For the first runs of the season after a break because of temperatures, we visited our favourite trails at Pembrey Forest in South Wales. The trails are sandy with hills and give a great work out for the dogs with feet friendly trail surfaces. We can then all relax in the country park with the dogs staked out and enjoy walks on the beach with the dogs. We ran a veteran team and young team, making sure that the dogs run with other dogs of a similar pace so that they are happy and comfortable. The dogs were delighted to be back in harness and we were equally happy that we are back on the trails!
We are hoping our Rowerland passenger rig that we ordered in March will arrive this month which will help us have more control over speed with the added weight and be a useful training tool for the season.
Our lovelies enjoying their Welsh holiday.
This Summer has been a trying time and we are so sad that the girl who started it all Shyla is no longer with us after giving her sleep on the 1st September.
Shyla 2002 - 2019
Shyla was Matt's first Siberian, adopted from a local animal sanctuary. Shy had a rollercoaster few years before Matt found her twelve years ago, and she came with a bag full of issues, which Matt helped unpack with love, time, routine and care. Shy was not easy, but she was a sweetheart, picky about who she liked but if you passed muster, she would rub herself on you like a cat, Shy is credited with the start of this fine madness after Matt met Jon Matherick and started the dog running journey. After gaining the old SDE number from Lyn Harrison she started running with Jon's dog Bomber with ABSA and giving her that purpose in life added to her rehabilitation and happiness.
We gave Shy sleep at the age of seventeen. Her body was tired and her functions were failing and it was time. We were glad that we were able to give her a lovely last few days in Pembrey that holds a lot of memories of runs gone by with Shy, and never an easy decision, we were able to give her the respect and dignity of a painless final sleep.
The picture above was taken when she was a very sprightly fifteen year old and how we imagine her now over Rainbow Bridge.
Due to taking care of Mars after his illness we cancelled the shows we had planned to go to this Summer. With Mars back to himself we decided to take Zinny and a recently turned ten year old Laika to Southampton & District Canine Open show under Siberian Husky Breed specialist judge Jenna Cooper. We had also entered Pickle but she is half in and half out of coat so not looking her best so she stayed at home with Matt sunbathing!
We like to enter shows under breed specialist judges that we respect the opinion, for us its a nice day socialising with dog folk, good for the dogs socially too and it is something to do in the Summer when it's too warm to run dogs. We haven't shown Zinny much, she did really well as a pup winning two best puppies in breed at champ and open level and placing well at the odd breed club show, her lines are slow maturing and we usually take them out of the show ring to give them time to mature. Zinny is now almost three so thought it was time to get her out and about and this takes us to the recent show at the beautiful venue of Victoria Park in Southampton. Zinny won her post graduate class from a really nice entry and then won Best Siberian Husky in Breed. Laika came third in open class, she is a tad chubby at the moment but the boss lady enjoyed her girls day out! Nothing in working group but we were proud to represent Siberian Huskies with our super fit for function Zinnia.
So what a Summer... our last runs due to temps were on the 28th June, we had hoped to keep running for longer but the Uk is having another hot, sticky summer. This was approx the same time we had to finish last year, however, we have had other kennel matters on our mind including a big operation for Mars. Mars had been under the weather for a while and we had stopped running him even though he was still mad for a run, and he was in the vets to get to the bottom of it every week, for quite a few weeks, for tests, more tests sent to specialists, x-rays, scans, radiographs, food changes, meds etc and the vets couldn't find what was wrong with him, he had started eating less and less and he wasn't his usual self. Interestingly when they examined him they said because he was so muscley on the stomach that it was very tricky to externally feel what was going on in his tummy area. After several weeks of this we were pretty desperate, we could see him fading in front of our eyes and we took him to the vets who decided to open him up to see what was wrong. We were told at the beginning of the op that he might not make it through and that they might have to give him sleep during the op, you can imagine how we were feeling, feeling emotional as I type this. So, they opened him up and found a soft rubber obstruction that had obviously been in there sometime. We aren't sure where he would have picked it up, maybe debris from the forest or free run field or around the house. This had lodged itself in such a way and because it was so soft due to all the stomach acid that had broken it down, it couldn't be detected by an x-ray, the rubber object had a hole in the middle, with food passing through and it is thought the object was likely in there for at least 10 months! Good lesson to learn that x-rays aren't conclusive and to always question results. We were in some way relieved to hear this news as we had been thinking a tumour. But he wasn't out of the woods yet, the obstruction was twisting as it was trying to pass and was very very close to rupturing the gall bladder which the vets said would have poisoned his system, so we really got it in the nick of time. The obstruction and 8 cm of gut was removed. The vets told us it was touch and go whether he would recover but they didn't appreciate the toughness and spirit of a Siberian! A few hours after his op he was taking a very healthy interest in cats on his little walk! A few more days and nights in the vets being monitored and we were able to bring him home. Because of how big the op was on his stomach we were feeding him a tablespoon of Hills Science plan pate every hour and then we gradually upped it to every two hours, every three and then after a few weeks of gradually building his food levels up, we could start introducing his normal food, no bones yet though. He had lost almost 4kg and at this date we have got him back to his pre-illness weight of 24kg ish. The Vets are astounded by his recovery time, these dogs are so mentally tough! In the op they had used very thick internal stitching which takes 120 days to dissolve, they used the thicker stitching as he is an active dog, unfortunately Mars developed an allergic reaction which took the form of redness to the wound area, this which was soon remedied by antibiotics and the wound area has completely healed. Today, he is great. He is himself, weight is on track and he is eating three meals a day and apart from the shaved look, we have our boy back with us. So grateful to our amazing Vet Inga and the whole Isle Valley Vets team who took first class care of our boy during his recovery.
