In the last blog posts, I told you a lot about us and our life up here in the north and how we deal with the crisis.
Our dogs are not impressed at all by our worries.
And thanks to your help, their everyday life did not have to change significantly yet.
A huge thank you to everyone who has helped us so far. You make it possible for our dogs to live the life they are used to …
And what it looks like now in spring-winter , get some impressions…
It is 4:00 a.m. and the sun is rising over Miekojärvi. The first dog heads look curiously out of the huts. Here and there the first four-legged friends stretch and yawn.
-5 degrees Celsius – perfect temperature from a husky point of view to attract attention and wake me up for a tour.
It doesn’t take long and the first howl can be heard. After all, it wouldn’t be huskies if not everyone gradually joined in.
It’s getting light, it’s nice and cold, my dogs want to move!
If there is no one to be seen who answers the call (since I am sitting and working diligently at the desk), they like to play tag in the kennels before dozing another round until breakfast.
After the second coffee, at 7.30 a.m. at the latest, I take my first break in front of the computer and mix the meat soup. After that, I walk to the kennel with two full buckets of meat soup and I can clearly hear the joyful anticipation for breakfast. Some (Heine, Goethe and Bamse – same family) bark especially loud – not that I forget them!
Every dog gets a large soup ladle (approx. 800ml) filled with chicken, beef or rumen (it stinks tremendously – but is super delicious!) and enriched with a vitamin-mineral mix with colostrum, MSM and water.
Duplo and Numit, my soup specialists, always knock their bowls of meat soup over (very reliably!), so that they can get to the meat without having to drink the “annoying” water. Except for Rubin and Pearl, everyone loves the soup and everything is slopped away. Only Rubin and Pearl first make long teeth and clearly state that they would rather prefer something else before they start eating slowly.
After breakfast, everyone either lies down in the hut or on the tables in the sunshine for a little digestive nap.
8:30 a.m., Zoe, our volunteer, comes to the “Scoop the poo” and, armed with a bucket and shovel, collects the piles in the kennels and in the playground.
Afterwards there are extensive petting and cuddling units during which it can be determined directly whether everyone has started the day well and is doing fine. The bowls are then filled with water – much to the delight of Flash, because she loves water games. As soon as her bowl is filled, she knocks it over or pushes it through the kennel until there is no drop left. Thunder, on the other hand, regularly tramples the bowl with joy. The result is the same: the water can be refilled again.
Numit, however, has the most interesting habit with his bowl. Either he does the trick of putting the first pile of the day exactly in the bowl or he hides his legacy under his bowl. What does he want to tell me?
After the morning routine of feeding and cleaning, I let the seniors into the free run. The oldies don’t play as wildly anymore and therefore there is less risk of stomach twisting.
The Latin name for a stomach rotation is Torsio ventriculi. That it is possible in dogs at all is because their stomach is not connected to their abdominal cavity. Instead, it is only held by straps and is therefore very flexible.When the stomach is turned, the four-legged friend’s stomach rotates lengthways on its own axis.
As a result, its entrance is closed, air can no longer escape and nerves and blood vessels are pinched. Consequently, there is an insufficient supply of blood and oxygen to the body, which results in a fatal circulatory collapse after just a few hours.
(translated from https://www.bellfor.info/magendrehung-beim-hund)
While the oldies sniff pleasantly through the free run, I distribute medication if needed. If dogs are in poor health or have diarrhoea, they get something to strengthen the immune system.
Then the first group of “young savages” is finally allowed to enter the playground. I change the group composition every now and then. It is important to me that they find a nice and positive way to play with each other and not to get too wild. I leave a maximum of 6 dogs unattended on the 3500 m2 at the same time. If I stay with them, I often increase the group size! When I think about who is allowed to run with whom, I always consider the heat of my girls, puberty peculiarities of the young dogs, wisdom of the aged and the youthful high spirits.
I make 1 – 2 group changes by noon and there is always a loud “hello”. Everyone wants to be the first to get out of the kennel and into the free run – no matter where, the main thing is to be the first one.
