Wednesday, December 28, 2011

4 playful puppies

-Miss W
Owner and Musher
Barking Brook Sled Dog Adventures, llc

Bonzo...mojo rising

The coolest little pup I have ever met! Bonzo so inhabits his name, this world, this moment. He is handsome, loving, sure. I can see him becoming a leader just like dad, grandma Rainy and so many others in his family. He will be a great asset on or dog sled adventure team.
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Handsome Zenji...

Pretty boy Zenji, so fluffy and cuddly! Soon to be a big sled dog doing tours and cuddling with kids....but for now he is my cuddly puppy boy.
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Monday, December 19, 2011

Fall meanderings

Fall training is going along really well.  I finally got the front brakes on the ATV fixed, so that is nice.  The dogs are getting so strong we really need both sets to stop and hold the team to take a break and water everyone.  I found out the ATV weighs 426 pounds.  I have been carrying around a 70 pound bag of sand too.  And I think the tire chains must weigh 40 or 50 pounds (and really add to the holding power).  So we are really ready for the double driver sled loaded up with happy passengers.  It actually will feel a lot easier for the dogs!!!

With the little skims of snow we have been getting the road here is no longer safe to take teams on.  6 weeks of hard hill training certainly got the dogs fit, but it is rough on the feet.  The dogs are happy to see the softer trails we have been using.  I officially named our home trails "the ten hill, 10 dog, two hour" run.  With real snow it is a whole different game of course.  And we have a gorgeous loop for our shorter tours here, great views of Mount Cardigan and Newfound Lake!

On a sad note I retired 5 dogs from the dog sled tour team pool.  They joined Anuk, and so there are now 6 retired dogs in the kennel.  They are not so sure about retired life, so I am hoping to get a few of them out for short runs on snow just for fun.  Maybe Siepa or Denali will help me pull out little Emma girl around on her snow sled.

Also sad (very very)  and not mentioned on this blog is the passing of Blanche.  I have to write her something proper...she deserves a grand story with lots of pictures.  I miss her terribly.  I wish she could have recovered, but 17+ years is a long long life.  I could not ask her to keep struggling.

-Miss W
Owner and Musher
Barking Brook Sled Dog Adventures, llc

Monday, December 5, 2011

The girls and Pema's pups

-Miss W
Owner and Musher
Barking Brook Sled Dog Adventures, llc

Monday, November 28, 2011

Dog Sledding Tours near Waterville Valley

I am really happy to say we got our permit to use the White Mountain National Forest for dog sled tours.  We have been granted several trails, and will be offering sled dog rides right in the White Mountain National Forest.  The areas where we will be giving tours include one trail very close to Waterville Valley.  Skiers and other winter enthusiasts staying in Waterville Valley, Campton, Thornton and Plymouth will enjoy easy access to a really unique and beautiful new winter adventure.

The trails we will be using are trails I have been mushing on for years, recreationally and in preparation for races.  I know them inside and out, and love and treasure every inch of them.  Some of the MOST beautiful stretches of trail on earth!  I am really excited to share these with people.
-Miss W
Owner and Musher
Barking Brook Sled Dog Adventures, llc

Leader training...again

I had a chance to retest myself on my own methods this past week.  Snowy conditions (not enough to sled on) caused me to drop back to small teams and use my Fritz Dyke cart.  I took 2 teams of 6 dogs out and so once again got to test some other members of the first string at lead.  I was really happy with the outcome, Tula and Bridget are really shaping into nice leaders.  I had the usual tussle with Tula about Gee Over.  She is a strong lefty.  I had to stop many times when we first started out.  So frustrating to do when you have a fresh team!  I did the usual gentle-pushing over.  Those moments of frustration (I really felt like giving up) are a great stage for the dawn of success.  So the praise is really heartfelt.  When Tula felt my admiration and appreciation she started to work for it!  My next step working on Gee Over is to not stop the team but ride the brake if I need to correct the leaders to gee Over more.  That step lasted only a short while before Tula and Bridget were perfectly Gee-d Over, and for the rest of the run!  Good job girls!
-Miss W
Owner and Musher
Barking Brook Sled Dog Adventures, llc

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Emma and some of the puppies

Puppies available

We still have 2 white siberian husky puppies available from our latest litter of puppies. Please visit the puppy pages on Lots of great photos!
The pups are from very nice working lines, lots of leaders in the family:parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles. Also wonderful temperaments, friendly and sweet. Great house dogs or kennel dogs. Great with other dogs and children. And these puppies are getting loads of kid time!
Ready to go in about 3 weeks.

