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30 July 2010

July - Planning For Puppies


As is usual here in July the sea ice broke up and drifted off into Scoresby Sund, the biggest fjord system in the world.

Hunters squeezed out the very last remaining days of the sledding season before reverting to powerboats. There was a little onshore wildlife activity close to home: a polar bear was wandering outside the hospital and when I was running down to what we call Walrus Bay a polar bear was eating a freshly killed seal. On another day five brave narwhales passed very close to town before blowing and diving a stone’s throw from the shore.

My dog food arrived on the first re-supply ship of the year. I have planned for puppies. Included in the shipment was a pallet of specially formulated first year puppy diet. To pack away the dog food bags is usually four-hours of grunt work. This year friends offered and came over to help.

It was all go in Mikkey’s world. I began to prepare and condition him for some planned hiking in August alone on Jameson Land. I’ve used several generations of Ruff Wear Palisades dog packs and have always rated these as the best of their kind available. The materials are hard wearing.  What’s crucial is the harness design and fitting gets better even when I didn’t think it possible. Ultimately if the fit of a dog pack is poor the dog will suffer. This I will not tolerate.

I have a fear of going blind. Even on grey days the Arctic summer sunrays are not the least bit healthy for unprotected eyes so I wear CEBE sunglasses to keep them so. For carting big loads Lowe alpines Cerro Tore backpack has always been my choice for the last four years. The latest lightest weight version is now called the Expedition TFX.

In-between all this activity I made more sled furniture that included: a table, stool, chair and writing desk.

On the 9th of July Girly came into heat so I isolated her in a pen where she settled. On the 17th I covered Mikkey with Girly for the first time. If she took with this mating the puppies will be due on the 18th of September.