What is up with the weather here? I mean, really? What the hell is going on? It's 55 degrees outside!! We were told that where we are living now has enough snow by this time of year to be doing 35-mile runs ON A SLED! Yeah, right. We're in a mud hold on the four-wheeler careening down slip-n-slide trails while the dogs are up to their tits in mud. It's nuts. So, why am I complaining about things I have no control over? Well, it's kind of my thing, in case you haven't noticed.
Anyway, we're making do by splitting the dog runs into two: one in the morning before work and one in the morning after work. That way, they're still getting the miles on them, just not all at once because it's so hot out.
The dogs are doing really well and our young superstars: Mr. Lahey, Maude, Wayne and Bubbles are awesome! Lahey and Maude have been running in lead a lot and are starting to take commands. It's so rewarding to see these young dogs coming into their own. Drake, Capiche and Hazel have been our go-to leaders with Omar starting to shine in the front position. Bully runs in lead on the days he feels like it, but I don't want to over do it as he's older and sensitive. The rest of the crew get moved around in the team and they have all really taken to charging right through open water...there's a lot of it around here. It's all very exciting and I can't wait for snow.
Our new cabin is growing on me, actually, more than that, I'm really starting to love it. The dogs have lots of space in the yard and the pups (Cinch, Alice and Ruby, in case you'd forgotten) get to run loose every morning. Alice is our current escape artist. She gets out of the puppy pen often, but then just runs laps around it until we open the gate and she jumps back in.
I just applied for a business license for Spitfire Kennels and am currently working on getting some winter tours set up. We're getting brochures made, joining the Chamber of Commerce and the Bed and Breakfast Association to get our name out in the community. We'll also be working closely with Don Cotogno, owner of Timber Bay Bed and Breakfast, to work out a partnership for the winter. Of course, this is all in the planning stages but already we have a lot of support. And if all goes well this winter, well, who knows?? Don will also be doing our website (spitfirekennels.com) so stay tuned for the launch of that. It's been my dream for a while now to not only live and race with sled dogs, but earn my living with them, too. Rich and I are really motivated to make this work and I hope that some of you will visit us sometime and meet the dogs before hopping on a sled and taking off into the hills outside Homer.
Photos soon, I promise.
Also, Lead Dog Mead is now for sale at the winery and it's been selling really well. It's a Fireweed honey wine and part of the proceeds will go to Spitfire Kennels. Bill and Dorothy at Bear Creek Winery have been so generous and flexible. We're excited to have them on board!
Also, I'm just finishing up a review of Ken Anderson's 2009 Iditarod journal for the next issue of Mushing Magazine, so check it out.