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Training Lead Dogs - a gee over tip

Training new lead dogs is always a lot of fun, and is so easy in fall.  It seems like the hardest skills to teach are the turn commands and "gee over".  You get really motivated to teach gee over when you run on a road like we do, or go up to Pittsburg and share the trail with snow mobiles going 70mph.  Also, running sled dog tours like I do, you really need to do your homework in fall to get the team ready and up to snuff.

To teach gee over I start with stopping the team and pushing the dogs gently over to the gee side.  Repeat ad naseum, but when you get that golden moment when the lead dogs see you coming and scoot over on their own PRAISE LIKE HECK!  This is the moment you have been waiting for.  And you need to let them know how great you think they are as they are doing it.  Now you still have a lot of work to do if you have strong lefty dogs.  Keep at this, it matters, it works, you will succeed.  If you think your dogs are getting bummed out, just imagine how bummed out they would be to be in a car or snowmobile crash.
After the dogs get so they know what you are saying, what you want to do is not stop, but use the command shortly followed by pressure on the breaks if they do not respond.  Slow the team down to a crawl.  Then, as they step over to the right, praise like heck and let go of the brakes right away!  Once you get to this point things go a lot faster, because lets face it, these sled dogs LIVE to run.  It also feels much better as the musher, bcs you are not stopping a million times on the trail.  But you need to make sure the dogs know what the words mean FIRST.
Good luck, and good "gee over"!

-Miss W
Owner and Musher
Barking Brook Sled Dog Adventures, llc

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Big loss...we miss and love you Trader

Trader is off on his last trip, mushing in his silver harness to some great place beyond our knowing.  We burried him next to his great friends Boomer and Ranger.  (And Blue Dog)
I cannot even stand it hardly, to write all this, a week later.
He was such a pretty boy, a soft boy, a handsome and stately boy.  His nature was gentle and giving.  His needs simple, his forgiveness complete. Quirky, happy, sparkly...
As his physical presence dwindled with old age his eyes become MORE intense and joyful, more sparkly.  He was totally there, with so much heart and knowing.  He spent his last months with Blanche, a perfect kennel mate I suppose.  Both slow eaters, fragile in body, in need of gentleness.

I still remember the day I drove home from Valerie's house with Boomer and Trader.  I was beyond proud and infatuated.  Two real sled dogs!  To add to my little growing sled dog kennel - to help the 4 puppies learn!  To help me learn!  (Oh Trader you taught me so much.)  I remember thinking how absolutely beautiful Trader was, and wanted him in the front seat of the saab on the way home.  Boomer nosed his way up first though, and that was the pattern.  And Trader was happy to be part of the scene, even if he wasn't the center.  So many early adventures back then with 4 dog teams, skijor teams.  Then 6 dog teams!  Wow!  Then 8 dog teams.  A lot of learning.  Trader and Boomer were experienced sled dogs, and along with an elderly Alaskan Husky named Ebony, created my first team.
Sled Dogs + musher = team.
Sled dogs with heart + adventure = bliss

Thank you for the bliss Trader, and everything in between.  It was all special.
I love you!

-Miss W
Owner and Musher
Barking Brook Sled Dog Adventures, llc

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Puppy pile becoming puppy mountain


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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pema pups getting fatter!

Lovely babies all piled up at momma. I am trying a new marking method, tail and 1 ear tip. Pema keeps removing the indelible ink from their tails. Thankfully it is non toxic.
Since she has been running in harness she has become a more content and doting mother. It makes a little sense, but is somewhat a tricky line to balance. We are running right from the kennel which makes it easier to minimize her time away and exposure to other dogs germs. I am planning an evening run soon though and I will have to leave her home. I do not run on my road at night for fear of cars. So I will be trucking the team for the first time to old Hill Village. Way too many dogs and germs there for a nursing mother. Hopefully with the team and excitment gone she will remain settled. I ran her in the first place because she destroyed her whelping room door while I was out with a team.

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Turbo post surgery

Turbo had a lump removed from his cheek this week. The surgery shaving revealed something about my dogs, especially Turbo. You can see that it looks like he has no right cheek. That lovely face and kissable scruchable cheeks ruff is all fluff! Under my dogs massive coats are lean dogs with amazing athletic bodies.
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Sled dogs training for adventures!

