown and fetched without inflicting injuries.Our vet once showed us his thick file with photos of dogs that had been admitted to his clinic due to various injuries caused by sticks…it was scary stuff that worked as a real eye opener! Nowadays when our dogs pick up a stick in the garden we encourage them to play with the Safestix instead. It’s a safe toy that can’t break into pieces and that works equally well in summer and winter. We haven’t tried it in water yet but since it floats it should be a great toy for the beach too! Just one word of warning – the Safestix is a *weird looking toy* and in a non-dog context it may seem odd lying around your house 😉
The flexible Safestix is made of durable plastic and long enough for two dogs to share comfortably.
The rounded ends make it easy to grab and throw and to play tug of war with 🙂
Available in vibrant colours it is easy to find in snow and grass.
We use size Large for our adult Mals.
And no, we are not sponsored by KONG…
….we just like recommending safe toys to other Mal owners 🙂
♥ Happy weekend everyone ♥
It’s amazing how much fun you can have with a little red ball…
The KONG Stuff-A-Ball is a durable rubber ball that is perfect for playing fetch and retrieve. It can be stuffed with snacks to make it extra appealing but if you have ball-crazy dog like Leia, chasing the ball on the beach is all it takes to have a good time 🙂
It’s been a lousy winter here on Sweden’s northern coast. In fact, this is the first time in fifteen years that I’ve gone through a winter without proper snow. We received a tiny bit of fluff in January but for the most part the ground has been covered in a thick layer of ice with only a dusting of snow on top. It’s easy to get frustrated when you have eight dogs that are eager to hit the trail but what can you do? Well, we decided to put on our studded shoes and take the dogs running instead. Between January and now all our dogs have run an average of 30 km per week and even though most of the ice is gone now we continue to run. What’s great about running is that you only need a pair of good running shoes, a hip belt and a leash and you’re ready to go. Having two eager dogs in front of you is the best motivation 🙂
Wilder, 14 months, harnessed up and ready to go.
Running IN the sea is also fun – but icy cold in March!
When we start out from home we have to run along the road for a short while before we reach the forest track. We try to avoid hard surfaces as much as possible as it can be too tough on joints and feet. I easily get shin splints if I run on asphalt for too long or too often.
We don’t always use necklines but it works really well for Tuisku and Lyra who keep the same pace. Tuisku is a little bit faster on the way out and Lyra is a bit quicker on the way home.
My running buddies today – Wilder and Hilary.
“I hate running, but I love having ran” used to be my favourite quote but I don’t hate running anymore, the hardest part for me is getting on those running clothes and walking out that front door. I dont really know why its so hard, as soon as I get out the door I actually love it.
The Swedish Baggen Softbelt is our favourite belt for canicross and skijoring. We use it together with the Baggen Expandable Leash (2 metres long) which has a built-in bungee. I have the X1 belt, which looks the same as X2 but provides softer damping, while Fredrik who is taller and stronger uses the X2. You can buy detachable leg loops from Baggen that stops the belt from sliding up around your waist when you run or ski.
Another good canicross belt is the Norwegian Non-step Comfort Belt. This belt has no in-built bungee (and must be used together with a bungee leash) but is designed to help spread the strain over a larger area of the hip/back. As the name hints, this belt is really comfortable but for my sensitive back the Baggen Softbelt works best, especially when skijoring on a bumpy trail.
Our studded Icebug shoes have really saved us this winter but now the roads are almost ice free and I have to get a new pair of shoes that work for both road and trail running.
Running equals happiness – have a great weekend everyone!
During our trip to Drevdagen in February we met up with Toni Chrillesen of Unavoq Alaskan Malamutes who was holidaying in Dalarna together with family, friends and Malamutes. Toni had a litter after our Tuisku in 2010 and two pups from the litter, Shila and Tocho, were in Dalarna on holiday. We took some pics of Tocho who reminded us a lot of his daddy in both personality and looks – a smiley, happy boy with an active and outgoing personality. It was great fun to catch up with Toni and meet Tuisku’s kids for the first time; maybe we’ll see them again next year 🙂
Unavoq’s Extreme North Tocho at 3.5 years of age.
