Waylon and Torch have retired from SP Kennel!
It is always a big decision for us to retire someone and especially someone as iconic as Waylon or with as much potential as Torch. Check out this story (click on red link) for some more information about dogs that have been retired recently from the kennel and our philosophy of “the right home for the right dog at the right time”.
Waylon has done it all! His race history is as long as your arm and everyone loves him. He has never looked like a typical sled dog – Aliy described him as “a crazy faced, brilliant blue-eyed, opinionated, loud, talented fellah. But, what often strikes people is the fact that he has literally ZERO husky fur, enormous rabbit ears and long thin legs. And… he weighs in at just over a sack of dog food = 40 pounds.”
Waylon is as tough and competitive as they come. In the Iditarod 2014 when the team battled through the ground blizzard at Safety, Aliy promised him he could sleep in the bed if he made it all the way to Nome. And he did!
Waylon has a unique “frog bark” and was always so enthusiastic, especially at the start line!
Around this time last year Waylon overcame another challenge when he lost a toe! Check out this story (click on red link) for more information about that. It didn’t slow him down too much and he finished the 2017 Iditarod on the Black Team with Allen.
Torch had enormous potential but was never able to fulfil his sled dog destiny due to an internal thermostat/overheating issue that showed up periodically. When he did run he was strong, focused and talented but we realised he was going to be better suited as a pet and recreational sled dog.
Torch raced in the Solstice 100 and Copper Basin 300 in 2015 with Spencer who said “A yearling who had an exceptional attitude. He always wanted to go and even in the middle of the race was barking while charging up the hills and keeping everyone excited and in good spirits. He ate everything that I put in front of him, and was always the first to rise from the straw and show he’s readiness to hit the trail.”
Waylon and Torch travelled together to New Zealand to go live with Sheryll. Sheryll has been Torch’s sponsor since his puppy year and has visited the kennel a couple of times to bond with him. She even travelled to Nome to see the teams cross the finish line of the 2017 Iditarod. Yes, New Zealand is a long distance from Two Rivers, but with a coordinated effort between us, North Pole Veterinary Hospital, an export agent, the quarantine facility in Auckland and Sheryll, they arrived safely and have embraced their new lives.
We’ll let Sheryll take it from here… There are certainly challenges ahead for them – they have moved to a coastal town on the east coast of New Zealand, in the beginning of summer! Everything probably sounds and smells different to them, but they have a remarkable outlook on life and take everything in their stride.
There are certainly challenges ahead for them – they have moved to a coastal town on the east coast of New Zealand, in the beginning of summer! Everything probably sounds and smells different to them, but they have a remarkable outlook on life and take everything in their stride.
Thank you to Joy and Nick Weis and Dow who sponsored Waylon throughout his career and to everyone who ever joined Waylon or Torch’s Fan Club. We know you will miss seeing them at the kennel as much as we will but hope you are excited to hear about their interesting new lives.