Sunday, December 30, 2007

Longer miles...

Ok, so here I am...a bit frosty. And this was after I'd already started dripping! I took the dogs on a 40 miler on the atv and boy did it get cold down there in the flats! Basically, that's all swampy muskeg in the summers...some very low lying ground. Brrr! Honestly though, only my fingers got cold...but, that was taken care of with some heat packs in my mitts. I have to tell you...that was the LAST long run on the atv...that's just plain miserable. And what a rough run on the dogs! I had to stop and clean feet a few times, as they started getting ice balls. Still, they ran strong and we went across the ponds just a mile from home doing 13-14mph. Cool! The line up for today was: Sunshine & Feather in lead, Chevy & China in swing, Zen & Just, Dusk & Booger, Jericho & Tricky, Hilti & Ahab, and Rocket & Inu in wheel (my wheel boys!). We went all the way out to the trapline loop, then headed back. I saw 4 different teams out there, all on sleds, all running 8-10 dogs. I had a head on pass with Olaf...but he had a little trouble and had to hook down. His hook held beautifully. I came up upon another guy after that, who had a tangle (probably from a head on with Olaf). My dogs were going by nicely (as they do most of the time...they're pros at passing...usually)...then Sunshine for some reason, decided to turn around and say "Hi" to the other team. I hollered at him to line out and he just a small snafu. About 2-3 miles after that, I pulled Sunshine out of lead and put Chevy up front with Feather. These two dogs are awesome together! Chevy has this beautiful flying trot....he even trots at 15mph! He and Feather make a nice team up front and had us doing 10mph up the switchback hill. Nice! It took us 4 hours to do the 40 mile run...but with how hard and rough it is, it's easily equivalent to a 50-60 miler on sleds. We came into the yard and I gave the dogs nice sized fat snacks. They were all wagging their tails and pretty much inhaled those snacks! It's a good feeling to look at those fur kids so happy.

Zen is currently in heat (dang it!)...I'm really hoping she goes out by Cantwell time. It's such a pain to run a girl in heat. But, luckily Zen is all business, as are 'most' of my boys...of course, most of the dogs in our kennel are fixed, so it's generally not a problem. There are only 5 boys out of the 14 dog team who aren't neutered...which means I can move dogs around as I need to.

Wednesday will be a good 50 miler on sleds. We're planning on heading up to Stiles Creek Cabin trail. I'm hoping the trail is in good shape. Last I heard, there wasn't a whole lot of snow out towards the Angel Creek area. We'll see. We're going to break the team up into two 7 dog teams, just to play it safe. Well, I'm off. After 2 days of rough, 40 mile runs on that cold atv..I think I need a nap. Ha ha ha!! ;o)

-Were you a Rogue today??

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Cold run!

Devlyn and I took the A team out on a 24 mile run today with the atv. We plan on taking the sleds out tomorrow, if all goes well. But, we had a time crunch, so the atv it was. When we left the house, it was 0F. We live up on a hill, and our temps are almost always 10-20 degrees warmer than low lying areas in the winter time. However, we bundled up and off we went. The dogs ran really well for me. I'm a bit more cautious than Manny, so I kept the team slow on the way out, running about 10-12mph. Dusk and Just were in lead, Feather & Zen in swing, then China & Chevy, Booger & Sunshine, Jericho & Tricky, Hilti & Ahab, and finally Rocket & Inu in wheel. These are some very strong dogs! They pull the atv even with both brakes on. Yikes! Still, I was able to keep them under control, especially with the fresh snow on the trails. We met a beautiful team of siberians on a sled...I think there were 8-10 dogs. I pulled the atv off the side of the trail and our dogs lined out nicely, mostly on the right. The other team balked but their musher was able to call them on and they finally passed. My dogs did great, except stinking Sunshine...he started sniping at the other team until I scolded him...then he stopped. We took off from there and ran down the switchbacks to Anaconda Creek trail. Running through the clear cut was really COLD! The wind was blowing just a bit, but the temps must have been close to -20F. Devlyn & I whipped out the hand warmers and a few times, I had Devlyn get off the atv and walk up and down the dogs, petting them so that he'd warm up his feet and get the blood pumping. It's mighty cold sitting on an atv...brr! My feet got cold towards the end of the run, but I didn't get off the atv except for one time. Will test them with sleds next. It's really important to have quality gear and even more important to try the gear before the races.

Devlyn drove the dog team for a little while. It was pretty cool to see him running the atv with 14 dogs out front. The dogs listened to him as well. Nice! As we hooked back onto the wood cutting road trail, a friend was out with a 10 dog team on a sled. He was ahead of us, but we were going a bit faster, so I called trail and the dogs started a running pass. Very neat! They passed beautifully and I said Hi to Tom on my way by. Then, we started up the switchbacks, which are all climbing. Dusk decided to slow down, which was not cool since we'd just past Tom's swifters...but, I passed an alternate trail that Tom took, so I didn't have to worry about him getting hung up behind us. I stopped to switch Dusk back into swing and put my little Feather girl up front with Just. That did the trick! We ran up those hills at about 10mph. Now that may not sound like much to some...but it is GREAT to have dogs charge up hills like this. That saves a lot of time on races. I also don't let my dogs go flying down hills, as that's when they get injured from pounding on joints going too fast. We did the run in 2 hours, the dogs came in jazzed. Hilti almost pulled me off my feet when I led him back to his house...he wasn't even tired! Sunshine yanked on Manny too. So, hopefully we'll get the sleds out tomorrow and go for a longer run. Cheers!

