Posted by: arcticpackseppalas | March 25, 2014

What happened to winter?

It is now the end of March and spring is well on its way.   The spring flowers are all out and the dogs are all moulting heavily.  I can’t say we have actually had ‘winter’ yet.   Looking back through our training log for this ‘winter’ the coldest we have ran dogs was around 1 – 2 degrees C.  No runs below freezing at all.    This is quite strange, even for Scottish weather standards!    During December temps got up to 12 degrees at one point!  Another couple of degrees and that is Scottish summer temperatures.    We have had no snow here at all on the coast but have had plenty rain and lots and lots of windy weather.   Reading friends blogs it seems the weather has been weird all over the world.  

As usual we did only one race this season. 

The last weekend in November saw us go to the only race we planned to do this season.  The British Siberian Husky Racing Association (BSHRA) put on an event in north Scotland this season in Darnaway forest.   It was great to see BSHRA so far north again and the organisers Steven and Emma Studley put on a cracking event.  Thanks guys.   We really enjoyed the weekend.  Saturdays run saw temps of around 4 – 5 degrees for the 6 dog teams.   The trail was 3.7 miles of twists, turns and ‘hills’.   The dogs love these trails and so do most mushers.  Day one saw us nearly late for our start time.  I thought we had loads of time, (mainly because i didn’t actually know what the time was….) and Cam kept shouting and getting stressed that we didn’t have enough time.  We got to the start with about a minute to get the dogs hooked in, which turned out to be plenty as they were all reasonably co-operative and we had great help from lovely people willing to take the nutters to the start (thanks everyone!).  Dancer led the team with Wilson.  They missed a couple of turns as they were different to the last time we ran there.  Both junctions were straight aheads the last time so the dogs thought that’s where they should go.  The dogs had a good run and we were very pleased with our 3rd place. 

Sunday was slightly warmer by a degree or so and we swapped Dancer for Betty B in lead.   We are so proud of how far Betty has come in her two years with us.  When she first came she was quite unsure about running in harness and what was expected of her, so to see her happily leading the team with Wilson at a race was just fantastic.  Well done Betty!   We did manage to get to the start on time on Sunday.  Maybe a bit too early for little Vixen who was grabbing everything she could get her teeth into waiting at the start, including my jacket!   We knew we would likely be a bit slower the second day, but were very happy to come 4th place on the Sunday! 



Betty leading with Wilson

Betty leading with Wilson


It was great so many people made the trip north for the event and we were so excited to see Lewis and Hudson, the two boys who we last saw at 9 weeks old.  They were both such happy, cheery, outgoing little people and looked absolutely fantastic!    Thank you so much to Buzz and Sal for giving them such a wonderful home.   Our five monkey puppies coped very well with their first rally.  They were all pretty cautious the first day, but were much more relaxed on the Sunday.

The puppies are now 10 months old, running in harness and are all loving it.  They are running a couple of miles now and are all puling forwards and very, very keen to run.  They really do love their ‘job’. 

puppy team led by Aunties Vixen and Betty. Ready for the 'ok'.

puppy team led by Aunties Vixen and Betty. Ready for the ‘ok’.


Little Olivia having a shot in lead with Vixen

Little Olivia having a shot in lead with Vixen

 The time has just flown by and we no longer have little teeny puppies, but adult sized youngsters who all eat like a horse.  They all have super attitudes to food (obviously inherited from their dad) and they have yet to refuse anything we have given them to eat. Given half a chance they will eat their own food and any other food going if any of the adults look like they need a hand eating theirs!    Long may it continue as we have a couple of their relatives here who are very stupid about food.  Dogs who don’t eat well are a pain the ass.  Not only is it extremely unhelpful when you feed several dogs together to have some who insist on eating tiny piece, by tiny piece and worse others who just don’t eat at all for several meals, it is impossible to know whether they aren’t eating due to feeling ill or just because the sky is the wrong shade of blue that day.  Not eating a meal for some of our dogs is a huge early warning sign something is up.  Not so much for the can’t eat wont eat crew.  Our silly eaters are hormone driven and the food stupidity always starts around seasons for both dogs and bitches.  Even the bitches we had spayed to try and help with their appetite still wont eat properly when the other entire girls are in season.   Luckily, we have a majority of dogs who eat everything all the time and food is rarely wasted here, just means a  few dogs get extra helpings while the figure conscious size zeros skip a few calories.    We don’t run anywhere near enough miles here in the uk for dogs skipping a few meals here and there to have much of a detrimental effect, but abroad where longer distances and well below freezing temps are the norm, then it becomes much, much more of an issue.   

puppies at 6 months learning to eat with the big dogs.

puppies at 6 months learning to eat with the big dogs.


  1. Thank you, Lis a . Most informative!

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