Sunday, June 21, 2009

All Together Now... Everyone Say......Aaaawww!

Finally, the HUSKIES!

I have to set the scene a little here, because it was pouring with rain when we arrived at the husky kennels. They had set up a team for the sled for us to see but of course there was no snow. There were approximately 250 dogs being trained for legitimate use as work dogs. They are all regularly exercised using sleds with wheels if there is no snow. It was COLD and very windy. We were well within the Arctic Circle.

If you are a dog-lover...


I can't believe how well they turned out considering the weather.

The first question everyone one wants to know..."Will they bite?" The answer is "NO". They are handled and socialized from birth and must have a good rapport with their owners as well as their team mates. They absolutely went crazy to be petted, barking and yelping to get attention. See video clip at the end of this post to hear them.

The white one is the leader of the team. She is highly trained and chosen almost from birth to be groomed for this position.

Look at those blue eyes!

He is only barking to say hello.

Of course everywhere was thick mud and soaking wet after such a down pour, but the dogs have a clean area on top of their kennels to stand and a cozy kennel with 4 inches of insulation in their kennels, which are also up off the ground.

Remember these are working dogs which also compete in iditarods. So when sleeping on the trail they curl up in the snow and their thick fur and skin oils insulate them. On this wet, cold day they could curl up in their kennels, deliberately made fairly small, so that the warmth of their body soon dries them off.
How regal does this one look?!! He is named after our cruise ship so I had to take this photo. You can see how muddy it was that day. I didn't venture too far out among the kennels. Too slippery.


Do I look pleased or what? What a cuddler he was and what a lot of cuddling he got.

I didn't even ask his name. I was too busy cuddling.

This was the youngest. There were three this size. Momma Husky had to be held back by the keepers while her babies were being handled. But she wasn't at all snappy. Just anxious for her pups and being a good mom. The keepers wanted us to hold them as part of the socializing of the whole family. Since this was the first day of the open season for the kennels there was much excitement.

Too much excitement. He was tired out. He looks pretty comfy, as does Jonas down below.

These two look cute enough for a calendar. I was there right at the right moment.

And how about this shot? This is the owner being given a kiss by one of his charges. You can see they are loved and well looked after.

Here is a survey of the grounds -- with sound effects:


Jose said...

Kennels? I thought you being the principal had them all in an outdoor classroom sittin on their desks and studying on how to pull the sleds. lol

Those are really beautiful dogs, loved seeing all the pictures.

kaybee said...

Great Comment, Jose!

Well, you know I am not really a dog lover, but these are just TOO cute! They are DARLINGS.

You must be so proud of your photos -- great job, Chris -- wish you could post them all. Ah well, an excuse for another visit!

Marie said...

I think I still prefer cats! I do feel a little sorry for the working dargs, though...but as you say, they did seem loved.

Your trip must have been wonderful. Good to see your pictures of the fjords and waterfalls...very beautiful.

Ken said...

Chris, I just went through your trip photos to date and all I can say is WOW! What a great way to celebrate your 50th.

Sara G said...

Beautiful photo's.
ALL the doggies are just awesome!!

RuneE said...

It was nice of you to show the dogs and also mention the importance of them in the daily life and sport. They are usually considered to be rather fierce an proud, so the owners must have done a great job in training them like that.

You have some grate photos here!

Anonymous said...

I would go flat-out nuts in a place like this. Because I love dogs so much, these pictures brought a steady smile to my face.

Anonymous said...

I remember visiting Susan Butcher's (Idarod winner) in Alaska and was pleasantly surprised to see all the dogs and how they too were handled and loved.

Liz said...