We use our road to train in fall. It has lots of hills which helps the teams get very strong. Hill workouts are perfect for dog sled tour training. I like a 10 dog team for this size ATV. If the terrain is flat we need no engine holdback or help. Most of the time I keep the engine off. I actually help on most hills,until I am too tired! My hill philosophy is based on the fact that my hills are huge. I let the dogs rest several times on the big or long hills. I have seen over the years that my team gets stronger and stronger this way. Some people worry that it trains the dogs to quit but the personalities of my dogs have ZERO quit in the mix. So this is not an issue.
I thought this picture was funny...a wild and thing paired with the domestic. A natural engine paired with the excavater.

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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Hot chicks

Pretty Darka and Blossom...taking a break from lead. Great girls to have on a sled dog adventure!

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cool enough to cuddle!

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Saturday, October 22, 2011

pema and her pups...getting so round!

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Happy dogs at the end of the run. Kubota in a rare moment not in lead!

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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Did someone say dog sled tours?

Bodihi says "yipeeeee". Let's get ready to take some NH visitors out for some fall sled dog rides!

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Pretty fall leaves. Pretty team too!

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Mushing by dinner

Todays short runs took us by the cows again. Thank you Mushing Boot Camp for teaching me to appreciate the chance to test the dogs! And I suppose I have hurricane Irene to thank for the cows still being in our mountain pastures and not on the river pasture.

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Friday, October 14, 2011

diaper time

It's diaper time for Pema's puppies. She is very systematic about it!

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Puppies make good pillows

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pema's puppies are here! 7 lovely puppies.

6 boy puppies and 1 girl puppy.  The daddy is Bodhi.  All the puppies are white because both the mother and father are, that is how the white coat gene works in Siberian Huskies.

-Miss W
Owner and Musher
Barking Brook Sled Dog Adventures, llc

Puppies arriving NOW!

2 pups so far, fat and lovely white gender yet as Pema has been very busy cleaning and cleaning them...

-Miss W
Owner and Musher
Barking Brook Sled Dog Adventures, llc

Friday, October 7, 2011 week left till puppies!

Pema looks great with 1 week left to go. She has a good appetite and a happy demeanor. We cannot wait! Emma is excited too. She thinks everyone in the family is getting a puppy and regular discussions about gentle handling are followed with Emma naming everyone who lives up here on the mountain.
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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Pema puppies soon: Mid-October

We have launched our welcome puppies page, please visit!!
Slide show features:

  • photos of Pema as a tiny puppy along with  her littermates,  6 years ago.
  • photos of Bodhi  as a tiny puppy along with his littermates, 3 years ago.

-Miss W
Owner and Musher
Barking Brook Sled Dog Adventures, llc

Sled Dog Trade Fair in Hopkinton

I had a great time at the sled dog trade fair today. Saw old friends, bought mushing supplies and checked out new products. There were 2 vendors there with very nice training rigs.
This year I went to listen to the speakers Rene Marchildon and Mike Ellis. Very worthwhile!  I wish I could have stayed for the pot-luck dinner but momma-duty calls.

Check it out, tomorrow there are more fun events: rig race followed by more special topics from some of the speakers.
Click this Sled dog Trade Fair Link to see the schedule, speaker's topics and other information.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pema soon to be Momma-Pema!

-Miss W
Owner and Musher
Barking Brook Sled Dog Adventures, llc

Sweet Tart singing the plump puppy song!

-Miss W
Owner and Musher
Barking Brook Sled Dog Adventures, llc

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fall rides and evening Tours!

This fall we will be offering two new types of rides: fall rolling dog sled rides (on our cart) and evening dog sledding in both fall and winter. Our new tour descriptions and rates our on the Tours & Rates page. We have also updated our policies in regards to booking and cancellations, please see Policies.

-Miss W Owner and Musher Barking Brook Sled Dog Adventures, llc

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Perhaps the high winds in the coming storm will blow all the clumps of hair off Emma-Leigh. She never lets me brush her....her fur has to just fall off or be shampoo'd and blow dried off.
We are busy preparing the kennel and the house for the storm. I just screwed all the dog house roofs down and pushed houses into more stable clumps. We are picking up all the small things outside now. Later I am planning to put dogs in the dog truck for the worst of the storm. Maybe use part of the barn and also the puppy room for older or bigger dogs. I can't see Hakka in a dog box for long nor ancient Blanche in one at all!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Emma shares her Sled Dog Bookshelf!

My two year old daughter Emma has decided to share her Sled Dog Bookshelf. We hope folks enjoy it.  She  loves books about dogs, but her favorite stuffed animals are a beagle and a basset hound!  Go figure.