So, we have had a pretty quiet couple of months looking after Mars and the rest of the dogs. Summer baths and worming treatments and of course lots of dog loving and husky cuddles and just a few more grey hairs!
Temperatures are still great for regular runs but starting to have to pick our times carefully but having lots of fun mixing and matching the teams up, dogs are enjoying free runs in the local, secure 5 acre field and we had lots of laughs trying to get some of the more obliging sibes to do a bit of agility but with limited success, rolling in fox poop was far more appealing!
Dogs are getting ready for Summer by removing their coats too so there has been lots of baths and grooming and hoovering! Work starts back up on the travelling husky hotel, we have added a towbar with which to help carry our new Rowerland passenger rig that we have ordered which is coming from Poland hopefully July time. We wanted to upgrade our 3 wheel passenger rig to a stronger, sturdier 4 wheeler. It's such a useful tool for us to train the dogs as our training trails do not allow the use of quads with or without engines!
I (Lou) was invited to judge the Christchurch & New Forest Canine Society Open Show this month and I had a wonderful entry of 19 siberian huskies. My critique and pictures of the main winners below.
I would like to thank the Committee at Christchurch & New Forest Canine Society for the honour of being invited to judge today, 19th May 2019 and for your hard work in organising the show. The venue was lovely and the outside grass rings were super and the steward was excellent. Thanks also to the exhibitors for the privilege of judging your dogs, I was delighted with my entry of 19 Siberians and really pleased with the quality of the entry.
Puppy Dog or Bitch 4/2
1) Trailhunters Tsutey
10 month old, grey and white puppy dog with a happy, mischievous expression, correct double coat, and good moderate bone. Great front angulation with an excellent shoulder and nice depth of chest. I would prefer a tad more length and angle of croup to complete the picture but he was well handled to best advantage. BP
2) Trailhunter's Eywa
10 month old, grey and white puppy bitch and littermate to one. Very pretty, typical foxy head and loved her expression, good reach of neck and very balanced proportions. Moved a tad close in the rear today and looser in movement than one at this time, but this will come with maturity. Nice prospect.
Junior Dog or Bitch 3/0
1) Johnston's Snooperz Newton at Losttrail (Imp DEU)
Striking monochrome and white male just out of puppy. Top end of standard but all in proportion and he made easy work of the ring, light on his feet, with effortless, efficient gait and shown in beautiful condition. Superb shoulder placement, strong, level topline on the move with correct length of croup and tail carriage, showed great reach and drive. Out moved everything in this class today. Smashing boy. RBOB
2) Trail Hunter's Eywa
Please see above.
Post Graduate Dog or Bitch 5/0
1) Norman's Skimarque Shades of Midnite
Two year old dilute black and white, very nicely balanced girl with an attractive head, liked her size and moderate bone. Held her topline on the move and had correct length and angle of croup leading to a nice tail carriage. Beautiful, correct double coat. She was enjoying her day and the handler did a good job settling her on the move. Movement was true and positive.
2) Johnston's Alka-Shans Tesla Cool (IMP DEU)
Agouti and white two year old girl, attractive head, balanced, nice sized bitch, finer in bone than one. Super feet. Another happy girl enjoying her day and rather bounced around the ring but could see elements of the easy, smooth movement that her angulation would suggest. Look forward to watching her progress as she matures.
Open Dog or Bitch 4/3
March's Trailhunters Miki
1) Grey and white eight year old piebald girl with a very feminine, foxy head and a sweet, keen expression. Well arched neck leading to great shoulder placement supported by firm muscle, strong, level topline on the move and correct length and angle of croup leading to an elegant tail carriage. She was in full coat and one of the best muscled dogs today. Easy, no fuss mover. This girl just gets better! BOB
Norman's Skimarque Anna Pavlova
2) White, feminine girl and another nice eight year old. This breed just gets better with maturity. Loved her beautiful foxy head and mischievous expression. Super front end angulation and depth of chest, correct moderate bone. Full of the joys of spring which affected her movement and she didn’t hold her topline on the move today but a delightful, typical female.