What’s Been Going on?
It is always good to look at where you have come to know where you need to go next. Like most kennels, life is constantly changing and plans ever-evolving at KOAH. Last season was a huge success with all the obstacles that we overcame. Every dog that trained ran and completed the race they started. Getting all these 1 & 2-year-olds across the finish line was no easy feat.
Young dogs try one’s patience, like that of kindergarteners. Comical enough with the year of Covid, I found myself literally teaching my son kindergarten from home and then going outdoors to teach the second class of youngins in a similar manner. I found myself like a teacher trying to ensure they knew when to run, climb, walk, be nice to their neighbor, eat, and sleep. How to behave in checkpoints, passing other teams, and seeing so many other humans and dogs. They were easily distracted, to say the least. Somehow we crossed rivers & streams, climbed mountains, plunged down rock faces, turned around a few times, crawled through valleys, and made our way to each finish line. I am proud of their accomplishments.
So, what have we been up to since spring???? Since the glory days of summer rolled in they have enjoyed basking in the sun and romping around the yard. They have an endless supply of bones and treats from amazing companies like AlaSkins . AlaSkins is a local Alaskan company that provides amazing natural premium fish dog treats. Our dogs know the rattle of the bags when we bring them out! The humans have enjoyed the off-season to do some of our family favorites; Spartan races, baseball, fishing, camping, and we even found time to go to the beach!
Pups to Yearlings
As spring came upon us, we had 8 raring puppies that were 10months old going crazy to be part of the fun. They had watched their kennel mates come and go on all fall and winter, and they were ready to be part of the fun. The pups have now had their first birthday and are officially the 2021-2022 yearlings crew. The pups all had their days of glory and were put in a team and stepped into harness for the first time this spring. Each pup was able to run 3-4 times before the snow melted. We quickly started learning even more about each of their personalities. They are typical siblings, just like my own children, sometimes they get on each other’s nerves. So, naturally, some like to be around one another, and others prefer to be alone or with an adult.
These are some of the moments mushers enjoy the most. These pups we have raised their entire life are now getting to harness and watch them do what they were created to do. As a lab loves to chase a ball, a sled dog loves to be put on a harness. The first time they are harnessed, all they want is pull, pull, pull. We, as their coach, help to show them which direction to go. The energy they bring is contagious and lifts a person’s spirit just by watching the joy they emulate.
This puppy litter was born in the year 2020-one many will never forget. As a nurse at the forefront, I wanted something positive to speak of for this year. So their names are as such; Love, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness, Control, Faith, and of course, we had to throw one to remind us of the year, and his name is what other than Covid. This litter (Fruits of the Spirit) was bred from SP Kennels’ rock starts mother Razz and father, Jefe. We are excited for their upcoming year! Watch out for this crazy crew coming down the trail.
Welcome to the team
Over the past few months, as SP Kennel has been retiring, we have been privileged to get some of the best dogs on the planet literally. Welcoming from their home to ours; QT, Bruno, Jefe, Razz, Gravy, and Bill. Gravy and Bill already have siblings of theirs at KOAH (Flash and Munchie) and were happy to reunite with them. Gravy is such a handsome fella that is delighted to be right next to his sister Wonder Woman. Razz is the mother to our pups from the past two summers and was sure to say hello to all her offspring. QT, Jefe, and Bruno are siblings themselves with multiple races under their belts and are enthusiastic to bring their knowledge to the crew.
Kennel on a Hill is Moving
Life is always throwing curveballs! We just have to watch carefully and learn how and when to hit them! Early in the spring, we learned that Kennel on a Hill would have to move due to our dog team’s zoning issues. The housing market is not currently one we planned on being in. Trying to find a home that met our family needs and allowed for a kennel of 24+ dogs these days proved to be almost impossible. We searched, viewed, and toured more properties than I ever care to again. As summer progressed, we started feeling a little like crunch time may be coming, but in God’s timing, as usual, a new home came on the market that “checked” all the boxes. So, we are happy to announce, Kennel on a Hill is MOVING to the other side of Fairbanks in the Salcha area. There are many acres and room for our kiddos and pups to play! We will have our work cut out for sure, but hope to be in just in time for fall training to start.
Race Plans-IDITAROD bound!
We have goals and plans. Without a plan, you are just endlessly wandering in life with no purpose. I am blessed to know what mine is! Every single day, you must take one step toward what brings happiness to your soul. A BIG step in the direction I have been trying to make for years is to run the Iditarod. Life has taken us in many directions, but we SIGNED up to run Iditarod 2022!!! Kennel on a Hill will head to the starting line at the beginning of March! Every single day until March, we will be reaching toward the goal of competing in “The Last Great Race.” It will not be easy, and we know life will throw all kinds of crazy our way, but that’s who we are- Kennel on a Hill- where adventures begin. We plan to also run a few other preliminary races prior to the “big one.” Stay tuned for more on that.
Never Give Up
Work hard for what you want, don’t quit, keep moving. Life is never easy or fair. Make the first step, then the next, and before you know it, you will be heading in the direction you have always dreamed about. Almost every single day we are met with obstacles that we have to navigate. Stay level-headed, and just keep moving forward!
Much love, KOHA-where adventures begin