After the Gold Rush

After the Gold Rush

My first painting using spray paint cans. I learned a lot from this practice work. This futuristic painting is named “After the Gold Rush” for no other reason than I like Neil Young.

The Seppala Siberian Sleddog Book


DOWNLOAD:  The Seppala Siberian Sleddog .pdf

This is an electronic PDF file (185MB) by Author Mr. Douglas W. Willett. 2007 revised edition. A combination of his first two books with enhanced photos. This is a great historical piece on the Seppala line of Huskies. Posted with permission from Mr. Willet and free of charge.

My thanks to Mr. Willett for offering up this book to all.


Rainy Days and Sundays always get me down.

Rainy Days and Sundays:

Rain Rain go away.

Did you know that huskies don’t care much for rain? At least mine don’t, and when its raining they prefer to come inside and pout. Oh, they certainly can take getting a little wet but that doesn’t mean they have to like it.

The Siberian is made for the frozen north. To a husky water is something you drink not get soaked with. The only way you would get soaked in the land of his birth was if he fell through the ice. And at those temperatures a quick death would soon follow.

To a husky If it’s not drinking water it should be frozen solid as God intended… in the form of ice or snow. Now God knew when he created them that they would not enjoy his life-giving rain. So, to make up for that, he gave the husky something no other dogs I know of have.

When wet the husky does not smell like a wet dog. He doesn’t permeate the air around him with that horrible wet dog smell. His coat may be soaked but you won’t have to hold your nose until he’s dry.

I have never given one of my dogs a bath. They don’t need it or groomers. They don’t smell and they look great with a little bit of brushing. A lot of brushing during the coat blowing times but it’s well worth the effort.

Just another amazing fact about these unique dogs called Siberians.

New Books

This is unabashed promotion of my two new books. The first is non-fiction based on what I’ve learned over the years about Huskies. Some of the basics you can find anywhere but more about understanding the mind of these dogs…and why.

The second is a fiction work about a young girl’s adventures in Alaska. A high school graduation trip with her friends, sends her to Alaska where she finds adventure, love, pain, gold, and wolves. Alaska has many hard lessons to teach her, and she will learn or die in the process of being transformed into something she never thought possible.

If you have Kindle unlimited its free to read. Thank You!




Did you know that you will reach a certain age or spot in the trail of life that makes you stop and think about everything that you’ve been through? Some things remain at the forefront of your memories. Like the first kiss or first time you were dumped.

People live relatively long lives compared to our animal friends. For the most part we have years to fix what ails us and learn better ways. Not always…some are destined to die young by accident, disease, or bad choices.

Some folks never get to the point in life where they can look back and wonder why they did certain things. How they would have done them different if they’d only had the knowledge or wisdom to know better.

I don’t think the animals have this ability to think so deeply. They are for the most part creatures of their DNA and instincts. I doubt they contemplate what legacy they will leave behind in such a few short years.

If they do, I’m sure they think about the good times they remember. I doubt they dwell on the bad as much as we do. They live in the moment and once that moment has passed its forgotten for the most part.

Unfortunately, we think a lot. Sometimes too much and that makes our moments sometimes full of pain, guilt, regrets, and dreams never attained. We dream much more than we actually do something about achieving it. We wish on the lottery, a rich spouse, a big house, a new sports car…and the list goes on and on.

And so, I sit here and wonder what my own legacy will be. What will I be remembered for? For being a cruel and mean person who only thinks of themselves…or someone who loved his life and did all he could to get the most out of what he was given.

The choice is easy to make but hard to actually do. Its easy to dream and take the wrong path hoping that you won’t have to work hard and suffer to achieve those dreams. Fear of failing stops most folks from even trying.

I think my dogs have taught me to take the good and the bad, and to never give up no matter what. Rewards are not measured in gold, but in little slices of love. Those little times amid the storms of life when you know you are loved and give it back just as much.