-Were you a rogue today?

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Sponsors are AWESOME!

Here's Conor and I, showing off last year's sponsor gear!
Many folks don't realize what it takes to put together a quality racing kennel. For us here at Rogue Summit, it's a family affair. Manny, Devlyn, myself and soon, Conor, all run dogs. We've worked hard to develop a competitive team of excellent race dogs. We started running dogs back in 1994, with our first siberian husky, Stika. We'd been inspired by watching the start of the Iditarod, while we were stationed in Alaska (Navy). As a girl, I used to pretend to 'mush' with my keeshond, Tasha, before I really knew what sled dogs were about. It wasn't a long stretch to imagine running a team of huskies with a just seemed meant to be. Well, it wasn't long before we started building our "kennel." We soon had 3 dogs, then 5 that we were tooling around with. We quickly discovered that Washington State wasn't such a great place to run dogs. Off to Montana we went and before we knew it, we had 30 dogs! We'd started with siberians; but, quickly found that Alaska Huskies could far outrun these beautiful, fluffy furballs. It wasn't long before we began to think, "Hey, wouldn't it be fun to do some races?" By this time, we'd already read as much as we could about Irod. Plus, we'd heard about the Yukon Quest and read every single book we could get out hands on. It became Manny's dream to one day run this fantastic race. We knew that if we wanted to be serious about it, we needed to be in a place where we could run dogs right from our home. A place where a musher could learn from other mushers. A place where we could fit in and belong. That's what led us to Two Rivers here in Alaska.

It's been 9 years since we came back to Alaska and Man, what a ride! We are truly blessed to live in such a wonderful place, close to town; yet, with a whole wilderness for our 'backyard'. We've built our kennel from the ground up, gaining experience, slowly working our way to the Yukon Quest. We are just about at that goal now. We have such a fine group of high caliber athletes in the yard. We have direct access to a vast amount of training trails right out of our house. Manny is working hard to train the team for this year's races. We can't wait to hit the trails on sleds.

However, we can't realize our dream alone. Sponsors help make our dreams become a reality. Sponsorships come in many shapes and forms, from Corporate level sponsorships, to individuals who sponsor a dog, even down to folks who simply provide a needed item for races. Even the smallest bit helps. Last year, I ran the Yukon Quest 300 in Whitehorse...but, I never would have made it there without the generous help of sponsors like Cuppachena Coffee, Ginger Stock-McKenzie (Arbonne International), Grubstake Feeds and the staff at Hutchison High School. Some provided entry fees, some provided dog food and meat, others provided booties for the dogs' feet. All in all, they helped to get us down the trail. These folks were instrumental in getting team RS out there on the race trails, gaining experience for our future bid at the Yukon Quest 1000.

This year, Manny and I are both working on qualifiers for the Yukon Quest. Our plans include: Cantwell Classic 200 (Tammi), the YQ300 (Tammi), the Two Rivers 200 (Manny) and possibly the Taiga 300 (Manny). Manny plans to run the Yukon Quest in 2009 and Tammi may run it in 2010. Hopefully, we can make our dreams a reality.

Sponsorship allows folks to be an integral part of our team, even if they can't make it to Alaska to go for a sled ride with us, or race the Yukon Quest. These people receive training updates on their "dog", receive "insider" tips and stories from the trail; basically, they become a part of Rogue Summit Kennel. Folks who can sponsor at a higher level, know that they helped fuel our team down the trail, as their contributions will go to getting the high quality feed the dogs need. A dog sponsor will know that they are providing the necessary gear and supplies needed to help their chosen dog along the trail in comfort. A bootie sponsor knows that they help to provide protection for our dogs' paws; a much needed asset to keep the dogs in great shape. Or perhaps someone provides warm gloves or heat packs for keeping Manny's or my hands warm at -40F while we're on the trail. These folks that help team Rogue Summit make it to the starting line are in essence with us on the runners, rooting us, content knowing that they help get us down the trail. Now those folks are truly AWESOME!

Manny and I also bring our love of mushing into the classroom. I am a High School teacher; therefore, I love the fact that I can bring my two passions together....teaching and racing sled dogs. Manny and I do presentations for students by bringing in our gear, sleds and some of our key sled dogs to the classroom. We are fully committed to education and believe in what we do. This is a blessing for us and allows us to share our knowledge and promote this fantastic sport to future generations.

So, join us on the trails this year and in the years to come, as we continue working our way to the dream that is "The Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race"!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Hangin' around the house

The temps have plummeted outside, it's -20F and dropping here at our house, while in town, the temps are -36F and dropping. Running at these temps on an atv is just plain miserable. Plus, the skinny butts have finally starting putting on a little weight, so we thought it'd be better for the dogs to take a day or two off. So, hangin' around the house is what's doin' right now.

Our house is definitely a cozy, full one! I have to chuckle when I read that folks have one or two dogs in the house. We have 7 of them, plus the cats...but Manny says that the 3 lil' dogs don't count. Ha ha ha! Above, you can see (left to right) Onyx curled up on his bed, with Radar, the GSP curled up next to him. Jaeger is wondering what I'm doing with that flashy thing Again! and Baron is taking up the whole other big dog bed. I made a couple of beds for the dogs, because the ones in the store are either real expensive or just weren't big enough for our pooches. So, I made a few for the furkiddlings. You can see, they sure do love them!

