Posted by: arcticpackseppalas | November 21, 2020

The end of the year is nearly here.

I’m pretty confident nobody has been a fan of this year so far.   Everyone’s lives have been affected in some way by Covid-19.   If you were lucky, you stayed healthy, perhaps got a couple of paid months off work and got a little fitter.  Others, of course have not been anywhere near as lucky and have lost jobs, their physical and/or mental health has been affected and many have sadly lost loved ones.   It has been a very emotional, upsetting and extremely hard year for a lot of people.

We have been very fortunate, not only health wise but also where we live.  Lockdown for us here, surrounded by fields of barely and so much open space felt like we weren’t actually in any sort of containment.   We are also able to run dogs from our door here, so it meant on cooler mornings we could still get the dogs out for a leg stretch without meeting anyone or travelling anywhere.  It did get very warm during July and August so they did have several weeks off this year which is unusual for us. The dogs spent their days lounging about in the sunshine.  Once the lockdown was eased, we did do a few mornings at the beach and walked everyone there to keep them entertained.   Most of the dogs had gotten a bit fat over the summer so we are very glad to be back out training on a much more regular basis now and their trimmer bodies have reappeared.  Humidity, as it always is at this time of year, is a challenge so we still aren’t out quite as much as we would like.

Odie on the beach

saying hello to the neighbours

Sunbathing

Little Crazy Face is back in the team after she was spayed at the end of August.  She lived indoors for the first 5 weeks after her surgery and had a day and half where she felt sorry for herself, but as most dogs do, bounced back (literally) and expected to run 2 days after her op.  Her wound healed very quickly with no issues at all and she was difficult to keep calm which meant we had to stop her doing laps of the dog pen.  After starting back walks with the old geriatric, Wilson she moved back outside with her crew and is now happily back in harness.  We kept everyone else on very short runs so she could gain fitness quickly and the team can move on to harder runs together without her having to catch up too much.

Gracie out for a walk while recovering from her spay surgery

The dogs are finally finding some sort of new normal as a group after losing so many of their friends earlier this year.  It is always sad it has to happen, but interesting to watch how the dynamics shift after losing their kennel mates, especially if those friends were high ranking in the group.  Spaces and roles have to be filled and new best friends spring out of the sadness.

Covid-19, as it has with so many aspects of life, has played havoc with sled dog training and now races.  Races have all been cancelled until at least the new year and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.   Certain places had training permits suspended too which meant a lot of very bored sled dogs  around the country i’m sure!  Hopefully everyone is now able to train and stick within current regulations.

Old Man Wilson is hanging on in there despite recurring health issues.  He has lost a heap of weight as a lot of old huskies seem to do but he still enjoys his off lead time in the fields.  He likes to try and chase after anything that moves but doesn’t get too far before he realises he has no hope of catching anything and that Mummy and the biscuits are a much better option.  He is getting quite deaf (or perhaps selectively deaf..) so we often have a to use a loud whistle to get his attention.  As his eyesight is not as great as it used to be, you have to do star jumps like a crazy person if he is far away so he can spot you.  He then makes his way back rapidly for some food.   The fields are fenced and he can’t go anywhere, but he can get a bit worried if he thinks he has lost you.   Or maybe he just worries he has lost the steady supply of biscuits.

Old Dog looking for biscuits.

As I mentioned earlier,  October has been warm, and/or humid. It has rained a lot too.   Not the best combination for training.  Hopefully now November is here it will cool down and we will get some nice cold and dry weather.  But somehow I doubt it!

Stay safe and well everyone.  Happy trails!


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