Archive for the ‘Tuisku’ Categoryby Northernmost on September 22, 2012 in ACTIVITIES & WORK, Carting & Bikejoring, Leia, Thunder, Tuisku with No Comments
Went on a nice run with Tuisku, Thunder and Leia this evening. We explored a new trail which turned out to be mostly uphill, but the trio did well, especially Tuisku in lead. Thanks to the cool and rainy weather we’ve had this summer we’ve been able to go on many early morning and late evening runs and the dogs have stayed in good condition, even during what’s normally our “lazy months”. Will be interesting to see how this will affect our sledding season, maybe we’ll be ready to hit the longer trails early in winter?
Waterbreak, about halfway into the trail.
Is there an end to that uphill??
After doing his best to ignore Lyra during her first year Tuisku has recently decided that Lyra is actually rather fun to play with. And it doesn’t matter that there are six years between them as Tuisku is still very much a puppy in mind. I had to take some photos of them today as they looked so cute together – both newly washed and in their skimpy summer coats. Without his crowning glory, Tuisku looks like a teenager again 😉
Lyra 13 months and Tuisku 7 years.
A little more than a year ago, Lyra was just a baby pup.
Now they can play on more equal terms.
Autumn is here and it’s time to fill the dog houses with fresh hay. During summer we only have a small amount of hay in their houses, just to provide a soft bedding for them to rest on, while during autumn and winter we fill the houses to half the total volume to keep them warm and comfy in any weather. Our Malamutes love the smell of fresh bedding and can’t wait to snuggle up inside.
Fredrik is cleaning the dog houses while Titan is helping out.
Our Mals get excited about fresh hay – in almost the same way that they get excited about food.
Even Tuisku, who normally sleeps on the roof of his dog house, was quick to jump inside.
During rainy periods we change the bedding more frequently while during winter it’s often enough to change it once a month. The hay comes from our own field so we have a steady supply and enough to last us all winter. Most people recommend using straw rather than hay as bedding for dog houses but we have tried both and have found that hay actually works better for our climate.
The dog houses are designed so that they are just large enough for our Mals to stand up, turn around and lie down in comfortably. They are well insulated and built on low platforms to keep them off the frozen ground. We now have five outdoor dog houses and two dog houses inside the barn for Leia and Thunder. We are also in the process of completing two double dog houses in our newest kennels. The plan was to paint all houses in a pretty red colour before winter but I’m not sure there will be time for that, as it’s already rather chilly in the evenings. Maybe we’ll have an early winter this year?
Summer is nearly over but the sea is still warm enough for a swim. Last evening we brought Tuisku and Leia along for some fun on the beach. Tuisku has always loved to swim and play in water while for Leia it has been a more gradual process. She usually waits to see how Tuisku gets on before she enters the water herself. When we returned home it was dark and the temperature was just a couple of degrees above freezing. Time to start preparing for fall and winter!
Here are some pics from last Sunday’s agility session. Two of our girls are in season right now so we do our best to distract the boys with fun activities to make them focus on something else than just “GIRLS” for a while 😉
Leia goes absolutely crazy when we bring out the agilty obstacles, she loves it!
Tuisku trotting out from the closed chute.
Lyra waits while Fredrik adjusts the height. This pretty pup turned 1 year old last week – time flies!
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.
Lucky boy Tuisku has been out two nights in a row; yesterday with Thunder and Leia and tonight with Titan and Gem. This evening we decided to try a new trail that we have passed by a couple of times when driving to the airport. It turned out to be a nice track for carting as it provided a good mix of running surfaces – everything from deep, soft sand to hardpacked gravel. The sand is good for building muscles and the harder surfaces are good for toughening up the pads.
Tuisku, Titan and Gem practising sit/down-stay during a break.
Our Mals spend a lot of time on soft grass at home so we’re careful not to run them on hard surfaces like asphalt too much. If a dog has sore pads we let him/her rest from training while adding fish oil to the food, as this product works wonders for both skin, coat and pads. In our experience, feet problems are less likely to return when treated from the inside with a quality Omega-3 supplement, than when treated only from the outside with various ointments. Luckily none of our dogs have real “problem feet” but we always examine their pads after every run, just to be safe. A good advice about feet is that if you check your dog’s feet often, you’ll know what they look like healthy and it will be easier to recognize problems when they occur. If a dog has cracked pads we clean and dry the feet and apply olive oil on a daily basis. If the dog is keen to lick it off we put an elizabethan collar on for 1-2 hours per day, before applying the oil, and keep the dog indoors during this time. We never use booties on the trail as a preventative measure, as they often cause more problems than they solve.
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!
Hi everyone, it’s been a busy month here at Northernmost as we’ve managed to cram in a major building project, a visit from Marit’s sister with family, evening working activities, organizing a two-day garage sale plus intense bathing and grooming of the dogs during their peak shedding season. Where did the holiday go?? Here are some new summer shots of part of the gang 🙂
Some mixed pics of part of the gang, hanging out at home.
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!