Here, you can see my little Monty Mo (short for Montgomery) and Otto (behind Monty). Monty is cuddled up next to me on the couch, there's his chew toy under his jaw there...yeah, he sleeps with it at times. Monty is a Cairn Terrier/Yorkie mix that a very nice lady needed to find a home for. I've always dreamed of having a "Toto" it just seemed meant to be. Monty is only 5 months old but has already wiggled his way into our hearts.

Needless to say, we are very blessed to have a full house. Life is good! Now, just 3 more days until finals are over at school...then 2 Wonderful Weeks Off! Wahoo!

Happy Holidays to everyone, from all of us Rogues here at Rogue Summit Kennel!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Snow in the forecast

Rain wants to know if she can come play, too! She's so silly...she somehow manages to wrap her chain around her pole, even though she does have a swivel. Silly girl! She sure is a happy girl though, and very pretty! Odin's there in the background, romping around. Our dogs here sure do have a good time...though that makes sense, as we like to play with them, love on them and just have fun. Rain and her siblings are still too young for any kind of running in team, but they do like to frolic around the yard and generally just cause a ruckus.

Snow is in the forecast!! There is a snow advisory through tomorrow night and it has already started coming down. About 3 inches are predicted for tonight, with another 6 inches tomorrow. Yeehaw!! Now THAT'S what we're talkin' bout! ;o) I sure do hope Mother Nature treats us kindly and gives us a good dumping. Only 1 more week of school and then we'll be off for 2 glorious weeks of running dogs, spending time with family and just plain having fun. I can't WAIT! Manny, Devlyn and I plan on taking out 2 sled teams the day after Christmas. Conor, who is still a bit small for training dogs with us, will be at his daycare, which means that the rest of us will have several hours to run dogs. Devlyn sometimes runs with me, standing on the runners in front of me while we run a 6 dog team. He enjoys doing this, and so do I; because the way his face lights up with that huge smile after we've completed a run is just awesome! He's looking forward to racing in the 2 dog classes in the Jr Mushers' races this season....he's been scheming and planning which 2 dogs he will race with this year. He's trying to talk us into letting him run Jericho and Sunshine...but he'll really have to convince his Dad on that one. Those 2 dogs are S-T-R-O-N-G and FAST! We'll see what happens.

The A team did a hard 30 mile run today up the Firebreak. Feather and Zen were in lead, followed by Chevy and China in swing. Rocket and Inu manned the wheel position again today. Those two just know what they are doing, for sure. Manny again had to drag the tie off rope behind the's definitely time to get a new quick release/tie off. The dogs threaded their way down through the trees, crossed the ponds easily. The overflow that was between the ponds has a nice layer of snow over it, making it easy going. The dogs ran a steady 10-12mph up the hills. At one point, he had to stop and clean everyone's feet, as the fresh snow created ice balls on the dogs' feet. He'd stopped the dogs at the base of a steep hill; but, the dogs got anxious and began pull the atv, in gear, up the hill! Sheesh! We definitely don't need to do any more muscle building, that's for sure. Manny said that he hit the 15 mile mark or so and didn't see a turn around. He went a little farther until they started up another steep incline. He decided to just turn the team around at that point, as they were really working hard and he didn't want to push them any more than he was already. That meant that he had to turn the whole 14 dog string around on the trail. Good thing the dogs are good about it! They came in, doing that hilly run in just about 3 hours. That is awesome for dogs who are running with over 800 pounds. The dogs came in a bit tired; but that's definitely to be expected. Manny said that no one had been up there where he took the team, so they were running through some fresh snow.

Well, that's about it for now. Let's keep our fingers crossed that we get all the snow (or more) that the weathermen are saying we're supposed to. Wouldn't that be a Great Christmas present?!? Happy Holidays to all of you! Give your loved-ones (both 2 legged and 4 legged) hugs and kisses! Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

30 milers

Sunshine says, "Alright! Let's go running!" And that's what they did. Manny took the team out for a 30 miler today, down into the flats, across the Little Chena and around a loop. He said that the team had to go through 4 glaciated overflows, dry on the way out, but water on the way back. Dusk didn't much like the overflow, but Just yanked him straight through it all. The dogs ran so nice, pulling well. Even Sunshine and Jericho had no trouble with this run....even though they jumped up 6 miles. Manny said that the run was pretty smooth, until he got down to the which point the tussocks made a bumpy, bouncy ride. Still, the dogs didn't seem to notice. Before the start of the run, they once again popped the quick release, but Manny had a rope tied off as well. He had to untie the rope from the pipe, as the dogs had it pulled so tight that he couldn't get it off the hitch. Manny let it drag until he could stop the dogs a bit further down the trail. He said that the dogs were bending the pipe, they were pulling so hard. Amazing!

Manny saw more wildlife along the trail. He saw another owl, but he wasn't sure what type. He stopped the team and looked for the owl, which had alighted on the top of a spruce tree. Turns out, it was a Great Gray Owl. He found a picture of it online and showed me...what a gorgeous bird! It is awesome to get to have these kinds of experiences in this great land that we live in. Too cool! I told him to take the camera along next time and get some pictures to share.

