Friday, January 18, 2008

Let's See How Far We've Come!

Our apologies for being delinquent with kennel updates this season. Caring and training for 50 plus dogs without a handler to help this year has been quite the workout. Fortunately Miranda saved us at the last minute so we had someone at home so I could train up some pups in last weekend's Cantwell 2oo on the Denali Hwy. The race was fun yet Tamra had a harrowing time returning home with a shoddy truck engine barely functioning in the negative 40 temps.

Presently I'm writing from Pat Barett's home in Bethel where we'll be competing in the Kuskokwim 300 sleddog race in just a few hours time. We placed 6th in this event last year- where do you think we'll come in this time around? HMMM.... (you can watch the race at

There's not a moment that's gone by over the last few months that thoughts of my dad have not been flowing thru my head. After quadruple bypass surgery this fall he was diagnosed with cancer as well. He is in "Hospice" at present, at the age of 79 Phillip G. Neff's time on this earth is coming to the end of the trail. Obviously it's not enjoyable to watch the man who has cared for and taught you so much suffer each day. Pa is tough however and we all realize how wonderful a human being he truly is. Tamra and I appreciate everyone's well wishes, please say a prayer for my dad as well. Have to go now, time to make some Magic...

Enjoy the view, Hugh and the Laughing Eyes Kennel Crew


At 5:12 PM , Blogger barbarawoodland said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 5:14 PM , Blogger barbarawoodland said...

Hugh!, Go get them. Maybe it's your turn to win... and Barb Emili and I feel for you and your family. It's always sad to see a loved one suffer. For us, we lost my parents in a automobile accident back in June 2005 and it was really hard. I use to race sledog myself in sprint. I had about 30 dogs and the last winter I raced, I finished in 6TH place and just when I started thinking we might win a race one day, the accident happened. That summer, I ended up giving all but 2 of my dogs away to a friend and my best dogs are now racing in the CAN-AM 250 for the last 2 years. It's nice to see that. I had a dream one day of moving to the Yukon and racing some distances. My dream has faded now but..., maybe one day you will see me at your doorstep offering you some help...

Chow for now

Joel, Barb & Emz

5:12 PM

At 4:22 AM , Blogger Melanie Istel said...

HI Hugh,
I wish you good luck on the races and healthy and happy dogs. If you see Gerald Riley on the K 300, please say hi from me :-)
I send a prayer for your dad ad hope he doesn´t have to suffer very much.
Michael and me, we are without a handler, too having approx 40 sprint dogs. He´s gone right now for training and racing with 22 dogs and I keep on running our movie-shop and taking care for 17 dogs (pups and retired ones.
Take care, greetings to Tamra and hope to hear something from you.. ;-) Wow, it´s almost 9 years ago since I was in Alaska... how time flies by..Greetings from Germany, Melanie

At 10:58 PM , Blogger Lissa said...

Are you going to be up in Juneau again this summer??

Great blog! Thanks for the inspiration! Good luck!

P.S. Are you still looking for a dog handler? What kind of experience would one need and what duties to be performed?


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