After our racing season came to its conclusion by end of March, few things have happened, both sad and happy. We are now well underway with the fall training for next season and it is time to summarize what went on in between.
In our previous blog one can read about the 2016 race season.
First of all, Iden gave birth to an adorable female puppy on March 22th. Iden was one of only two females on our winning IFSS World Championship Nordic Breed/Finnmark500 team in 2015 and a veteran of many other races. Being a key member of the team despite her small size, we tried few times earlier to get a litter from her, but she has a very short heat and is very opiniated about males. We were happy she got bred by Pamuk last January, only one day after the team had come back from Vildmarksracet. Although she gave birth to one puppy without complications, we took her to the vet to get the second puppy delivered, sadly it was still born. Upon arrival at the veterinary clinic for a C-section, Iden managed to push it out by herself and was spared an operation. She recovered well from the ordeal and has been a very playful mum to her single daughter. The little girl has much of mum’s spirit, opinion wise and running wise.
In April, our ‘once in a lifetime’ leader Nathan passed away two months short of his 15th birthday. It came as a shock as he was barking for his food in the evening and nothing suggested he would be leaving us soon, but we found him in coma the next morning and only few hours later he passed away. He was the patriarch of the kennel in so many ways: by his performance on the team as bombproof and driving force leader for many years, as the respected leader of the pack and as father, grand-father and great grandfather to many of the present team members. We felt it therefore appropiate to call the latest grand child after him. Iden’s daughter was Nathan’s last born grandchild in our kennel when he was still alive and we decided to call her Nathani in tribute to her grand father.
Beginning of April, former team member Tjalling and pack member Ch. Vienna left together to join a small team in Holland. Vienna was bred in January and would join a team in UK, but the breeding did not take and hence a change of plans saw her moving to Holland. With the both of them going to the same home, Tjalling was also reunited with his sibling Pikku Mörkki. The three of them are running on a 6-dog team and thriving. Vienna has also become the team’s main leader, a position she clearly appreciates.
At the end of April, Flapper moved to join forces with a small team of mostly girls in Monaco and has already managed to make it to alpha leader, a position he could only dream of in our pack..
At the end of March and beginning of April, well proofed team members Arktisk Storm Kahlo and Molly aVv. were bred in the hope to get some males this year. Molly is one of two females who ran on our winning World Championship 2015 team. Kahlo was in lead on PD300 this year and did a great job and both have plenty of other race finishes under their belt. We hoped to get some more males in these litters than we had for the last two years, when we only had one litter each year and only one male in both.
Kahlo was bred to Timmie and whelped on the first of June five females and once again only one male! With Molly, we repeated the mating of 2015 to Pamuk as we really liked the typiness and outgoing temperament. This time Molly had six males and one female, born June 3rd. From Kahlo’s litter, we kept the only male and one female. From Molly we have still four males. So with these six pups and young Nathani we have a gang of seven to break into harness in spring 2017.
When Nathan passed away in April, we wondered how his brother Barney would take the loss. Barney was still in great shape and although he seemed to go through a mourning process, he celebrated his 15th birthday on June 19th and is still going strong on the day of this post. Logically, we expected Barney to be the next one of our pack to cross the rainbow bridge considering his ripe age. However, the unexpected was to happen.
Over the summer we lost both 11 years old Noal and 6 years old Thor due to cancer. Both had been operated previously on an abscess. Noal was operated two years ago on mammatory gland that had turned into a tumour. Now the tumour had come back and spread rapidly to her lymphs which gave her much swelling under her jaw and in the end we saw no other way than to relief her from her pain and suffering. In January, Thor had been operated on a minor abscess in his foot which looked not all that bad. It turned out this was probably only part of a bigger problem. In June, he started to develop another abscess in the pad of his hindleg, in addition he started to get loose stoles then stopped eating all together and within a week he was gone, passing away in his sleep with a tired and weakened body. To loose three dogs within three months who all have been so precious to our team, our kennel and by way of their personality, was very shocking and depressing. Loosing Thor who was not only very close to me, but also main leader on our present team, left me demotivated for the season ahead. For a time, I was in doubt if I wanted to continue to race at all.
Luckily, the raising of 13 new lifes over the summer gave some distraction. It is always fascinating to see how fast the pups develop and how they turn into unique personalities, but also with traits coming through from parents or grand parents. In this case, all three dogs we lost this summer are ‘living on’ in these pups, making their loss a bit more bearable. And as always with each litter, it was not easy to decide whom to keep and whom to let go where. We are happy though to also be able to help other Siberian Husky enthusiasts with a new family and team addition. It’s a comfort to let a puppy go when one knows the dog gets a wonderful life and make someone else happy. As kennel, we also have to look to the team, its composition and future. When we yet again got many females this year, it was decided that Kahlo joined a new family together with one of her daughters and Molly with one of her sons. Both Kahlo and Molly are routined leaders and make wonderful teachers for their new families and we know they are in very caring homes.
Our team for 2017 is now made up of seven males and seven females totally. Three members are rookies, born July 2015. Both females of three new recruits Floss, Luce and Iska have been showing promise in lead, with especially Iska being a natural talent with great drive and an ego bigger than parents Pamuk and Molly combined. Let winter start and we are looking forward to hit the race trails once again…
We will present all 14 athletes in the next post.