No Junior races this weekend. We were going to sign Devlyn up for the 2 dog class and Conor for the 1 dog...but they dragged the trail and said that it needs another 6 inches of snow to make it safe enough to race on. Ho hum. Another low snow year so far wreaking havoc on races.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

B Team Runnin'

Here's Balian, wanting to know if we're going running.
You bet, Buddy! Devlyn and I took the B team out for a run today. It was such an awesome day! We got another inch or two of snow, as it came down off and on all day. So, after Manny finished plowing out the drive and the dog yard, we all started harnessing and hooking up. The B team has several young dogs in it, so they have a tendency to chomp on harnesses. This means that most of that team needs to be harnessed then directly hooked up. Then, they don't chew. I was happy to see Zeus, Peiper, Odin and Balian stand there, lined out nicely, waiting to run. Since Devlyn and I were only running 12 dogs today and Manny runs 14 on the A team, we ran Peiper and Zeus each by themselves. They run GREAT by themselves!! Peiper has this beautiful lope, his whole body just stretches fluidly, making it look easy. Too Cool! Balian ran with Odin and those two looked very good together. Balian has a gorgeous trot that is smooth and flowing. Odin matched him stride for stride too. Though Odin likes to run on the right, so at one point, Devlyn had to go up and toss Odin over Balian, so that Odin didn't crowd Balian anymore. Riley and Munchkin were in lead, and they took my commands nicely. Too bad I goofed up and made them run past a turn we were supposed to take. Munch and Riley took it at first, but being the good dogs they are, they listened my haw and on we went. That's when I realized we were supposed to take that turn. That was alright, we took the next one, though it confused the dogs and we ended up with a small tangle. No worries, Devlyn held the atv while I fixed tugs and a neckline. The dogs did really well chewing, no snarling, just tail wagging. I made sure to tell the yearlings what good boys they are...Balian is funny, as he rubs his head on you like a cat. Goofy! Off we went flying across the pond. For older dogs and youngsters, they were hauling a good 15mph! :o) Not bad for Riley up front. Banjo and Jenny were running together and were "invisible dogs" meaning they just stayed into their harnesses, heads down, bodies churning, pulling hard. We came back in with the dogs looking spry. Ody and Achilles, who ran in swing, were still barking and lunging. Of course, these 7 year olds have been around the block a few times with me, so they aren't having any troubles doing the shorter miles that the B team is doing. Even Old Torus at 9 years old had no problems. What a nice bunch! Well, I'm off to bed. Another Monday morning will be coming soon. Laters!

Friday, December 7, 2007

SNOW!!! :o)

You looking at me?! Here's Chevy, waiting for scritches.
Alright!! I was so happy to wake up to fresh snow on the deck, with more of that lovely, white stuff coming down from the sky. We didn't get a whole lot, but at least an inch or three...hey, I'll take that! The weather report says snow on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, as well. Man, I really, REALLY hope the weatherman is right this time...we could sure use it. The dogs are about ready for 30s on the atv already, so it would be nice to be able to get on sleds, to start doing 40s-50s with them. They are having no trouble adding miles at this point, and Manny says that whether he goes out and does a 15 mile or a 25 mile run with the dogs, they come in looking good, pulling well. That's definitely good news and heartening to hear. Honestly, most years we feel that we push the dogs up in miles too early in the season. So, we really focused on many reps at lower miles, moving up the increments very slowly (almost painfully seemed like at times!), running 4-5 days a week. What that did was give us some well-muscled, well-conditioned dogs who seem to be able to handle hills, ice and fresh snow. Time will tell and we'll see how the dogs perform on the races this year, as compared to previous years.

Dusk and Just led the team down into the flats again today. Manny said that he left a little later, because it was snowing so hard, he wanted to let it lighten up a bit first. It didn't let up for quite a while and he went ahead and took the team out with it still coming down pretty good. He said that the dogs were breaking trail pretty much the whole way, playing through the new snow. What's nice is that they are keeping their speed up, while still being able to power up hills. Manny said that he kept stopping every few miles to check feet, as the fresh snow ould've caused iceballs. He's seeing lots of wildlife on runs, which is pretty cool. Today, he ran past a cow and calf down in the clearcuts, then even saw a great-horned owl in flight! Awesome! Well, take care and keep checking back as we continue training the dogs and preparing for our upcoming races.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A boy and his dog

Here is Jaeger and Devlyn. Jaeger is now a year old, and as you can see, a good sized guy! Jaeger chose Devlyn as his "human" not too long after he came to live with us at 6 weeks old. Jaeger always wants to be with Devlyn. If Devlyn is outside, Jaeger knows it and will whine until we let him out to be with his boy. One time, Manny was wrestling with Devlyn, when Jaeger started to bark and growl....he must have thought that Manny was hurting Devlyn! There is truly a strong bond there and while Jaeger does love all of us and listens to us all...that dog lives for his boy. What a lucky kid Devlyn is to have such a faithful, wonderful friend to grow up with. There isn't much that can hold a candle to the love and devotion of a dog. Beautiful.

Upping miles

The dogs are trucking along, doing wonderfully. Manny upped the miles yesterday and took the dogs down to the flats. He upped their mileage by 4 miles and they did it easy! Guess all that foundation training we've been doing is starting to pay off. They are pulling hard, running well and look great! So today, Manny took the team up the Firebreak a few miles. He said that the trail was so icy, that when he was having the dogs pull up the hills, they were slipping. Not good. He started running the atv up the hills so they don't have to pull and they ran much better, without sliding on the slick trail. He'd planned to keep them at the same distance, but he realized that the first turn around was too short. He ended up going to the next turnaround, which took them 2 miles farther than they'd done yesterday. The dogs had no trouble doing the extra miles and came in looking good. Now, THAT'S Awesome!!! Tee hee hee!

