30 August 2011 2.00 PM 60 F Raining
In our 2 short years here, we’ve already started to recognise the natural timetable of life in Alaska. The creeping onset of darkness that initially took us by surprise after seemingly weeks of 24 hours of daylight. The fireweed flowers creeping up to the top of their stems and the first leaves starting to turn and drop. Cooler temperatures in the mornings, finally dropping down below 50F for the first time. Most of our bitches coming into season. All signs that summer is rapidly drawing to a close. And “official” confirmation was in place the other day, when driving down to Wasilla, we noticed that the “Bunny Boot” guy was back and open for business, at his usual spot in the thriving, bustling shanty town. (I settled on shanty town as reasonably polite, whilst still retaining a degree of accuracy as a descriptive term. I’ve heard several other phrases used to describe the row of cabins at the corner of Pittman Rd, and feel that shanty town is fair – and far less pejorative than most.
This year, I’m planning on buying a pair from him, if only to have a quick chat with a guy that willingly sits in his pick-up truck for 5 or 6 months of the year, during the Alaskan winter. You can always tell when it’s really cold, as he will have rolled his truck window up.
Quite a few people have started running their dogs around here – our dogs always let us know by running to the fence and starting to scream as the teams pass by on the other side of the trees heading for or from Stumpy Trail. We had planned to be out there as well. However our 4 wheeler needed some work done and upon its return from the dealer, it seemed “someone” forgot to fully tighten the sump drain plug, resulting in the loss of said plug and all the vehicle’s oil during a quick ride round to visit friends. Not best pleased, would sum up my feelings.
The slight delay in getting out on the trail has also allowed the girls to throw a further spanner (wrench to my N. American readers) in the works. It happened around this time last year and it’s happening again. It seems like nearly every intact female we have has decided to come into season. Last year, we moved the girls into the quarantine pen, and dubbed it Cornton Vale, after the Scottish women’s prison. However, we have more girls than we had spare posts and so ended up with a couple of them in the house, causing chaos. This year, we have a new pen, a bigger pen with more places available and a new name for it. I have this thing about not giving dogs names that they could live up to, and that we would have cause to regret. So, no Killer, Pyscho or Fluffy Fou Fou for us. And belatedly, I realised that should probably apply to the pen names too. So, Cornton Vale has been renamed (not very imaginatively, I’ll admit) as “The 6 Dog Pen” and we have named the new girly pen as St Trinians.