12 April 2015. 3.00PM. 42F Slight clouds and sunshine
As mentioned in The Timmies, Part 2 post, we were delighted to welcome a new, young pup into our lives. Davaar joined us from Grizzly Valley Kennel and is one more bond in a friendship formed through our mutual association with JJ Bragg and Seppala Kennels.
Davaar got his name from a small tidal island close to Campbeltown, on the west coast of Scotland. It fits nicely with the themed names (Scottish islands) we had for Queen’s litter of pups a couple of years ago and purely coincidentally, continues the unintended pattern of all of our SSSD pups being named after places.
He was an absolute star on the whole trip home, made very little fuss and even managed to eat and drink at our stops – and almost as importantly (for the sake of my nice leather interior,) he seemed to time his toilet requirements perfectly too.
His introduction to the house dogs was done gradually – even though everyone loves a puppy, sometimes things can get a bit boisterous and we didn’t want any accidents or shenanigans. It goes without saying that first to greet the pup and to establish a relationship with him was Ciobair. She relishes her role as guardian, of us, the property and all her 4 legged subjects. For all that she has a fierce demeanour when required, she remains the most wonderful babysitter and “aunt” to every pup we have had here. And young Davaar is just her latest project.
Over the next few days, he got to meet the rest of the house dogs and we have had a couple of “meetings” with one or two of them about boundaries, puppy toys, not teaching him to run across the furniture and just how boisterous the wrestling is allowed to be. He has also been out and wandered around with Ciara and seemed completely oblivious to the fact that she has no eyes.
In time, he will move out and become a running dog, and live outdoors with the big dogs, but for the next few weeks and months, he gets to be a puppy, a house dog and to learn everything good and nothing bad.
As many of you who know us are aware, we’re devoted to the Seppala, and our kennel reflects that. The majority of our dogs are Seppala Siberian Sleddogs and that is just one of the many reasons that we were so pleased to acquire Davaar. Over and above his delightful personality, his happy demeanour and his slightly scary level of smarts, he brings us the opportunity of much increased genetic diversity, as his mother is a full Chukchi dog.
The Seppala Siberian Sleddog was recognised in 1997 as an evolving breed by the Dept of Agriculture in Canada, with WCAC established by JJ Bragg of Seppala Kennels to operate as the Registry for the breed. Simply put, the SSSD is perhaps easiest described as having its roots with Markovo Seppala Siberians combined with native Chukchi dogs. In 2010, JJB closed down what had become known as the SSSD Project but continued to operate Seppala Kennels purely for the love of the dogs. He made a number of dogs available and as a result, several other kennels, including ourselves, were able to acquire breeding stock and to try and continue the original hopes and aims of The Project. With the subsequent closure of WCAC, there is no Registry for these dogs and yet, without exception, the kennels with SSSDs have continued to breed and operate within the spirit and goals of the original concept. “The goal and ideal is the restoration of the original Siberian sleddog to whatever extent that may be possible today, using the McFaul/Shearer bloodline broadened and restored to genetic health by the addition of new Siberia import bloodlines. The Project ideal is a versatile sleddog rather than a specialist racing dog. Assortative mating is emphasised, inbreeding is deprecated and will be kept as low as feasible, while many different sleddog traits are considered rather than speed and endurance only.” Seppala Siberan Sleddog Project.