How is it that I am always talking about 33 sled dogs and one cat and only 32 dogs are presented on my website www.8seasonshuskies.com?
When we started the rescue operation for our sled dogs 3 months ago, one of the first challenges was to take beautiful pictures of all our dogs.
It was important to me that you get to know the dogs and to learn a little more about their so diverse personalities.
In the middle of the planning of the website, Bamse, one of our seniors and “super-mom” of the kennel, was doing very badly.
She had an ulcer in her vagina that caused heavy bleeding during her heat and got bigger.
Although she was in no pain – as far as we could tell – the situation was not acceptable. The vet suspected, after an examination, that it is probably a benign tumor. There is a possibility of surgery but considering Bamses age (she is now 12 years old), it would be uncertain if that would really extend her life.
Tumors and ulcers are relatively common in older huskies. I don’t really know why that is. If they are benign and do not interfere, many dogs can live with them for a long time.
An operation with anesthesia is very tiring, especially for older dogs. In addition, in my experience, other tumors are often hidden somewhere that are not yet so obvious. An operation for Bamse was therefore not an option after consulting the veterinarian.
So I took her home and kept watching. She was in the house a lot, slept most of the time. With a heavy heart I made an appointment to put her to sleep.
The appointment was in 5 days. She was basically still quite fit and I wanted to give her little time, since it started with the heating time I hoped a little that it will maybe get better as soon as Bamses heating time is over.
Then came the website project and we started taking pictures of the dogs. We left Bamse alone. She was happiest when she could just sleep on the couch.
Bamses “farewell date” was in two days. The heading for the call for donations had long been established (… 33 sled dogs and a cat …) but we only photographed 32 dogs.
And – as if she had suspected it – she felt better every day. Two days before “her appointment” she really blossomed. Her bleeding stopped, the ulcer regressed, she ate with joy, was in a great mood and wanted to go back to the others.
Seems like she want to stay with us a little longer. So, I called the vet and canceled the appointment. Nice!
Bamse has been with us for 5 years.
I got her from a musher in Northern Norway and she has some blood lines from Robert Sörlie.
Robert Sörlie is one of the “super mushers” from Norway and has won countless races. Among other things, the Iditarod. I am fascinated by his very constant performance. His great strength is that he always seems to be in a good mood and manages to motivate his racing team with his positive way, no matter what comes up.
Bamse joined my team the first time when I borrowed her for a race. She was an experienced lead dog and I hoped that she could teach my young dogs a bit, but it didn’t really work out well. She decides with whom she wants to work and her trust in me was rather moderate, since we never meet before.
A year later it was clear that I would like to take part in the 500km Finnmarkslöpet and it is always good to have experienced racing dogs in the team. That’s how Bamse came to us.
Bamse moved to our kennel
She was very shy and frightened when we got her. Caressing and closeness unsettled her. That did not suit her personality at all. We spent a lot of time with her and gradually it got better.
Especially when Irene (our house and farm homeopath) treated her.
Now she loves to cuddle and can really enjoy being petted.
We got to know each other and got together during the last years and she was running a few times as lead dog in my racing team. She kept her stubbornness, but she likes to work with me – most of the time.
However, this also has its limits. She does not like turning off the trail into deep snow, just as little as running along open water. Then she closes her ears and pretends she cannot hear me. I can see that she understood me – but I have no chance. Over time, I decided that I have to except it and only try to ask her for things she can happily do.
Bamse is the calming influence in the kennel and the “secret” kennel boss. Although she is one of the first to bark if visitors are coming to our kennel and she likes to have the final say – but that’s the (sometimes annoyed) human assessment – she is unbeaten when it comes to dog communication.
If dogs have social or communication weaknesses, Bamse can help. Her expression is always calm and determined. She has never started an argument, is patient and sets limits where it matters. Everyone else immediately accepts that.
I find it very valuable to have older and more experienced dogs in the kennel. They make a great contribution to a harmonious atmosphere and with their experience they can support the younger dogs and teach much more effectively than I could ever do.
Bamse is the mother of 6 dogs in our kennel. Goethe and Heine, they are not born here and the other 4 – Blizzard, Thunder, Flash and Storm – who were born in our kennel.
I know some of Bamse’s siblings and they all have this calm, certain kind. They are not easily stressed and are very stable. So I chose her as the mother for the puppies.
Bamse´s race attitude
And since one of my passions is participating in races, this aspect of your personality was also crucial:
She is totally crazy at races and absolutely wants to overtake any team (like the motto: Come on, now we can show what we are made of!) And when we are overtaken, she barks at the other dogs indignantly. She eats and drinks great during the race, has good fur and a stable physique.
She is not the fastest in freerunning and is not a “pace maker”, but always motivated and since I drive long distance races the speed is not decisive, it is more about being able to maintain a constant speed over long distances. And that she can do.
Bamse is a stable dog in the team and she brings the team to the finish.
In addition to her own puppies, she took care of all the other puppies and as a super mom always helped with the rearing. When the actual mothers needed a break, Bamse took over. She plays with them, cleans them and shows limits.
Together with Falk, she was THE puppy dream team! Uncle Falk and Aunt Bamse were always on hand!
And not only my other dogs have learned a lot from her. Me too.
I still remember how we were at Finnmarkslöpet 500km and she was one of my lead dogs. We were in the upper midfield; everything went really well and we were just before the finish line. Maybe another 10 km …
We came to a river and in front of us a bridge over which a car drove over. Bamse was totally scared and wanted to climb the embankment together with the whole team and did not want to go towards the bridge.
Jompa was the other lead dog and she couldn’t prevail against Bamse either. We were just before the goal and I thought – come on Bamse – we will be there soon.
To be honest, I didn’t want to swap dogs so shortly before the finish line and thought: This has to be possible!
It ended up with quite a few teams overtaking us, I had a long discussion with Bamse and I ended up having to swap several times. Bamse’s insecurity had spread to the whole team because I couldn’t get her out of this situation quickly enough to help her.
Jompa had to take on all responsibility (she too was now unsettled) and Bamse was now in the back of the team. But even then, she was not running happily in the team.
Up to this point everyone was in a great mood and we were doing well. For my own convenience, I had not swapped and helped Bamse out of the situation. She didn´t know that we soon would reach the finish line.
That was a very important and valuable lesson that Bamse gave me: Always see the moment, out of the dogs point of view! Make the right decisions considering the circumstances, no matter which plan you had!
Since 2 years Bamse is retired from the racing team. Can´t thank her enough for the valuable lessons she teached me and the other dogs.
Bamse is still doing great. She is in a good mood, enjoys being outside and is currently sharing a kennel with Milkyway. Milkyway has been trying to teach Rubin a bit of manners over the past few weeks and can now relax with Bamse. She enjoys the relaxation very much!
We are happy that Bamse is still with us and actively supports us.
As long as she is fine, we are 33 sled dogs, a cat and two people in Swedish Lapland in our little paradise of the 8SeasonsHuskies.
Only available until 01st of July 2020
I created a new shirt design. One of our dogs, Storm, was the model for the design. The shirt price is a bit higher than usual since all the earnings go directly to the dogs. If you like to support us AND need a shirt as well have a look here (link to external website from seedshirt)
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