Good Morning Erhard, Good Morning Herta,
The new addition to your family is simply beautiful. I am very glad to see that all went well. Congratulations to the proud parents and of course to "OMA" and "OPA".
Out here in New-Brunswick, everything is fine. We had a reasonable tourist season, considering the recession. They keep telling us that it's over but I'm not too sure about that. When even the Chinese are putting their people out of work, this does not inspire much confidence. But that's a totally different story...
I've been keeping busy, expanding on the business of Baisley Lodges. I've added the final extension to the "Bunkhouse" and will work in there over the winter, trying to get it ready for next summer. I also moved the "Trapper's Camp" to a location on top of a mountain, the balcony hanging over a "small cliff". The "Outpost" as it will be called is located 20 kilometers deeper in the bush and will be a great place to go with the dogs and also a great place to relax and even do some writing. The greatest thing about the place is that the view from up there is simply amazing plus as an added bonus there is no electricity or running water - just pure wilderness and a lot of peace and quiet. Mosqua and I were sitting on the balcony and admiring the scenery and you know what? I don't really understand why I've been so lucky. I'm not a religious man but for some strange reason, it's like somebody is looking after me. I'll have to keep that in the back of my mind. Somewhere, I'll have to return the favor, some day.
As for the dogs, well there has been a few changes in the barn. I had to say goodbye to my old friend, "Mr Tibbs". He had reached the end of the road and was suffering a bit too much. I took him to the veterinarian and had him put to sleep. A good friend of mine, the "Vet" didn't spare the dosage and he simply fell asleep in my arms, never to wake up. I buried him alongside his old friends, the other sled dogs and planted a spruce tree on top of his grave. A simple gesture just to remind me that he'll provide nutrition and energy to that tree so to help it grow for years to come. So, really he's not gone. He's just transformed himself to possibly live another century.
One of my favorite girls, "Snooky" is also gone. After serious contemplation, I finally decided to have her adopted. She moved this summer to southern USA where she will be doing what she enjoys best. She'll be able to run wild and fast on the sprint circuit down there. You see, "Snooky" didn't care too much for the long distance stuff nor did she care for the -20 Celsius temperature. So some good friends from down there needed a good mature leader so I let her go. I have to mention that if it wasn't for the fact that she went to a great family that will take really good care of her, she would still be with us.
"Sky the new Guy" also moved in. He's "Oumak's" brother and was given to me. Just like my grey leader, "Sky" has great work ethics and will be a great addition to the team this winter. He has serious attitude issues and doesn't trust humans. I guess when you've been tossed around from one place to another (I'm his fifth owner), it's kind of hard to put your confidence in the person that feeds you. Oh I guess with a lot of patience and a bit of caring, he will come along. He's been with me for two months now and he's making a lot of progress. Just the fact that he now runs loose on the property without running away, says it all. He's decided to make this his home.
As for the other dogs, well "Leonard" is in harness and in full training mode. He wants to come out running everyday but I have to be the parent and pace out the training. He's able and willing but he's still a puppy and is still growing. Better to take my time and build his strength and endurance over two years. Too many good dogs end up permanantly injured because we push them too hard when they're young.
The rest of the "Baisley Mob", well they're happy that summer is over and that we're back on the road. It's nice to see that they haven't forgotten anything over the last seasons and know what they have to do. The "Kid" has conceded his Alpha Dominant position to "JR". I guess he figured that my young white leader has worked hard enough over the last two years to earn his respect. Besides, "JR" kicked his ass a couple of times and pinned him down in a submissive position, so I think the message was sent loud and clear as to who is the "Leader of the Pack".
This season, we're running the Quebec Mid-Distance Circuit. This is a five race/ total accumulated points system where you run and even if you end up in the middle of the pack, you stand a good chance of finishing on top (Sort of resembles the formula one system of points).
At the end of the season, the "show down" is in Fort-Kent, Maine where we will run a "100 kms" race. It should make for an interesting winter. Who knows, I might even find great material to write about. So as you can see, we're staying busy but not really working.
Stay in touch and we will talk more later.
Your Canadian Friend,