For me, this is a good opportunity to train their patience. My command “all 4 paws belong on the floor” is the most discussed. But I have patience – much to the annoyance of my particularly impatient four-legged friends, who bounce to attract attention.
Dog training in spring-winter
In last 4 weeks, in the mornings I have been working very disciplined on the website, the call for donations and the search for a solution for the future of my dogs. But in the afternoons, I can finally get out – then there are only “dogs, dogs, dogs”.
Depending on the temperature, snow conditions or energy level of my huskies, there are scooter trips on the lake with free running and fitness training (link to video) or individual training. When I work with the dogs individually, I am always concerned with observing the dog closely to find out which kind of training they need. It’s often about concentration, focus, or the ability to relax more easily. I do this with line work, training with boxes or by taking them along to master new situations with them.
Manicures and pedicures are also part of the program every two weeks. My 33 dogs have 132 paws and 528 claws. it takes time until all paws are checked and the claws are cut.
Laser treatment of injuries or complaints (currently Bounty with her injured paw and Quartz with his chronic tonsillitis get treatment every day) and, of course, massages against tension (Finn has a lot and often “back” and enjoys the treatments very much) are also part of the regular wellness program.
Dinner time & more training
Before we humans have dinner, there are salmon (approx. 1 head) or dry food (approx. 200g different types – racing team and seniors) for the dogs.
Zoe does her “Scoop the Poo” round again, fills up water (Flash throws it over again, Thunder jumps around and Zoe fills it up again ?) and everyone chills contentedly in her kennels in the evening sun.
As long as the temperatures allow it, we still train on the frozen lake. When the ice is not thick enough anymore, I switch to the training car for the season-end training session without snow, but instead on the forest trails. This training lasts until around midsummer.
We practice routines (tightening and unclamping, putting on and taking off booties, taking breaks, eating snacks, pulling blankets on and off, …), sometimes driving out overnight and I like to stay with the dogs in the forest, making a campfire and we practice sleeping in different places.
It is important to me that my 8seasonsHuskies can get to know as much as possible and have time to get used to new situations.
It is also part of the daily activities of my dogs to watch very closely who or what is in the air, on the lake or on the street. Our kennel is on the only road that leads through Miekojärvi. And of course, my dogs report as soon as something or someone comes over, whereby the volume always reveals who or what it could be. Walkers are announced at most with 3-4 simple “wuffs”, whereas a walker with a dog is already announced more loudly and reported by everyone.
When a person with a dog comes jogging along our property, the barking gets louder, but also shorter. Joggers are just gone faster. If a dog comes along with a kick bike, it will be super loud. But also, super short, because kick bikes are super-fast! When we get visitors, whether at the front of the house or directly in the kennels, everyone is interested, but usually doesn’t bark – unless, of course, what happens promises fun, play and exercise. Everything else is viewed with curiosity, such as our postman, but not barked at.
Who is the noisy one?
At night, a few of our dogs are always allowed to stay with us in our cabin. When Johanna and I go to bed, all the other huskies howl again to say “Good night!”. And not only then. Whenever a member leaves the area of the pack or shortly after breakfast, they howl together.
Bozita (the most beautiful voice in the pack) and Pearl are usually the first before everyone else joins in. Maybe Bozita knows how beautiful her howl is and therefore always starts. KitKat, on the other hand, looks super lovely and petite, but has a very, really very deep voice – in contrast to Snickers, who sounds as if he was in a puberty vocal change: high, weird and terrible. ? Leo, our only non-husky, has tried howling a few times, but can’t and prefers to bark.
In the past few weeks, however, Jade has been responsible for setting up the evening concerts. She barks and barks and barks- until I say “good night” to her at least three times. Then she finally gives peace too. The only ones who interrupt the night’s sleep again are KitKat and Duplo when they hear the swans returning home. In this case, they can hardly rest. But they will also learn that. At the latest when we have curled up around the campfire in the woods at night, we have all the time in the world to get used to the many sounds of the night …