Sunday, December 30, 2012


I took the team up Skalkaho again today. This time without Keegan. This allowed me the opportunity to run the team farther. I realized right before we took off that I DO have a's on my phone (Doof!). So I fired that thing up before we took off.

I initially had Shilah and Tank in lead but as Shilah is a horrible dipper (and by that I mean she practically stops the team every time she dips for snow. I don't mind if they dip as long as they don't disturb any other dogs' gait). I placed her in swing and gave Okie a stab at lead again. After that switch, things were going much smoother and Okie did great!

We passed by the spot we turned around at yesterday and determined we indeed went 9 miles. I was trying AGAIN today to make the falls but by 6.25 miles we weren't there I decided the team had gone far enough.

On the way back though I was glad I had Okie in lead because Tank would have probably taken us off the mountain (Doof!). He's not the brightest teammate; he smelled something so he was going to follow his nose, right off a steep drop off. Okie looked over there and within a split second decided that was a BAD idea and she pulled with all her might to keep the team on the trail. This short "tail" may seem dire but do not worry, it wasn't as bad as it may sound. I have complete trust in my dogs (especially Okie's ability to lead the team past distractions and hazards) and I have to believe Tank has self preservation instincts and would not have followed the plan all the way through. I can only hope.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Little Musher Training up Skalkaho

After loading up the dogs, I went in to tell Cobey I was leaving and Keegan informed me he would like to go. We dressed him up in his gear (which included a nice new, warm REI fleece jacket from THE Grandparents for Christmas).

We went up Skalkaho today. The trail conditions were better than I expected; much better than last year. Other than Keegan initiallyh telling me he now did not want to go (which was no longer an option), prep went off without a hitch and we were down the trail! I don't have a GPS so I don't know exactly how far we went but it was between 8-10 miles. They did great. I had Shilah and Tank in lead and, other than Shilah being a very disruptive dipper, they took us down the trail straight and at a good pace. They passed all skiers smoothly, even though you could tell they wanted to visit.

Keegan had fun too and was glad he went. I was glad we all went too.


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Fishmas!

Kona says "This is the best Christmas EVER! This dog is a fish Popsicle!"

Today, my family had our annual Christmas day run down by the Columbia River in Kennewick, WA. My sister's dog, Riley, (as well as Kona) rolled on a dead fish. Kona couldn't lick herself but Riley was accessible.

Merry Christmas from the ByDog Siberians!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Jingle and Okie

Last Christmas, Keegan got a story about Jingle the husky pup and a "talking" stuffed Jingle came with it. "Jingle even loved to sing" is one of the lines that makes Jingle sing a little husky tune.


 Tonight as I was feeding dogs I realized Okanogan has a very similar song (though it also can have a barking ring to it at times).
Maybe they're long lost siblings?! See the resemblance?


Monday, December 17, 2012


Gotta love fresh poop on new snow! So easy to find it and even easier to scoop! SNOW!

Also this season our eldest has finally decided he does like snow! Which is a big relief to us, as the best time of the year is when the dogs and we can go play! He even likes joining me to feed the dogs!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Happy (belated) Birthday Tensaw

Oops! Sorry Tensaw. You got your Happy Birthday's on the day but the post is a day late. Plus, you got the best present ever, a run in the snow! So...

You are such a wonderful, goofy, cuddly dog, after my own heart. You are one special guy!

Happy (Belated) Fourth Birthday, my Tenny Bear!


Saturday, December 15, 2012

On the sled again!

Went out on the sled for the first time this season. It was glorious! The dogs did phenomenal! Keegan came along. He did great too and had lots of fun. Worlds better than last season when he wouldn't even put a snow suit on without pools of tears. The dogs are in much better shape this year and pulled us through some thick trail. Everyone was glad to be out in the cool, crisp morning! Including a local training partner, Nicki Arndt. We had a tangle with her team and it was trying for everyone but we made it through and the rest of the run definitely made up for it! Here's to the season! May it be enjoyable.




Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Pinky and the Brain


Okanogan has been having trouble with our out and back runs, the only training option we have from our house. She's been turning the team around without command so she's be relegated to swing where she still helps with gee and haw but doesn't turn the team around. So I've been running many combinations of dogs up in lead.

The last two days, I ran Isis and Tank together. I've labeled them "Pinky and the Brain" from characters in the '90's cartoon with the same name. Tank is Pinky. He's work horse of the operation and the sidekick that will do whatever Isis, "the Brain" commands. In the cartoon, the Brain devises evil plots to take over the world. Isis definitely has plots, be they evil or not, to take over the world, or at least her immediate world.


On Saturday, no evil plots came to fruition. There was a short detour in an attempt to follow a running herd of deer but they listened well and continued course down the road. Sunday was another story, the evil plot to obtain a rabbit for dinner, led to a long pause in the run as I attempted to drag 6 dogs back up to the trail, 5 of which wanted rabbit; Okanogan just wanted to run.

Tank and Isis are a funny combination as Tank is about twice the height of Isis and they are very opposite personalities but are buddy-buddy. They complement each other well in lead but without the stability of Okanogan running by all distractions we are sometimes in for a bit of an adventure.


Speaking of adventures, Keegan got his shot at his first training today with the team. It was a very chilly day but we bundled him good and I think he had a blast. He tried talking to me the whole time but I couldn't hear him most the time. At one point I heard him ask, "what's 'gee'?"


Good times with the ByDog Siberians!

Love your puppas!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Speed, Focus...okay not really focus...

Our training runs have been great lately! Unfortunately, I've not been running my "gee haw" leader, Okanogan, in lead because she's been my "haw-around-when-I-don't-want-her-to" leader as of late. None of the other dogs know gee/haw, at least in the gangline (they do quite well when we canicross).

Isis has been a great little, solid leader but the pace she keeps is slow. Kona is always solid but also holds a slow pace. Tank will run lead but doesn't do anything but run fast. Usually a pairing of Tank with Kona or Isis keeps the team moving forward and at a good pace.

(Pic caption: Isis and Kona leading on Saturday)

Today I decided I wanted speed, pure speed. I put Shilah and Tank in lead. Shilah was definitely the brains of the operation (she's turning into a nice leader). Learning her gees and haws; just not confident enough to act on them if her co-leader gives her some resistance. She has a weakness for bunny rabbits, but what Siberian doesn't (even Okie does, she just runs faster but, when in harness, leaves them alone). And boy are there a lot of bunny rabbits along our training route. But if you tell Shilah to "leave it" she'll often drag Tank (or other leader) on by it. Earlier in the week, she found a bunny carcass, that was fun....for the dogs....

So this evening, Tank and Shilah led the team and we were flying! Okay, for most teams a max speed of 14 mph is not flying but that's a pretty good clip for my team. Usually, we average between 9-11 mph, today we averaged between 12-14 mph! Without Okie up there it still takes me getting off the ATV to help lead them around some turns but it's all good training, and it's much less frustrating for every being involved than the alternative.

(Pic caption: Shilah and Tank leading the team getting a drink before we turn around)

Though Okie is a great backseat driver. When she's in swing she doesn't turn the team around unless I command and it helps guide the less experienced leaders! Go TEAM!

Always love your Puppas!

Slow but steady run in the beautiful Bitterroot Valley. Gotta love the view (not the dog butts...the panoramic).

Sunday, November 25, 2012

No curl for Blue

This weekend we traveled up to Troy, MT where Cobey was raised and where we met. Three of the dogs used to live there as well. So we brought Blue, Kona and Tensaw (the Original Gangsters) along on the trip. They were stoked to be back and as soon as they got out of the truck they ran like nut jobs around the cabin.

It's amazing how well Cobey has them trained. Even though it's been 3.5 years since they've lived there, they still practice what they were taught; location specific cues.

On Friday, Cobey and the dogs were making a trek around the 20 acre, wooded property. First, it should be known, Tensaw is notorious for running into things. Instead of slowing down while approaching a door or other object he figures "it'll stop me" and he smacks right into it.

