Archives

Starting Over…

This was the year the Kerry pack moved to a new domain largely because…

 

[heavy sigh]

The man I considered to be my soulmate insisted on drinking on a daily basis, for purely medicinal reasons – of course. Chronic pain is a terrible affliction, and with it a tendency toward negative health habits that spiral downward insidiously degrading the body, the mind, and the soul. My life experience has caused me to feel that chronic pain is contagious. And I am sure beyond doubt that drinking is contagious, as it is very hard to tolerate unless you indulge at least enough to take the edge off.

 

~~~

~~~

Way back when, the Kerries and -Dales met at a time when life was simple. It was just Aoife with the mother monkey, and the male had two dales. Though all people have a pain body, by some coincidence the two monkeys had each become mindful of that fact. They recognized the potential within each other. They eagerly faced the challenges of life together, and played really hard without taking life too seriously.

 

 

Overtime this all changed. The male took a different job with an odd working schedule. The mother monkey got more involved in dog fancy; showing dogs with less time on the trails. Stirling was added to the Kerry pack, and later Nollaig. The monkeys stopped playing together. And when alcohol hit the scene all reason was packed up and shipped to who knows where.

 

 

Before you judge the exodus, please factor in a pack of 5 with two unaltered male and two unaltered female terriers. People like to brag about their terrier packs getting along, and truly these people have bragging rights. No matter how great a dog’s basic disposition, sanity flies out the window when a bitch comes into season. With experience wise people become adept at canine body language, and precautions are taken well before disaster. In my experience, while Kerry Blues are very sweet loyal and loving …if someone brings a fight a Kerry has every intention to finish it, and they will never ever forget. [Sub-note: In my perfect world experienced dog mentors would spend less time bragging on how their dog’s have sound predisposition and more time on sharing the basic skill sets that our people need to manage a pack. But that would make a good blog for another day.]

 

 

Our bottom line was due to poor management Jasper and Stirling could not face one another without it coming to blood. We had that horrible undesirable situation where someone always had to be crated or behind a closed door. Jasper was twice the size of Stirling with a dense gnarly coat, so if a mistake was going to happen Stirling was the one taking the damage. It is no secret how crazy I am about this dog, and no amount of logic would keep me from breaking up a dog fight. Factor in alcohol, and you can understand I was living in a very dangerous environment.

After much long suffering and failed attempts at trying to positively influence the situation at hand, I made a mindful decision to move the Kerry pack. My heart goes out to the pack of -dales. I harbor no ill feelings.  I miss the man. I can surely love what is good & pure, and forgive that which is ugly. In our life we have to make tough decisions.

 

 

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

Can You Dig It…

 

Jasper & Gypsy...Jasper found a varmint hole.  Curious about the critter inside, he started to dig deeper…  and deeper…

 

Jasper

 

Until finally he was quite satisfied with what he had done.

 

Aoife

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aoife took a closer look.

 

Aoife...

 

 

 

 

 

Being one sharp smeller, Aoife was sure the varmint lay just beyond reach in that hole. There was no convincing her otherwise.

Aoife was going in…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surely it was a near escape.

 

Aoife

Hatcher’s Pass, July 13th …Can You Dig It?

 

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

Thunderbird Falls…

 

Thunderbird Falls

Thunderbird Falls

 

The access trail to Thunderbird Falls is pretty short – perhaps one mile long.  And it is pretty easy with the gain in elevation at perhaps 100 feet.  But the falls are big with a 200 foot drop.

Thunder Bird Stream...

Thunder Bird Stream…

There is a collateral trail that leads down to Thunder Bird Stream.  We found some good places to play along the way…

 

 

Aoife in a hollow tree...  July 3rd

Aoife in a hollow tree… July 3rd

 

Alex in a Hollow Tree...

Alex in a Hollow Tree…  July 3rd

 

The downside of living in Alaska is being far from my family in Maine.  I really cannot think about it too hard, or I would become insatiable.

My son Alex

My son Alex

So for today I am over the moon to have had one of my sons out for a visit.  And though he went home yesterday, the photo memories are priceless…

 

 

 

Aoife in Hollow Tree...

 

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

Catch-Up…

 

Now I am kicking myself for not having blogged regularly over the past few months.  But honestly I did not want to sound negative or overwhelmed, which is sometimes how I felt.

…So today I will lay out the synopsis.

 

Aoife looks down over Arctic Valley...  July 5th

Aoife looks down over Arctic Valley… July 5th

 

Months ago I spent weeks – sometimes frustrating weeks – presenting proposals – several versions, in fact – to my service chief and then ultimately to the director of the medical center where I am employed.  The purpose of all that was for pre-arranging time off for the whelping and rearing of our first litter of puppies.

Before any of that was finalized I was faced with decisions pertaining to genetic and health testing, the selection of a suitable sire, as well as the decision on the best method for breeding our bitch.  From there we had to watch for “first blood”.  And shortly thereafter came the challenge of arranging travel for the engagement.

None of that was simple.  And much of it was characterized by the frustration of “hurry up and wait”.