-Miss W Owner and Musher Barking Brook Sled Dog Adventures, llc

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

One word...HANDSOME!

Kubota is a seriously handsome and cuddly guy.  His fur is thick and rich...his  eyes so beautiful...look closely....they are rather unique!  He is a dream on the dog sled tour team, a great leader I can trust to get through thick and thin!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Super Smudge Sled Dog Cowboy

Super Smudgie singing for his supper.  So Cute!  So Handsome!
In winter he charms kids and gives dog sled rides around the gorgeous New Hampshire trails.
View Smudge and his team on our website:
Barking Brook Sled Dog Adventures llc TEAM page

-Miss W
team Owner and Musher

Feeding Sled Dogs...

Twinkle, Turbo then Bodhi demonstrate what sled dogs do for food in the summer.  In the winter of course they give dog sled rides...but in summer they have to do obedience routines in order to earn their supper.

Miss W
Owner, Musher
Barking Brook Sled Dog Adventures, llc

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Java Bean - Joyful Java! Happy Sled Dog!

My handsome Java you boy! Why did he get that name?? When he was a puppy he lived at Donna Johnson's with his mom and litter mates. I could tell the girls apart easily but not the boys. Finally I could tell Java apart from his brothers. He had a small black spot on his muzzle. When it was time to give him a real name I thought he was small, round and I named him Java Bean! Then for his registered name, since he was bred at the Blackwater kennel, I named him Blackwater's Whitewater.

To visit Java Bean and his NH dog sled tour team please visit The Barking Brook Sled Dog Adventures Team Page

Miss W
driver and owner
Barking Brook Sled Dog Adventures, llc

Hakka wonders.....

Hakka...what is dancing around you??

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Baths....past the half way point!

The summer chore of giving baths is well underway.  Every sled dog deserves at least one bath!  Giving families dog sled rides in the winter is hardly a dirty sport, but the baths do help the winter coats shed out.

I have completed 14 out of 25 total baths.  Remarkably, the worst behaved dog was Angus, our Aussie, who does not participate in dog sled rides or tours.  Maybe he should...  he certainly has a lot of energy and he also has a lot of coat, he is always toasty!

Blanche, who is 17, managed her bath with grace and looks like a movie star.  Trader, who is 15, got through his with no muss of fuss either, but was quiet tired by the experience.  The prime aged dogs who make up our working dog sled tour teams have been somewhat more challenging, some being quite vocal about their dislike of water.  Oh dear!  But they all seem very happy to be clean, dry and separated from a lot of insulating fluff.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Blanche playing with Emma in the Kitchen

How can Blanche be 17??? She is so mobile and social. It's insane. Even after her bath she is full of life.
We love you Blanche!
(ps that is Emma on the floor)

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Ok...Bodhi again. Hey this might be the last time this summer that we see him clean! So enjoy...he is so handsome! And such a happy sled dog and tour team leader!

New Sled Dog Tour Options for Fall and Winter

Barking Brook Sled Dog Adventures, llc is going to be offering new tour options this fall and winter. For Fall we are now going to offer wheeled dog sled (cart) rides on our Fritz cart. This will be both day and evening adventures. Come snow we are adding to our list of adventure options The Moonlight Tour. Come visit our Facebook page or website for more info:
BarkingBrook on FB
Barking Brook Sled Dog Adventures, llc

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Solve not Absolve. Evolve!

