26 February 2011 2.00PM Temperature 16 F Blue sky and windy, very windy.
There’s good news and there’s bad news.
The good news is – I’m feeling much better, I’ve been able to do all the dog yard work and not have to go for a lie down afterwards, so I regard that as good as a full recovery and the equivalent of a medical discharge. Next step, back on the runners.
The bad news is that we have 6 bitches in heat, which always upsets the harmony of the whole kennel. Additionally, Lightfoot is having another phantom pregnancy.
The good news about the bad news is that we have enough females that we can put together a strong all girl team. So, once I’m back on the sled, we will have plenty of time for fun. Bitches in season always bring more trouble to the place than any other set of circumstances I can think of.
The photograph shows the pen we call “Cornton Vale”. It may sound quite a nice, serene name but it is also the name of the women’s prison in Scotland. It is to this pen that we sentence our girls for the crime of coming into season.
The boys get tetchy with each other, all vying to have the closest spot to the girly pen. The girls get amorous with each other and there’s always one of them who’s not quite so okay with getting dry humped by her associates. The males also tend to go off their food , spill their soup and think that their screaming into the night is endearing. Bless those neutered males who wander around wondering what all the fuss is about and just happily getting on with their lives.
It’s usually about this time that we start amending the “hit list” – those dogs who are going to get chopped, I mean spayed or neutered the next chance we get. Your place on the list can alter quite dramatically depending on how you behave during stressful times like these. So, Fionn, who has always been on the list has just moved straight to the top. He’s an obnoxious horny toad who has no manners and no tolerance. He also has no idea of his place in the greater scheme of things, no respect for his elders and no clue that even if we were planning on breeding a bitch this spring, he certainly wouldn’t be on that list. He is manageable most of the time but it seems a girlie trying to stick her butt through the fence was enough to melt the few rational brain cells he chooses to use at the best of times.
So, he’s first and there are a couple of other males that will likely get done this Spring and hopefully a few females. We have way too many intact girls and sometimes it seems like there is always one of them in season.
If I raced the Rondy or Iditarod, right now I’d probably be in tears. 2 of my best leaders are in heat and my best male leaders are all intact. They can only concentrate on one thing and running down the trail is not it. I know that lots of people say that they’ll just run through it and they will – some of the time……………
But for all those who say it will be fine, there are as many if not more, tales of unintended matings on the race trail, of whole teams just quitting because of the girls in heat. Quite frankly, it’s a logistical pain in the butt that we don’t really have to deal with, so we won’t. We don’t intend breeding very much anyway, so the sensible and prudent thing to do, is schedule those appointments.