 

Four weeks after the breeding, Aoife was still not showing any sign of carrying.  Our repro-vet examined her and suggested there may be “at least 3 or 4 puppies”.  I could hardly believe my ears, and I am pretty sure I squealed.  But as the next two weeks unfolded, I found myself still not at all convinced that she was expecting.  On top of all the signs I could not see, at five-plus weeks I watched Aoife ambitiously climb Arctic Valley & Rendezvous Peak leaving me in her dust!  Now at seven weeks it is obvious, so we restrained her exuberance with a long leash for our hike at Independence Mine.

 

Aoife romping the trails around Independence Mine - July 13th

Aoife romping the trails around Independence Mine – July 13th

 

Looking down on Independence Mine

Looking down on Independence Mine

 

We have much to do before the puppies whelp, so I am back to feeling overwhelmed.

Life is good.

 

Aoife romps the fields of Arctic Valley - July 5th

Aoife romps the fields of Arctic Valley – July 5th

 

 

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

Great Western Terrier Association of Southern California…

Independent Specialties

June 19th-21st, 2015 ~~ The Queen Mary Events Park Long Beach, California

Stirling at GWTA of So Cal

 

Our Show Holiday was really fun!! …From an unexpected upgrade to first class, the perfect venue, unique accommodations on the Queen Mary, and especially the opportunity to meet a whole new group of Kerry fanciers. Yup! Fantastic!!

 

 

I used to think living in Alaska put me at a disadvantage in so far as showing was concerned. After all there are no Kerries from which to earn breed points, and everywhere is a far ways to travel. But since that is the case, I have found myself in several very distinct regions of the lower 48 and I have learned something important from every trip. All of this has opened me up with anticipation to receive whatever that may be…

This trip was no exception, as I could go on and on… But perhaps the most important thing that I wish to share is the realization that our Kerry Community is made up of many genuine people. Yes our people are diverse, but we all have the Kerry Blue at heart. And at least one Kerry Blue has stolen each one of our hearts.

 

 

Stirling at GWTA of So Cal

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

Day 1 at Purina Farms…

DSC_0821Quick Report on our first day…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As tends to be the case, the rumors of yesterday were found to be only partly true today. The players are not exactly as had been thought they might be. So instead of “Bruce”, we have “Stone”.  And today there was a smaller cast than what was described for the rest of the week.  So the count was 3 special dogs, 3 special bitches, and 1 class dog.

With that in mind Sunny & Stone took BOB/BOS, and Stirling & Xcstasy went select.  This means Stirling earned his first Grand Champion point today, which I suppose is a little big deal.

 

DSC_0829

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

Rumor Has It…

 

Xavier

Xavier

So we are off to Purina Farms, our first time out as a special with KBT competition. We will be joining Lois Grier of Krisma Kerries, who is a top notch breeder-owner-handler exhibiting two outstanding specials from what I believe to be her best-ever litter; that would be Xcstasy and her brother, the audacious Xavier.

 

We also know the Luebbers, who are also part of the Krisma family, are joining us with their seasoned special Finn and their fast rising special Reagan.

 

 

Leonardo w/ SunnyNow rumor has it we will show with Leonardo Garcini. We met last year at Purina, though Leonardo wasn’t campaigning a KBT special at that time. Leonardo is a wonderful man, and a highly respected professional favorite. I have not seen the particular bitch that he is campaigning this year, but being of the top terrier handlers I know he wouldn’t agree to show anything but the finest.

 

 

The Stallion Of KerriesAnother rumor has it we may also play with another pro handler, Celso Schneider, who is campaigning “Bruce” aka “The Stallion Kerry Blue Terrier”.  Think about that: ”The Stallion”.  Holy moly! …Is that meant to sound a tad intimidating?

 

And we are anticipating three class dogs and one class bitch, as well as one other bitch special, yet to be known or even rumored about.

 

 

 

RBIS

 

 

 

Rumor has it that Stirling may have about as much chance of victory over this competition as scoring …well, I don’t know… how about, a reserve best in show?

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

Takes My Breath Away…

 

Terrier GRP 1 & RBIS

So where does one begin?  First & foremost, always be thankful.

 

My little man is wiped out again!  A tired terrier is a good terrier, so our hotel room is still and peaceful …for now.  For this I am thankful.

Stirling is the son of his mother CH Beltane’s Kiss for Luck bred by Jana Deaton, and his sire GCH Krisma’s Plenty of Panache bred by Lois Grier.  Stirling was Lois’ pick of the litter, and I do not have words to express my gratitude for placing this bad boy with me.  Stirling is my heart-dog.  …For this I am thankful.

Alaska has a small robust community of dog fanciers.  Alaska is an unique place in that owner-handlers out number the professional handlers.  This makes for a rich training ground where people are supportive and growth is possible.  Having said that, many of the breeder-owner-handlers easily blend in with the professionals.  They not only do well in Alaska, but they do well wherever they go.  What a privilege it is to be part of this community.  …For this I am thankful.