We're feeding the dogs like crazy and they are starting to put some meat on their bones now. We actually have a few fat dogs! Those dogs are the ones we'll have to watch to make sure they don't get wrist or shoulder injuries from pounding on these concrete, icy trails.

In other news, we had a wolf visit last night. He came up the drive and was sniffing around the meat saw, on the other side of the truck. He stayed out of the yard light and stuck to the shadows. The Karelians were going berserk, which by the way, did not even phase the wolf; while the sled dogs all hid in their houses, not making a peep. Manny went out with a headlamp and before he'd even stepped off the porch, the wolf shot off down the driveway. A bit later he came around again, but circled around through the woods and took off. So, while we aren't positive the outdoor light helped, it certainly didn't hurt! Keep your pets locked up at night and make sure you check out any ruckus you might hear outside.


Sunday, December 2, 2007

Mini "Hulks"

I snapped a few pics of the dogs this evening and wanted to share a couple. I'm just amazed at how the dogs' bodies have built up. While I definitely want to see a bit more "fat" on the dogs, particularly going into the Quest 300, they certainly don't look bad. I've been so worried about some of the dogs not having that fat pad between the pelvic bone...and couldn't figure out why they weren't putting on weight. Instead, they were building muscle. BEEEAUTIFUL!! We're going to keep feeding like we have been, as most of the dogs are looking great, but we still have a few that need to build up a bit of fat on them. So, we'll keep giving them dual feedings of kibble, along with their meat/rice "soup" at night, and their meat meal water in the morning. In the morning, we also give them psyllium (they had a bug causing loose stools), and corn oil added to their kibble in the pm. It makes more work for us...but our furkids are totally worth it!
Meet Zen. This angle isn't great for seeing her build, but if you look close, you can see how much muscle she's put on. She looks like she has big ole' drumsticks with all that muscle on her thighs. It was hard to get a pic of her, as she just wants to give hugs and kisses.

And here's Booger! It's a little hard to see at this angle, but this dog is bulging all through his shoulders, his back and his thighs!
It's hard to see, but look at those muscles bulging on Jericho. Wooowee! He's just beautiful!
Well, that's all for now. Off to give the 2 legged kiddlings baths and get them off to bed. Monday morning comes early...and it's the start of a brand new week. Take care all and keep on dancin'!
=All of us Rogues ;o)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Muscles building and training

We took the main team out on a nice run yesterday. Man, it was GOOD to get out and run the dogs! We went out and hooked the team up and I have to say...what a difference from the first few runs...or even the past few years even! It was great...we walked dogs up to the line and they just stood there, leaning into their harnesses, wagging their tails, ready to go. But, they were so calm and quiet! I was really happy to see it. Manny had to replace a couple of necklines, and all he had were poly necklines. We were both thinking that they'd get chewed through quickly...but, surprise, surprise...they didn't chew. Well, Sunshine tried chewing on his cable neckline...but left Booger's poly neckline alone. Yay! I ran up to get the dogs to go straight across our road, instead of turning to the regular trail. We wanted to go down to the ponds, then up to the Firebreak...going this way avoids Oh-My-God hill. Of course, Just and Dusk decided they didn't want to listen, so I grabbed their neckline and pulled them across the road. They got the idea fast as they saw the trail ahead of them and took off. Manny had a hard time holding them so I could jump on behind him on the atv. We went down the trail towards the ponds...the dogs were just flying! There are some very tight turns, a narrow trail with trees all over. Eeek! Ok, so that was girlish...but it was fast! Ha ha ha!

There's a good amount of overflow between the ponds, all frozen over of course, but it makes the trail a bit rough. Manny slowed the dogs on the ice...but that made them slip and slide a bit. Once we got through Times Square, Manny & I switched and I drove the team. They ran so well! We were doing a speed run, so I ran the throttle to give the dogs from having to grind. Booger was off and on...we think the kennel picked up a bug, as there had been loose stools earlier in the week. This run though, all looked fine with no diarrhea....except for Booger going on and off his tug, everyone looked good. After a bit, we took Just out of lead and put Chevy up front with Dusk. Chevy has such a beautiful, flying trot! I loved watching him in lead. NICE! We went up and did a loop on the Firebreak, then came back down to the ponds. This time, we ran the dogs across the overflow and they didn't slip and slide like they had. The dogs came into the yard at a lope...which is very cool! They are definitely doing well.

We have a few dogs I call "skinny butts" and well, you can guess why. Though we've split feedings up to twice a day, add rice to their meat at night, giving them a "soup" and dewormed them with Cestex to get any tapeworms that may be causing them to stay thin, they're still skinny. This means that they don't look malnourished or anything, but when I feel their hips, I don't feel the nice fat pad that I like them to have between their hip bones. However, I hadn't been able to see them during the day for the past few weeks. I go to work when it's dark and come home when it's dark. When I went out to help Manny harness and hook up for our run on Friday, I got a good look at the dogs. Holy crow! They look like little bodybuilders! No wonder they don't have any extra "fat"'s all been turned to muscle. The hounds all have those bulging shoulder and thigh muscles...the huskies aren't too far behind, either! What lean, muscular bodies they have. Turns out that Manny has been doing a lot of hard pulling runs, which has trained the dogs to work hard on hills. However he hasn't done many speed runs, as he was trying to make sure the dogs were well muscled and conditioned to avoid injuries. So, now that the dogs are so well-muscled, we'll work on conditioning/speed next...especially once we can switch to sleds. I'll have to get some pictures to show the bulging looks so cool! I just hope that it doesn't slow them down....but hey, look out for this team if we have tough trails like last year! Yikes! :o) Tee hee hee!

