Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bodhi...again!

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!