     My dogs are happy!  And for the most part peaceful.  They are dogs, they act like dogs, I am not saying they are little stuffed toys.  It's a challenge managing 25 dogs.  Last year that was 2 teams of 10 dogs each giving sled dog rides and 5 retired dogs.  But I love it.  I always want to know them better, care for them better and love them better.  As I look into a set of loving canine eyes I ask "how can I love you better?".  I listen to what I hear.
     For sure, certain personalities are tough and require more "work" or thought.  Most mushers place out dogs who are difficult or fade in the presence of higher performing dogs.  I don't.  I solve, not absolve.  We all (most mushers) breed for better dogs and evolve.  Some musher's kennels evolve quicker, but there is no history.  They may treat the dogs like last years skis: moving on and placing the old, hard to manage, less performant dogs. 
     I realized today I had 4 alpha type females.  They don't share playtime! I have 3 play yards and do 2 shifts of play times.  Each dogs gets about 4 hours of playtime with dogs they like and can relax or play with.  I don't have to supervise 100% of the time because no dog is asked to feel uncomfortable or is put in a position where he or she is pressed into defensive behavior.
     Things do change, dogs become more secure and happy.  Sometimes with age dogs become less secure and ask for quieter play times or different kennel companions.  I watch and alter things as needed.  I try to listen to the subtle calls for change before there is trouble.  Anytime something negative happens I ask MYSELF what I could have done differently or what signs I missed.  There is no use blaming it on a dog, dogs are dogs!  I am the one in charge.
     Play groups may be small, 4 to 6 dogs, but my teams are usually 10 dogs.  Dogs who may not play together work together just fine.  Why???  They don't have big grudges, they aren't constantly being faced with someone that rubs them the wrong way.  They know in harness they work and have a great time.  2 of my toughest girls ran lead together for a few years.  But I listen...   both are incredibly smart and driven but together they were less responsive to leader commands.  Why?  I think because they were working on getting along and did not want to push or pull each other into a turn.  Perhaps also being so close to another tough girl took a little of each's confidence.  I listen...solve and not absolve....they both can run lead at different times.  It's fine!
     Barking Brook history is here: the first dogs I purchased as puppies, the first litter I had.  If I commit to keeping a puppy I try to keep that promise.  The dogs who I adopted as older dogs and who gave me their life-long earned wisdom are here or passed away with love all around them.  17 year old Blanche is one of those gems, and she is tottering abound my living room right now.
     I am a pretty lucky gal.  Having fun mushing with my best friends and now sharing a dog sled tour business with them.  xo

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bodhi bath comments

OK, this is really what Bodhi said about baths. I think it translates to "I am glad that is over!"

Bodhi's thoughts....

This is what Bodhi thinks of baths! He'd rather be leading dog teams for sled dog adventures anyday!
Bodhi looks very handsome though. He loves to dig and roll in the dirt so seeing him clean and back to his lovely creamy white is a treat!

Turbo....happy he had a bath

Turbo...COOL...happy...clean...undercoat all shed out! And terrifically handsome!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Turbo pre-bath

Turbo...voted most in need of a bath, scrub and blow dry and major brush out! Poor Turbo is shedding an entire sheep skin out of his coat.
Turbo is one of the hardest working BBSDA dogs. On dog sled rides and tours he is the engine of uphill travel AND speed! I love you Turbo!

Cool sled dog!

Kubota staying cool in the shade on freshly simple greened and hosed blocks. This guy is no dummy! Kubota is one of the BBSDA go-to leaders. He is excellent on the dog sled tours and rides. Always taking the team perfectly thru whatever turns and manuvers are needed. And looking like such the handsome sled dog too!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Rainy and her daughters Pema and Bridget

The three girls (Pema left, Bridget center and Rainy to the right) in the heat pen....not in heat but I just hope any day now we will get that over with! They were on a perfect schedule of Oct/April...what happened??

This pen is alternately called the puppy apartment as it is completely separate from the main kennel (no puppies can be chewed through a fence) and there are two kennels next to each other that can have a door opened between them.  The kennel next door has the momma house - an extra large dog house with bumper rails.  Usually when the pups are small I open the door between kennels but place a board over teh door way so momma can go next door to get away or do her business.  There is a big grassy pen next to the apartment that is for puppy play time.

It would be nice to have puppies again!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Blanche turns SEVENTEEN 4/23/11

Blanche, my sweet old house dog and retired (amazing) lead dog is turning SEVENTEEN this Saturday! (4/23/2011) She will get to celebrate with a few of her favorite folks on Friday. 
Blanche came to me when she was 9. She was a super leader and was the first leader I had who could keep up with Rainy, my hot young lead dog. They were a beautiful pair, like runaway brides in their pretty white coats and fluffy tails held behind them like trailing vails.

Pema and Bodhi pass CERF tests Spring 2011

6 year old Pema passed her most recent CERF eye exam this past Sunday along with 3 year old Bodhi. Not sure what our breeding plans are but Bodhi is certainly one of our best sled dogs and a leader to boot. Pema is also a great sled dog plus a real sweet cuddle bug. Bodhi has competed in Rally obedience and is a very fun dog to work with. He has his Rally Novice title so far. Pema has only been to beginner obedience and while she is sweet and easy to work with she doesn’t seem to excel at it. She is more of a pro-snuggler!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Katie and the 10 dog team, from point dogs back. 3/16/11 at Dorchester.

Katie Esty driving the 10 dog A team on the dble drvr sled. Dorchester 3/16/11.
It was a gorgeous snowy day. We did 10 mile rd then Rocky trail then out to Lyme a ways.

Running at Dorchester trails 3/16/11

The river next to No Dorchester Rd