Friday, September 7, 2012

Following Atticus Book signing

Last night I met a friend and attended a book signing. It was a desperate move in my part to get out of the house, as we have just lost Darka, and I am not ready to face the wailing emptiness.  I had seen a FB post on this author, Tom Ryan, and how wonderful the book was.  I believe my friend Kathy said the book was one of her top 5 favorite dog books of all time, and that is a high rating coming from Kathy!  Rhonda then posted about the book signing and I readily volunteered to meet her there.

It was great!  Tom Ryan is very funny, and I loved his impromtu talk.  His dogs are sweet and obviously adore him, I really look forward to reading his book (the title is Following Atticus).

What I wanted to write a note on was how kindly and calmly Tom Ryan speaks to his dog Atticus.  His other dog Will is deaf and blind so he mostly spoke about Will not to Will.  Anyway, he kept Atticus with him with a few quiet spoken words, asking him to sit just as you might ask someone you love to pass the salt.  It reminded me of an obedience class I went to a few winters ago.  The teacher kept trying to impress upon the class that we must speak in deep voices for our dogs to take us seriously and we must sound firm and, well, bossy.  I told her I simply would not, as I had 25 dogs, and I wanted to speak in my own tone of voice.  There are so many other ways to be the leader and keep everyone safe, healthy and happy.  I can't let my dogs run free as Tom Ryan does his pups, but they are sled dogs and that is not where I want to futily spend my time.  I have many urgent things to guide them through and teach them!

It is interesting to hear my daughter learn to talk to dogs.  I realize she mirrors what she hears from me.  That keeps me honest!  I think often about another little girl who helped in a kennel and how angry and aggressive she sounded as she bossed the dogs around.  It made me sad for her and the dogs.

I am proud to say in the Wicked Local article about us the auther, Rich Harbart, mentioned how gently I speak to my entire 10 dog dog sled tour team.

Here is a link to Tom Ryans blog:

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

Monday, September 3, 2012

Good friends on a beautiful hike

Here is Pearl and Valerie looking at the view on a recent hike up Rattlesnake, right on Squam Lake.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

New Tours for 2012-2013 season

We have finalized the lineup of dog sled tours and rides for this coming mushing season.   The dogs will be out in September, getting ready. October we open the doors and start the tours, starting off with fall cart tours of course!
We are officially offering our Learn to Mush hands-on experience.  we are really excited about this, it will be so much fun to share with people.
Come snow we have a new tour, the Runaway Sunday!  It's short, it's sweet, it's perfect.
See our tour page for details:

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

Monday, July 30, 2012

Celebrating our first litter

Our first litter, Anuk's litter, was so long ago!  The 4 I have from this litter are now eleven years old!  I originally kept Kubota and Triton, the only 2 boys, but Emma (Leigh) and Darka came back home later and stayed.

At the time of this litter I was still dating my now husband and it was wonderful to include his family in the fun.  My step daughter Alisha still loves Triton and calls him Fluffy But.

The photos below are from a puppy play date at the Berg's house.  They had a litter almost the same age. A few of the people who were getting puppies were there plus some house guests/friends of mine.  It was really fun!

It's strange to finally be doing a dog sled tour business after all these years with these dogs.  2 of this litter retired last year after doing one dog sled tour.  (2 carried on for the rest of the season).  Ironically doing dog sled tours is just what these guys excel at.  They are so friendly and have such eye catching beauty, they pull hard and true in harness, they really are great dogs to work with.

Of the 8 pups only 6 are still alive. Nushka was shot by a neighbor in Vermont, Charm died of liver issues. Two are treasured house pets (Perkins, Juneau).   And as I said 4 live here: Kubota, Triton, Emma-Leigh and Darka.

A lapful of pups with Emma closes to camera, Kubota's face poking out to the left and Triton face half visible on the right as he burrows in.

Jacci holding Nushka.  Love at first cuddle.

