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 :)