So, you know all that stuff I wrote about how mild and unAlaskan the weather has been, and that we were wondering if winter would ever get here……..
Well, it did and boy, did we notice. Seems like one day it was the usual pottering around 0 C and then one night it got cold and stayed cold. Or got colder. That week we saw our lowest nighttime temperature of -5. Now before you say that’s not that cold, I should point out that was the temperature in Fahrenheit – so for us Brits and Canadians, that equates to an extra pair of socks, glove wearing, woolly hat chilliness of – 20 C.
The dogs too found this a little cold and we had several pathetic examples of huskies trying to stand on one leg whilst keeping the other 3 off the cold ground. Fortunately, we had finally had our freezers delivered and had laid in a supply of meat for the dogs and so we were able to add in extra beef and fat to their feed as well as giving them warm meaty soup. We were already starting to see a big difference in the coats of the dogs, it’s almost like they put on a puffy down jacket.
The other thing that I did for them that made me their instant hero – fresh straw. It really is the cheapest and best way to a dog’s heart – it never fails to bring a smile to my face, watching their reaction as you walk in the dogyard carrying a bale of straw. There’s always a queue of dogs waiting to climb into a freshly strawed box, roll about in it and bury their noses deep into the sweet smelling stuff.
We have also finally managed to get into a regular training routine, following all of the disruptions of getting settled, getting my truck here and hurting my back again. We have a pool of 18 working dogs at the moment, and everyone is rotating round the teams. 3 of the new dogs we bought have been leading for their previous owners and hopefully, once I feel they are 100% settled and happy here, they will lead for us. At the moment, Harry, Ruya, Teague and Fina have been doing the vast majority of the leading.