Mr. Cooper Lee

It’s hard to express how I feel about this guy. He changed my whole world. Mr. Cooper and I had a few battles when he was a puppy. The bottom line is I did not understand his kind. As a breeder of GSD’s this was a new type of dog I had no clue about. Trying to understand him and his “Siberian People” made me delve into the history of his breed. Learn every detail about them, in hopes that I could understand him.

Now 5 years later I’ve written 4 books on Siberians, painted them, and embraced them as amazing living beings that make me wonder what went wrong with us humans. He may not speak one word I understand, but he taught me through his body language, stubbornness, and eyes. Thank you Cooper for opening my own eyes to your magnificent race! I’m a better person thanks to you!

One of my favorite Videos I made

Turn it up, music by Jim Croce.

Interesting Article

HUSKY ANCESTORS STARTED HAULING SLEDS FOR HUMANS NEARLY 10,000 YEARS AGO

Husky Ancestors Started Hauling Sleds for Humans Nearly 10,000 Years Ago. A genetic study shows that today’s Arctic sled dogs have something curious in common with polar bears.

Greenland sled dogs
Greenland sled dogs at work (Markus Trienke / Wikimedia Commons)

By Brian HandwerkSMITHSONIANMAG.COM
JUNE 25, 2020

Modern sled dogs from across the Arctic can trace their ancestry back to Siberia, according to a new genetic study that dovetails with archaeological evidence. Today’s familiar breeds such as huskies and malamutes are descended from a lineage that was well-established in Siberia 9,500 years ago and has been critical to human survival in the Arctic ever since.

“We know that modern sled dogs belong to a human cultural group, the Inuit, and that is probably the common origin of the Alaskan and Siberian huskies, Alaskan malamutes, and Greenland sled dogs because those dogs are closely related,” says Mikkel-Holder Sinding, co-author of new research published in the journal Science and a population geneticist at Trinty College, Dublin.

The team sequenced the genomes of 10 modern Greenland sled dogs and compared them to not only a 9,500-year-old sled dog (represented by a mandible found on Zokhov Island, Siberia) but also a 33,000-year-old wolf from Siberia’s Taimyr Peninsula. Their analysis shows that the majority of the modern Arctic sled dogs ancestry is descended from the same distinct lineage as the 9,500-year-old Siberian dog. This is especially true of the Greenland sled dog, which, given the relative isolation of their home island, has the least mixture with other dog groups and most closely represents the original ancestry.

Evidence of ancient genes from the 33,000-year-old Siberian wolf also appeared in the modern dogs. Surprisingly, however evidence of North American wolf ancestry was absent in the modern sled dogs sampled, although the two species have lived in proximity across the Arctic for thousands of years and share familiar physical features and howling cries. The lack of North American wolf genes in modern sled dogs is a puzzle, particularly because Arctic people know sled dogs do mix with their wild relatives. Perhaps, Sinding says, dog ancestors might lie among the many North American wolf populations that were eradicated.

“These Pleistocene wolves are very old, predating the domestication of dogs, so they are not a perfect match at all for this signature we are picking up,” Sinding says. “Who really knows what kind of wolf diversity there was around even just a few hundred years ago? There’s more to this story for sure.”

The site at Zokhov Island that yielded the 9,500-year-old sled dog genome also includes physical evidence of sleds and harness materials. Bone analysis has led one team of scientists to suggest that the site may represent the earliest-known evidence for dog breeding, with sledding as a goal, and that the process may have started as long as 15,000 years ago.

The sled dogs’ genetic history aligns with archaeological evidence. Together, the findings suggest the dogs have been established for nearly 10,000 years and have spent those many millennia doing the same things they do today.

“For me, one of the most important aspects of this study is how it shows the importance of utilizing all available data from the archaeological record alongside the analysis of ancient genetics,” says Carly Ameen, a zooarchaeologist at the University of Exeter. Ameen wasn’t involved in the study but last year co-authored a study how sledge dogs accompanied Inuit dispersal across the North American Arctic.

The site’s inhabitants would have had good reason to want sled dogs. The remains of polar bears and reindeer found on Zokhov show that hunters had a wide range and somehow transported large animal kills to their camp. Tools suggest even wider travel. Obsidian implements found here have been sourced to more than 900 miles away. For ancient Arctic peoples to cover such distances, the authors theorize, dog sledding might have been essential.