Emma's intense and joyful eyes.

In the dog boxes to go home: Perkins, Kubota, Darka and Emma.

Be (Rebecca) holding the dark faced pups: Kubota and Darka.

Rick Holding Emma, Triton and Charm.

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

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Best Friends till the end

Siepa passed away yesterday afternoon. He was in the kennel with all his friends and fellow retirees in the play area. I thought he was sleeping at first, the scene was peaceful. It was a shock and I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around the loss of such a soulful and loving dog, who has been with me since our first dog sled ride. He was one of the first sets of pups and his age mates were the first team. I got him and his sister Nikka right after I bought and moved into my house.
He was a loyal and incredibly loving dog. He was a wonderful lead dog and handsome. His brown eyes were sooooo gentle and told me volumes. I always knew how much he loved me.  Even when he became very sick, our time together was special and he was loving and generous to my daughter Emma.
He is burried right above Blanche in our back pasture. He is wrapped in some favorite batik material of mine, harness between his paws, a love note pressed against his chest.
I hope everyone who reads this knows the true love of a loyal dog.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hard weather to be old and furry

Mother nature is throwing us some serious heat.   It's not good for the old dogs, especially Siepa who is not doing well healthwise.  He is only 12, and only retired from running on the dog sled tour teams last fall.  But he has a tumor in the sheath around his heart and fluid is backing up in his system despite medication.  he will not eat much (if anything) no matter what offered.  I feel bad for him, and am giving him as much time and love as he seems to want.  What he really wants is some crisp fall weather I am sure. But he enjoys the slow walks with my daughter, mostly poking around the yard, and the adoration I am raining down on him.
He was a great lead dog in his prime, one of those you keep in your backpocket and can bring you home from anywhere.  He learned commands all on his own, from other positions, and one day just floored me showing me he knew them all!
Siepa is one of those dogs who has the most loyal way of loving his person.  ME!

I am grateful everyday I am not one of those heartless people who give away their dogs at the slightest sign they are old, slow or troublesome. It's a compromise, sure, we are not headed for fame and fortune or (puke) cashing in on puppy sales to the aspiring.  We are just US.  Happy.  Together.

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

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Denali...a super cute super furry hot ol gal

Hanging with the hot old dogs

Nikka and I watching the buckets fill. It is hot today and tomorrow is going to be worse.

Please brush me...I am hot and furry...

Awesome Blossom loves to be brushed and groomed and regularly hangs out on our old grooming table. Don't worry Blossom! I will get to you soon! Her daughter Sweet Tart also loves to be groomed. It's funny how some dogs love it and some act like it is torture.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sweet old Siepa

Siepa is 12 and not feeling so great. So we are trying to give him special time. Emma says "he needs Emma-time!".

Monday, April 30, 2012

A Smudgie Album

Smudge deserves a little fanfare.  I caught him trying to do CPR to a chipmunk today.   He really has a good heart...he could have just eaten the chipmunk.
But really....Smudge is so cute that we should have a little fun here with some photos.
Here we go:
Mudgie Moo at the truck this past season.  Looking at me like...enough with the camera HUG TIME!
As a wee lad little Mugglet was pretty cuddlable...who would want to put this plush  squishable thing down?

Smidge, as someone accidentally called him this winter...hey a new nickname!

A winter run many years ago.  Smoodgie Moo looking so serious...

Munchie Moo being cool as a pup.  Big Hakka making sure...

Super Smudge as a geeky teanager.

Who are you calling geek!  I am so cool!

If he still fit Smugle would let you do this.

Baby Smudge with out Blue dog way back when.

I often wondered what he would look like with brown eyes, his coloring and mask is SO WILD!   Very young in this photo, when he could still go off leash.


Silly puppy.

