Friday, September 9, 2011

From Winter 2000, Wildoney Kitchen Musings about my sled dogs

I came across a few words I wrote many winters ago, and it took me right back to that place and time... Thought I'd share it here.

- photo from the Allegheny News

Lead: Fire, Windy, Point: Ashley, Gabriel, Wheel: Taffy, Lakota

This was probably the best team that Wildoney ever fielded.

Wildoney Kitchen Musings, Winter 2000
by Ruthie Houston Barrett

Every week during racing season, I unpack the truck, wash everything, restock, reorganize and repack. The washer runs double overtime! Then on the stove is some tasty treat for the dogs after they run. Rice, to recharge their glycogen stores, and meat for a treat. So far this year they've had salmon and hamburger, and this week they'll get chicken. I just love this time of year, despite all the extra work. Some things will just get let go for a while!

But there is to me a spirit of adventure that inhabits my kitchen, the central staging area. Everything from the spirit of dogs long gone to run in heaven, to the spirit of new heroes yet to be whelped,... the amazing stuff of running dogs, the lore, the romance, the challenge, even the fear, at times, "the agony of defeat, and the thrill of victory" (someone who truly knew sport wrote that), nothing is more frustrating than a dog team that won't do what you want, and nothing is more thrilling than a team who exceed your expectations (and it does happen) to save your life, run tough, run fast, listen to commands, or just seem to know what you want from your subtle queues. 

The warmth and specialness of sharing my life with these dogs, these other beings, these sometime heroes, sometime babies: it all floats around in my kitchen with the scents of cooking.

 Jenna, racing in the 2-dog, 2-mile kid's race in Idaho, called the Teddy Bear Race, cuz every finisher got a teddy bear for a trophy.  Both of the dogs were older than she was here -- Windy (Ch. Innisfree's Wild Wind CD, SDX was about 10, and Lakota (BISS CH. Wildoney's FiredUPN ReddyToGo, CD, SDO) was about 9.  Jenna was 4 or 5 years old.

The "unbeatable" puppy team, all from one litter -- their parents are Lakota and Windy above. 
photo by Cheryl Scheall, Rob driving
They had a great record in the 4-dog class that year, and went on to earn SDs and SDXs.
Lead: Reveley and Luna, Wheel: Huck and Raphael
A repeat of the breeding that made "Gabriel" - Wildoney's CouldBee An Angel SD
Gabriel, pictured winning his class in puppy sweeps at Nationals, 1995.
Gabriel was hit by a car at age 2, and we never recovered from that loss.
He was the sire and grandsire of many champions in the US,
and the sire of the #1 puppy in Canada one year, BPIS Can Ch Wildoney's Fallen Angel - "Lucy"