Shared with the polar bears

Sinding and colleagues also found genes that appear to be unique among sled dogs when compared to their canine relatives. Perhaps not surprisingly, many of the standout adaptations have to do with food.

Sled dogs, like the Arctic peoples they live with, have eaten a steady diet of unusual fare, including fatty seal and whale blubber. The Inuit and their dogs have evolved an ability to eat huge amounts of fat but avoid cardiovascular disease. Their genetic solutions to this problem are entirely different; the sled dog’s method matches another Arctic icon, the polar bear.

“The polar bear has a very specific gene that’s selected to help it eat unlimited amounts of blubber without getting cardiovascular disease,” Sinding says. “We see almost exactly the same gene being very highly selected in the dogs.”

Modern sled dogs from across the Arctic can trace their ancestry back to Siberia, according to a new genetic study that dovetails with archaeological evidence. Today’s familiar breeds such as huskies and malamutes are descended from a lineage that was well-established in Siberia 9,500 years ago and has been critical to human survival in the Arctic ever since.

“We know that modern sled dogs belong to a human cultural group, the Inuit, and that is probably the common origin of the Alaskan and Siberian huskies, Alaskan malamutes, and Greenland sled dogs because those dogs are closely related,” says Mikkel-Holder Sinding, co-author of new research published in the journal Science and a population geneticist at Trinty College, Dublin.

The team sequenced the genomes of 10 modern Greenland sled dogs and compared them to not only a 9,500-year-old sled dog (represented by a mandible found on Zokhov Island, Siberia) but also a 33,000-year-old wolf from Siberia’s Taimyr Peninsula. Their analysis shows that the majority of the modern Arctic sled dogs ancestry is descended from the same distinct lineage as the 9,500-year-old Siberian dog. This is especially true of the Greenland sled dog, which, given the relative isolation of their home island, has the least mixture with other dog groups and most closely represents the original ancestry.

Evidence of ancient genes from the 33,000-year-old Siberian wolf also appeared in the modern dogs. Surprisingly, however evidence of North American wolf ancestry was absent in the modern sled dogs sampled, although the two species have lived in proximity across the Arctic for thousands of years and share familiar physical features and howling cries. The lack of North American wolf genes in modern sled dogs is a puzzle, particularly because Arctic people know sled dogs do mix with their wild relatives. Perhaps, Sinding says, dog ancestors might lie among the many North American wolf populations that were eradicated.

“These Pleistocene wolves are very old, predating the domestication of dogs, so they are not a perfect match at all for this signature we are picking up,” Sinding says. “Who really knows what kind of wolf diversity there was around even just a few hundred years ago? There’s more to this story for sure.”

Greenland sled dogs
Greenland sled dogs (Carsten Egevang / Qimmeq)

A long lineage

The site at Zokhov Island that yielded the 9,500-year-old sled dog genome also includes physical evidence of sleds and harness materials. Bone analysis has led one team of scientists to suggest that the site may represent the earliest-known evidence for dog breeding, with sledding as a goal, and that the process may have started as long as 15,000 years ago.

The sled dogs’ genetic history aligns with archaeological evidence. Together, the findings suggest the dogs have been established for nearly 10,000 years and have spent those many millennia doing the same things they do today.

“For me, one of the most important aspects of this study is how it shows the importance of utilizing all available data from the archaeological record alongside the analysis of ancient genetics,” says Carly Ameen, a zooarchaeologist at the University of Exeter. Ameen wasn’t involved in the study but last year co-authored a study how sledge dogs accompanied Inuit dispersal across the North American Arctic.

The site’s inhabitants would have had good reason to want sled dogs. The remains of polar bears and reindeer found on Zokhov show that hunters had a wide range and somehow transported large animal kills to their camp. Tools suggest even wider travel. Obsidian implements found here have been sourced to more than 900 miles away. For ancient Arctic peoples to cover such distances, the authors theorize, dog sledding might have been essential.

Greenland sled dogs
Greenland sled dogs (Carsten Egevang / Qimmeq)

Shared with the polar bears

Sinding and colleagues also found genes that appear to be unique among sled dogs when compared to their canine relatives. Perhaps not surprisingly, many of the standout adaptations have to do with food.

Sled dogs, like the Arctic peoples they live with, have eaten a steady diet of unusual fare, including fatty seal and whale blubber. The Inuit and their dogs have evolved an ability to eat huge amounts of fat but avoid cardiovascular disease. Their genetic solutions to this problem are entirely different; the sled dog’s method matches another Arctic icon, the polar bear.