Today was a good day.  In particular I share this little victory with my conformation handling mentors Rebecca Brandon & Christie Simantel-Janusirwicz and my performance handling mentor Lynda Barber-Wiltse, all of whom have invested countless, and sometimes painful, hours coaching me.  I am quite certain at times they felt I was completely hopeless.  But they are as stubborn as I am.  …For this I am thankful.

We enjoyed showing for Judge Toddie Clark in the Terrier Group competition and for Judge Houston Clark in the Best In Show competition.  What an honor to win both Terrier Group 1 and Reserve Best In Show!  …For this I am thankful.

 

 

 

 

 

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

Sticky Snow

New England was the place to be for snow this year. The folks back home in Maine got hammered. Our winter in Anchorage was perhaps the mildest on record. Snow was in scarcity, though we had frozen ground and more than our share of ice. Being a big fan of snow, this was a bit of a disappointment.

After having struggled with “break up” for at least the past month, this morning we woke up to a light covering of snow. Temperatures well above freezing make for New England snow, which is quite a lot stickier than our arctic feather-light variety.

It’s not easy to walk in snow boots!

 

 

DSC_0553

 

 

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

Winterizing…

 

You may recall the story behind this cleverly constructed homeless shelter.  But if not, you can reference back to my post More Questions Than Answers…

 

DSC_0408

 

This is the time of year when everyone winterizes their humble abode, and obviously this place has been no exception.  It looks quite tight, and the warmer temperatures have been in this man’s favor.

 

DSC_0409

 

It will be interesting to see how long he can hold out…

 

DSC_0412

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

Weekend In Seward…

 

Seward Highway...

 

The ride to Seward is 127 miles of gorgeous and the final destination is nothing short of divine.

My friend has a comfy cabin tucked away on a wooded lot very close to the beach and mountains that border Resurrection Bay.  So together we had a weekend to explore paradise…

 

 

DSC_0255

The Beach at closer look…

.

DSC_0266

…was home to many points of light.

.

DSC_0264

As always, I got stuck on the little things…

.

DSC_0263

This one was washed up already; …the fate of many.

 .

DSC_0306

Stirling’s first experience on a saltwater beach…

 .

DSC_0300…where he tried to catch the waves.

.

DSC_0270

Because the tide was so high, we cut through the woods…

.

DSC_0289

The trees had plush moss-muffs on their branches that stay green throughout the winter.

.

DSC_0280

This water may have been fresh, as separated from the bulk of it.

.

DSC_0276

We walked for 3.5 hours…

.

DSC_0315

Stirling played hard…

.

DSC_0318

Until even so full of boundless energy, he just had to stop and take pause.

.

DSC_0337

In the end and for once in his life, Stirling was tired.

A tired terrier is a good terrier.

.

,

…Nancy Nibbe, thank you for spoiling us rotten.

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

First Snow…

 

DSC_0246

 

Kerries in Early SnowThe Kerries delighted in the freshly fallen snow, dashing to and fro with noses snooting down to the roots of the brush that poked out through it.

 

DSC_0216

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trees Reflecting the Sunset...First real snowfall in Anchorage landed in 33 degrees, so it was a wet snow with fast melt. The forecast is for still higher temps throughout the rest of the week, so what snow is left will be short lived.

 

Our latest Alaskan Spring came the earliest and was longer than any I recall. This past Alaskan Summer was noticeably warmer than most. And our Alaskan Fall of late was nothing short of enchanting. So too, I am ready for a true Alaskan Winter.

…And hoping the snow will pile up to our rooftops!

 

DSC_0242

 

 

Photos from Monday – October 20th

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

One Is Like None. Two Are Like Ten…

 

DSC_0208

 

“One is like none.  Two are like ten…”

Many years ago my sister said this of children.  But did I follow her advice?  Absolutely not.  I had the second child, and all was well with the world.  Two felt like little more than two.  Now I cannot speak for others, as all children are so different…

 

DSC_0147

 

 

 

DSC_0130Now I have the Kerries, and I think it may be obvious that I am all about them.  But I will confess that each is better one-on-one.  In a pair all sorts of inescapable naughtiness breaks out.

 

 

 

Although they know well the meaning of the “sit” command both verbally and in sign, when together they construe this as a bid to share in turn taking.  And “stay” is reduced to something more along the line of hesitate.  And their social graces with other dogs flies straight out the window, especially while together on the trails.  So this dog walking thing can actually be quite an exasperating workout.

 

Trees, Now Bare...There should be something peaceful about a dog walk, I should think.  And sometimes that is the case.  So just yesterday I was set on enjoying our walk.  I truly dislike ordering commands the whole time, so I was determined to stick with the attitude of less-is-more.

 

DSC_0178But out of nowhere Stirling was pulling ambitiously at the end of his retractable lead.  I brought him back to me and quietly took him by the beard to have a serious conversation about the trouble with pulling me down the airstrip.  He looked back into my eyes with full humility, and a promise of doing better.  ‘Quite convincing.

 

Aoife…But a quick glance over my shoulder proved Aoife was devouring a ripe lush chunk of horse manure.

Now moose nuggets are on the menu, though the pack is limited to one morsel each per pile.  But horse briquettes well-known for the laxative effect are strictly prohibited.  I am quite certain my girl knows that, and I am not at all convinced there wasn’t a conspiracy between them.

