Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Photos from Iditarod 2010

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The team waiting to go!

Jodi and Baldy, both incredible 9-year-olds, leading Blake's team

Blake and his Crew!

Ceremonial Start with Forrest Shepherd driving the second sled and Carol Hicks as Blake's Iditarider!

Blake and his Iditarider, Carol Hicks

The team!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

August 2009: Puppies, Berries, and Training!

Greetings from Manitou Crossing Kennels!

Ripe blueberries and raspberries can only mean one thing... Summer has flown by and we are gearing up for an amazing 2010 Racing Season!!

We have an awesome crew of handlers arriving in the next month, and we are sure to have a great time preparing for the races. We plan to have teams running in the White Oak, Beargrease, UP 200, Iditarod, Ely's Wolf Track Classic, and the Red River Dog Derby. The Can-Am is a possibility but we will see how the season progresses. Perhaps I can be in Nome to see the team arrive!

We will have our hands full with preparing three teams for the Beargrease Marathon (Blake, Jen, and Phil each racing teams), raising the 20 beautiful pups that have been born here in the last month, and most excitingly, getting Blake and his team prepared and to to Alaska to compete in Iditarod 2010!!

The ATV and lines are all set and ready for the next cool morning so we can begin training teams in harness. Naturally, it has been a very cool summer, and as soon as we are ready to begin hooking up teams, the heat wave arrives! No stress though... the dogs have been free-running for the past month in their newly expanded exercise hard and are in great shape. Even today, the hottest day of the year, they spent three hours running and playing early this morning before enjoying some cold meaty soup and settling in to nap during the heat of the day.

Live is Good!

Our favorite Georgian handler is packing her car, and tomorrow she will begin her trek North with her two faithful huskies, Susan and Calypso. We look forward to seeing Alice and sharing another great season of long snowy trails with her! Alice is planning to run in the Mocossin Run in Decemeber, the Ely Wolf Track Classic, and possibly some other races depending on how the season goes.

It has been a busy summer here at MCK with a lot of great things happening. In May, we were in Pennsylvania to speak and met a lot of great folks, including Kimberly Wagner who mentioned she was looking for an opportunity to handle at a sled dog kennel. Kim arrived at MCK June 23rd to spend a few weeks working with us and getting to know the dogs. Kim will be back at the kennel the end of August and joining the crew here at MCK and the "World Famous Australian Musher" will be getting on the runners of a sled behind a team of for the first time this winter!! We are really looking forward to Kim being a part of our team this winter. Kim began scootering with her dogs in Austalia several years ago and has made the move to get serious about dog sledding! Welcome to the crew, Kim!!

Meanwhile Phil, Stevie, and Rebeca visited from Ireland and went on some back-country tr
ips into the BWCA and Canada. Phil will be returning to MCK in mid-September and begin training our yearlings to run in this year in the Beargrease Marathon. Phil will likely be traveling with Blake to Alaska and be Blake's handler for the Iditarod.

Just before Phil and Kim returned home in July, they
helped us build a great exercise yard addition onto our kennel. We put up 650 ft of fencing off the back of our existing kennel complex. The dogs now have over 2 acres to run and play in during free play time, and do they ever love it!

Our new arrivals are thriving. Karhu has 2 males and 2 females sired by Baldy, Domita has 7 males and 1 female sired by Punto, and Kimber has 4 males and 4 females sired by Frog. The next generation has arrived!

Ziggy's orphans, born St Patty's day, have grown to beautiful, healthy young dogs! We look forward to seeing these promising youngsters in harness this winter for some fun early training runs. They are really wonderful, sweet dogs!


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Training the Pups!!

Violet and Rose

Alice training the pups the fine art of being sled dogs at MCK!
The youngsters are running beautifully and are really fun to work with.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Where did September go?

Wow! Time seems to be flying by. We have been running right along, working hard every day, and suddenly I realized we are already well into October.
Alice has been here nearly two months already and she has played a critical roll in getting our fall training season off to a great start. We are training three, approximately 18 dogs teams, plus working with the 20 pups. The race dogs are well ahead in training from any other season and all are progressing superbly in their training and conditioning.

We are working on developing new leaders, especially among the 2 and 2.5 year olds. They are all showing a lot of potential! It has been really fun seeing their different reactions to running in lead for the first time. The Trouble/Teddy litter (born 2006) have a natural tendency to turn around and look at us when the team in stopped rather than lining out properly. We'll be working on that! The Fiona/Trekkie litter (2006) get right to work and hardly miss a beat. They may lift their tail up a bit at first or get taken off guard when they try to dip for water out of a puddle, but overall, they are amazingly professional young dogs.

We have had a fair amount of moose activity in the area lately! Last week, the two year old team was about 7 miles from home when I knew instantly they were in pursuit of something. I called them up and let them run, just as I saw something large, dark, and hairy round the bend ahead of us. I knew it had to be either a moose or Sasquatch! We were off at speeds the team hadn’t yet run this fall, and as we topped a hill and rounded another bend, I realized I better back them off a bit because we were right on the on the heels of a big cow. I held them back and the moose picked up her pace, but we were setting some nice speeds for another mile (about 14mph) and kept it up through a clean head-on pass with Blake team. What a thrill!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Fall!

Happy Trails,

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Pack Welcomes Alice!

The Whole Pack would like to Welcome Alice White to the Kennel!! All the dogs are quickly bonding to Alice and she is quickly learning all their names and personalities. I was trying to get a good photo of Alice but was having a really hard time seeing her through the pile of puppies!

California Fire photos

Here are a few photos from the fires in Northern CA. We spent most of the time camped in the hills and resupplied by a pack train of mules and helicopter.

Thanks to the Midewin Interagency Hotshot crew for a great time.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Picture Day

The puppies posed for a few photos again today!
I spend hours playing with the pups nearly everyday... time spent playing with the dogs is never wasted time! :) It can be pretty challenging since it seems all 21 want to crawl into your lap at the same time. Naturally, they then begin to fight over who gets to sit in your lap so a giant bite-n-fight game breaks out! They are so much fun.
I hope enjoy the photos of the "Next Generation" of Jedeye Siberian Huskies!