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

Friday, March 16, 2012

beautiful Tula

It's hard to video a cute and cuddly girl like Tula, but hopefully this gives you a feel for her. Big and very important on the team, yet goofy and cuddly and loving.
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Monday, March 5, 2012

Sunday, January 29, 2012

puppies learn kitchen skills

Someone has to help out in the kitchen here dammit!
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

We are out testing the trails with an experienced had on the double driver

That's my friend Scott, his 6 dogs plus 2 of mine.
I thought it would be good to actually run the trails before doing dog sled tours. The surface was ok but not enough depth to set a hook. No dog sled tours just yet...please send us more snow...please...
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Come on weather....just sled tours need snow!

This photo is from a few days ago, when it was super super cold. We had to cancel all the dog sled tours due to lack of enough snow. It had snowed but then RAINED. Ugh. Most folks could reschedule, thankfully! When it finally snows enough we are going to be super super busy with dog sled adventures morning till night!
Anyway in the photo are Kubota and Bridget, two who never cuddle. I watched Kubota wag and flirt his way into Bridgets house, it was so cute!
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Sunday, January 15, 2012

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10 degrees, what to wear

Yesterday I took dogs out on snow for the first time. I had to cancel all my dog sled tours as there was no good snow on my trails, but I made the long treck out the Kanc to Bear Notch Rd where 3 to 5 inches of snow lay. I met another musher who shared my sled, we took out his team together than mine.
Anyway, I thought it worth noting what I wore in these temperatures and how I felt. Also, please note that while the snow was nice there was no ability to set a snow hook and plenty of snowmachines whipping past all day.

I wore my Sorel caribou boots with one pair of wool socks from EMS. My feet were a little cold, but we did a lot of paddling to help the dogs so that kept my feet just fine. A note on socks, most socks do not work for me, my boots eat them and they end up around my toes. There are some wool socks at EMS that are a bit shorter and seem to have elastic knitted in, they fit snuggly and don't get eaten by boots.
On my legs I had expedition weight long underwear whci are essentially one sided fleace, fuzzy side in, thinner than jacket weight, super soft and stretchy. Over that I had insulated snow pants. On top I had two EMS brand zip-t shirts, which are fleece. Then a fleece jacket (mountain hardware), nothing special about this one. Collects lots of dog hair though. THEN my most useful and warm outer wear: a down jacket with a tough outer fabric. It is ugly, a strange almost digital pattern of grey and beige, almost looks like a dirty snow bank. It has a great hood and nice high neck with fleece to protect your chin.
On our way out with the first team we had the wicked wind in our faces and I was a little cold. I could feel the wind find the small gap in my armpit where I hadn't remembered to zip up the pit zip! I wished I had my neck warmer on so I could cover my chin and nose but was too lazt to get it from the bag right in front of me. That's the way it is sometimes when you are cold, it makes you not want to put any effort into getting warmer. My hands had simple fleece gloves which were not enough, my big wintergreen mitts were far away though, in the bag in front of my fellow sled driver. I need some sort of intermediate glove or mitten that is not such a big commitment. I love my wintergreen mitts but they are huge and take your hands out of play for any quick work with the dogs. They have a harness so you can throw them off and have them dangle at your side. You need a glove liner so that you are not all of a sudden bare skinned. That's why it is a big commitment to me...need to bust out glove liners. I don't know where any of mine are!

So, that's what I wore and how I felt. The day did warm up from the 10 or 11 degrees we started with, but it was back to 11 by the time we were done with the second team 6 hours later.
It was FINE, nothing froze off, and was 10 degrees and windy.
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Friday, January 13, 2012

a wicked wind blows

After a disappointing storm a cold wind has a come along. We got a nice amount of snow but this was followed by RAIN. A heavy crust built up on untouched snow but on anything packed it is now ice or going to be soon. A firm lumpy icy slush soon to be abrasive concrete - hazardous to dogs feet. Temps are plummeting as are my spirits. 6 tours this weekend...all cancelled or rescheduled. Sad musher today. If anyone reads this so hoping for some snow-love posts on the barking brook facebook page.
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