Archive for the ‘Thunder’ Categoryby Northernmost on March 2, 2014 in Daily Life, Leia, Thunder with No Comments
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.
I’ve had a stubborn cold for the last couple of weeks and haven’t been out and about much lately. Today I felt a little better and went out to help Fredrik get the dogs ready for a run. We don’t have ideal conditions for sledding yet, since there is no base underneath the powder it is difficult to secure a snow hook, but it works okay to sled on the lakes surrounding our home. Hopefully February will bring some more snow so that we can go on longer runs – fingers and paws crossed!
We placed Tuisku and Lyra in lead, Gem and Thunder in swing, and Wilder and Hilary in wheel.
Wilder was hooked up last and nearly screamed his heart out when he thought he would be left behind…a Mtn Home dog that screams?? Must come from the *other side* of the pedigree LOL!
Lyra does well in lead together with Tuisku. As always – dogs learn best from other dogs.
Wilder is a typical yearling – he has a lot to learn about pacing himself and saving energy for the way back. But with some training we think he’ll be a fantastic sled dog, possibly even a leader.
Gem and Thunder are often paired up as they keep the same pace and work well together.
A bonus picture of Thunder for his fanclub 😉
Tuisku did a good job keeping the gangline taut during the hookup…
…after eight winters in harness, he knows all about conserving his energy before work 😉
We woke up to a Winter Wonderland this morning! Heaps of new snow on the ground and in the trees. We quickly got our clothes on and I took Leia, Thunder and Tuisku for a run with the sled while Fredrik went out to pack the trail with the snowmobile. Going out after the first big snowfall is always magical.
Woohoo – winter at last!
The “snow cannon” hits us each year when large amounts of cold air comes in over open sea in the Bay of Bothnia and meets the relatively warm sea air. Just ten minutes north of us the storm dumped more than 30 inches over the weekend.
Leia dug a hole while waiting for me to get the lines in order.
The icy wind was still blowing today but the trees in the forest protected us from most of the weather.
Tuisku was eager to go – as always.
On our way home.
The only thing to put a damper on the start of the sledding season is the thickle in my throat that could be the onset of a cold 🙁 Hopefully some warm tea and rest will make it go away fast!
There’s a blizzard blowing outside and it looks like we’re finally receiving the snow we have been waiting for since November. About time!! I went for an evening walk with Thunder and Leia and the icy wind on my face felt like needles – brrr! I’m glad we changed straw in the dog houses yesterday as the storm is expected to continue tomorrow. Now all the dogs are warm and cosy and I can crawl under the duvet and watch a movie without feeling the least bit guilty. Have a good weekend everyone!
Thunder was quick to check out the fresh straw in his dog house.
OK, I’m off to sleep now – good night!
We took our oldest and youngest boy out for a walk in the woods today, looking up trails for the coming sledding season and checking the ice on lakes and brooks. The weather has been a bit gloomy the past few days but today the sun peeked out from behind the clouds for a short while. Our dogs are growing beautiful thick coats and even though there’s just a dusting of snow on the ground it’s starting to feel like winter. I’m already getting in the Christmas mood and can’t wait to start decorating our home. Right now, however, our house is in a big mess as we’re painting the floors on the ground level and are moving the furniture from one room to the next. Only one month left till Christmas, I hope we will finish in time?!
Let it snow, let it snow…
That pretty much sums up October here on the northern coast. While waiting for snow and winter to arrive we keep ourselves and the dogs busy by attending training sessions at the dog club and going for runs with the wagon or bicycle.
When working the dogs in the evenings we use a dead-end forest road that has a locked barrier at the start, that way we can be certain not to encounter any traffic. Occasionally an elk or two cross the road but they always see and hear us long before we see them.
It’s been a rainy October and the roads are wet and muddy. Needless to say, we have some very dirty dogs at home 😉
A couple of times each week we go to the club to train together with other dog owners. In addition to the regular training sessions we have joined a group that specialises in rally and trains with the goal of becoming competitive. If things go well maybe we’ll be able to enter a dog or two to some competitions next year.
Wilder is a fast learner and his food motivation makes him “easy” to train. At the same time he’s an easily distracted teenager who cannot focus on one thing for too long. Thus, we try to keep training sessions short and make sure they always end while we’re still having fun. Patience and consistency is my mantra...