Keep on truckin'! =Da Rogues

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wolves, ice and running dogs

Life is getting wilder around here every day! This morning, while taking our son to the bus for school, Manny discovered a neighbor's dog had been attacked and partially eaten in the ditch at the end of our road (15 mile CHSR). Turns out that the neighbor had let the dog out with her last night, but the dog disappeared. Manny said that it was obvious from the blood splatters around the scene and the fact that the dog had been torn up and half eaten that the wolves had been there. Another neighbor confirmed that their dogyard had gone off around 11:30pm-Midnight last night...who lives just across the road from us, along the trail. Our dogs were acting very weird late last night and early this morning as well. A lady called me to tell me she'd heard from a parent that they'd actually hit a dog along CHSR....but I'm thinking it's not the same dog. Or, if it is, the dog was injured making it easy prey for the wolves.'s pretty clear that the wolf pack is getting a bit bolder. So, keep your pets inside and don't let your kidlings wander around after dark (just to be on the safe side).

The trails are officially ice! Manny took the team out for a good run yesterday, going on different trails. He was heading to the ponds trail, but saw that there was so much ice and overflow, that he decided NOT to chance it (didn't want to fall through rotten ice). So, he took a trail that a neighbor/musher told us about to skirt the ice...he ended up doing a solid run with the dogs up and over the ridge trail and back around the home trail. I guess the dogs were feeling frisky...he said it was so slick that they were hauling the atv, brakes on and all! He said that those dogs were running around 19mph (with the atv in gear!)....then on hills they were doing between 12-14mph. He finally got them down to about 12mph towards the end of the run by making them pull the atv by putting it in gear. Going that fast on icy trails is just asking for injuries. He said they all looked pretty good coming in, except Booger. I guess Booger decided to twist around, jump over his partner, and got himself tangled up for a spell. He was a bit tired. Just and Dusk were in lead and decided they didn't want to turn here, or take that trail there...what a bunch of goofballs! All in all, they must have been feeling good though. Those dogs have gotten so strong that they broke 2 (count them, not one, but TWO) quickreleases at the start of the run! Manny uses 2 of them, just in case one fails, the other quick release tie-off will hold the team/ATV until he's ready to go. He said the dogs were lunging so hard that he heard a loud POP like a gun going off. He didn't worry too much, cause he knew he had the back up. Then, while he was getting his coat on before heading out, he heard another loud POP then suddenly, there goes the team with the ATV! Those dogs were dragging that thing, brakes and all. Scary strong!! He quickly caught the ATV and jumped on...but whew, what a crazy run!

Back out again today with the main team. I'm going to try and head home so that I can get a run in with the B team...but it's not looking likely (staff meetings...ugh!). The dogs are coming along and we'll be upping the miles again shortly. The Tune-up has been officially cancelled, no surprise there with current trail conditions. Still, it would have been nice to have a full racing season! Sheesh! Do your snow dances and hope that the Solstice makes it this year.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

No training today

Dusk wants to know, what's up with this weather??

It's just CRAZY! The season started off with some nice snowfall, making us all hopeful for a good season...then a chinook blows in, melting most of the snow and turning everything into an ice rink. We opted to give the dogs a couple days off, in hopes that we'll get at least a light snowfall to help the trails. We felt it would be counterproductive to run the dogs on ice....definitely don't need any injuries. We'll go back in training tomorrow, trying to keep the speed down. Here in about a week or two, we'll start doing a back-to-back at least once a week. Not a lot of miles, but enough to get the dogs back into the idea of resting/running. We like to keep things (as Conor would say) Spon-TAN-nU-us. ;o) Those of you who've seen "Happy Feet" will understand. We're about ready to do 20s with the A team. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that we get some more snow soon. If not, it's going to be another rough year. Do those snow dances everyone!

Friday, November 23, 2007


This here is Inu. Inu came to us from Nenana....he had been a tour dog, but a divorce resulted in Inu desperately needing a new home. Therefore, we went down and brought back Inu along with 2 other dogs: Spike and Scooby (siblings). Scooby is off running sprints with Lynn Orbision, Spike is busy running in the B team; but, Inu has really surprised us in that he is the best wheel dog we've ever had! I really noticed this running the 07 YQ 300...the Yukon had a lot of sidehilling, and this dog was the star! Inu kept the sled up and made my job easier on the sled. Talk about working together! What a dream!! Inu lost a lot of weight on that one race though, bringing to light that he has a mild thyroid problem. We're going to work with Dr. Olsen to see what happens with it. We're trying to avoid meds...but may have to go that route. We neutered Inu and while he isn't chunky, he is holding decent weight now. Inu is a hard working member of the team. He and I have a solid relationship...and that dog knows how much I love him. Too awesome! Ok, I gotta run out and give him a hug...


