Wednesday, December 05, 2007

So Where Do We Go From Here?

Hey Kids, remember me?
The everlasting cheechacko from Chicago has been tested like never before this year after barely surviving the worst summer of my life. Then in August my father's health began faltering rapidly. At 79 he underwent quadrouple bypass surgery as well as cancer. Thoughts of him have been continuous. After all, this was the man who helped create the curiosity that enabled yours truly to evolve into the 'freak of nature' that I am today. Dad was our scoutmaster who taught us the beauty of the wilderness at an early age. Without his guidance, becoming an Eagle Scout would never have been achievable. In our house in Evanston there were literally hundreds of books which I sporadically perused. Many of them about the North. My dad's one of a kind - after mom died when I was 15, he was left to care for 5 kids. In some respects I live this 'Laughing Eyes Dream' to honor all he provided me with.

The only way I can maintain a bit of sanity in these trying times is to keep dancing! Playing with the pooches in the woods, maintaining a harmony in life. The snows have barely been seen so far thus I've been trucking 2- 18 dog teams to Canol Road (about 2 hours away) to train. There's plenty of snow at this road's higher elevation. Unfortunately we've been without a handler (assistant) for over a month now. Imagine caring for 60 pooches and training all by yourself. (Tamra helps on weekends but with a full time job she's been busy as a bee as well). What makes all the work work worth the effort is how beautiful our beloved Dawgs have been performing. Annie, Walter, Watson, along with their mom Colby are a delight to watch flying around. Simba, a small 2 year old, black female has been a pleasant surprise. Gerome and Jackson, two recently acquired pooches from Kiara Adams are coming along nicely as well.

Our season is chock full once again. Numerous folks have joined our cause though we must caution you - our goal isn't about 'winning races', it's about living life to the fullest. I don't know if we'll ever come in 1st place in a race but No One will ever be on a sled for as many miles as this fortunate soul. I have no choice - these dogs are too beautiful to just sit around and be bored in the dogyard. We were born to run, to love, to fly....

Enjoy the show. The ceremony shall soon begin...

Hugh, Tamra and the Laughing Eyes Kennel crew.

*** Special thanks to Hans Gatt for fixing the sled so we can train properly, Frank Sihler for the new equipment - the harnesses and snowhook are working great! For our sponsors that help us every year: Lisa and Mary Akers, Carol and George Figdore and the Bloomin' crew!

Races we've signed up for this year: Cantwell Classic, Kusko 300, Iditarod and All Alaska Sweepstakes. Still undecided about the Quest - we need a handler first!

"Good Luck is when opportunity meets preparedness"


At 9:43 AM , Blogger akbushbaby said...

We've had a snow drought here in Fairbanks as well...but it's snowing like mad this morning!! Trucking the dogs to the White Mountains and to the Denali Highway to get on a sled. Happy Trails and training and hopefully we'll see you both in Fairbanks sooner rather than later.
Peace out,

At 12:13 PM , Blogger Ellen said...

as a lurker on your blog....and a former yukon resident....i wish i could quit my teaching job and come be your handler! i hope some other dreamer shows up on your doorstep soon!

At 3:06 PM , Blogger Diane said...

I am with Ellen - I would be on your doorstep as a handler if I could. Good luck! We are all pulling for you out here!

At 11:55 AM , Blogger barbarawoodland said...

Hey Hugh & Tamra. I'm Joel from Ottawa, Ontario. We( my wife, daughter & I) are looking forward in following your racing season this year. I will be following you this week-end in the K-300 on the net and the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod as well. Good luck and god speed to you.

Joel, Barb & Emili

At 3:17 PM , Blogger tamra said...

Thanks for writing in Jillian, Diane, Ellen, Joel, Barb, and Emili. We're at crunch time here with Quest and Iditarod food drops due soon and keeping the rest of the dogs trained while Hugh is away in Bethel. We'll be increasing the update frequency hopefully soon now that races are approaching.



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