Hilary made a new friend at the club – a 4-month old Golden Retriever girl whose owner had brought her along for socialisation.
Hilary loves to play with puppies so I think this girl had a very positive experience 🙂
In the weekends we go for long walks to soak up as much daylight as possible. Titan and Wilder love to run back and forth on the beach and in and out of the cold water.
The sun sets early in the afternoon and it usually gets dark before we are back home.
The boys looked a tiny bit tired after their romp on the beach.
While Wilder is in adolescence we return to training basic things, like encouraging good indoor manners for example. Right now he is going through the second chewing phase so when he visits indoors we practise the “leave the shoes alone and chew on this toy instead” routine. I think it will take some time before we can trust him with our shoes in the hallway but it has worked with all our other Mals so I’m confident it will work with Wilder too. Eventually 😉
Leia, Thunder and I kicked off the weekend by going for a morning run. At first it felt a bit cold at -3 C (27 F) but once you start running you quickly warm up and the colder the weather the better it is for the dogs. There was some ice on the pavement so we headed for the woods instead, where we didn’t have to worry about slipping.
The Big Bears, Leia (8 years) and Thunder (9 years), are ideal running partners as they keep an even pace and are not distracted by scents along the trail. Not all our dogs are that easy to jog with, some pull so hard in harness that it is better to take them out with the bike or wagon.
After having had back surgery last year I have decided to get fit again. Part of my health regime is cutting out sugar from my diet and spending as little time as possible in front of the computer. As you may have noticed, I am taking a break from Facebook during fall and winter.
So I may not be ready for a marathon just yet, but running is a great way to start the day.
Have a great weekend everybody! 🙂
Saturday was a tough day. We spent the whole day deconstructing an old horse fence that we are going to turn into a dog fence for a play area and rebuild in a new location. From the early morning to the early evening we dug up posts and pulled out long nails to remove the stringers from the posts. It was hard and sweaty work, especially since it turned out to be one of the warmest days of the year. When we woke up this morning our muscles were so sore that we decided to take a break from work and spend the day on the beach instead. With the warm and humid weather we’ve been having the dogs seemed quite happy to just do nothing for a while.
Fredrik snuggled up with Thunder on the beach.
Thunder turned nine years old in July but is still very much a young dog in body and mind.
Hilary and Wilder dug a comfy hole where they could cool down in the wet sand.
They even dozed off for a while, close together.
The spiral tie-out stake is perfect for securing dogs on the beach. We buy ours from Häromi, they also have a sturdier version but since we only use the tie-out when the dogs are closely supervised the smaller version works fine for us. There are many different styles available from Amazon, probably best to test their quality at home before trusting them to work on the trail.
Struggling to stay awake?
After a refreshing swim in the sea Hilary’s energy was back!
Since Thunder isn’t keen on swimming we have to make sure he keeps cool by drinking plenty of water instead. We encourage our dogs to drink directly from the bottle when they are puppies, just in case we would one day forget to bring a water bowl when out on a hike. Some dogs take to drinking out of a water bottle naturally, while others need more training.
Wilder did a good job settling down on the beach…
...until he got bored and started digging – a sure sign that it was time to go home.
After all, puppies can only stay quiet for a (very) short time 😉
There are plenty of small sandy beaches on the coast where we live. Most of them are too small to be marked on any maps and we often discover them by chance when out walking the dogs.
There are more pics from our trips to the beach in our BEACH album.
Wilder and Thunder were trusted off leash for a while when we walked home through the forest.They stopped now and then to wait for us to catch up. Good boys ♥
We went for a long walk along the coast with Gemma and Thunder today. In spring and summer the coast is our favourite place to rewind and recharge our batteries. Our Malamutes love to play on the rocks and in and out of the water, it’s like a huge play park where they can run around for hours before finally settling down. Seeing our dogs so happy makes us happy, and I guess that’s what having dogs is all about 🙂
Gemma and Thunder were WILD today!
Even Gem, who isn’t normally keen on water, played with the waves today and got wet!
Must be that spring in the air?!
Quality time ♥
We often notice that new rocks have been added to the pile, but we never see any people around…
My favourite dog is always the one I’m spending time with.
Thunder is only 9 years of age, but he’s the oldest dog in our pack and deserves some extra TLC.
