FEBRUARY 8, 2015

 So my dogs are crazy. Of course you all new that! They are lovable, crazy doggies. Filled with so much energy it's unreal. In winter they go on long runs and don't even get tired. And FAST. WOW are they FAST. So fast that it really killed training of any kind for 2014 as I was always going blazing fast, and always tired because of it. There was no such thing as an easy run. NO. WAY. So I took action this year and got the "GOLD STANDARD" of electric collars for dogs, as other husky owners described it. Man, they sure were not wrong about that! Runs are so much more enjoyable now and I can actually train for a purpose again. The dogs have a fun time running at their pace, and I have a fun time running at mine.  I mean, hey I no longer feel like I'm going to die when I run down a hill with them! Bonus!

They are so happy running free(ish)!

The collar that came highly recommended to me by other husky owners was this one:

I in turn highly recommend this to any dog owner. The dogs learned within a few days. And we're talking about stubborn huskies here! There is a tone function (which we use first), a vibration function (which we use second) and then, if we absolutely need to (hardly ever) the shock function. My dogs have come across other dogs, deer, and people with this collar on. And before - when they were leashed and attached to us with the skijoring setup people would be scared when they would see them. Now, when we come across people on the trails we get comments like "WOW" "THEY'RE SO WELL BEHAVED" and "IMPRESSIVE".  All of us are so much happier all the way around with these collars and it is so worth the expense. My dogs love to run, and get ticked off when we run without them. Today however my youngest made sure we didn't go on a run without her....


Since I haven't updated my Huskies page in forever, just a brief "What's happening" and a short video!  The Lake Metroparks unfortunately did not have the Dryland Sled Dog Challenge this year as they do every year - so the pups missed out on that one. None the less they are still running and crazy as ever! Now we've started doing some skijoring, now that the beautiful snow has arrived! If you live in the snow belt like us, you just have to embrace the snow or you'll be miserable for a good chunk of the year. We've been shorted on snow the last couple years, but this year has really been great so far! I started out skijoring with them in a local park, inside a fenced baseball diamond. They then graduated to the road inside the park (which never gets plowed well luckily) and that worked out well, too! So yesterday was the pups first time on a real honest to goodness trail. There were many dogs, runners, snowshoers and XC skiers out there. Honestly this was the busiest I've ever seen the park, even in summer! The pups did really well though, we stopped each time we saw another skier so we wouldn't scare them, or be in their way. Everyone was super friendly and got a good laugh at the pups and my laziness in them pulling me :-)  Good thing no one saw the face plants I did......

Check out our skijoring video here:



This past weekend my son and I took Barkley and Yepa to their first ever race, the Muddy Paws 10 mile, 5 mile, and 2 mile-with your dog race.  I was a little nervous about how they would act around other dogs but they seemed to do well.  They were overly excited when we got there of course, with so many dogs around.  I was afraid they'd fizzle out before the run.  *snort*

I took Barkley and ran with her, and my son took Yepa.  It was nice talking with people we haven't seen for awhile, as well as their pups :-)  After some socializing and waiting around, it was time to start! All the 2 mile with your dog runners lined up, and Barkley was more than ready!  Soon, we were off! Lucky me it started on a down hill and Barkley was absolutely flying! Garmin noted our max speed at one point got to a 4:26 second mile!! Now I've done that without her before (only going downhill) but hey, I's been awhile, and I'm stinkin out of shape!  I spent about 1.25 miles of the run just trying to not die.  At one point I fell while we were running through some grass  It kind of felt like like a slip and slide, and I was glad to stop for a moment.  I bounced back up and we kept running, straight to the tunnel.  At this point my little girl got so scared, I'm not sure what it was about the tunnel, but she did NOT want to go through it.  We walked through, and when we got to the other side she started running again, although she did loose a little bit of steam and started running next to me instead of in front of me. Which I was totally fine with. HA.
Some stats:
I started my Garmin about 30 seconds after the start of the race, and my Garmin had us at an average 7:41/mile pace for the 2.06 miles it recorded, time was 15 mins and 50 seconds.  I have to say when I crossed the finish line the time on their clock read 17 mins and ?? seconds, which doesn't matter as this was 100% for fun and what a blast it was!  I spent the whole time both laughing and being terrified.  Doesn't get any more fun than that, right?  As for my dear little Yepa, looking at pics it looked like she was pulling my son the whole way.  They came in somewhere around 22 minutes for the hilly course.  I'm so proud of my girls! 