“The polar bear has a very specific gene that’s selected to help it eat unlimited amounts of blubber without getting cardiovascular disease,” Sinding says. “We see almost exactly the same gene being very highly selected in the dogs.”https://96d1bff3168b4af7470bf4551622c3e6.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

Other adaptions found in sled dog genes seem to show coevolution with species that are not similar yet share the same problems. The woolly mammoth genome features highly selected thermal receptors that helped these animals sense changes in temperature, and the features mark a major difference between them and their elephant kin. That same group of proteins is selected in sled dogs, according to the study. “We have no clue why,” Sinding says. “But given that we see it in the mammoth and now in the sled dog, it seems to mean that this temperature sensation has some really important role in the Arctic.”

Ameen stresses that a genetic study like this can help to illuminate different, interesting aspects of ancient dogs—even if it hasn’t entirely put to rest the question of how much wolf ancestry is in their bloodlines.

“Recent attempts to discover the origins of the first domestic dogs have been stalled by a sole focus on genetic and morphological difference between dogs and wolves,” she says. “But when incorporated with archaeological evidence for sledding, as well as investigating dogs’ adaptation to new human-provided diets, a much clearer picture of those early domestic dogs emerges.”

Fire Lake

There are so many stories of the Siberian Husky. Most are not about famous mushers running races, but the tales about men and dogs, that no one has ever heard about. This poem is about one of those stories. A tale of the bond and how it molded these beasts to become what they are today. And why they are revered by those that push the boundaries of what is possible. And it’s not just Siberians. It’s all of the Dogs of Winter.

Those souls who were forged in snow and Ice. The bond between men and dogs, that relied on each other to survive. The shaping of an everlasting bond between them. And it was passed on to the future generations of amazing dogs. It’s my belief that these dogs have DNA memory. They are born with it. The knowledge passed down to each and every one of them. It’s there waiting for you to discover it. You only have to look into those blue eyes and find the past.

Fire Lake:

Not many knew the name so well,it was shaped like a ship’s bell.
Fire Lake you’ll never find,living there was never kind.
Nestled in the glaciers view,down below those icy pews.
Named for the fire of man’s desires,dreams of riches and golden spires.

Ali was born unto that clan, a clan made up of dogs and man.
A life of toil and trouble ahead, but that is why she was bred.
Gold mines had come and passed, love was lost at such a cost.

To work and struggle was her fate, as she was lifted and saw Nate.
A pup she was… and subject too, this human that she was destined to.
Her coat the color of Raven black, brown eyes shining above her snout.
He said, hello my little one, I’ll always love you until I’m done.

She had no idea what he meant, but she felt his love inside that tent.
Ali grew into her new life, a world of danger and strife.
But through it all Nate never failed, his love for her never paled.
For ten years she led that sled, at night she rested by his bed.

She could sense his love at night, together under those Northern lights.
And when he fell through the ice, he cut the line, a final sacrifice.
Hand reaching out as he sank, A tribute to… and maybe thanks.

Heartbroken she watched him go, and then it started to snow.
She led the team across that ice, twelve dogs as quiet as mice.
Maybe it was never meant to be, for her and Nate running free.
For ten years she’d loved that man, and given him everything she can.

Many adventures they had shared, her and that man she’d been paired.
For all those years of his love, she howled her pain to the stars above.
Nothing ventured and nothing gained, Ali thought as she chewed those reins.
Her kin was free to make their way, together across that frozen bay.

He’d loved her, and they would meet, someday again at God’s feet.
But now everything was at stake, they had to survive Old Fire lake.
Alone together the dogs of winter, their love would never splinter,
They were the Dogs of Winter.


I’m back

I have to admit It’s been a long time since I made a post. So many things going on and not enough time to do them all. Summer for sled dogs is downtime. Too hot for much excitement from them, they just try to survive until the cold comes again. The cold is where they shine. 0 or less is when the husky is comfortable. His/her inner sled dog comes out in untold energy that demands release.

I’ve been working on book number 6, and of course, painting dogs and mushers. COVID is a pain in the ass for us all. People rioting, burning cities, and just plain being stupid. When crap like this happens I’m grounded by one or more simple truths. The heart of the dog is forgiving. They lead by example but humans seem to be unable to grasp it. They don’t complain about what life they were given, they do their best to get the most out of it. Why? because you only get one chance. You roll with the cards you were dealt and either you work with that, or you fold your hand and disappear.

