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.
Not entirely sure where time is going this month! Relaxing month with the end of race season but temperatures still great for running dogs. After renewing our Pembrey forest dog running permit we took a trip over the Easter holiday to Pembrey in South Wales and had some brilliant runs. Dogs really enjoyed the trails which are a mixture of grass, peated sections and sand dunes making for a really good work out and we had about four miles of trails. Here are some slo mo videos of the teams over the weekend.
After nice runs we headed to the country park and dogs had some good chill out time and walks on the beach and we had a road trip up the coast to Mid Wales. We all had a lovely time and look forward to more runs and a relaxing Summer.
Beginning of March saw the last race of the BSHRA Championship race series which consisted of 17 race days and we are really pleased to finish the championship overall in a close eighth position with a three dog team from over twenty teams. Full results here Our aim this race season was to build on the leading qualities of Zinny and give the dogs as much fun experience on different trails as possible and we are delighted with the progress of our leaders and it is so nice to have Zinny in the team matching Mars' drive and ability. Kara celebrated her eight birthday this month and has done a sterling job in wheel with the two seppala people. Matt came sixth place overall in the bikejor championship which has featured all our older dogs contributing and thirteenth place overall in the two dog class with veterans with very limited racing. We had lots of fun off and on trail with British Siberian Husky Racing Association who really do set the race standard in the UK for dog care, safe and interesting trails, first class organisation and lovely, friendly people.
Now and again we like to show our dogs under Siberian Husky breed specialist judges that we admire and respect and after a showing break of six months Mars attended Crufts with breed specialist
judge Sharon Sergeant. Mars and Pickle both have their stud book numbers which mean they have qualified for Crufts for life but we decided not to enter Pickle as she is usually in full season, however this year she decided not to go into season and is looking fabulous so it was a real shame we hadn't entered her. We took Mars who is now in the big boy Limit class and out of an entry of seventeen dogs in his class he got placed reserve (4th) from a quality entry which we are absolutely delighted by. Results
AMWA - Buttersteep
Matt's birthday weekend and Mars and Zinny's first race as a two dog team for the AMWA Buttersteep / Swinley forest races on the Windsor Castle estate. This was a new race venue for us and it takes the form of a three day stage day/night/day race weekend. We attended for the Saturday Night / Sunday Morning stages. The trails were great, the night trail at Swinley Forest was a technical rollercoaster with head on passing, hairpins and the dogs had a blast and the day trail was super. The two dog mileage on the Sunday was shortened due to the rising temps and we decided to scratch the veteran four dog class as it was a tad warm but the beauty of a localish race was that we could get home at a sensible time & the dogs enjoyed an afternoon of sunbathing! Dogs ran really well and were really in harmony together, the team came third both stages, against some very quick teams and Mars and Zin even beat four dog teams times and best of all had lots of fun and positive experiences on different trails. Full results here
UCSC - Cranborne Chase
Final race of the season with the United Canine Sports Club (UCSC) was a local race to us down in the Westcountry held on a private estate with grassy and hard mud trails, this was a very technical trail to end the season, with head on passing and over 16 turns. First day was a tad warm so we just ran a veteran team in the four dog class but fielded a four dog team and a two dog team the second day. There was a choice of trails from a 5.1, 3.6 or the junior trail a 1.86 and considering the temperatures we chose the 3.6 trail for our teams and kept the pace steady. The four dog came second place overall on the two days on the 3.6 trail and the two dog class with the younger folk Mars and Zin came third place on the second day, after we scratched the first day as it was a tad warm by the time the two dog class went out. Dogs did great and was a really good experience for them and it was a nice way to end the race season!
At the race the dogs also enjoyed an end of season physio MOT with Julie Platt Vet Physio therapist making sure the dogs are as ever, healthy, happy and in tip top shape for leading their best lives on and off the trail!
The dogs have experienced over twenty races all over the UK this season and we have fielded veteran teams and a younger team (with a veteran) racing at day and at night on all sorts of different dryland trail types with nice, consistent results. Super proud of our wonderful dogs and now looking forward to running the dogs during our favourite time of year where we see daylight, good temperatures and daffodils blooming!
February has seen five races with the British Siberian Husky Racing Association Championship series. The first weekend of racing was at Warren Wood, Thetford and we saw two days of excellent trails, the first day we even had snow! Matt ran in the three with Kara, Mars and Zinny and I ran the two dog with Snik and Pickle. Really nice runs and the dogs enjoyed the cooler temperatures, results here. The next races were held at Kings Forest, Thetford and consisted of a three day race weekend with three different trails each day. Not without incident, the brushbow on the cudos rig broke at the start of one of the days and Matt had to hold on to the brushbow whilst running the very eager sibes! Temps were a tad warmer for this weekend but the dogs did really well, and I had a lovely jolly with my gorgeous veteran team in the two dog class Snik and Cassidy Squidge, it was a really fun weekend with a great atmosphere, see results here.
You can spot Matt and the three dog team at 2.5 minutes into this excellent video clip that was taken over the three day race.