 

 

DSC_0162

 

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

small”w”, small “p”

 

While in an attempt to share some common ground with a friend who aspires to be a published writer; I divulged that though I absolutely love to write, I am not much of a reader.  From there I learned from him there is protocol for such things.  I was informed that all successful writers are voluminous readers, because that is how one learns interesting new ways to develop plot, blah blah blah…

Now maybe it was the Margarita on board, as I seldom drink anymore.  But admittedly, I felt slammed.  And I found myself still pondering the conversation the next morning.

 

nj7471-397a-i1

 

Later in the day I found myself discussing this further with my youngest son, who simply stated that a lot of people hold themselves just minutes away from true happiness.  Instead of being their authentic self indulging in what they enjoy; it seems people commonly overwork their achievements, discourage themselves with what they are unable to do, and eventually lament over what might have been…

Now my son is quite naturally artistic, but he went on to describe himself as an artist with a lower case “a”.  Although his artistic bent is reflected in everything he touches, my son is not compelled to sell it to anyone.  So, he reasoned, he will never be viewed as a big “A” artist.

 

 

 

Dirty DogsWhat a stroke of insight!  I can be satisfied to be a small “w” writer and small “p” photographer.  Mine may not be THE BEST, but it sure is FUN.

Why, just look at who we shared the trails with this weekend!…

 

 

DSC_0019

Imagine the sound: clippety-clop…

DSC_0078

These two are regulars in our neighborhood…

DSC_0084

…Recognizable by the white legs.

DSC_0075

…Still more horses readying for their day out of the barn.

 

 

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

It’s Coming…

 

The mornings are getting colder, so ‘ole Jack threw down a delicate crystal design on my windshield.  It is dark on the way into work now, so the light shining onto the windshield made the frost glisten and dance.  My morning eyes would much rather gaze at the frost pattern than the road beyond…

 

First Low-Land Snow...

 

 

 

During the day we had a brief fall of snow in the bowl.  It was a delight to find a bit of a sprinkle on the trail for the evening dog walk.

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_9981

 

 

 

Of course it was not much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_9988

 

 

 

…But still, it is a sign of what is to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_9975

…Yes, that is a thin layer of snow at the Kerries’ feet.

Photo taken from corner of Campbell Airstrip Road & Tudor on our way home…

Late Day Sun...

OK.  It is true…

I look forward to snow like a child who looks forward to Christmas.

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

Good For The Soul…

 

 

It is amazing how much beauty can be found in the simple little things.

 It is amazing how much beauty can be found in the simple little things.

 

 

 

Aoife is loving life on the throne, being queen of all she sees...

 Aoife is loving life on the throne, being queen of all she sees…

 

 

 

Stirling wonders how anyone can live without a daily dog walk.  …For him there is no greater joy.

Stirling wonders how anyone can live without a daily dog walk. …For him there is no greater joy.

…For me either.

 

 

 

Louis Armstrong“What we play is life.”

-Louis Armstrong

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

Surprises…

 

 

Black Bear at the north end of the Campbell Airstrip…  [Sunday]

Black Bear at the north end of the Campbell Airstrip… [Sunday]

What surprises me most is the change in leaf carriage on the trees in the difference of a single day.  This morning we are waking up to 18 degrees.  …At this rate we will be snow within a week or two at most.

 

Moose on the west side of the Campbell Airstrip…  [Monday]

Moose on the west side of the Campbell Airstrip… [Monday]

 

 

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

More Questions Than Answers…

 

A few weeks back while I was playing with the Kerries in a small high field at the edge of our neighborhood, a disinterested man tore by us on his bicycle.  What made that all the more odd was that he disappeared down over the far hill that led to the marsh.  Knowing the area well, I quickly presumed he had set up camp.  There could be no other reason for his decisive ride into the brush that skirted the field.  …The Kerries watched without opinion.  So without another thought our play took us in our own direction.

So once again weeks later we opted to explore close to home in our limited stomping grounds – seasonally restricted by lowland.  And with an eye on the termination dust frosting the tippy tops of the higher distant mountains, I decided to wander down over the far hill that led to the marsh for a chance at clear view…

 

 

 

There are a few obvious things that can be said about Alaska.  Alaska is big.  Alaska is cold most of the year.  Alaska is home to animals that can kill you.  Alaska is before all else beautiful.

But there are also things that may be a surprise about Alaska; One being the number of homeless folk, many of which survive largely outside year round.

 

 

DSC_9736…So there was the narrow foot trail muddied up by a frequent bike, and I recalled the aloof man of weeks before.  I glanced around the woods expecting to see a low lying shelter.  But what I found was quite different.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_9734Just suppose for a moment we step inside another’s skin and see through their eyes.  Is there a more lovely morning view?  Though that first step out of bed could be a doozie.  But wait!  How did he get up in there the evening before?

Do we conclude a man is incompetent if he is homeless?  Why do we choose to live the way we do?…

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

Termination Dust…

 

The first snow capped the tops of our higher peaks this afternoon.  From there it will gradually move down the mountains and eventually pile up at our doors & windows, and roof – if we are lucky!