Sounds harsh doesn’t it? Yes it is and that is life. It could be worse, you might be a puppy given to a family that is deranged. Dogs don’t have any choice, they deal with what life gives them. But they do their best without complaint. That is the difference between dogs and humans. We complain about everything. Try being a dog subject to no control over your life. Then tell me how horrible your life is. Be thankful for what you have.

Since I’ve been painting, here is a couple of new ones.

Mitch Seavey and Pilot.

Unknown but I love the motion.

The moral of my post is, “keep positive in this new world of negative. Create, burning a city doesn’t help anyone.”

Peace my friends! I wish you well, and get a dog. They are the essence of a bible in flesh and blood. You only have to accept them as living thinking beings, not property. Study them and learn the lessons they have to teach.

TJ

Iditarod Primer: First Trip to The Great Race

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Have you ever entertained the thought about going to see the Iditarod first hand? If you have or have not I would encourage everyone to make the trip to Anchorage or Fairbanks, Alaska. If you love those special athletes in fur coats, and those fearless men and women who battle across 1000 miles of wilderness by dog sled. This is the place for you!

The 2020 race began in Anchorage this year. My wife and I arrived at around 3AM and were relieved that its only a 6-mile drive to downtown and our hotel. If you get reservations at least a month or two in advance you can find a great place to stay and within walking distance of the ceremonial start.

You’ll find all kinds of restaurants and places to visit in Anchorage. The week prior to race day has a celebration going on called the “Fur Rondy.” The town is bustling with activities and has a sort of carnival atmosphere. This is like an added bonus to the normal sights in Anchorage. There are things like the Alaska State Snow Sculpture Championship, Music events, art contest, Frostbite foot race, run with the reindeer, and the Open World Championship Sprint dog races. That just names of few of the things to do before the actual Iditarod kicks off. You certainly won’t get bored before the race starts.

If you do your planning you can find some private fundraising events that you can obtain for the cost of a ticket. We attended a private dinner put on for Lance Mackey. It was held at Club Paris and includes dinner, and a chance to spend some time talking one on one with them. The food was amazing and so was getting to meet Lance. I also came away with an autographed menu from 4 time Iditarod champ Lance.

Another must-see place is the Iditarod Race Head Quarters. Which is, The Lakefront Lodge in Anchorage. Not only is it a great place to buy memorabilia. You can find lots of displays, not to mention the food and drink available. It’s also the place to buy a shuttle bus ride to and from the real start in Wasilla. The wife and I enjoyed our time at the lodge.

Two more must-do events are the Musher’s Meet and Greet, and the Mushers Banquet. It’s well worth the ticket price as you get to meet all the great men and ladies who will be running the race. The cost also supports the operation and continuous of this amazing race.

The two events are held one after the other. First is the Meet & Greet. This is the place to be to meet all the mushers up close and personal. You can get photos with them, autographs, and spend a few minutes asking whatever it is you want. I really enjoyed the experience and so did the multitude of fans who swarmed the event. You might have to wait in line for a bit, but it’s a great experience to meet these racers. Here are a couple other favorites of mine I met. Mr. Martin Buser and Brent Sass. Martin has completed 37 races. That’s 37,000 miles by dog sled. Brent is the next generation of great mushers.

The banquet follows the meet and greet. It also includes dinner and everyone sits at large round tables that hold about 10 people. The food is excellent and you eat while listening to presentations, drawings, and some stories. Next is the actual bib drawing that determines each racers starting position in both the ceremonial start, and the actual start. It was another great event to attend.

The first chance you get to actually see the dogs and mushers is the ceremonial start. The streets are lined with vendors and for this race multitudes of people packing the avenue. You thread your way to the starting gate through the crowds. On the way, you begin to see teams being hooked up, and being staged according to their bib numbers. Next to the sidewalks and only a few feet away are the teams. You can lean over the fence and take photos and listen to the din of 58 dog teams crying out to run. You can sense the excitement in them and the impatience to wait their turn to run.

This year I think the course was ten miles long, winding its way through and round the city proper. You can find lots of places to watch or take photos. Getting cold or hungry is not a problem as there are places open right on the street to get warm, and get food and drink.

The teams leave one by one and head down the avenue lined with folks cheering their favorites. If you want to bid on a chance to ride in the sled with one of these mushers there are auctions on line prior to race day for your chance. I have to warn you the bidding is furious and not for the faint of heart. But the winners get a once in a lifetime ride.

