2017 has been quite the year, but we are SO ready for 2018!
After a successful 6th place Iditarod finish, Wade was elected by his peers to be the new Iditarod Official Finishers Club President and sit on the Iditarod Board of Directors as a the Musher Representative. This was quite the honor for Wade, being young and passionate about the future of mushing he was more than ready for the challenge, and the more recent Iditarod controversies have proven it to be a challenge indeed! Managing these new responsibilities while continuing to care and train for his team at the caliber required…I’m not sure how he gets any sleep at night. He’s doing an incredible job and handling everything like a pro. To say I’m beamin’ proud is an understatement!
This summer threw us a new set of challenges as Wade left for the Lower 48 to help start a new sled dog tour operation, he left with about 30 dogs, and I stayed in Alaska with his main team. After Iditarod, Wade decided he was going to transform his training program into something more consistent, more year round. We had long conversations after that on what the summer would entail, and if both of us were comfortable with the commitment. Long story short, we put our hands in and yelled 1,2,3 go team, and off we went! Before I knew it, I was standing in the middle of a semi-empty dog yard with Wades best dogs staring me down. Suddenly I was the one feeling honored, that Wade comfortably left me to care for and TRAIN his prized fur babies for 2.5 months. It was just me and them, and it was time to get to work! We had a blast, with the help of a neighbor kid we were able to get good summer training in and spent a lot of 1-on-1 time with the dogs. I get my fair share of time with Wades team, but it was great to be able to bond with them so much more over the summer. Late August, Wade returned with the yearling crew and all was right again at home.
Upon Wades homecoming training continued in full force. By late September the team was months ahead of the training schedules of years past. Although up-ing or modifying a training program needs to be done cautiously and the care of the dogs needs to always be at 200%. If anything, I think our transformed training program has even further tightened and increased the focus on early season veterinary care. Staying ahead of the game with these athletes is crucial for success and their continued health throughout the season. Fall was filled with its fair share of rainy and sunny days. The dogs love training in the rain! The mushers…not so much 😉
Low early season snow totals have caused us to migrate to the Denail Hwy for some of our training, we don’t complain, we absolutely love it up there! Miles and miles of great trail, one-of-a-kind hospitality and awesome training! We always be sure to stay at Alpine Creek Lodge as we venture down the highway. Good food, good company, and a warm bed! We continue to do our snow dances back home and know that one day soon we will be able to leave the yard with the dog team!
We hope you enjoy our newly updated website, be sure to check back at SJK Life to get the inside scoop of what’s happening at the kennel. December is here, so make the best of this last month in 2017 and get ready for a new year!
Iditarod 2018 here we come!