This race had me wishing that there were more of these events around here.  So I searched. and I found!!  I have now stumbled upon the Trailbreakers Sled Dog Club of Ohio.  This group organizes the Dryland Sled Dog Races at the Farmpark, which - wait for it, wait for it - has a Canicross division in the races!!! (Run with your dog, attached with a harness/bungee/belt system)  We will all be participating in the Canicross division of this event when it is held at the Lake Farmpark in November.  This will be a only one week after Bills' Bad Ass 50k - so I may not be ready for husky speed, but I guess I'll have to be! (That's one way to wake your fast twitch muscles up after an ultra I guess!)  The best part of this is, the Canicross running gear is the exact same stuff you use for Bikjoring and Skijoring.  We'll be doing a lot of Skijoring this winter with the pups so it all works out perfect! 

Skijoring is basically cross country skiing with your dog pulling you.  Can't wait for snow!!!


We have yet another new addition to the family.  YEPA! (pronounced yay-pah)  Yepa is Native American for "winter princess".  Appropriate no?

We got Yepa from the same woman we got Barkley from.  However this time was a bit different, and it really makes me nervous.  I noticed when we got home our receipt for Yepa said "As is".  Who writes that on a receipt for a pup?! We then noticed she wasn't progressing as fast as Barkley did at that age (or what we thought was her age).  We weren't really sure what was going on, and she was SO tiny.  In the end we believe we were lied to about her age for some reason and we took her from her mother much too early.  With that in mind we started giving our little beauty coconut oil every day.  Coconut oil has so many great benefits for both humans and dogs.  We use it on both our dogs to give them a shiny coat, and Yepa takes a tiny bit orally each day as well.  (Barkley tries to lick it off her coat since it's delish!) The MCFA's (medium chain fatty acids) offer up a world of benefits for everything from skin to digestive issues, to fighting infection, to detoxing.  Since starting Yepa on the regimen she's double in size (and energy) and is now a holy terror to our household.  Which is great.  (No really!)

I'm really looking forward to taking both of these pups on adventures with us.  Barkley's now a running machine - running 13 miles and under currently (and so speedy!).  Yepa, as I stated has been slow going but is now up to 3 miles.  Not terribly fast miles - but she's getting there! She's now starting to do running sprints on our furniture as Barkley did when we first got her.  Our new pups are definitely a handful, but it's been great fun having them here.  On that note, dear dear Barkley ate my old Garmin and I'm looking forward to doing a review on the new one I had to buy.  ;-)


I failed to mention in my last post that we have a new addition to the family. Welcome our new dog Barkley!

We brought Barkley home right before Christmas. Then, she was 8 weeks. Now she's 13 weeks and already doubled in weight! Barkley is a Siberian Husky. What a beauty! Before we decided to get a husky we did a lot of reading on their habits, traits, etc. In some cases what we found out was astounding! Huskies can run up to 30 mph. (I knew they were fast, Idiatrod and all but WOW!) They can run fast and run long. I came across an interesting blog on an ultrarunner who actually runs her ultras WITH her huskies! WOW! You can find her blog here:

I have to say, huskies seem to be the perfect ultra running partner. But you MUST MUST MUST know what you're getting into. They're a huge ball of energy, and get destructive if not excersized. Two, three times a day even depending on how long you run. Barkley has been on introductory "feeler" runs with us so far, and she has yet to get tired on any of the runs. We are letting her go at her pace, so the runs turn into more of a fartlek running session. She sprints unbelievably fast, then stops for a sec to chew on some leaves. Such as been our runs thus far :-)

Thursday was the first quality workout she joined us for. She actually did hill repeats with my husband, our friend Crystal and myself. Needless to say, she beat us all and it was her first time! So incredible!! We definitely can tell when we are not quick to excersize her during the day, when we want to get some work done before we take her out she gets antsy. And, as I said - a tad destructive. Her form of destruction so far is chewing. She has chewed my garmin charger to bits, our bedpost, and some socks to name a few things. She's even taken a nice healthy dump right on my treadmill! So while huskies are beautiful dogs - do be careful if you're thinking you want one. For us, with three runners in the house she's the perfect fit for our family. Many of these dogs do wind up being rescued though, and in speaking with Barkley's vet during today's visit he did say that so many of these dogs just go crazy - stir crazy because they go into homes where they aren't taken outside, aren't run, etc. and that he was very glad when he saw her because he could tell by looking at her nails she was definitely getting excersize.

Despite what the vet said I was still worried we were running her too much, too soon. I explained to the vet - "Hey we're marathoners and ultramarathoners, even my son ran a marathon - so we can run for long chunks of time and I'm a bit worried that we're doing too much with her right now." The vet just looked at me and laughed and said not to worry, that Barkley will definitely let us know when she's tired, and that honestly we really shouldn't worry about it, because if she isn't already - then soon she'll be running so much that we'll be the ones tired when it's all said and done, not her. I can't imagine!! She really is an incredible dog and I'm glad we have her - and looking forward to many running and backpacking adventures with her in the near future!

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