Sunday, September 07, 2008

Surviving in Orwellian Times...

Sitting on the sofa enjoying yet another exquisite autumn sunset. As usual Omen, one of our main female Iditarod leaders, lays beneath my rear end. Reminds me of when my dad sat on us in order to get us motivated, he happened to be an ex-linebacker who weighed in at about 240. Pleasant afternoon spent running 2 teams about ten miles each. The surrounding hillsides are now immersed in shades of gold, purple, and green- your eyes can't help but smile at the surreal carpet of natural colors. The road the pooches travel upon is awash in wildlife, typically lil' varmits and birds are drawn by curiosity to our moving canine caravan. Squirrels are everywhere scavenging supplies to store away for the upcoming colder weather. The other day we came upon two of the lil 'punks chasing each other around on the road. Watson and Sicily were in lead and zigzagged the whole team around in pursuit of the elusive prey though they soon learned that their endeavors were fruitless.
Love training pooches this time of year. The freshness of the air, thanks to daily rains and cooler nights, adds a renewed energy to each day's activities. It's as if every day is Halloween. This is also probably the most dangerous time of year, it's hunting season after all. I've always said that the most dangerous predator on this earth is the human being. Usually we will allow some of our retired dogs to wander around the yard yet in early fall it's best to keep them inside the house or one of the pens. Animals are more likely to enter the homestead area in search of food or protection from pursuing beasts.
Earlier this evening I took Deyaah, a ten year old black lab, on a short mile long bike trip around the northern end of Annie lake. Sipping on a glass of wine as we flew thru the trees I laughed at her portly frame. Over the last ten years I've probably fed Deyaah perhaps a few hunded times yet she knows how to perfect the art of eating. I call her our 'vacuum cleaner'- looks like she put on a few pounds recently. Fortunately she's also quite athletic and can lose the fat nearly as quickly. Amazing lil' lady who chased us down over a decade ago just outside of the native village of Minto in Alaska's interior. We had just competed in a mid-distance race and were travelling across the flats back to Fairbanks. A few miles outside of town I noticed a small rodent chasing after the team. Stopping the kids I realized it was a few month old puppy. Reaching home I called my friend Lloyd Charlie, "Anyone there missing a pup?" "You better keep her Hugh, she must love you." was his reply. After all these years and all of the bizarre moments I have been a part of this beautiful tail still tops the charts.
Like so many others, we have enjoyed watching a bit of the telly lately. Whether it be the olympics in Beijing, the cubbies in 1st or the start of football there is much to get the testosterone pumping. Viewing the political gatherings even became entertaining until we soon realized why so many choose to shy away from them-- too much negative energy. Anybody ever hear of the word "Compromise". I've often believed that the greatest sin- besides being too judgemental of others, is being too narrow-minded. Having spent twelve years in the Catholic educational system, one realizes that belonging to a certain religious denomination doesn't automatically mean that people are true representatives of their faith. Taking an objective look up at the folks on stage to choose from, remind yourself not to judge a book by its cover- inform yourself! Thankfully the dawgs are here to keep us focused and heading in a positive direction. How Sarah Palin and her family can enjoy not being in Alaska this time of year is beyond me. At least cityfolk down below are now realizing that the potential in women is limitless, something the world of dogmushing has known for quite some time now. Enjoy the view, Hugh


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