Pretty But Cold

18 January 2012    1.00 PM        -25 F              Clear blue skies

While dog sledding friends over on the east coast of the USA are complaining about mild temperatures and a distinct lack of snow, we have almost the exact opposite issue.

The snow levels are already way beyond anything we have experienced in our first couple of winters here and that has meant a lot of digging and moaning about it. It has also made the trails hard work for the dogs. It seems we have had very few runs where the trails have been groomed and are hard packed and fast. Most of our runs have either been plowing through several inches of fresh powder, breaking trail or during that warm spell in December, a spot or two of swimming.

8 dog team on a snowy trailSuch a pretty day, such a pretty trail, even at -28 F

However, as we’re not training for any races this year then speed is not an issue and we’re happy to see that the dogs continue to work hard and keep their steady pace going, despite soft trails and heavy loads.

The recent cold spell has seen us take shelter from the trails bar the odd outing. With no mileage targets to meet, it’s nice to be able to look at the thermometer and decide that it really is too cold to be out there running  when if the temperature at the house is -25F, it’s usually 10 or 15 degrees colder down on the swamps.

The dogs have been enjoying extra rations, fresh straw and can be seen soaking up the pale winter sun for the few hours it shines. There’s not much heat in it, but they seem to be making the most of what there is. Ciobair has a disadvantage to all the other dogs in that she doesn’t have the same double coat as our huskies do. That woolly undercoat really helps the dogs stay warm and as she doesn’t grow an undercoat, we have to give her outside assistance. She has also been having trouble with her feet this last week. With it being so cold, well below -34 F in the mornings, she has been having pad issues, so again, she gets special help. We have also told all the other dogs that they are not allowed to laugh at her big clown feet.

Our German shepherd in winter coat and bootsCiobair, boots and coat on, ready to guard the dogyard again.

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