Monday, September 28, 2015

More on new litter at SPK

Aliy posted a video showing all six of the new babies today. Here's the link:

They will be "the Coffee Litter" and we are all laughing about that since they said Aliy paced in the room all day the 23rd when they were born--from the instant Olivia went into labor so natch, coffee names! Right now I am trying to pick a favorite but they are all precious and Olivia is such a great mom but totally laid back about it, which is good for the puppies. They know everything is right in their world 'cause Mom says so. It's hard to visualize these pudgy little handfuls as powerful sled dogs but they will be showing that developing before spring just as the Surfivers did and are more now as they begin their training. If you want some puppy breath fix, click out and take a look! It's so wonderful to see the dynasty going on. I'm delighted!!

Just for a reminder, here is Aliy with the Red Team at the ceremonial 2015 Iditarod start. Note the Iditarider in the sled. If I am not mistaken that is Olivia in the lead on the right side of the hitch. Her white face and forehead and blue eyes are very distinctive. In a couple of years we may be seeing some of these new puppies in just that place! And some of the Surfivers even sooner!! It is very exciting.

If that is not Olivia in the right lead it is one of her earlier pup, many of whom resemble her greatly but I think it is her. Four of the Surfivers resemble the dog on the left; the SPK pack has quite a few tan or yellow dogs in the kennel. I think that one may be Scout but will need to double check. The Surfivers sire, Clyde is a big yellow-tan guy, usually a team or wheel dog.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Surfivers

Are now in training as 'long yearlings' and some will probably get to do at least some of the shorter--like 300 mile--races this year. Aliy posted a cute clip of the five of them in harness--very excited but already beginning to get the hang of it. Great dogs-to-be, I am sure. The boys were in pairs and Ginger on her own back at the 'wheel' position though when it's an ATV instead of a sled, that doesn't make a lot of difference or special demands on the dog(s) in that place. When it is a sled, they are very important in helping the musher control the turns and trials of terrain. Mostly strong and agile dogs are needed there. Ginger will probably be a regular team dog --between the leaders and wheelers--for a while until she shows what her special traits may be. The team dogs do not get the 'glory' of the leaders but no dog in the hitch is ever insignificant. Two of the boys are big stout dogs and could well be wheelers in the future. But only time and training will tell their true potential. You can bet I will be following their progress very closely! I feel a real bond for these puppies since I met them and of course Ginger is my special favorite.

The new litter is doing fine so far. Lots of prayers for no issues with them. It is likely Olivia's last since she is about nine or ten and has whelped several large litters in the past. She's a very special favorite at SPK and I met her, too. Here is a shot of me with her in August 2014. As you can see, she is a multicolored dog and at least the three pups pictured their first day looked like they will be too. She has blue eyes, BTW, which is not a rare trait in huskies and shows some of the mixed breed look that so many of the modern Alaskan Huskies now have. At a quick glance many almost look like hounds or other hunting dogs. She's a diva and was enjoying the attention that day, her birthday!

Friday, September 25, 2015


The Olivia-Nacho litter has arrived as of yesterday. There were six, four girls and two boys. They are small but all seem healthy, a few days early. The three shown on the SPK DogLog blog are mixed color--dark with lots of white. I could not be much more delighted and excited if they were my own. I will share links or pix soon and keep you all updated on the progress. At any rate, this is super news I am happy to share. Congrats to Aliy and Allen and all the SPK family and to the proud doggie parents. They say Olivia is a fine mama and that is encouraging. She came through it in good shape although she is an older dog now. They are sheltered in a warm and comfy place and will stay there for some time since it is already getting chilly in the Fairbanks area. said 28 degrees this morning. That is good for training but not good for a mama dog wit new puppies!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

SP Kennel and Jonrowe homestead News

After a puppyless summer, there will be a litter near the end of this month at the SP Kennel! The proud parents are Olivia and Nacho, a couple of awesome huskies who have produced two great litters in the past, some of which are currently key members of the Red and Black teams. Olivia may miss some training and even a few races this season while she does a mommy gig but keeping the good bloodlines going is very important too. I'll get pix of the two parents and share pix or links when the puppies arrive. I'm really happy for Aliy and Allen and this assurance of future winners by their careful breeding program.
I saw both dogs and petted Olivia on my 2015 visit; it was her birthday! She is prettier than she looks in this shot and her blue eyes are gorgeous. Nacho is a litter-mate full brother to Quito, and equally special in his way.I'm curious what the name theme will be for these puppies...

Also stopped by Deedee Jonrowe's Facebook page and web site today. The new Jonrowe house is going up where the old one was destroyed--surely lightening won't strike twice as most of the fuel is now gone there. Also, she has a beautiful brand new pink sled and other gear that's been created for her so she will be all set for the 2015-16 racing season. These mushers are so dedicated and so loved that many folks have pitched in to help them keep on running. If you just put her name in a search engine, links to those sites will be right up front and center. Go take a look! This lady is just so amazing and I am so glad that things are shaping up well for her after the tragedy.  BTW her quilt will go out in tomorrow's mail.

Monday, September 14, 2015


I have to tell my readers here that I am sorry for being silent for much too long. It turned out to be a rather hard summer for me and a lot of plans had to go on the back burner.

A bit before my short trip in June I had some eye issues. Once I was back they hit with a vengeance and for the greater part of two months I was seriously impaired in the vision department. My eye doctor insists it is just my dry eyes but I felt there was a strong allergy component and perhaps other things as well. At this point I really do not know but finally I am back to near normal and can function again. I'm trying to catch up for two months of lost time. That is hard. I used some homeopathic treatments--bathed the eye area twice a day with colloidal silver, for example and used some OTC drops of various kinds and a petrolatum salve at night. I got back on the Restasis after the extreme irritation and inflammation eased and it seems to be working. XX fingers crossed tight.

There were days I did not dare try to drive and could only spend a few minutes on the computer, glasses off and nose about six inches from the screen. I managed to complete a couple of writing deadlines and proof some galleys--barely.It was not fun. But enough whining.

Suffice to say my planned fall trip is not going to happen. I am now shooting for being in Alaska for the Iditarod and perhaps the Yukon Quest. This will depend on a number of things but that is my earnest hope. I still follow Aliy Zirkle's SP Dog Log blog, check in on the Iditarod and YQ sites and FB pages and keep up with the news as best I can. I renewed my memberships for both boards through 2016. Even being a card carrying member is worth something. I also do sit down now and again and draft more short sections of Women Who Run With the Dogs. 

Ready to send off any day is a two-sided lap robe sized quilt for Deedee Jonrowe--at least one small new keepsake for her after she lost everything except her dogs and her and her husband's lives in the tragic June fire. They are rebuilding and she will be racing in the 2015-16 season. Bless her heart; she is such a tremendous inspiration! I cannot even begin to whine about my small problems when I know about hers.

Here are the two faces of the quilt: I especially like the Alaska Sled Dog one although the pink face is important too and I support the cause of curing breast cancer in our lifetime as well as many other types of the dread disease.

Up north the weather is cooling off--Fairbanks has had some light frosts and mushers in that area are now training, mostly running teams with ATVs but that gets them in shape. The five "Surfivers" at SP Kennel will be training and running some this year. Several older dogs have been retired. I'm excited about the new ones but of course a little sad that some familiar names and faces will not be out there anymore. Life goes on and we have to go with the flow. Change is inevitable, I guess. Both good and bad -- she said with a wry grin!

I will hope to keep up better now and let everyone know how things are shaping up for the next racing season and as plans develop, how my trips will go.