Archive for the ‘Thunder’ Categoryby Northernmost on August 6, 2012 in ACTIVITIES & WORK, Agility & Rally, Gemma, Hilary, Leia, Lyra, Thunder, Titan, Tuisku with No Comments
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:
The unusually cool weather of May has been ideal for working our Mals in front of the 4-wheeled wagon. Most of our dogs are still in full winter coats so we aim to avoid the highest temperatures by going on runs early in the mornings and also make sure to take frequent breaks to allow them to cool down properly. During May we have focused on training Tuisku in single lead together with his team buddies Leia and Thunder. You can see more photos from our off-snow runs in our Carting Gallery.
Tuisku, Leia and Thunder – Running equals happiness!
Today we introduced our youngsters, Hilary and Lyra, to packing. Since they are still young it’s too early for them to carry any weight on their backs. Instead we filled their packs with lightweight stuff, such as clothes and blankets, to create the feel of a full load but with a minimum of weight. Both girls got used to having a bulky pack on their back in no time and showed great promise for the future. “Uncle Thunder” came along for moral support and we had a lovely day on the trail, enjoying the fresh breeze from the ocean and lunch on the sunny rocks.
Lyra and Hilary did great on their first packing excursion.
A sunny Sunday afternoon but still cool enough to go carting. Some stubborn patches of snow remain in the forest but it’s looking more and more like spring every day. Our Mals are still in full winter coats but it’s just a matter of time before they’ll start shedding. We’re planning to start bathing and grooming during next week’s long bank holiday. Seven dogs in four days shouldn’t be too bad? On today’s run Thunder and Leia worked in wheel and Tuisku in single lead and everyone did really well in their positions. Good dogs 🙂
Tuisku waiting for the word go…
And off they went!
Spring has arrived with a bang! There’s open water on the lake and the whooper swans are keeping us awake at night with their loud “whooping” calls that can be heard for kilometres. Another sure sign of spring are our females in season. We are keeping our fingers crossed they’ll all be in and out of season before we travel to Lapland later this month. This weekend was filled with fun activities; we went to an interesting and rewarding puppy class on Saturday and enjoyed a long sunny walk afterwards. On Sunday we put our skis on and conditions are really perfect right now – we can ski anywhere on the hard frozen crust and are not limited to any trails. When you’re skijoring behind an eager Malamute, with the wind at your back and the sun on your face, it’s easy travelling 🙂
After a couple of days with cold temps the trails are hard again and Thunder, Tuisku and Leia have been out sledding during the weekend. This winter we try to avoid lakes and rivers as much as possible as ice conditions remain extremely unsafe due to the mild weather we had in the beginning of the season. Instead we have been exploring the forests near the coast, searching the map for long, uninterrupted stretches with few road crossings. So far we have been trying out a new trail almost every week, which is great for the dogs who get extra energetic when exploring new territories. We hope the weather will stay cold during the 4 weeks before we travel up to Lapland for our spring vacation. Would be great if we could get in top form for the big trails. 🙂
Mild weather and punchy snow – not ideal conditions for sledding but Tuisku, Leia and Thunder nevertheless had a nice day out on the trail today.
Our Big Bear, Leia, will be seven years old next week (February 27th) while Tuisku and Thunder have their birthdays in July; Tuisku will be seven while Thunder will be eight. Where have the years gone??
I hope they will stay healthy and be able to work in harness for many years to come.
We usually prefer skijoring to sledding but when the temperature drops below -30C it’s quite nice to dress up in heavy winter gear and stand on the runners in warm boots instead. Today I hooked up Leia, Tuisku and Thunder and went for a trip along the Lake Trail. The pale winter sun accompanied us for a while before sinking behind the treetops. This time of the year, everywhere you look is white and blue and beautiful…
Winter weekends are all about getting out on the trail, no matter the weather. Today we took Leia, Thunder and Tuisku out for a nice 10-mile ride (16km) along the forest trail. A couple of village kids passed us by on snowmobiles and wanted to say hello to the dogs, something which Thunder in particular really enjoyed. We also encountered two elk cows on the track – I had to hold on to Tuisku with both hands and unfortunately couldn’t take any pictures but they are BIG animals! We’re soon going out to feed the dogs their supper and then we’ll spend some time in the playarea before it’s time to call it a day. Feels like the dogs have had a good mix of work and play this weekend and we’ve had plenty of exercise. Now we’re hoping next week will bring clear blue skies and sunshine!
Nordiclight’s Thunder, WTD, WPD & Snowhow Shade of Raven, WTD