Termination Dust

 

When this swamp freezes over a whole new trail network of adventure will open up to the pack.  We will have our winter wonderland back!

Oh!  How I love this place…

 

DSC_9756

 

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

Fascinated by Fungi…

 

DSC_9633I am not planning to say anything particularly intelligent about Fungi.  I will leave that to the experts:  http://fantasticfungi.com

We see a bunch of mushrooms on our daily dog walk, and I have observed that they do not seem to last long once they reach their prime.  In fact within a day of prime they can completely disappear…

 

DSC_9623

 

DSC_9635

 

I'm Looking at You; You're Looking at Me...

Truly there is a whole other world carrying on mostly unobserved right there in plain view if only we take the time to look very closely…

 

 

Little Bitty Ones...

Little Bitty ‘shrooms…

 

Large Ugly 'shroom in our front yard...

Large Ugly ‘shroom in our front yard…

 

An up-turned 'shroom…  Perhaps kicked over by a Kerry dog...

An up-turned ‘shroom… Perhaps kicked over by a Kerry dog…

 

DSC_9686

My personal favorites…

 

DSC_9692

 

DSC_9621Life-it’s-own-self has a way of distracting us from our simple needs.  So on occasions I have actually forgotten how much better life is with a regular daily dose of being outdoors.  The Kerries have a way of keeping me honest with that need…

 

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

Photos – Saturday Dog Walk

 

O'Hanluan Aoife

O’Hanluan Aoife

 

 

DSC_9577

I get a kick out of the fungi.  That may be an odd thing to say, but these guys are everywhere.  And they come in so many different shapes and sizes, not to mention textures and colors.  They can be quite remarkable.

 

DSC_9547The Kerries have gotten pretty good at standing by while I am crawling around on the ground trying to get a good look at them.  We have had a few casualties in our process; up-turns and such.

 

 

 

Stirling O'Hanluan

Stirling O’Hanluan

 

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

One Pack… Two Pack… Red -Dale Pack… Kerry Blue Pack…

 

Though Mark & I used to enjoy the daily dog walk together, it seldom pans out anymore.  The Kerry Pack usually makes it home before the -Dales.  And most every evening one of us can be found diligently watching at the window for the -Dales to return.

 

Stirling stands post at the window waiting for the -dales to come home.

Stirling stands post at the window waiting for the -dales to come home.

 

Blue Fish

 

Life can be tricky, but we find our way…

 

 

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

Two Scrumptious Dog Breakfasts…

Two scrumptious dog breakfasts were set down on the floor before I left the room.  Now there are two empty bowls spare the little brown vitamin.  And there was one dog with a wet beard, the other high and dry on my bed.

 

Stirling's Bowl

Stirling’s Bowl

 

It seems the one so naturally athletic and lean has finally found his appetite!

 

Aoife's Bowl

Aoife’s Bowl

 

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

Aoife’s Eye…

I was walking along the trail with my two, thinking about how I had probably missed the best shots already.  For within perhaps five minutes we had stepped off the trail for a team of young runners in training, a horse with rider, and a two-dog bike-joring team…

So as I was inside-my-head considering what could top all of that, Aoife turned and stopped in her tracks facing back down the trail.  So I turned to look, and this is what we saw:

 

DSC_9507

…the MTNs had been at our backs…

 

DSC_9516

 

From there I quit thinking, and just wandered along behind my two.  This ugly mushroom caught my eye, so I reached again for the camera.

 

…But Aoife had a different view on the subject, and this is what she saw:

 

DSC_9527

 

“Good Eye Aoife.  Good Eye”

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

Courtesy on the Trails…

Anchorage has a leash law that is designed to protect everyone involved from unforeseen mishaps.  And for those who enjoy the free-for-all there are several off leash dog parks and trails.  Now the leash law is not strictly enforced, as it is understood by most everyone that the idea is to have your dog under your control at all times.  And to their credit, a lot of people walk their dogs off leash without a problem.  Their dogs know to “come” when called, as well as to “leave it”.

DSC_9421

For a myriad of reasons, I choose to walk my dogs on leash almost all of the time.  Today we chose some lesser traveled trails, which meant less distraction from others.  So we chased one another, zigged and zagged, jumped, barked and sang, splashed through the mud, and took time out along the way to take a picture.  …Yes, we had fun.

 

But eventually our walk took us back to the more populated trail, where this evening there was a man walking two large dogs off leash.  One of the two romped across the open divide to check us out.   It appeared the man believed that if he didn’t look over at us he wouldn’t be responsible for the actions of his dog.  So of course that meant I was left to handle the whole meet and greet, or whatever else unfolded.  It is no big deal unless it happens to you, which is why I carry the smaller holster for mace right beside the larger holster for bear spray.  This evening the mace remained untouched, but I envisioned sprinting across the open divide to enlighten the man who pretended not to notice…

 

On the other hand it really was a small part of the whole experience.  And as we neared the end of our daily dog walk we saw moose…

 

DSC_9438

 

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

Two Good Things…

 

1st: The Kerry Pack has gotten back into the habit of going out for the daily dog walk.