Our pets don’t have any choice on the life they were given. They might have a great life full of love or one of abuse and pain depending on who owns them. We do have choices… and nobody owns us unless we allow it.

Our legacy depends on us for the most part. We can shape our lives and change it to be better if we try. The legacy of my dogs is that they taught me this, and many other lessons. Lessons from those with much less choice on how life enfolds than I have.

They leave us with a legacy of love, and the hope that we will do the same in our own lives. Everyone’s life is different, different goals, dreams, and hopes. We all weather different types of storms in our lives. The point is to try and leave your legacy of “A life well-lived.”

To do what you wanna do, to leave a mark – in a way that you think is important and lasting – that’s a life well-lived.”

~Laurene Powell Jobs

My new book

My third book is a fiction work about a young girls adventures in Alaska. It will be a series if anyone buys the first copy.  It involves adventure, gold, and wolves. What more could you ask for?

Check it out if you’d like. Thanks!


Togo and Leonhard Seppala. Two legends of the Siberian Husky history. Photo courtesy of Deb Serbousek.

Did you know that Siberian Huskies have hero’s too?

I’m not sure its something they often think about. Perhaps once in a while when they raise their snouts to the skies and howl the songs of their people. It’s a mournful song of past triumphs and tragedies that befell them during their long history on earth.

A song of freezing cold nights, little food, and maybe a raging storm. It’s a song of lost brothers and sisters along desolate trails. Their bones left behind to the earth as their spirits traveled to the rainbow bridge.

Stories of sacrifice and courage run strong in this line, as do stories of their love for mankind. If you own huskies long enough you will have your own stories to tell. They might not be as amazing as the stories of Leonhard Seppala & Togo. But they will forever be etched upon your mind and in your heart.

In every Siberian husky you can see the past from time to time. The unquestioned confidence and problem-solving abilities they possess. Friendly to all but not to be trifled with, for behind that happy face is a warrior kept in check. Only released when there is no other way out. Whoa be to the one that earns the wrath of the savage husky fighting for his own life or that of those he loves.

Togo and Elizabeth M. Ricker. Togo listens to the book she wrote about him as he enjoys his retirement days in Poland Spring, Maine. “Togo’s Fireside Reflections.” 1928 Photo courtesy of Deb Serbousek.

If you find yourself in NYC someday go to central park and gaze upon Baltos statue and read the plaque below him.

“Dedicated to the indomitable spirit of the sled dogs that relayed antitoxin six hundred miles over rough ice across treacherous waters through arctic blizzards from Nenana to the relief of stricken Nome in the winter of 1925. Endurance. Fidelity. Intelligence.”


Squirrel Patrol:

Nikki on patrol

Siberians have a strong prey drive. It was developed over thousands of years when these dogs were set free in summer to fend for themselves. Hunting meant they got to eat. In the winter they were fed for pulling sleds. For the most part anything smaller is fair game to a husky. The prey drive is part of them, just as much as pulling a sled is.

I have 3 indoor cats and they are never messed with by my dogs. My huskies came into the family as puppies and quickly learned that the cats are off-limits. However, I’m not too confident a stray cat in the backyard would fair as well.


Getting in Sync with your dog


There are a few things that really irk me about the world right now. For the most part I let them go because the great unwashed have neither the mental capacity or humanity to understand how wrong they are. No amount of reasonable supported facts will change their missguided beliefs.

PETA and for the most part most AR organizations only serve themselves. Mission and Vision statements based on hearsay and headlines because it benefits their ego’s or pocketbooks. 90% of dog rescue organizations also fall into this category. I’m not talking about all of them but the large percentage does.

Doing good based on someone’s beliefs not facts is just as wrong. Now I’m not here to gain the vote or to improve my self-esteem based on doing good in the eyes of others. I’m not writing this blog to satisfy some need to make myself feel good or to be popular. I’m doing it because the dogs cannot speak for themselves. As much as they have to offer they cannot defend themselves at all.