Cobey called them back to him. Blue and Kona came running with Tensaw on their heels. He came running up behind Blue and instead of going around her, he plowed right into the old dog's back side. She gave out a big yelp. I bet it did hurt, Tenny's head is pure, thick bone. Later we realized that she wasn't holding her tail up. She can move it if she wants to but it's definitely hurting her. Poor girl. Hopefully it heals up nicely, because I like the way Bluey holds her tail with a cocky, gangster lean.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

We had a great run this morning and now we're stepping off the grid for Turkey day. So we're wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving now!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


I wanted to be cool like the big kennels and made magnets for organizing training teams. This is highly unnecessary for us, as we only have 8 dogs, manageable without this system but still, now we're cool!


Monday, November 19, 2012



My two pooped leaders getting some well deserved couch time after a great run.

Isis can be a stubborn little dog but it pays off in lead. She doesn't let the team boss her around, she does the bossing. She was told to "on by" so, gosh-darn-it, she's gonna!

And Kona, well, we've probably made it clear by now, she is one solid dog all the way around. You can trust her with any job :)

Good job team!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunny fall days

Some pictures from today's run. Not always the smoothest turns but solid running in between. Need some leader training but the team doesn't lack in enthusiasm.




Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday Afternoon Run

Our run today was very enjoyable. My team is so great. Good runners and wonderful dogs. Some of them are real characters too (I'm talking about you Tensaw)! Here are some pictures and a video from today.


Running the ditch road.

When we got back. Time to eat snow!

Shilah's doing great in lead with Okie, and she has the smile to show it'

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Running again

We had some early season ATV issues so we're behind on training but we lost no time upon getting our ATV back! It hadn't been back for 20 minutes and we were down the road. I love runs at night in fresh snow! This seasons gonna be fun!

See a clip of our run here:

Saturday, October 13, 2012

First Run of the Season

It's a new year. Or at least the way we see it around here the new year starts in the fall because that's when teams can start running again. I was a bit behind when I ideally would have liked to start training but, to be honest, I was a little nervous about our new training method. The ATV. As before we bought ours this summer I had never driven or ridden on one.

This being my first training run with the team on it, I only took 4 dogs. Okie and Paluk, as they have experience with that from their previous home, and Tank and Shilah, who really don't care, they just want to run.

The run was a little over 2 miles and they did good. Okie took over where she left off, turning the team around when I didn't ask. Tank promptly got placed in lead with her and it went well from there. No more single lead for Okie. Plus she needs to train the younger dogs to run lead.

You wouldn't have thought anything adverse had happened to Paluk at the end of last season, she was just right back into it, pulling with much enthusiasm.

It's good to be running the team again!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Happy Birthday Kona!

Today our beloved Kona turned 9!

Cobey couldn't have put it any better: "I would take one hundred more like her."

You're a great dog Kona!


Friday, August 10, 2012

Happy Birthday Isis!

It's the season of birthdays! Isis turns 2 today!  Just like with my kids, it goes by fast; it feels like it was just yesterday that we got her.  She was so tiny and....well, she hasn't grown much.  She's the smallest in our yard but doesn't lack on personality.  She's certain she's the biggest and toughest in the yard.  She's also sure she's more pet than athlete.  Once we figured that out life got easier for everyone and the only thing we require from her is love.  That's not to say she doesn't run with the team, she does and she loves it (what Siberian wouldn't) but she loves being a fuzzy house sidekick more.

Happy Birthday Tiny Little Isis!


Friday, August 3, 2012

Happy (Belated) Birthday Blue!

We celebrated it on time but I'm posting a bit late.  As Blue is a rescue we don't know her exact birthday.  She is estimated to be between 11-12 years old.  As everyone else has a birthday and it gets celebrated, we designated a special day for her too.  That was August 1st.  She got all the special treatment and (extra) love deserved of on a birthday!  Here's to many more!

Friday, July 27, 2012

The story of Kona and Blue, our look alikes

Frequently, we get asked if Kona and Blue are siblings. To us they are, just like all our other dogs are siblings too, but in the true sense of the word, they aren't. The two have a strange connection, though, and look very similar. In fact, the reason we have Blue is because they look so similar.

