As usual we do a write up on happenings at the kennel over the last couple of months. Will try to keep it brief, but it might be challenge.
After a succesful race season of 2017 in which the team achieved a 6th. place on Femund400, was nominated for Best Dog Care Award and became WSA champion long distance in 8-dog class with fastest time of both 8 and 12 dog class, it was followed by a full busy summer. A report about the Femund race can be read in previous postings on our blog.

In the beginning of April, our main team member Pippi was bred to her team colleague Timmie.
Pippi is one of our three Femund400 finishing females, together with her sister Tom Poes and team leader Olive.
Also in April, it was planned to get a long awaited puppy from distance racing kennel Shaytaan in Canada. It had been the meaning to do a puppy swap after they got a puppy from us in September 2013. However, when our female Babe got in heat at the same time that the puppy was about to travel to Europe, we suggested to have a stud service from one of their Yukon Quest and Iditarod finishing males. And so it happened that Shaytaan Psycho Killer was sent over, instead of the male puppy.
Babe is an excellent worker who was close to making the Femund team this year and she is the mum of Timmie, who is also a very steady member of the team. So, we were very happy to be able to get a second and last litter from her with a proven outcross male. Only one day after arrival at the kennel, Psycho covered Babe and the mating was repeated two days later. Psycho left back for Canada at the beginning of June after having mated Merrill av Vargevass, owned by Kennel Ulvhild of the Monsen family of Valdres, Norway. Merrill got 3 females and two males in August.

In the beginning of June, Pippi got 5 beautiful puppies by Timmie (2 m, 3 f) of which we kept male Rebus and female Mystery ‘Agatha’. Then on June 20th. Babe gave us 4 beautiful boys who all were called after figurative handsome psychos like Norman Bates, Arthur Chase, Ripley and Sylar. All these four brothers are also maturing very nicely.

On the day of the start of Polar Distans, our main leader Pamuk had been used at stud by kennel Vikerkollen and was mated with their English import Forstal Citingue. The Forstal kennel we have been following for a long time and their type of dogs are quite similar to what we have, so we think their lines could well compliment ours. We decided to take a puppy as studfee, but ended up having two as the brothers are such good friends and it was so difficult to decide between them. They joined our pack in July.

In spring we were offered a young female of kennel Vesterelva-Viddashusky from their Iditarod finishing import Ka-bi’s Lulu and their leader Langbein av Viddashusky, born December 2016. An offer we simply could not refuse. And so it happened that Vesterelva Angel came to join the pack in summer just few days after the Pamuk offspring of Vikerkollen joined the kennel.

Having suddenly so many new recruits joining the kennel is a challenge. We felt that it was for the sake of the future to get some unrelated blood in our line and therefore we want to keep as many offsprings of  those matings as possible, in order to be able to do a good evaluation. We always try to keep the number of dogs to a certain maximum so all dogs get excercised daily and get the attention they need. When the maximum is crossed, we feel we cannot provide the dogs with what they need and we rather see dogs go to other active homes where they do get the attention and needed excercise, usually in a smaller pack than ours.
We were therefore very pleased to place Bo in a fantastic retirement home with the family of Enok’s breeder in Oslo, where he is developing into a true ‘mountain goat’ as his new owner is a skilled mountaineer.
Young Mohawk, joined his brother Yakut ‘Sharok’ and is running in a small team. Their sibling Kerek joined a sprint/mid distance team in Italy in October, where the litter brother of Erasmus is running lead. We are very sure that Kerek will develop into a fantastic leader too as he was already running lead several times in our team and showed great focus.

When fabulous siblings Pamuk and Pippi (Thor a Vv. x Janneke aVv.) both got offsprings in our pack, we decided to let the other amazing sibling Tom Poes, go to befriended mushers Eva Maria Taavo and Jakob Harnesk. Tom Poes and Pippi have not been very close as sisters and Tom Poes is thriving very much in her new pack. We felt that it would be a pity not to breed from her, but as we already have offspring from her two siblings, it would be best that she would join another team where she can run lead and get a family there. If all goes according to plan, Tom Poes will be bred in the spring of 2018 at the kennel of Eva Maria and Jakob.
Also crazy running sisters Babe and Iden joined the Mountain Madness team of Eva Maria and Jakob in fall, be it only for the racing season.

So all in all, 6 dogs left the kennel after our racing season and 9 joined in, which makes we still have 25 dogs, including 16 year old Barney. There are 10 dogs on the main race team of which three will be in their first season of racing, this being Floss, Iska and Luce. They have been going through a serious season of training last year. Seven of the dogs on the main race team are Femundløpet veterans. There are totally 15 dogs on the team that is being trained with the ATV in fall, but we will split the team into two smaller teams when the winter starts seriously and we can train with the sled. Five of them are total rookies; Nathani, Evens, Chuvan, Amur and Sioux. This will be their first serious season and we are planning to run some mid distance races with them.

Then the youngters born in summer of 2017 will be harness broken in the spring of 2018, probably in the beginning of February/March, and altough 11 month old Angel has already tried her paw at running in harness, she will have to wait until the snow falls, before she can join some trips with the rookie members like Nathani, Chuvan, Evens, Sioux and Amur.

A busy winter is awaiting us.