Gem loves to run off leash but we don’t trust her everywhere as she likes to chase birds and small animals when she gets the chance. The coast, however, is a good place to practise, as there are no roads or people anywhere near.
She found a patch of snow to have a good roll in. In a week or so, all traces of winter will be gone.
It was a beautiful today and if the forecast is right we have a warm and sunny week ahead of us.
Maybe spring and summer is finally here?
After two weeks of warm weather our winter is definitely over. We still have plenty of snow but it doesn’t hold for us to ski or sled on, and the dogs punch through easily, so we have had to accept that the sledding season is over for this time.
Today we took Hilary and Thunder on a walk in Skellefteå which is our nearest major town, situated about 30 minutes from our home. It’s a great place for walking the dogs and socializing them in a busier environment than the quiet country road at home. We went for a two-hour walk along the Skellefte River and watched the last remnants of winter pass us by.
When we go on our town walks we always bring our clickers as it’s a great opportunity to train our dogs to walk on a loose leash, pass other dogs, joggers, bikes etc., and stay focused on us, rather than on everything else. For our “country bumpkin Mals”, staying focused can sometimes be a challenge, but Hilary and Thunder did well today.
During our walk we passed Skellefteå’s beautiful country church, maybe Fredrik and I will get married there next year? Or maybe we’ll get married on top of a mountain, you never know 😉
I always feel a little blue when the winter ends, as I can never get enough of sledding and skijoring, but luckily the sadness only lasts for a day or two. Now we will take care of some spring chores at home before kicking off some off-snow activities. There are so many fun things to do in summer – hiking and packing, carting, agility, tracking and more. I hope the last bit of snow will be gone soon!
Have a happy weekend everyone 🙂
We’ve been away on a wilderness adventure with Lyra, Hilary, Tuisku and Thunder, travelling on the ice of the frozen lakes of Tjaktajaure and Laitaure and making daytrips into the magnificent Sarek National Park in Swedish Lapland. Fantastic weather, amazing views and happy, hardworking dogs – what more could you ask for? The only hiccup on this trip were our sleeping bags that didn’t perform when the temperature dropped down to around -20ºC (-4ºF) at night. But with a warm dog to snuggle up to it wasn’t a huge problem. We learn something from every trip; about ourselves and the gear, and what needs to be improved before we set out on our next adventure. We can’t complain about the dogs though, they went like clockwork from day one, displaying the drive and stamina which we have come to expect from them, even though they always manage to amaze us just a little more on each trip. Without our Alaskan Malamutes, we’d sure miss out on some great adventures in life!
We had fantastic weather during most of our trip…
…but we started the journey in an almost complete whiteout which forced us to rely on the map and compass for navigation as we couldn’t see much of the surrounding landscape, just snow and mist and a myriad of trails to choose from.
The next morning, and during the rest of our trip, we had brilliant sunshine and temperatures around -12ºC (10ºF) – ideal conditions for the dogs who could work at a good pace without getting too warm.
Lyra and Tuisku with the Sarek National Park in the backdrop.
We set up camp in the woods near the mountain of Tjahkkelij where we found a spring with crystal clear water for us and the dogs. Having access to water is a luxury on winter camping trips as melting snow for drinking and cooking can be a time-consuming process.
Our dogs took turns sleeping in the tent and did a good job keeping us warm at night.
After setting up camp we were able to leave our gear behind and go on fun day trips to explore the landscape. In this photo Fredrik is on his way to Nammásj – a holy mountain in the Sámi tradition.
Hilary and Thunder, with Skierffe’s peak in the background.
We could have stayed on the trail for many more days, continuing the trip further into the Rapa Valley, but unfortunately work and other duties called us back to civilization.
While most people probably prefer to have their holiday during the summer, our ideal would be to have the whole month of April off, to be able to go on longer journeys into the wild. Maybe next year?
To view more photos from our trip, visit our Aktse April 2013 Gallery.
We woke up to fantastic weather today and hurried to change into skijoring gear and hit the trail. I Skijored with Tuisku and Fredrik with Thunder and Lyra. A fast, fun and sunny day with the wind at our backs. I fell over once and dropped the camera in the snow (glad it’s waterproof) but apart from that we had a fab day! 🙂