Saturday, February 28, 2015

That's Why We Do This

It was family outing day! Oh it was fun!!!

Cobey and Keegan went across the road to Lost Trail Powder Mountain and Brandi and Rohn ran the dog team at Gibbons Pass Road. Surprisingly the trails were in pretty good shape.

Rohn took to his task of musher quickly. He grabbed the shovel from me and started scooping up random dog poop in the parking lot like an old pro. He's got that very necessary task down..on to the next. 

We hooked up 9 dogs and left down the trail. We ran the team 9 miles.  The plan was only to go a few so Rohn didn't get exhausted.  But he was so exhausted he just took a nap for most of the run, so I decided to go farther.  The dogs really needed it.  They haven't run as many miles as they have been this week and they were starting to get snarky with each other. Everyone was happy after the great run.

Rohn picking up some dog poop.

Out on the trail.

Lookin' cool in his shades. The snow was flying up in his face, so I gave him my glasses.

It was a beautiful day! a good time to take a nap.

On the way back, Tank switched with Okie for the lead position.

Napping again.

Rohn took a turn on the sled.  He loved it!

On the home stretch.

And then he was out again. While I put gear away he snoozed.  He really needed a nap and he took a nice long, toasty warm one in the sled. I had so much fun running dogs with Rohn.

Dogs finally wore out!  They haven't run as many miles this week and it's been obvious.  They needed that.

Then Rohn and I went to pick up the other two boys from the ski hill. We got to see Keegan ski! He did great!

Good job boys!

Love your puppas!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


On Sunday we did a dog sled demo at the first Missoula Winter Carnival. It was not ideal conditions or "trail" but we made it work. The little mushers really had a good time. 

ByDog Siberians at Marshall Mountain, East Missoula

This spring was making a beautiful ice curtain.

Tonight we went for a run. Not very far (5 miles) but it was fast (13 mph average). Winter came back but I blinked and then it was gone again. By this evening it was again very warm for the dogs and I over dressed for the occasion. 

Still we had fun. And even found a remaining patch of snow to cool off in. 

Okie and Buzz

Jig and Whip laying in the snow.

My superstar leaders, Buck and Flier.

Tensaw, Isis and Tank cooling off.

Headed home.

Good work boys!

Love your puppas!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Absaroka's Paluk of ByDog

Absaroka's Paluk of ByDog

August 30, 2004-February 16, 2015

It has been a tough week for everyone here at ByDog Siberians. Monday we lost an amazing dog very unexpectedly.  She is our first dog to pass from ByDog Siberians since we started taking in and breeding these wonderful dogs.  Paluk came to us in 2010 from Absaroka Dog Sled Treks and in those short 4.5 years has left a big impression in our hearts and at our kennel.

Paluk was one of a kind.  We are certain, had she been a human, she'd spent her life in the looney bin. Luckily she spent part of her crazy dog life with us! She was extremely vocal and had a strange human like wail, which was very loud. Many times I found it frustrating, sometimes I found it amusing, and other times I just stared in amazement. The distances we run (~10-15 miles/run) were never enough for her.  Within a minute of returning or stopping on the trail, Paluk was hitting her harness and crying to go.

Paluk's cry.  It has been much quieter in the yard during feeding and hook-up. Did not think I would miss it, but the first few feedings without Paluk, I bawled by eyes out.

Paluk was nutty.  Here I found her barking in Flier's dog house. Strange in its own right.  Turns out she was barking at a wasp's nest. Even stranger.

She LIVED to run! After news of Paluk's passing Cynthia Rylant's story "Dog Heaven" was shared with us.  The first line is very appropriate: "When dogs go to heaven, they don't need wings, because running is what they love to do the best." Paluk was an outstanding dog to the moment she died. She was an amazing leader, very focused, would run by almost any distraction.  She was strong. Oh was she strong. Many times she'd pull me over on the way to the dog truck or gangline. But she was also sweet. She loved to be pet but could only stand still for a few moments at a time.  Her (rather large) paws always seemed to be tap dancing.