Stirling O'Hanluan could not be happier after standing on the grooming table all morning...

Stirling O’Hanluan could not be happier after standing on the grooming table all morning…

 

2nd: I am getting back into the habit of carrying my camera!

DSC_9338

Mtn view from mid-way down the Campbell Airstrip..

 

 

…Surely there will be good things to come.

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

High Wind Advisory…

 

Moose-Let One

As I left work, I seriously considered dropping by the house to pick up my camera.  But as it was pouring rain and I felt hungry, I thought better of it.  I really did not need to risk finding a reason to skip the walk.  But no sooner had I parked my van, I realized the error of my ways…

 

Moose-Let Two

 

Not one, but two young moose ventured into full view.  You could say they walked directly into our personal space.  As one of them shook, I watched the individual droplets of water spray from its mane that was all the more distinct in the rain.  And all I had was a cell phone…

 

 

Moosies from the trailOf course the Kerries kicked up a fuss in the van.  But given I am the one calling the shots, they agreed to quiet themselves lest we stay in there FOREVER.  So this little picture was taken from a completely different vantage point outside of the van and on the trail with Kerries minding their manners.   Oh but God it was SO HARD!!!

 

 

~~~

 

 

Image 1I have learned a few things about the trails.  You will seldom get the whole trail to yourself, yet the crowd thins exponentially with inclement weather.  …So today I was super-excited with the pending weather warning, because I figured the Kerry Pack would be truly alone.  …Not true.  There were still a few.

Perhaps it was just that the wind had yet to kick up.

But I have also noticed that those who travel the trails on a day like today are happy within their hearts, as the brief greetings that pass between are full of sweet glee….

 

 

What a contrast to my experience inside the gorgeous architectural superstructure where I spend my whole day!  My words to most everyone was in reference to this gorgeous day.  The replies ranged from a look of disbelief to short phrases like “yeah, for ducks”.

 

Image

 

 

…Let me try to remember to carry the camera.

 

 

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

A Reprieve From the Rain…

DSC_9165
DSC_9159…brings out a bunch of bike riders, dog walkers, not to mention young and old joggers.  But it is likely we will only have to share for just a moment, as the National Weather Service forecasts a high wind warning for tomorrow evening on through to Saturday morning.  So then once again, the trails will be all ours!!!

 

Stirling O'Hanluan

Stirling O’Hanluan

 

 

DSC_9184Our usual trek is perhaps 3 miles long.  We can approach the trail system from any number of angles, which always keeps it interesting and seemingly new.  And one must keep their eyes open to dodge a myriad of unexpected adventures…

 

 

Aoife indulges in one of her last dips of the season.

Aoife indulges in one of her last dips of the season.

 

 

MTN ViewA born New Englander, I will never quite get used to the fact Alaskan mountains stand on the east.  …These giants are quickly turning brown.   Soon the mountains will be topped with what Alaskan’s call “termination dust” which marks the inevitable end of the warmer seasons.

 

 

Stirling O'Hanluan

Stirling O’Hanluan

 

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

Thing One & Thing Two…

 

Raining again… or is that still?

Rain looks ugly from inside of a window.  But it’s quite nice with nothing in between.  It would be easy to skip the whole evening dog walk.  But imagine the mess Thing One & Thing Two could make if left on their own without their daily exercise…

 

 

Thing1_and_thing2

 

 

So really there is no reason to think about this further.  I just drive directly from work to the trailhead, and away we go!

Now the scene is changing rapidly here in Alaska.  Just two or three days ago my camera was met with the fading end of season look; all rather unimpressive.  Now the sparse canopy of a my favorite birch grove is pale greens and golds, and the tight ground cover below has turned to a pinky rust that shimmers under the rain making it all the much more delightful.  …But I hesitate to carry my camera in the rain.

Really if is wasn’t for my Kerries, I may have missed it.  But they love their evening dog walk rain or shine…

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

“Good, No Bark”

To say life is back to normal would be overly optimistic.  Aoife is at the height of her season.  The boys have one thing on their minds.  Our home is run like a game of musical chairs, but making sure there are enough seats for all the players.  …We already know what happens when we end up with loose doggies.

Poor Aoife has been restricted to the confines of our home and protected back yard, for everyone’s safety.  …For in a story left untold – while Stirling & I were in Maine recently – Mark and the rest of our pack went to the Tank Trail for an off-leash dog walk where they encountered a brown bear.  These beasts are miserably big, and dangerous.  Mark was quite convinced the brown bear was drawn in by the fragrant smell of our sweet girl.

 

On the other hand, my left forearm is out of the splint and dressings.  It’s not particularly pretty, but completely unnoticeable with a long sleeve shirt.  And I have been up and able to take Stirling out on a couple long dog walks. Daily exercise is a huge help in venting off some of that extra energy, especially in the face of a world full of luscious pheromones.