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Training and Chinooks

Hi All! Training goes forward here at Rogue Summit Kennel. The A team is getting quite a workout with hard, grinding runs followed by fast, fun runs...sometimes forced due to the warm (read HOT) temps we've been having. Lack of more snow still has us on the atvs and with temps in the 40s at our place, we can't take the dogs across ponds, in case of rotten ice. We are taking it slow and easy in our mileage increments...though I have to admit it does have me chomping at the bit. We're usually doing 25s and 30s by now...but this year, we're doing things just a bit different, so we're not up there yet. I have to keep reminding myself to "stick to it" just like you do on races. It's easy to get sucked into someone else's "plan" and forget your own when it comes to building miles. So...I just keep reminding myself that we're doing fine and the dogs are on schedule. I checked out the Cantwell Classic 200 website and the list of racers is up! Holy crow...I can't believe the names listed on there. Looks like we'll have a full field too...though I already figured that would happen. I'm sincerely looking forward to this race even more, as I'll be racing with some of the best out there! :o) I got to do the same last year...though it was rather short-lived.

Well, I'm off. I'm soooo looking forward to this 4 day weekend to get out and RUN! Yahoo!! I've been lacking in the training department, as I've been working so much (too much!). Therefore, I can't wait to get out and train the dogs. stress reliever! Ciao! -Tammi

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Rockin' Rocket

Meet Rocket. Rocket is a VERY nice dog. He mostly runs in wheel, but if asked, Rocket will run anywhere in the team. We haven't had him in lead, as he used to lead and said that he didn't want to do that anymore. However, with a few years off from leading, we're going to try him up front to see if he'd like to take a turn or two in that position. :o) Rocket is always being goofy and loves to jump up and give me big hugs. Here, he's tossing his head around, telling me to come pet him. I love this dog and he sure knows it! ;o)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Meet the pups at 5 months old

Here's Storm. She sure is pretty isn't she?!?

Hail is a lover. He's a real sweetheart.

Here's my Rain girl! She looks so much like her mom, Dutchess. I expect great things from this little girl.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Just "Just"

This is "Just". He came to us over a year ago from Lynn Orbison over at Daisy Acres. He wasn't quite fast enough to do sprinting, so Lynn thought he'd like to try mid-distance with us. He definitely has speed! We put Just in lead and woo! Off he went! Just ran in the 07 Cantwell Classic 200 and the 07 Quest 300. He is VERY stubborn though. If he feels that we should Gee, then no amount of Haw will turn him unless the other leader jerks him over. I can't imagine what other mushers think when I'm calling "Just Gee!", "Just Gee!" Ha ha ha! They probably think I'm exasperated and begging my leaders to just gee already! ;o) He's also a CHOW hound and if he thinks food is around, it takes a LOT of convincing to get him going until he's had a "bite to eat." All joking aside, this dog has become a solid leader who runs through anything. And, he's gotten much better about taking the commands that we'd like him to, as well. :o) He's a character, that one. And a solid asset to the team.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Cantwell is a Go!

So here is me with the team at the start of the Cantwell Classic 07 last season. That's Torus on the left, Feather on the right and then you can see Ahab (light dog on the left) leaping next to Dusk (on the right behind Feather). Last year, I got caught up in a defeatist type attitude at the first stop and ended up making a BIG rookie mistake. The dogs had looked great, were ready to keep going....but instead of listening to the dogs, I listened to folks around me and we scratched. I should have just slept on it, or put on my mp3 player and ignored things around me and my team. Well, I entered the race to learn and I surely did that. I'm very happy to report that I'm signed up for the 08 Cantwell Classic 200 and I can't WAIT to get back out on that trail. The dogs are already training for the hills and looking strong. The Cantwell website ( doesn't have the list of mushers up yet, but I did hear that there are about 27 mushers signed up. The limit is 35 mushers, which I think will happen. This event is a quality race and is a qualifier for both the Quest and Iditarod. The folks in Cantwell work hard to make this a good race, which is saying a lot since they don't have a big pool of volunteers to pick from.

I'm also all signed up for the Quest 300, though they are having difficulties with the website ( and haven't been able to update it yet. Keep checking back if you are interested in following the race. Manny is planning on racing as well. His first race will be the Solstice 100, which will be a nice 50 miles out to Angel Creek, a 4 hour layover, then 50 miles back to Pleasant Valley Store. This will be a GREAT training race for both Manny and the team. Then, Manny will be racing the Two Rivers 200 in March. He ran the Two Rivers 100 last season and took 2nd place. So, he's already completed the first part of the race. This will help him when he races the 200 miler, as he'll already be familiar with the conditions.

Follow along with us as we move through the 07/08 season. If you'd like to assist us on our journey, please let us know! We could certainly use the help and would appreciate the support.


Thursday, November 8, 2007


Meet Dusk! Dusk is a 4 year old male leader. He is energetic and solid in lead. Dusk led for almost the entire run of every race last year, with just a few breaks here and there. He has developed into a great gee/haw leader who will go through anything!
Dusk has been on the Quest trail, leading Eric Butcher's 06 team over Eagle Summit. I will be counting on this guy to get us up
and over the mountains this season. Dusk is the father
of our newest kennel members:
Rain, Storm & Hail (you can see them on our kennel listing).
Dusk is one of our main stars here at
Rogue Summit Kennel!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Those dogs are just doing fantastic! Manny went up Oh-My-God hill with the team on a longer run and they are just pulling nicely. I'm very happy with their progress and thrilled with the leaders that we are able to rotate through. We do have a dog or two available for adoption. Not because they don't run well, but because they either have shorter coats or would fit better in a team not doing the distances we are. Though I think most of them are spoken for.