Paluk whelped one litter with us giving us our powerhouse, Tank.  One of his litter mates, Thor, is at Sixth Day Sled Dogs and is an extremely driven and strong dog.  No doubt each of them acquired these great traits from Paluk.

When Paluk died she had only 25% of her lung capacity.  An autopsy revealed 75% of her lungs were tumor riddled.  When the vet called with the results the first thing she said was "I am so incredibly impressed with your girl." Paluk had slowed down this season and we had attributed it to old age, as other older dogs in our kennel hit 10 and did the same. Now I'm certain it was her diminishing lung capacity. Even with hindsight, I would not have been able to predict any lung issues. She was running 10 miles with the team and when we'd stop she was not laboring to breath and within a minute, was crying to go. The short of it is, Paluk was performing along with the other dogs on a quarter of her lung capacity, and keeping up!  She was the toughest dog I've ever known, and probably will ever know.

I miss her terribly. The empty space in the yard and in the gang line still upset me. The space she leaves behind will never truly be filled.  Thank you for everything Paluk. 

Rest in peace. But I'm absolutely sure you won't.  Peace, quiet, and rest are not what you are about.

Paluk and Sepp leading Sonya's team to the finish this year at the Rodeo Run in West Yellowstone.

She was a very affectionate dog. And much easier to "cuddle" with after a good hard run.

The biggest smiles you'd ever see on her face were when she was in harness.

Paluk joined my sister and I on my 30th birthday run.

January 2015, ready to start running again!
Paluk (swing) digging in!

Such a beautiful girl!  Always smiling!

Paluk led the team with with Okie during Priest Lake sled dog race 2013.

Paluk and I canicrossing.

This beautiful girl looks like a pup! But she's 9 here.

One of my first races with Paluk. A very impressive girl (wheel, your gee)! Flathead Sled Dog Race 2012.

Love your puppas!
We love you Paluk!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Evening Run

It's still been warm but the dogs needed I stretch their legs. So we went for a short 5 miles this evening since it was at least below 45F. 

Buck led with Flier! What studs!!

Taking a water break. 

Good boys!!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Is winter over?!?!

It is ridiculous outside!  The thermometer reads 57F!!! It's almost certainly low 60s in the sun!

This morning after feeding the dogs, all dogs just got some free running time. Absolutely no running of dogs today.

Some kennel chores were in order.  It's supposedly going to cool off here (at least at night) next week.  So old straw out, clean straw will go in soon.  I'm giving the dog houses some time to air out and dry.

Jig and Whip giving me a "cute" break!!!

...and a pep talk.  "It's looking great!"

The boys got out and stretched their legs too. Whip very much loves her boys.  Too much though, she often knocks them down when she gets really excited.

Buzz being the blackest dog in the yard, thinks this heat is ridiculous too.

Buck.  What a jolly grin!

Okie always has something to say. This time, we all know what it is.  "I want to run.  Go away spring come back in a couple months"

Tensaw figures since we won't be a sled dog kennel any more (given the poor winter weather these days), he'd better start practicing to be a show dog.

Whip getting a drink.

Tank is a photo bomber but usually up front and center!

Paluk and Flier basking in the sun!

It's ME again!  Yes, Tank, you are very handsome!

Flier is quite the personality!

Just goofing around! He likes to cuddle up close!

This shot was pretty cool of his tongue in action!

Paluk on the other hand does not like pictures taken of her....

So I have to sneak them over my shoulder....


Ten.  Getting to be an old man!

He's practicing up for baseball.  It is spring training time, right?

Lazy sunny day for sure.

WHAT?! Tulips in mid-FEBUARY!?!

We're doomed. Winter is over.

Here comes spring.

So Kona got a spring cleaning.  She was very reluctant, hates getting brushed.  But she feels, looks and smells so much better.

Looking beautiful Kona.  You're a new woman!

As hard as it is to believe (as I type this at my computer with a spring breeze flowing in through my open window), we are headed to Seeley Lake this evening to watch the start of the Race to the Sky.  Very excited to meet the Pretty Curly Tails of NorthWapiti!