Of course, the main event is the official start in Wasilla. The best way to get to and from that is by shuttle busses. The Iditarod Trail Committee (ITC) coordinates a system of school busses that pick up and return all-around Anchorage. Not the most comfortable way to travel but it’s less than an hour to be dropped off and not have to worry about the limited parking or weather. It was snowing big time when the mushing royalty Seaveys pulled in.

It’s another exciting time. The holding area is full of the teams getting ready. Again, the cacophony of hundreds of dogs sensing it’s almost time to begin the great race. Don’t worry about facilities the ITC things of the spectators needs. There is a place to get warm, eat, and although sometimes there are lines, bathrooms do exist when you need one.

This is it! Tension is in the air as the teams are staged and the countdown to Nome begins for each one. Here is what the musher see’s in that first mile of a thousand. And of course, listen to the crowd cheering them on to Nome! Here is what the musher sees’s in the first mile of a frozen lake.

That was my first trip to the Iditarod and probably not my last. I’m left with nothing but fond memories and my wife and I had nothing but a positive experience. The ITC puts on an outstanding event. They seem to think of everything they can so that people can enjoy it. If you’re more adventurous you can become a volunteer. There are jobs from call centers to Pilots and everything in between. I may just take them up on that next time.

If you’ve been toying with the idea about going. Take it from me, if you love dogs and mushing you won’t regret it.

The Iditarod: Long May You Run!

Embrace the Fur

Embrace the Fur:

Huskies have so many fine qualities. Like escaping through fences that Houdini would say were escape-proof and impossible, digging holes in the yard that would make a Marine jealous, eating holes through your walls just to prove they can’t be contained if they set their mind to it. They truly have their own way about them. It takes a few years to get in tune with how they think, and what they need to be good citizens.

Pulling comes naturally, thousands of years of DNA encoded memories make that child’s play. Hook a husky to something and they will pull it over, down, and doing it at warp speed. It’s the nature of them. The only thing I find a bit hard to deal with is the fur. Huskies shed or “blow their coats” at least once a year, sometimes twice. Now, this explosion of fur not only makes birds looking for nesting material happy but coats you with it.

If your dogs live in the house you live with fur. It becomes almost second nature as dust on your favorite knick-knacks. Only it comes in amounts huge enough to build new dogs just from the fur.Fur that can make them comfortable at -30 degrees F will all of a sudden decide to fall out. I often wonder why? It’s good fur, why did you fall out now? Save yourself for winter! But the fur has a mind of its own. It will come out and you will ruin many vacuum cleaners searching for the one that can take the load.

The only good part of this is if you are a good pack leader you groom them. Yes, it is a pain but I found it both soothing for me and my dogs. It’s a bonding thing about grooming your dogs. Mine love it, like getting to go to the spa and beauty salon. I find I like it too because it brings us closer together. With no words spoken the strokes of the comb work magic. It’s the act of showing them how much you love them. They return that love with their eyes and body language. It is one of the ways to become one with your pack.

Why I paint seld dogs

The dogs of winter are ancient beings compared to us. They were pulling sleds when the great pyramids were being built. The Siberian is one of the oldest breeds, and for all the time that has past, they remain true to what they are. Nothing has changed the spirit inside each and every one of these dogs. From the great serum run of 1925 to now, they are willing to serve mankind.

It was a bond made long ago so that both man and dogs could survive. The bones of their ancestors lay on trails unknown from Siberia to Alaska. They opened that great land of Alaska and thrived where others would perish. The frozen North is where they came from. Harsh, unforgiving lands that only the strongest would survive. The love for snow and ice is in their DNA. It’s what they thrive on, and if you live with them they will show you the way. It’s not easy to live with them, until you understand and accept them for what they are. They accept us, but won’t take any crap either. Much like being married, it takes time to become a team. A team that can survive all the hardships life can throw at you. It’s synergy at its best. Where the sum of the parts exceeds the individual.

So why do I paint sled dogs? To celebrate what they are and what I wish I could be. I may never achieve what they do naturally, but I learn from them, and pay homage to their magnificence. I’m so proud that they are willing to spend their short lives with me. Teaching me how to be a better being on this earth. That’s why I paint them. I give my dogs the best life I can. And they don’t mind if its not perfect, for they are used to hardships when they happen. It’s a team, and we get through life together. That is the mind of the Siberian Husky as I have come to know them. Its a life well lived, and should be a model for all to aspire to.

