As you can imagine it’s a little bit crazy here just now. Time seems to have this strange expanding and contracting quality, where one day it feels like we have ages to get organised, the next, it is only moments away from our departure date and we’re still not even close to being ready. Of course, if we actually knew our intended leaving date, that might help – but the closest we can narrow it down to, is sometime at the end of July or early August at the latest. The biggest holdup is not knowing when the dogyard fencing will be done. As soon as that is up, and we can be sure the dogs have a place to go, then everything else will fall into place.
At the moment, we seem reduced to planning, drawing up lists and trying to sort out the myriad of things that need done.
A couple of those things involved me making a trip to our house in New Hampshire earlier this month. There are many requirements a dog team has, and a way of being transported around is just one of them. Accordingly, I had organised the purchase of a shiny new truck and arranged to have a custom set of dogboxes built and fitted.
For a variety of reasons, the dogboxes were not ready, which was a major disappointment. However, the signs of progress and the part prepared pile of materials looked like it would all come together well. Our friend Mike Ellis has leapt to the rescue and will take over liaison with the box builder and help bring it all together. (hopefully before we actually land in Alaska ! )
I had a wonderful time, visiting friends, playing with dogs and even getting to hold a sleeping baby. It was great to mingle again with some of the friends I made during my many trips to New Hampshire. As exciting as our new adventure will be, it is odd to consider that we are actually closer to our friends in NH whilst we are here in Scotland, than we will be once we are settled in Alaska.
Of course, the whole point of going all that way is to run a sled. Now, to do that, one needs dogs. And we need more dogs than we currently have – and we need to consider the ages of our dogs too. So, we would like to introduce our two newest recruits to Gealach Mor.
We have given them Gaelic names, partly because it fits in with kennel name and theme, and partly because even the thought of leaving Scotland has made us feel a little more patriotic. Fionnghall (Finn for every day use) is the little white male – it means white stranger. Ciara means “little dark one” . They’re only 4 weeks old in this photo and have no idea of what lies ahead for them. We can only assure Gail that they will be loved, cared for and will always have a home with us.