Tuesday, July 8, 2014

We're Expecting!

It's been a hot summer, and the dogs have been enjoying their time off with lots of free runs, play time and romps in the kitty pool at the Ranch. We are counting down the days until fall training starts (only about six weeks now!) but before training starts, we are counting the days for something even more exciting: puppies!

It has been three years since Diamond Dogs have had babies, and I decided it was time to expand the kennel once again. I am super excited about the gene pool chosen! 

Cinder, who is 4 years old, came to Diamond Dogs late in the 2012 season but quickly proved herself an amazing athlete. Though she had been off training for about six weeks when I acquired her, she jumped right in with the team, started running and never looked back. She ran lead with my gee/haw leader, Yeti and ran the Midnight Run that season. Last season she ran in the Tahquamenon Sled Dog Race and The Midnight Run. She is a beauty to watch run: smooth, straight gait, and light on her feet, she makes loping look effortless. What's more, she always has a smile on her face and gives everything she has on the line.

Cinder this past spring
Cinder's bloodlines are pretty sweet. Her dad, Hobo, is out of Iditarod and Yukon Quest champ, Lance Mackey's kennel. And her mom, Bruny, is out of Beargrease Marathon veteran, John Stetson's kennel. 

I put a lot of thought into choosing a stud. Despite Cinder's bloodlines, which are primarily distance dogs, she is fast. But I wanted a male who could contribute an added element of speed, preferably one who was a lead dog. After talking with a few mushers, I decided to add the speed of Swingley into Cinder's solid endurance lines. The natural choice was Pete and Sharon Curtice's Elrond

Elrond has been a natural leader for the Curtice's kennel since he was a yearling. He was on their winning Midnight Run team in 2006 as a yearling, and ran lead on their 2nd place Beargrease 150 race. And his genetics are impressive. Elrond's mom is leader, Hurricane; his dad is  Ceasar who was also a leader (both Swingley origins). It is interesting to note Elrond is also the grandfather to my last litter, the Reggae Litter. 

I made a quick trip up to visit the Curtice's over Memorial Day weekend where Cinder had a date with Elrond. She should be due around July 26th. She is starting to show, and Elise is super excited to help with puppy socialization. 

Elise helping pose Cinder for a photo
We will be at the Green Branch Library tomorrow, July 9, at 1 and 3 p.m. for a presentation of Backyard Iditarod. If you're in the area, stop by! Hopefully my next post will be about tiny little toes!

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