7 July 2012 8.00 PM 64 F Raining
After the days of driving, it was nice to wake up and know that I only had to go just around the corner to reach my destination. Pulled into Seppala Kennels bright and early, but Susan was already out in the dogyard, topping up water buckets and pottering about with the dogs.
The effect of the weeks of rain in Manitoba could certainly be seen. The grass was lush and green, the dog circles were muddy and the mosquitoes were plentiful, even by Alaskan standards. The forecast was for a 90% likelihood of rain, but as it happened, we managed to go the whole day without a drop, until I left at 11.00 PM when the heavens opened.
As ever, time seems to move at a faster rate when I’m with Jeffrey, Susan and their dogs. Discussions ranged over events in the past, the present and possibilities in the future but always based on the love for these dogs. We talked dogs, we walked dogs, we fed dogs and we had our hands all over dogs. We also swatted mosquitoes, squashed ticks and dodged garter snakes. I also got to spend a little time with the 5 dogs that would be making the trip back to Alaska with me. With a start, we realised that midnight was fast approaching, and with the long drive north due to start tomorrow, we called it a night.
There’s a certain amount of mixed emotion about buying dogs. For all of the excitement and pleasure I have, in seeing “my” new furry little guys getting loaded into my truck, the sadness I see reflected in both Jeffrey and Susan’s demeanour and posture makes me realise that my gain is very much their loss. There’s not much that can really be said at a time like that. My promises to look after the dogs, to keep them safe and to frequently update Jeffrey and Susan on their well-being, is, I’m sure, of little solace or comfort.
With Arkady, Boofochko, Jakal, Yuri and Kalinka safely loaded, secured and double checked, it was time to start tackling those many miles to home. Once again, I bade farewell to Jeffrey and Susan. Each time I have left, I wondered if we would meet again – and we have, so perhaps the French farewell of “au revoir” is fitting.