Now that the ‘Dog Page’ on the Dog Log is somewhat unavailable on line, it is not as easy to follow the stories while looking at the individual dog portraits and stats. We hope to fix that when the new website comes on line. But… until then: Who is currently in training?
We have been training 4 to 6 teams in the mornings. We are up and harnessing before daylight (sunrise was 6:50AM this morning.) The temperatures have been between 38 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Certainly not cold, but manageable with water breaks.
One dog who is not training with SP Kennel this season is Mac.
Mac moved in with Wes and Wendy during last season when it became obvious that his overheating issue was a long term condition. A true bummer for the SP Kennel race enthusiast. But, a awesome pet dog addition for the Brightmans. And although Mac might miss his time running in harness, he clearly enjoys his solo playtime, constant ear rubs and special attention.
From Wes and Wendy:
“Big Mac”, “Mac-a-doodle”, “Mac Daddy”. Everyone seems to have their own name for the popular and biggest dog in the SP Kennel yard. It’s amazing to see how small he was once upon a time. This spring, Aliy and Allen decided it was time for Mac to retire from racing.
Mac has had a wonderful career, retiring with three Yukon Quest championships and Iditarod top finishes under his harness. We were very excited to welcome Mac to our 5 acre farm. He starts each day with a morning patrol around the borders of the farm, checking on the overnight activities of the fox, moose, grouse, or squirrels; sniffing the peony flowers to see if they are ready for harvest. This is followed by a brisk run down the dog sled trail and around the moose pond. After breakfast, it’s a nap in the sun on the rug.
On very special days, (hot, sunny, summer days), Mac enjoys a swim in the pond. Yes, I did say “swim”. Generally, Alaskan Huskies aren’t crazy about getting wet. So what a surprise, when a few summers ago, Mac plunged into the water swimming after Tig the Labrador. Apparently he spent several summer walks watching Tig swim in the slough and thought it would be a great thing to try. Mac’s athletic build, large paws, and competitive nature make it a very entertaining sport for him.
Two weeks ago was special as Mac turned 8 years old on August 21. To celebrate, Mac had a trip to the pond, where he enjoyed a cool swim and a game of fetch. We are impressed with his diving skills, and included a video for you to admire.
Fall training has already started. Dog teams go past our house often. Mac watches each one, studying their technique, and barking out critiques to the young pups. We aren’t sure how he’ll react to a full season of watching teams on the trail, yet he seems quite content watching from a rug in the warm house. – Wendy/Wes