Monday, July 23, 2007

Idita-huskies: Tom's Promo

Spent the morning yesterday at Tom and Brenda's taking pictures of the Iditarod team for our promotional booklet. I ended up creating a short promo piece for the project. Please go to to watch it. It's a short clip for Tom's Iditarod team. I have way too much fun doing this! Too bad I can't make a living at it!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Taking Advantage of this cool weather

Tonight, Marley said, "Can we go bike-joring, pleeease?" So we took advantage of this wonderfully cool weather and went for a short bike-jor with the pups. Check it out -- click on the following link.

July 20, 2007

The "Dog Days of Summer" event at the Great Lakes Brewery was interesting. Our Foxie dog got a canine massage from Kyra Kester, a licensed massage therapist who specializes in dog and cat massage! Foxie has the beginings of arthritis in her hips, so she loved this special treatment. Thank you, Kyra! We also developed quite a little crowd of "husky groupies" around the display. Here are a few of them.

Dreams are slowly coming into focus. I want so much to abandon my "day job" for the north country, to get out from behind this desk. I am getting more patient orders from the nursing floors lately, which helps keep me inspired. But if I could find a job where I could walk all day long outside and be around dogs and wildlife, nothing could inspire me more.

Tom and I met yesterday to map out the final planning for the sponsorship booklet. We met in a little diner in Seville as it poured buckets of rain outside. We have a list of about eight good potential sponsors. Great Lakes Brewing Company is first on the list, as a follow up to their "Dog Days of Summer" event.
And we're planning the winter. I'd like to be in the U.P. training by the end of December. I'm running two races this winter, and it's literally all I can think about. I may purchase a good female leader from the Shaw kennel this fall.

I think I am the only person in this part of the country who is dreaming and thinking of winter constantly. I can't wait.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Iditarod dogs come to Great Lakes Brewing Company

Tomorrow, Tom and I will be attending our first fundraising/PR event at the "Dog Days of Summer" at Great Lakes Brewing Company in Cleveland. Their website has Tom listed as a "featured guest" which we were both pleasantly surprised by. Chris and I are taking Foxy, and Tom is bringing Trapper. I printed up a bunch of brochures promoting the project, and we have high hopes.
Working on a project like this is what I would love to do full-time. I love having the ability to let my creativity flow again, to be edgy, like in the crop job I did on the above picture. It's Tom's team from last years' take off in Anchorage. His lead dogs, Jughead (left) and Whiskey (right) have that beautifully maddening look of crazed huskies hell-bent on running. Somehow, this look is misunderstood by some. This is not a look of anger. This is a look of dogs tied up for hours waiting to run amidst the frenzy of over 1,000 other crazy dog teams. When they finally take off, they look insane.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

July 4, 2007

Home again. We stopped at a Cabela's in Dundee, MI on the way back. Initially, Chris thought the diorama of animals on display in the middle of the store was fascinating. Grabbing my arm, he led me excitedly to view the arctic wolves displayed as if they were circling a giant beast and were trying to steal it from a huge polar bear. Twenty minutes later, however, his mood had taken a 180. "This place glorifies violence," he snapped. "I want to get out of here."

Meanwhile, I was on the hunt for a different kind of animal: a neck gaitor and some good mittens for next winter. I was disappointed to not find either. I was actually disappointed with the whole Cabela's experience. Sure, they have the standard camping gear, and lots of guns and fishing equipment. But as for good backcountry gear, there wasn't a lot of selection, and a lot of it looked like it came out of a JC Penny or L.L. Bean catalog. Aside from the expansive display of animals, which would be enough to impress even a PETA exec., I wasn't that taken with the place. Most of what I need I can find at Appalachian Outfitters, and at far more reasonable prices.

Another opinion that might get me yelled at, maybe.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

The bird!

The bird whose song I absolutely love, who I kept hearing in the woods on the puppy's a Wood Thrush! That's the wind up toy bird! Follow this sound link to hear it.

July 1, 2007

Last night, I took one last run on our "puppy run" trail by the cabin at 9:30. Alone with the dogs, watching the sun set over the aspen and firs in a pink haze, tears came to my eyes. I listened to the elusive wind-up toy bird who I wish I could see. And after coming back to the cabin, at 11:30 p.m., I heard a great horned owl hooting high in the trees. I called back to him, but he didn't answer my call.
We made one last stop in the U.P. at Garlyn's Zoo. It was a nice distraction for the girls, and we saw some coyote and fox. But I can't help but feel a little torn about viewing them, supporting the zoo. How did they obtain these animals? And the enclosures -- they were all pretty small. It made me sad, even though I was once a zookeeper, to see such beautiful creatures so deeply imprinted on humans and caged. Coyote kept pacing: every time we'd walk away, he'd come closer to us, checking us out. But when we'd turn back to check him out closer, he'd scamper away. Little Trickster.

We watched a white female fox and her litter of pups play and wrestle. We looked on as an obese black bear paced by a tube where tourists could place apples. He awaited expectantly for us to drop an apple in, waited for its juicy sweetness to roll into his mouth. Unfortunately for him, he waited in vain.

As we crossed the Mackinac bridge heading the wrong direction -- south -- saying goodbye to the U.P., I thought already of this coming winter when I'll cross the bridge again heading in the right direction .... the one that feels right anyway. I can't wait to stay at the "Sleddog Lodge," to meet other mushers, to run dogs in the cold, to get back to the things I love: dogs, aspen and fir trees and cold snow.
* * * * * * *
We drove eight hours today to get to the Cabelas store once again in Dundee, MI. We are staying in a Holiday Inn Express with a water park attached to it. The girls are having a great time, and they deserve it. They've both been so good on this trip, even Elise, in her often erratic three-year-old body, who I was a little worried about.

We'll be back in Akron tomorrow.

Oh, and Jan Shaw called me back today, saying she does, in fact, have an intact gee/haw female leader. Who knew! Now, if only her (or our) timing could be a little better.

No pictures. Our camera has somehow died. Probably took too many!