{Tsuga Siberians}

November 14, 2005 - “Puppies”

Gila checks in on her pups

Momma Mugs

Ever raised a puppy? One is a fair amount of work and a complete change in your daily routine. Well, this fall we had 12 puppies. Gila and Mugs both delivered healthy litters of 5 and 7, respectively, in late August and early September. We thought we were pretty well prepared, but the shock of that much puppy training (and poop) is kind of overwhelming. We still haven’t quite recovered, but they are our future and our hope of running the legendary 1000 mile races in Alaska in a couple of years. We’ve got big plans for these pups.

Gila and Mugs were both bred to our Jim, way back around July 4th, in the heat of summer. We had hoped they would have come in to their heat cycle months earlier, but we couldn’t wait another whole year and we knew they could still recover from whelping and nursing to be members of the race team this year. The plan was to keep 10 of the pups and add them to our current pool of 3 and 4 year olds to make a 20 or so dog group to train for an attempt at the Iditarod or Yukon Quest in 2008. Then Mugs surprised us by having more pups than we expected and we can’t begin to separate ourselves from any of them. So we still have all 12 and that’s a whole lot of work, every day.

Gila’s pups very much resemble the sire, Jim. Jim was from our only litter prior to these two, way back in 1998, and named the song, “Runaway Jim”. Jim is an amazing animal and THE dog of the kennel. All of these pups are also named for songs. Reba is smart, noisy and a mini-Squiggle, her aunt. Hood reminds us exactly of his dad when he was a pup. Wilson is the other male and a real wise guy. Eliza and Esther must be identical twins and I hope those puppy collars show up soon so I can tell them apart more easily.

Mugs was named for an alpinist and mountaineer of the highest order, Mugs Stump. Her puppies are all named for routes or mountains that the late Mugs Stump first climbed or was otherwise associated with, as this litter clearly takes after its mother. Sue was very nervous when Isis was born as I wasn’t yet home from work yet, the only puppy I didn’t see delivered. Merlin is going to look like his uncle, Stump, and a pretty funny story about how he got his name. Trip is quick as a whip and just as sassy. Cassin had the nickname “woodchuck” for a while, thankfully she grew out of that! Lotus is a sweet, smart little girl. Logan is the other male and as the big guy of the group, he’s always got something to say. Moon rounds out the crew with her playful and a bit sneaky nature.

The puppies will be a huge addition to TeamTsuga in many ways. We hope they will add a new consistency to our team in the years to come and give us the numbers necessary to train for and run THE big races. The commitments to them are large, but we hope the rewards will be as well.

Mug's pups at Camp.

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