This is their downfall because humans can fill in the blanks and maybe pocket some cash along the way. This is a world of scammers and losers, all about “ME!”

It takes an effort to really try to understand a dog. They are for the most part alien to us and our ways. They are also subject to the cruelty and whims of the so-called “Higher intelligent” species called humans.

Those of us that dive deep into the minds of our dogs find more there than we imagined. We find a mirror, and for the most part humans don’t want to see their reflections. That mirror is a reminder of what we have lost as a species, and how much we actually lack in compassion and understanding.

That is what a dog can teach you about life, and how best to live it. It’s not about some crackpot idea formed in a think tank to promote the ego of the author. The author doesn’t really matter to a dog. What matters is doing the right thing even when no one is looking.

A dog doesn’t read articles, but he reads you and me like a 1st grade book. You can’t hide from that even if you try. To a dog you are either a real partner or you are not. You either give of yourself or you create a slave subject to your rages of self-incompetence and self-worth. Dogs do not deserve you…in fact we humans really don’t deserve dogs.

But for some reason they put up with us. Unbridled hope in humanity when we’ve only shown them contempt and of no value when it suits us. Dogs are not here on this earth to improve our station in life, they are not property to be thrown away. They are here to sooth our fears in the middle of the night, or when the storm rages around us. But only if we let them…only if we accept them as we do our own children. They need guidance and rules but that is our part of the partnership between dogs and man. We do what they can’t, and they do what we can’t.

Together it is a perfect bond if you do your part. When a dog’s needs are met they are not raging beast. They are content and happy, and you will be as well. That’s what you strive for no matter what breed of dog you share your life with. That is what its all about to be a good partner to your dog.

I want to leave you with this creed. I’m sure PETA will hate it, but then they are not running my life and really don’t understand anyway.

You Come First – The Musher’s Creed


You Come First ~ The Musher’s Creed
Before I rest, you shall rest.
Before I drink, you shall drink.
Before I eat, you shall eat.
Before I take my ease, you shall have yours.
Before I lay down to sleep, you shall sleep.
Before I glove my frozen hands, I will booty your furred paws.
Before my wellbeing, I shall see to yours.
For this IS my promise to you, my beloved sled dog.

An ode to Rob Cooke and his beloved Shaytaan Siberians, and all those who strive each day to live DOGS FIRST.

~ Stormhawk Siberians ~


Did you know?


For a long time I wondered why my huskies who are subject to overheating at the drop of hat, would choose to sunbathe in a fur coat? I never could quite figure out why they would sometimes choose to lay in the hot sun and bake.

I found the answer a few years ago and thought I would pass it along to those of you who also wonder about things like this.

“Cats and dogs naturally acquire vitamin D nutrient from UVB sunlight. Unlike humans and reptiles, cats and dogs do not make vitamin D in their skin. When UVB rays strike an animal’s fur, oils in the fur are activated to produce vitamin D. Cats and dogs consume vitamin D when they lick or groom their coats.

The College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University published a landmark study of vitamin D and canine congestive heart failurein the January/February 2014 issue of the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. The Cornell research team concluded that vitamin D deficiency may be a risk factor for congestive heart failure in dogs. Lead author Dr. Marc Kraus stated, “…supplementing with vitamin D [in dogs with congestive heart failure] in addition to conventional therapy may increase survival time [in these patients]. This should be determined with future studies.”

In another study, Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine examined the association between vitamin D blood serum levels and cutaneous mast cell tumors (MCT) in Labrador retrievers. (Mastocytoma, or MCT, is a disorder caused by excess mast blood cells produced in the bone marrow. MCT may lead to the development of certain cancers. The researchers selected Labrador retrievers because this particular canine breed is predisposed to MCT development.) Published in the October 2011 issue of the British Journal of Nutrition, the research findings suggested that low vitamin D levels may be a risk factor for MCT in Labrador retrievers.”


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