Dutchess is running with Swanny and his freighters this winter. He needed a good leader and she needed a retirement style team to run in. What a fit! I'm waiting to hear how she does on her first run with his team. Swanny said that they've been doing about the same mileage, so it should work out nicely. Yay for Dutchess!! :o) Wahoo!

Here's Dutchess in lead

Ok, so now, let's keep doing our snow dances and get some more of that white stuff so that we can shake the dust off of those sleds and let the runners hit the trails!!


Monday, November 5, 2007

Meet Zen

Here is Zen! She is a 4 year old gee/haw leader who was in training for the 07 Iditarod. We were fortunate to have the opportunity to bring this girl to RS Kennel to run with our team. She is a dynamite leader who runs very solid. Zen led our team to a 2nd place finish in the Chatanika 100! Zen is a sweetheart who LOVES to give kisses and get hugs. She is a lover, though all business in harness. Zen is one of the stars of Rogue Summit Kennel.

Would you like to Sponsor Zen?? She sure would appreciate your support! Contact us today for information on
how to be a Dog sponsor for one of these athletes

Running well

Both teams were run today, with the B team going out first. Munchkin and Riley were in lead for this run. We like to keep them slower, as we are running the oldsters, youngsters and the rest of the race dogs from the A team. With about 20 solid race dogs, it's just easier to split them up between the two teams. The B team went a bit further today, taking the loop, over a 5 mile run. Balian ran in this team and did really well. We'll keep him in training with the other 3 yearlings, Odin, Peiper & Zeus. Dutchess also ran with the team, even at 9 years old, that girl still has it! She's slowed down some, but still running strong.

The A team went longer today, going up Oh-My-God Hill to run on the logging road toward the Fire Break trail. It was a long, hard pull, but they did it just fine. Just and Dusk started out in lead, with Zen & Feather in swing behind these 2 boys. However, Zen kept trying to pull out and around the boys. Manny didn't want to run her in lead, as she's still in heat..but she was adamant about it. So, he stopped the team, took Just out of lead and put Zen up front. No problems at all! Dusk didn't even blink and Zen was hard into the tug. Definitely good news, as I can count on them to keep their heads into the runs, even when hormones are raging. Right on!! It never seems to fail that at least one of my girls goes into heat on the Quest 300. I definitely don't want any problems like I had on the 06 YQ300, with boys snarling and grumbling most of the way. Though, Feather went into heat on the 07 YQ300, and I didn't have a single issue.

The dogs are looking good and fit. Its very heartening to see them. We are really working on solid conditioning and I feel that we're getting a solid base. Its amazing what these dogs can do.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

New addition

It's been a busy week for us, as we made our way through Halloween, got our new atv with a plow and winch ( more shoveling!), Parent/Teacher Conferences for me, then I was a line judge for the Regional Volleyball tournament on Friday evening. That was truly interesting, as I hadn't done that before. I felt all official and stuff. ;o)

We swapped a dog with Jodi. Balian, who came from Lance Mackey, is just a yearling pup that Jodi had taken on. He is a good running dog, but he just didn't have the long leaping stride of her hound yearlings (she's training for sprinting/stage racing). On the other hand, we had Skuuga, a hard-driving sprint dog who we just have not been able to get trotting (she'd run herself into the ground had we taken her on a long run). So, we swapped. Jodi took Skuuga, who is already running well for her and we took Balian. Balian is a beautiful boy that we'd considered getting from Lance...but, Jodi decided she wanted him instead. Guess things work out as they should.


The A team ran really well today. They had a tough workout, as I rode along with Manny on the run...phew, those poor doggies didn't know what hit them! Ha ha ha! Still, they ran very strong and quickly, came in wagging their tails and pulling us back to their posts. Definitely time to up the mileage. They've been doing 7-8 milers for a couple of weeks, so they are truly solid. In the past, we've jumped up in mileage fairly quickly. However, this year we've decided to really get the dogs able to pull hard and lope coming in, before we up their miles. True, we aren't going as far as some others are at this point...but we feel that the dogs are getting very solid conditioning. They are so strong, that it's scary on that atv going around some of the turns! Wow! On the B team, we've decided that there are a couple of dogs who just aren't up for running the Quest with us, so we're looking for good homes for them. Check out our Kennel listing for more info if interested by clicking here: Rogue Summit Kennel.

I'm off. Work comes early tomorrow. Have a great one, folks!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween from Rogue Summit!

The pitter-patter of paws on the snow will be heard throughout the world tonight! Watch out for all those ghouls and goyles out there, as they get their "tricks-or-treats" door to door. Don't mind that shadow across the moon...that's just us witches out and about on this lovely night. Ha ha ha haha! Enjoy all! Be safe!

-All of us here at Rogue Summit Kennel

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Rogue Summit Kennel

So, as I stated in the old blog, we've decided to change our name back to Rogue Summit Kennel. In a way, it's like coming back home again to something comfortable, like an old pair of slippers...they just 'fit'. Everytime I say the name, I picture our guy, Rogue. His blue eyes dancing, his fluffy tail wagging as he'd jump up into the truck to go "to work" with Manny. He was truly a "one-of-a-kind" siberian. When he passed, we spread his ashes up at Skalkaho Falls in Montana, where we used to run the team or take hikes in the summer. Rogue LOVED playing in those falls. We thought it'd be fitting for him to rest there. He was a tough guy, he gave it his heart and soul, whether he was in harness or going after a ball or stick. I'd like to think that he's still with us, running the trails, chasing rabbits and seeing what's over that next hill.