His daddy Tuisku at 8 years of age.
The coat is shorter but the resemblance is still obvious. They both have a star at the centre of the forehead – although Tuisku’s has faded a little as he has gotten older.
.♥ Tocho and Tuisku at 6 and 5 weeks of age ♥
The grey weather continues but that doesn’t stop us from going out and enjoying the fresh air. Today we packed our rucksacks and went hiking along the coast together with my mum and Leia and Thunder. While the lunch was cooking over the open fire I went on a photo excursion along the cliffs while the Big Bears had fun in the snow. A great way to spend a Sunday 🙂
Leia and Thunder carried our firewood in their packs.
We stopped at our favourite spot by the sea to eat lunch.
The sea ice has already broken up, more than one month earlier than last year.
Thunder exploring the coast line.
Leia and Thunder chose to keep a distance from the fire, even though they could smell our food.
Leia turned 9 years old this week.
But she’s still our puppy!
Catch me if you can!
We had a nice day out despite the weather. Hopefully we’ll see some more SUN during March.
We went skijoring this morning but the trail was too soft and punchy for the dogs and we had to travel slowly to avoid injuries. Can’t believe how mild this winter has been…we have hardly had two weeks of continuous cold weather since November! Today we had +4°C which is much too warm for double-coated Malamutes. The forecast for next week is rain and even higher temperatures, I wonder if there will be any snow left by the end of this month?! I’m glad we still have our holiday in Lapland to look forward to as we haven’t been able to complete many miles this winter. But, why stress about snow and mileage when the dogs are happy and healthy? It’s not like we’re training for the Iditarod… 😉
Pretty Gem at nearly 6.5 years of age.
It’s too hot!!!
We continue to add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to Gem’s food and her coat looks great!
We’ve been away on a quick visit to Dalarna to meet with Ian and Aimee and Mark and Allison from the UK who are in Sweden on holiday together with their Alaskan Malamutes. Ian and Aimee own Hilary’s full siblings Leader and Twisp (from a different breeding) and this year it was premiere for Twisp’s pups, Rolo, Sasha and Rossi, to gain some working experience on snow. We spent two sunny days together in Drevdagen in northwestern Dalarna which has plenty of beautiful trails and is quickly becoming a popular vacation spot for mushers from all over Europe. It was a lovely break from the dull weather we have had on the coast this winter and a great chance for Hilary and Wilder to share trail with two teams of friendly dogs. We had plenty of opportunities to train passings and trail etiquette which is an invaluable experience, especially for a young dog like Wilder. It doesn’t look that far on the map but it took about twelve hours to drive down to Dalarna (including breaks for the dogs) but it was well worth it!
Wilder and Hilary together with Leader and Twisp.
Ian with the Packice team – Leader and Twisp in lead, Sasha in team and Dash and Rolo in wheel.
Mark and his team out on the snowy trail.
On the first day Fredrik and I skijored with one dog each. The trails were quite heavy in some places.
Hilary and Fredrik passing by!
So much snow – the dogs were in seventh heaven!
On the second day, Wilder and Hilary worked in front of our new Polaris Nordic sled.
Wilder at 13 months of age.
It was fun to spend some time with “the twins” and we could see many familiar Mountain Home traits. Leader and Twisp were born in 2010 and are one year older than Hilary.
It was also fun to get to know Twisp’s lovely nine-month-old pups. Rolo is the name of the handsome boy looking through the fence.
Fredrik and I stayed at the cosy Mon Gård in Storbo, just a short drive from Drevdagen.
Snow is lacking in many parts of Sweden this winter – but not here!
Thank you Aimee, Ian, Allison and Mark for a great time! We hope to see you again next year!