Archive for the ‘Tuisku’ Categoryby Northernmost on June 17, 2014 in Daily Life, Lyra, Tuisku with No Comments
We made a trip to the beach with Lyra and Tuisku on Sunday evening. The water was almost warm enough to tempt me to go for a swim but it’s only around 10°C in the air and I’d be freezing afterwards. Next time I’ll bring a wetsuit so that I can spend time in the water with the dogs. Swimming and walking in deep water is perfect exercise for Tuisku who needs to strengthen the muscles in his injured leg. Tuisku truly loves water, when he arrives at the beach he goes straight down to the waves to lie down in the water for a couple of minutes. He does that even on a cool day, so it’s not only a means of cooling off. He seems to enjoy water in the same way as most Mals love snow. I think it is a Keikewabic trait as I’ve heard that some of his kids and many of his relatives are water-mals too. Our evenings at the beach are really the highlight of our summer. The dogs love the freedom and we love watching them run and play. When we return home they usually go straight into their dog houses and sleep soundly. Mission accomplished 🙂
A precious moment with Tuisku-Buisku ♥
I woke up this morning to the sun shining through my window. It was only 4:00 a.m. but I couldn’t go back to sleep so I went out to say hello to the early birds, Lyra and Tuisku, who had been up since sunrise. I brought my camera and took some photos of the morning mist rising from the lake. June mornings are magic, especially when there are so few mosquitoes around. Love our summers here on the coast 🙂
It’s 4:00 a.m. Lyra…isn’t it a bit early for games? No? OK then, I’ll play with you…
A HAPPY day today as we visited the vets and received news that Tuisku’s foot problem may not be as serious as it first seemed. Still no definite diagnosis but we’re going back to see a physiotherapist who will examine him further. Right now both the vet and the physio are leaning towards it being a tendon problem, as everything looks fine in the x-rays. We gave Tuisku a bath yesterday and got some photos afterwards – our beautiful boy will be 9 years old in a little more than a month but still looks like a youngster ♥
Have a HAPPY weekend everyone!
I’m sorry that I’ve been absent from the blog lately, and that I’ve been so slow in replying to emails. We jumped straight into taking care of spring chores at home when we returned from our holiday in Lapland. May is always a busy month for us; the dogs need bathing and grooming and their kennels and play areas need spring cleaning. Our potholed lawn needs raking and repairing, so that we can set up the agility course in June, and the dog houses that we built last autumn need painting. In fact, some of the old dog houses could do with a fresh layer too. Keeping the kennel shipshape is a never ending project but maybe, this year or next, there will be time for us to have some puppies too? 😉
Nearly all the old snow is gone now but it will take a couple of weeks before the grass and the trees turn green. Summer arrives late to northern Sweden but I don’t mind as I prefer having four distinct seasons – it keeps things interesting because you always have something new to look forward to.
The Bird Cherry tree is among the first to turn green in spring. In June it will be in full bloom.
Our flowerbeds are slowly waking up too – the Grape Hyacinth came first…
…and was soon accompanied by the Pickwick Crocus.
This time of the year, when the air is still cool, our Mals enjoy basking in the sun on their porches. Gem is still hanging on to her thick winter coat but I bet it will drop quickly after her bath, and she’ll go back to looking like a puppy again 🙂
Tuisku didn’t accompany us on our holiday in Lapland this year. He has been limping slightly on his rear leg during spring and had to rest from working activities during the end of the season. After two visits to our local vet we saw an orthopedic specialist in April but he couldn’t make a definite diagnosis either, but asked us to come back in a couple of weeks for more x-rays. Please keep your fingers and paws crossed for a speedy recovery for Tuisku!
Spring is a wonderful time but it also means bitches in season…young Wilder has recently discovered the allure of the opposite sex and is keeping us awake at night complaining that he has to be separated from his sister. I took him to a ring training class on Sunday but it quickly turned into basic leash training instead, as Wilder wouldn’t focus on me for a split second when there were FEMALES around. Let’s hope that our girls get their seasons over and done with soon so we can all go back to normal and get a good night’s sleep!!
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 ♥
We’re having a mild spell here on the coast and during the weekend we took the chance to go skijoring for the first time this winter. The fun but rather unsteady first run of the season always makes me think of Diane Gayer’s wonderful article about skijoring, “Communing with Raw Energy”, which was published in Mushing Magazine March/April 1998. In Gayer’s words: “The rush, the lack of control, the immediacy – these are what make skijoring worth doing.” During the first few minutes at least, you do feel out of control. But gradually your balance is restored and you start moving in synch with your dogs, rather than being dragged behind them. It makes for a magical experience when it all comes together.
Fredrik took Tuisku and Lyra for a premiere 5 km run – pure joy for the dogs!
When Lyra was a puppy, Tuisku set the pace and showed her what fun it is to work in harness. In the coming years, when Tuisku gets older, it will be the other way around – Lyra will set the pace and make sure his enthusiasm doesn’t fade. As skijoring dogs, they are a perfect match!
We normally introduce our dogs to skijoring when they are pups, to make sure they get accustomed to the equipment during their important first formative year, but this winter the weather hasn’t cooperated and Wilder turned 13 months on Sunday when I took him skijoring for the first time.
Luckily he’s the kind of dog that doesn’t bother to look what’s behind him – he just takes off and keeps his eyes focused on the trail ahead. I think I will need to use a Nordic sled with a handbrake when training Wilder, as he doesn’t respond 100% to left and right yet and is so strong that I can’t slow him down by snowplowing or by pulling the line. I should probably work on the Whoa! too!!
There’s a lot of power in this package!
Hopefully the mild weather will continue for a couple of days so that we can pack the trail with the snowmobile and make it wide enough for our skate skis. If you haven’t tried skijoring with your dog yet you must do so this winter – most Malamutes love it!
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!
The weather cleared up quickly after the storm on Saturday night. On Sunday morning we woke up to blue skies and a cold house so instead of staying in and waiting for the electricity to return we put our running shoes on and went for a trip to the coast. The snow-free beach is perfect for jogging and we had a nice day out with Gemma and Tuisku. People say that running is addictive and maybe it’s true, I mean, why walk when you can run?
♥ Our running buddies Gem and Tuisku ♥
The sand dunes are great for running…
…but after a while your legs feel like jelly.
Tuisku always gets wild when we go to beach but we didn’t let him go swimming this time as the temperature was below zero.
The sea has many faces – it can be wild and cold…
…and calm and inviting.
I love my new running shoes – Pytho 2-L BUGrip from Swedish Icebug. They are lightweight and water resistant and keep the feet dry in both rain and slush.
The sole has integrated steel studs which provide good traction on everything from ice to slippery rocks. A perfect shoe for safely walking and running the dogs during fall and winter.
Tuisku doesn’t need studs to manoeuvre on slippery surfaces – Malamute feet can do that naturally.
Our precious Gem at 6 years of age.
Posing for the camera 😉
And here’s another one of G & T together – they look so cute in their red harnesses.
The power didn’t return until late on Sunday night but it didn’t bother us much as we spent the whole day out of doors, cleaning up the garden after the storm and playing with the dogs. In fact, being without TV and internet during the weekend is not a bad thing. Maybe we’ll try that again next week?
GREAT NEWS! Tuisku and Hilary both passed their EYE EXAMS today! It’s always a big relief afterwards. Now we’re off to celebrate the results with a muddy late night run in the rain…whatever makes them happy! 😉
Keikewabic’s Tundra Tuisku, “Tuisku”, in March 2013.
Mtn Home’s Northernmost Hiking Hilary, “Hilary”.