Monday, April 2, 2012

Back to Blogging

Hi all! First, allow me to explain my hiatus.
            After working hard this winter, Morgan and I were able to take a week off and head to Salt Lake City to be with our friends. It was a fun week filled with concerts and movies and electrical heating and a lot of civilization.
Once we got back, it was time to say goodbye to Craig. Craig came here in October to work through our busiest time, and now that spring is upon us, he’s left to explore other things. Specifically, he’ll be exploring the entire west coast of the United States, as he’ll be hiking 2000+ miles from Mexico to Canada along the Pacific Crest Trail. This is yet another leg on Craig’s Great Adventure, having spent two years teaching for the Peace Corps in Ghana before coming to work here on the ranch (you should know that Craig had never seen snow before mastering the art of mushing).  
Craig taught me more than I’ve been able to retain since I’ve gotten here, not least of which was our first meeting in which he showed me the intricacies of running a snow blower. We’ll miss his uncanny knack for solving our everyday ranch puzzles, his tendency to giggle at cat videos, his undeniable charisma whilst performing karaoke, and of course his constant sense of humor. Happy trails Craig.
Once we’d tearfully sent Craig on his way, it was time to host our first ever Learn to Mush Experience. Stacie, Drew, and Caryn came out for five days along with Stacie’s malamute, Jasmine, who was a working dog here once upon a time. We couldn’t have asked for a better trio to be our guinea pigs. Over the course of the week, they were involved with feeding and taking care of the dogs, one on one training, driving the team on quads and on sleds, and even helped out around the barn for a spell.  Through it all, they were good natured and enthusiastic, and I’d imagine all of us would be more than happy to host them for a repeat visit.
At the same time that Stacie, Drew, and Caryn were staying, we also had a different group of guests. Twila and her friend Luana Reed teamed up to rescue 30 Great Pyrenees from a farm that were at risk of being put down. Altogether we had 11 staying in our barn for a few nights, and now that 3 have been given to homes, we have eight left. One, a puppy, has already graduated to guardian dog status, and she’s been learning quickly from veterans Zaire and Dolly. I picked the name Ivy for her, since she stuck to the wall her first few days here. Now she runs up to us every morning, tail wagging. We’re hoping for similar results from the other Pyrs: they all came to us deathly afraid of strangers and certainly confused with their sudden change in environment.  
As an extra bonus, Kinky had her litter of puppies while our guests were here! Ever gifted with her timing, Kinky went into labor on Friday evening, and by late Saturday night we had three big boys and three big girls. They’re now two days old, and as soon as I’m done writing I’ll be helping Twila assign their names (pictures are sure to follow). Mom is doing great, and her pups are all strong and wiggly.
So, with all that explained, I hope you’ll forgive me for my break from blogging. Until next time! (Which should be much sooner.)
-          Peter 

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