DSC_9112Today our walk was largely uneventful, except Stirling & I walked up on a moose munching lunch with her spring calf.  They are not known for their love of dogs, and moose are especially edgy where their babies are concerned.  So this required a bit of a go around through the woods.  I could not be more thankful that Stirling understands and respects the command “no bark”.

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

Trouble In Paradise…

Unadulterated straight talk from a one-handed hunt & peck…

 

 

Sunday evening – dog bite L forearm

 

 

Monday morning – Urgent Care

  • Redness outlined & dated; Photos of injury
  • Dressed arm placed in a splint
  • Antibiotic injection in rump & oral Augmentin
  • Work release for Monday & Tuesday
  • Planned recheck Tuesday morning

 

 

Tuesday morning – Urgent Care for recheck

  • Clean/dressed wounds
  • Referral to hand specialist
  • Work release for Wednesday thru Friday.

Tuesday early afternoon – Hand Specialist

  • X-Rays w/o fracture
  • Prescribed additional antibiotic Doxycycl & Epsom Salt baths BID
  • Recheck scheduled Friday morning

Tuesday evening – Home on Rest

  • 1st Epsom Salt soak in bucket
  • Ibuprofen continued to be my friend

 

 

Wednesday – Home on Rest

  • Explosive diarrhea
  • Epsom Salt baths in bucket x2 (forearm, of course)
  • Silver lining in cloud: 1st shower.  Wounds remain open & draining.  Tapered back on Ibuprofen.

 

 

Thursday – Home on Rest

  • Persistent diarrhea
  • General aches & pains from too much bed-time added to specific aches & pains
  • Persistent question: how to rearrange my life for zero % chance recurrence
  • Silver lining in cloud: Tolerated OOB all day!  Returning appetite.  Sense of humor grossly intact

 

 

 

DSC_9121

 

 

 

Moral of Story; aka WARNING: DO NOT keep two intact male terriers and an intact bitch within the casual home environment. This may quite probably require a serious kennel setup.

 

Instinct trumps training.

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

Mudder Dog…

 

IMG_2171

 

 

Now, I can admit I am more of a winter girl.  I have nothing against the sun or an occasional hot day, or even the rain.  …But winter is a much cleaner season!

 

 

 

Aoife in Heaven

But someone in our pack loves the mud.  And a rainy day in August would be one of her favorites…

 

 

 

 

 

Mud Goddess...

Mud Goddess…

 

Today we returned to the Tank Trail.  It is an off-leash venue for dogs, but we avoid it most of the time as it draws a healthy crowd.  But 8:00AM on a Sunday in the rain, we had the trail pretty much to ourselves.  …Although we did walk up on a momma moose with her young-un, and that was a little tricky.

 

 

On the way home, Aoife rides shotgun…

...Day Dreaming about her adventures

…Day Dreaming about her adventures

 

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

It’s Summer in Alaska!

This has been a gorgeous summer day; 63 degrees with a nice breeze that kept the mosquitoes at bay for us while on the daily dog walk.  We watched a fairly sizable black bear at the eastern end of the Campbell Airstrip just minding it’s own business.  And we saw a moose grazing in a open area on our way home.

 

Life is good.

 

 

(Where is the camera when you need it?)

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

First Spring Dip…

1st Spring Dip

 

 

 

 

Yes, that is left-over snow crust at the edge of the creek.

Even so, our temps have been up in the high 70s.

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_7858

 

 

 

To my recollection this is the first year we have had green popping out this early.  Usually this doesn’t happen until early June…

 

 

 

 

 

Aoife in Heaven

 

 

Nothing better than a good dip after a long warm trail walk.  The trails are still muddy in places, so the clear creek water provides a nice rinse before we get back into the van.

Aoife is in heaven.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSC_7898

 

 

Let’s face it, you never know what you might find under there…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

I Have a Dream…

…Please may there be one sacred community that ascends politics…

 

il_570xN.514311018_trtk

 

Let it start with us; those who know first hand the grace of the Kerry Blue Terrier.

We could be as awesome as our dogs!  …Sure, we can get on our toes and spar…  But in the end, let us model good kerry character; let us shake hands and share a bone.

Let it be that for us, the good of our breed will always trump self-interest.

 

 

 

 

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

Spring in Alaska

 

Our Kerry pack had the best romp today.  We took the long retractable leashes, and I’m sure the two tripled my mileage.  I got dizzy at the chase circle as it took Stirling at least 4 rounds to catch Aoife.  Aoife is a power house when it comes to athletic sprinting.  Stirling is no sloth.

The trails are muddy, and we can’t go out without bringing back a bunch of souvenirs.  For that reason this is not my favorite time of year in Alaska, even though the warmth and sun feels so refreshing.

 

 

DSC_7779

So they spend a lot of time in the tub, and on the table.

 

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

Embracing Change…

My interest in Stirling had started several years before with a trip to the midwest to pick up my first sweet Kerry, Aoife.  I had decided upon Aoife before realizing there were plans in the make to breed Stirling’s grandfather Brogan.  Now Brogan was a handsome silver stud that melted my heart from the first moment I laid eyes on him.  But of course being the silly woman that I am, I felt completely bonded with Aoife even before she took her first breath.  So I stuck with my original plan, and picked up my dear little girl in the summer of 2009.  Within a month or two Brogan’s litter was whelped, and from that came Picasso.  And like his sire, Picasso grew to be a fabulous silver stud.  …And in due course of time Picasso sired Stirling O’Hanluan.

