Finney Is Going To Norway

Marg & I spent a most enjoyable morning last Saturday at the fall symposium of the Ontario Federation of Sled Dog Sports. This year they opted to spend a weekend running dogs on wheeled rigs – quads, bikes, scooters, etc. it was greatly encouraging to see the turnout. This club, like many other sled dog clubs was in serious decline just a couple years & was in serious danger of ceasing to exist. A great deal of the responsibility for the club’s revival I think is due to the commitment & enthusiasm of Janice & Ray Erker, & it must have been very rewarding to them to see such a fine turnout. Many purebred Siberian people there this weekend. Many just getting started. A wonderful opportunity to watch & talk with some long established dog people. Gavin Baker, a very successful racer from Ottawa area was there with his alaskans & very visible & approachable. It is good for people to see what dogs can do with good training. Of course Ray & Janice were there as well with 2 mid distance racing teams. From the purebred racing camp, Laurel Turansky was there with a truck load of competitive Sibes. I first met Walter Groham & his Copper Bullets almost 30 years ago. The Copper Bullets are gone, but not Walter’s enthusiasm for the sport Water Obstacle. Karen Kohler & Finney & Tease & Arctic were there as well. Karen competes in skijoring events. Karen & Finney & Tease are going to Norway in March. Karen & dogs have qualified for the world championships. I gave Finney to Karen two years ago & she competed with her last winter. I believed Finney to be a good dog but in need of a lot of one on one. Karen was prepared to do that & her efforts have paid off. Finney runs with Tease, a hound dog from Claude Aumont’s lines. Arctic won’t be making the trek to Norway. Some of you may remember this dog working here at Chocpaw. She retired to Karen & Rob’s home & next month will be 17 years old. She still looks great for a relic & still goes out on daily walks. I know Karen will be doing some fund raising in the near future. Keep it in mind. I will pass on details as I hear. I strongly believe in these sled dog organizations as a source of learning & strengthening of the sport & standards of care for sled dogs. We maintain a membership in the following: OFSS Ontario Federation of Sled Dog Sports IFSS International Federation of Sled Dog Sports ISDRA International Sleddog racing Association M.U.S.H. with Pride An international body who’s mandate is standards & education in sled dog care. ISDVMA International Sled Dog Veterinary Medical Association OFSS & M.U.S.H. run an annual kennel certification program that we participate in. Both use almost identical evaluation criteria. As well each organization above has a magazine sent out that is full of care & training tips. There is an active race schedule planned in Ontario for this winter. You can find out details at www.ofss.ca. Always lots of fun & excitement & usually held in conjunction with the community winter carnival. Karen & Finney will be there tuning up for Norway. I expect some Chocpaw teams at all mid distance races – Eldorado, Marmora, Kearney, Bancroft. At times they will conflict with races in the States at Beargrease, UP 200 & the CanAm 250. This is the time of year there is a buzz of excitement around most sledding kennels. The temperature is dropping & even a few flurries in the air. Mushers have been rolling out the training rigs & started training. This is what it is all about for both dogs & man – woman two. Like the legendary postman, the musher goes out rain or shine, sun or cold to train dogs. The long anticipation of breaking the budding stars to harness is undertaken very carefully. These first runs are crucial. With our expedition dogs & pups we make every run fun with lots of praise & hands on. We bring them back each time to the kennel bouncing & screaming for more. It will be a long winter & these initial attitude runs are so important. Our winter is filling fast. Time to get serious & book your adventure for this winter. For those thinking of a pet for next spring I have some very special dogs that will make that list. Still looking for a home this fall for Tarzan & Queen. That little 7 month old pup I have been trying to give away is no longer available. The little dog has speed to burn. One of the fastest dogs I have ever seen. She will be with us for a few years. Keep your feet on the runners! Paul