This story is from before I joined the pack. Kona was Cobey's first dog, some days when he would go to work he would take her to a doggie daycare called Dog Logic in Missoula. One day he got a call from Dog Logic claiming that they had Kona; someone dropped her by or they had seen her wandering near the daycare. Cobey hoped it wasn't Kona as he had left her home that day and she shouldn't have been wandering the streets. When he got there he found that it wasn't Kona but a dog that looked very much like her. He told them that she wasn't Kona but if they couldn't find the owners he would take her. The owners eventually stepped forward and took her home but soon Cobey received a call. "Do you still want this dog? We can't handle her she always runs away." Ahhh....huskies.

Kona and Blue have a special bond and we see it quite often in the way they sit together. Many times we catch them sitting identically or mirror image to each other. Frequently, we do not catch the moment on film because the opening of a door causes them to jump up. Most photos we do have are through the window or from a distance but I thought I'd share a couple of the mirror image photos we've snapped through the years.

Kona (left) and Blue (right)

Mirror image yet not on the same plane.

Mirror image on the porch.

Napping mirror image.

And my favorite, paw to paw in the sun.

Not mirror image but identical.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Time for a swim!

Well there are only a few that enjoy the water.  Our two big, tall monsters; Shilah and Tank.  The rest just watch them enjoy it and get splashed in the process.  Some, like Okie, though will put their paws in when it gets really hot.

Tank likes the water a lot.  He makes it all muddy in a matter minutes, jumping in and out and splashing all around.

Shilah wouldn't get in while I had the camera, but I think it's quite obvious, by the muddy water and the low level, that she's been enjoying hte pool.

Okie deemed it hot enough and got her paws wet.

Blue doesn't touch the stuff

Kona prefers to stand in the sprinklers while hunting voles (not pictured).

Shilah enjoys the top of her house too.

Paluk is very vocal about the water (as well as everything else in life).  "I don't like it!"

Isis says "I don't mind it.  I won't willingly step in it but I won't fuss about it if I do get wet.  I prefer to join Kona by the vole sprinklers."

"Didn't you hear me?!  I don't like it!"

Our smallest (Isis) and tallest (Tank) dogs.  They like to play together.

Enjoying some shade.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


We have finally sucked it up and bought an ATV for training our team.  After last season's late season mishap with the cart we decided it was time.  Our kennel had grown in the last year and training had become difficult with a cart that could only handle 4 dogs at a time.  Now we'll be able to run the whole team at once making training more efficient and keeping the dogs in better shape.  Here in the Bitterroot Valley we get snow on the valley bottom intermittently throughout the winter.  It's never much, not enough for sledding but too much for the cart, and melts within a few days.  It would throw off my weekly training schedule trying to get all the dogs 3-4 days a week of running.  Now I'll have more flexibility for those bad (yet good because it was snow) weather days because we'll still be able to run the team by ATV and if it's too icy than we can just skip a day and we'll still be able to get the full training in.  Cobey also was reluctant to run the team by cart because he felt he wasn't agile enough to handle the turn at the beginning.  Now he can run the team too more regularly.  Excited for fall training!


Friday, April 27, 2012


It's now offically the off season for us around here.  It's been too warm to run the dogs.  I was recently organizing my photos and realized there are a bunch of gems I wanted to share.

Okanogan relaxing in the yard. Feb 2012.

Tensaw doing his typical pose.  Feb 2012.

Paluk looking focused. Feb 2012.

Shilah and Tank taking after their mother (Paluk). Feb 2012.

Isis showing off her beauty. Feb 2012.

Isis and Tank playing one year ago when Tank was smaller than Isis.  Now he's twice her height! April 2011.

Paluk in her old spot, she's since moved to a wider location. April 2011.

Okanogan looking beautiful as well!  April 2011.

Kona, Isis and Tank (as a small pup) running around together.  Look how small he is!  April 2011.

Blue, Tensaw, Kona and puppy Isis standing at the door.  Dec 2010.

Puppy Isis relaxing in the kitchen. Nov 2010.

Tensaw, Kona, and Blue giving us some good poses.  Nov 2010.