Our life has changed so much since the arrival of Stirling.  For one thing I was in Maine, away from our pack, spending precious time with my mother during her last days when news of Stirling’s whelp-day was announced.  And though the news of his arrival paled in importance to everything else that was going on for my family at the time; it will always be a treasured part of Stirling’s past that I could share it with my mother as I did.

DSC_5784

 

 

 

Anyway, …As to life’s changes; Yes, there are many.

 

DSC_9541_2

 

Jaspers in Deep

Jaspers in Deep

…Once upon a time there was a pack of terriers that roamed harmoniously through the woods of Alaska with their monkeys.  There was a gnarly male Airedale who was the uncontested pack leader.  There was the youngest dark-Airedale runt who thought she was queen-of-all-she-sees.  And the middle pack-child was a small Airedale who seemed to be the cross between a sweet tiger-lily and a hand-me-down-rose.  …Anyway all three terriers knew their place in the pack, and the pack was happy.  And the pack knew it was a pack-of-dales.

…Then one day the pack-mother-monkey went away for a while, and later returned with a very small terrier.  Oddly enough this forceful little fellow resembled the queen-of-all-she-sees, and was three times more in-your-face.  At first there didn’t seem to be much anyone could do about it; given the little pecker-head was so tiny.  But over time the boy grew, and this one was not settled with his role in the pack.  …So things had to change.

 

Me & My Jog-Joring Team

Me & My Jog-Joring Team

 

 

Ramming Down a Hill...

Ramming Down a Hill…

 

 

Jog-Joring Down the Power Line

Jog-Joring Down the Power Line

 

Someone in our pack is always on leash, which has made necessary a whole new mode of pack exercise.  We call it Jog-Joring, and it puts pink cheeks on the monkey!

 

"The Mother-Monkey"

“The Mother-Monkey”

 

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

Cold Returns to Alaska…

Alaska’s temperatures in January hit record breaking highs while the Kerries and I were freezing our biscuits  off in Florida’s record breaking lows.  In fact, I had considered making a case to dispel the myth that Florida is warmer than Alaska.

But finally our temperatures have dropped, this morning to the single digits…

…Now if it would only snow

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

What Are We Do’n?

 

“The important thing in life is not to triumph but to compete.”  -Pierre de Coubertin

 

Sunday Morning: 6:30AM, January 5th

…After hours of near-sleepless travel our Kerry Pack made its way into the Orlando International Airport (MCO).  All things considered, the trip had been uneventful with a bit of rough turbulence at the start followed by hours of half-sleep in the semi-seated near-paralized position.  Finally we were reunited at baggage claim.  Aoife & Stirling were dazed and confused, but cooperative – and believe it or not, quiet.  Each had made the 13 hours without soiling their crates, and they held on for still another length of time while I secured our rental vehicle.

I had planned to rent a mini-van and have the seats removed, but the Alamo representative looked at me as if I had three-heads.  She informed me of the fortune it would cost me if I chose to tamper with the seats, and invited me to rent from the Dollar Rentals [her hand motioned to my right].  …Now this was no big deal really, except I had the good fortune of securing a porter to assist me with my travel lot, and he was patiently waiting with my precious cargo.  The Dollar Rental line was long, so out we went to the Alamo lot to off load the porter’s cart.

At least a half-hour and 3 vehicles later we were ready to give up.  Neither one of us could figure out how to flatten the seats in these vehicles, and at the best configuration we literally had a large crate sticking half out the side door.  I really should have grabbed my camera, but I sensed I was pressing my luck with this porter.  He had gotten himself into far more than he ever bargained for, I’m sure.  So we unloaded with the intent of my joining the Dollar Rental line, while relieving the porter of his duty.  But as it were another person came along and showed us how to flatten the seats, and so we parted with our mission accomplished.

But talk about tired…  And although I could go on and on about how we’ve spent the last three days, I won’t.  At least not at this time.

 

But in the meantime, back in Alaska the -dales have found adventure of their own:

Image 2

Image 7

 

Image 3

Image 1

 

Image 6

Image 5

Image 10

 

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Archives

New Year’s Day 2014

The Beginning to No Where...This was a beautiful day.  And I am grateful for this one day, though it  has followed so many before and will surely be followed by so many after…  We are truly blessed.

 

Our Winter ParadiseWe are blessed to live in one of the least touched regions left in our country.  And we are blessed to have one another with so much in common; and the joy for the simple pleasures in life…

 

 

Good Company...Each day must be held gently, carefully.  …As if it were our last.  But I can tell you; if I live to be one hundred thirteen, this is the visual memory I hope to see behind my settled eyelids.

 

 

 

Our Jasper is getting a bit older.  Not old I say, but just old enough to find us good company in the face of every earthly smell.

Jasper

 

 

 

 

rss
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail