Monday, February 1, 2010

The Freight Train Eight

Begat by Luna and Tenzing on April 2, 2005, these eight pups were just the beginning for Snowhook Kennel, and were the “first” of many things. The first dew claws cut, the first puppy pen built, the first harnesses chewed. Some are named after friends, family, and some old guitar pickers.

This litter runs like a freight train. They are strong, they are powerful, they are steady.

Jackson is afflicted with Hyper-Attention-Seeking-Disorder. He is not shy about requesting attention, belly rubs, or conversation. Jackson is best known in the kennel for standing on his hind legs and clapping his paws together to make sure he doesn’t go unnoticed. Action Jackson is nothing if not a happy dog…a very happy dog.

On the gang line, Jackson puts his game face on and sets a very steady pace.

Song: Just Can’t get Enough by Depeche Mode and Get Rhythm by Johnny Cash

Position: swing, team, wheel
* Contender for the 2010 Iditarod team

Named after the late, great Jerry Garcia this grizzly guy is nothing but a gentle giant. Like a baby, he likes to put everything in his mouth; if you’re not paying attention, he might snag one of your gloves and keep it for his own. He usually has a collection of fist sized rocks, gloves and booties in his dog house. Garcia is very, very laid back.

Photo Similar: Garcia looks like a grizzly bear cub

Song: New Speedway Boogie preformed by the Grateful Dead

Position: swing, team, wheel

Only a very special dog could share a name with Rebecca’s father, and at times it seems that they share the same personality. He is mentally and physically tough. Coach is a thoughtful, gentle soul who loves attention, playing, having fun, and taking care of puppies.

In 2006 we came home to find that Coach had pulled out of his collar and was loose. Fortunately, he didn’t cause any trouble, rather he was sleeping in the sled bag curled around five young pups who had escaped from the puppy pen; he did this for several days in a row.

Song: Learning to Fly preformed by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and No One is to Blame by Howard Jones

Position: swing, team, wheel

Named after the musher Rebecca bought her first dog sled from, Bishop is a solid dog with an old soul. If something is wrong in the kennel, or a bear or moose is nearby, Bishop sounds the alarm. He is his brother’s keeper...a role he takes very seriously.

As a yearling, Bishop showed promise as a leader. Early one morning, at the beginning of a run the team was hit by a speeding car. Annabelle and Bishop, both in lead were hit and each suffered broken bones. Since the accident Bishop has been content to run in any position but lead though he still responds to commands.

Song: Uncle John’s Band by the Grateful Dead

Position: swing, team, wheel
*Contender for the 2010 Iditarod team

Named after the Red Headed Stranger, Willie is a big hearted dog. If you are near Willie and feel the ground start to shake---watch out and brace yourself---Willie loves to jump into your arms at full speed and often without warning. At nearly 70 pounds, that’s a lot of dog to catch. Willie has thick velvety ears, and loves to clown in the kennel and on the trail.

Song: Mamas, Don’t let your Babies Grow up to be Cowboys by Willie Nelson

Favorite Thing in Life: Getting a belly rub when we take a break on the trail.

Position: Retired. Willie is epileptic, and now will enjoy a career as comic relief in the kennel and a correspondent on the blog.

Willie passed on in January of 2009. He is beyond missed.

Sharing a name, fair features and the fun loving personality of one of Rebecca’s closest friends, this girl is nothing but sweet. She loves to run, play with her neighbors in the kennel and is one of the many cheerleaders on the team.

Song: Forever in Blue Jeans by Neil Diamond

Position: swing, team, wheel
*Contender for the 2010 Iditarod team

Seemingly the underdog of this litter, Natty surprised us as a leader during the 2006 – 2007 season. She is such a sweet girl, but lacking in confidence. Slowly, but surely she has become more self assured. She is the Mary Jo Shively (think Designing Women) of the team. Natty loves passing the time playing with Jackson and Noel.

Song: I am Woman preformed by Martha Wainwright or Helen Reddy

Position: lead, swing, team, wheel
*Contender for the 2010 Iditarod team

Full of personality and energy this girl is the most spirited cheerleader on the trail. She does not like to quit. Savannah is happy just about anywhere at anytime.

Nickname: Savanabanana

Song: Every Little Thing she does is Magic by The Police

Position: swing, team, wheel