A place to keep a journal of activities here at Deer Creek Sleddogs. Please click on the Facebook link for most recent photos and updates.
Welcome to Deer Creek Sleddogs!
We try to occasionally post what is going on around here or what we might be thinking about at the time. Sometimes, I will start a blog entry, but not finish it until some other day. This causes the blog to post at the original date when I first began. So if you periodically scroll down through the previous posts, you may see one that wasn't there before.
Thanks for looking and hopefully we'll see you on the trail! Happy Mushing
This past week was very exciting because we got to finally meet our new friend Eduardo who arrived from Sweden over the weekend. He came all this way to pick up his new acquisition, Deer Creek's Jersey. Eduardo was able to spend a few days with our family and getting to know Jersey in order to make the transition a bit easier on her. Thursday, he arrived back home in Sweden with Jersey in tow. We will miss Jersey so much, but are very happy to know the caring man who is now her owner and will take very good care of her. Lots of luck Eduardo and Jersey!
Next month, Cat, BJ, Trapper, and Tiberius will make their long journey to London. They have grown into such beautiful dogs. It will be a bittersweet moment when their time comes to leave Deer Creek. However, I am confident they will be well received in the UK.
Just to let you all know, we do a much better job of updating photos and things on Deer Creek's Facebook page as opposed to keeping up (timely) with the blog and website updates. So click on the Facebook badge on the left to see what is going on around here.
The summer has just flown by! It is only a matter of weeks before full-out training starts. I don't remember such a busy summer considering the very little traveling we've done. Between all of the construction/destruction projects and all of the new additions to the kennel over this past year the days are filled before we even get out of bed in the morning. Most all free time has been spent rearing last fall's Hope and Jena litters. No complaints in that department!!!They look amazing and all have really sprouted in a gorgeous set of yearlings.
This past year has been bitter-sweet in terms of the Seppala kennels we've lost to the economy or impending retirement, which is always sad to see. However, we've been able to acquire some super dogs from those sell-outs/retirments. We are particularly pleased with the addition of Seppaltas Rosie, Yanna, 3 of Seppaltas "A" litter, and a number of others. Specifically, I have been a long-time admirer of Rosie. We've owned others with her pedigree like Vixen and Vira, but it always felt like Rosie was the real deal! She has all the characteristics of a Seppala that I think are important to being a Seppala.
Although I wasn't able to maintain a cohesive race schedule last year due to the stream of new additions, who were all at varying levels of conditioning on arrival, I was able to run Rosie in a couple short races. Her style is so similar to Velvet's style. They run like rabbits everywhere they go, but best of all they do it with the biggest smile on their faces! The next best part is they are both hardcore Gee/Haw leaders!
I am certain that Rosie and Velvet will play a big part in training my yearlings and 2 yr olds over the next couple years. Collectively speaking, we are confident we have finally ended up with the best of the best. It is now up to us as mushers to cultivate, grow, and maintain the level of performance that is inherent in these dogs.
As far the constuction/destruction projects, we finally got around to extending the female yard a few rows. Then moved on to replacing some old, temporary, 100 square foot kennels with 500 square foot kennels in order to better maintain future litters. Replacement of dog houses are next on the list, but seems to be one of those conitnual projects that will never really go away. Next, we expanded the exercise yard. It was really more for organizational purposes than space, but it worked out perfectly. There is a second exercise yard in the works, but with training season on our heals, I am not sure that will happen until spring.
Other big news from the summer was our arrival Zen, Zuri, Zeke and Zephyr (Seppalta's Hank x Sepp-lok's Velvet). As onerey as they are cute :)
I am not sure where all the time went. I think about updating this blog all the time but just never quite get there. I suppose I should break this down into months...if I can even remember what all has happened since December!!
Part of what has kept us so busy is raising the fall litters. It certainly isn't ideal for us to have fall litters. Between our work schedules and training, it really is an extra effort to bring them up properly and make sure they are socialized. I suppose sometimes it is necessary though. No more often than Hope comes into heat, we had to take what we could get! The Hope pups are all I had hoped they would be. Nicely built, healthy, loving, GREAT eaters, and ready for anything! The Jena pups are for sure going up fast and big. They are all going to very good sized dogs with LOTS of attitude. Deer Creek's Maxie is going to be staying with here, Radar went to his new home in Colorado, and the other four are awaiting to complete the pet passport red tape before they jet off to the UK
December did end up bringing us *some* snow although not nearly enough. Allan got into full swing of training for the Seeley 200. Many, many late nights of just running and camping his team. Even though the snow didn't really come early enough, we are fortunate enough that he could make long runs from our yard with the 4-wheeler. Not ideal and not how we would prefer to train, but better than not training at all. I suppose the biggest down side what the extra attention that had to paid to feet so early in the year. 800 miles of dirt training does take its toll on feet. Lots of booties. Despite the training method, the dogs came from it very strong and happy. Not one time did they hesitate to leave the yard or camp site.
We see all the time through races how sleddogs can march through the Iditarod or the Beargrease, but our dogs? We were truly humbled by the stamina and determination. More fairly, we now have more faith in the abilities of our dogs and ourselves. I expect in the future you will see Deer Creek dogs stepping it up