Night Moves:

Night Moves: Read at your own risk…it’s a bit long.

This is a little story about last night. I was sound asleep, enjoying my fuzzy tiger blanket when I suddenly woke up to hear the huskies throwing a fit. Now, for most people with dogs, that would probably be incessant barking, etc. With the husky, this amounts to whining, running at warp speed, and panting like they are down to the last dog biscuit.

I looked at the clock, and it was 1:49 AM. I drug myself out of bed because I knew it wasn’t going to end unless I went outside to see what the commotion was. The dogs kept coming through the pet door, jumping on the bed as if to say, “Look what we found!”

We live in the woods, and it’s not unusual to have deer herds passing by. The scent of deer makes my male perk up his ears and sniff the air like there is a female dog in heat nearby. Cooper caves into his primal instincts and wants to chase them even if he will never catch them. It’s a dog thing, and I got up to see what was going on.

I peered out the back sliding door and saw…well darkness! Cooper and Nikki had their ears pricked forwards across the driveway into the woods. I got a flashlight and still saw nothing. I got back in bed after a few $%*&#$^& words with them.

I drag two dogs in and force them to stay in the basement with me. Lock the pet door and try to go back to bed. It’s now 1:30 AM, and I wanted to get some sleep, but that wasn’t going to happen. The dogs go into ADHD mode. Whining, and pacing around, and driving me nuts. They will bark if a person is skulking around, and we’ve had some of those. So, I start worrying about who the hell is out on my property?

The mind does funny things, especially at O’ dark thirty in the morning. I realize this isn’t going away until I solve the game of “Clue” my dogs are giving me. So, in PJ bottoms, tennis shoes with no socks, and a black shirt, I gear up. I go back outside, armed with a pistol and a flashlight.

I was thinking it might be some desperate folks trying to break into the house and steal our toilet paper, or the stack of 10-year-old fruitcakes packed in tins I kept for emergency rations for just such a pandemic. I creep up to the fence where the dogs are peering into the dark with their night vision quality eyes. I still don’t see anything and let loose with some more choice words.

They run to the front yard, and I creep out in full soldier of fortune mode. My left-hand holding the flashlight away from my body. That’s in case someone shoots at the light it won’t hit me. I clutch my Berretta in my right hand, with the flee or fight feeling coming on strong. It’s now 2:01 AM, and I’m determined to end this one way or the other.

If someone wants my toilet paper that bad, they are going to have to fight for it! They can have the fruitcakes grandma sent, but I draw the line at our toilet paper supplies!

I find nothing but wet grass and fortunately didn’t disturb any Copperheads that prey at night. I was about to call it a night, but the dogs are still peering through the fence at…something. I shine my light against the basement foundations and see something curled up in a ball.

I keep looking through my foggy eyes, and it seems like one of my cats, or maybe a neighbors cat. I go back inside and look through the house to find my cat “Omar” sleeping on the sofa. He is a twin to whatever is outside. Safe that it’s not my cat who got out. I head back downstairs and out the door without the pistol. It’s now a varmint issue, and a 4′ long 1×1 pine board is the only weapon I need to get some sleep.

I creep up on the furball causing all the ruckus, and I can’t tell what it is yet. It’s now 2:25 AM, and I want this over. I tap the ball of fur on the side gently with my board, and it jumps up hissing with open mouth. Sharp white fangs were very noticeable in my flashlight. It hunches up to make itself look bigger than my fat housecat, and I take a step back, wondering if it’s rabid and I should have brought the gun?

It didn’t charge me, and I’m grateful for that. But then again it wasn’t moving either. I had to give it another push with the board to get it going. It hissed a fit but finally slunk off, and headed for the woods. The dogs wanted to chase it down and were crying like a baby with diaper rash, but once it was gone, things started to settle down.

It was a Fox kit, maybe 6 or 8 weeks old. Beautiful with golden fur and black legs. I guess it lost its mamma or froze when the dogs found out about it by the fence. Nobody was harmed except my sleep, and after the adrenaline in the dogs wound down, I got back to sleep around 3:00 AM.

And that concludes my 2-hour long night moves extravaganza. Don’t ignore your dogs, and they don’t act up without reason. I probably would have figured that out sooner if I hadn’t been so tired. It was just another day in Husky school for me.

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