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Husky Homestead

A Denali Destination

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Donna’s Winter Hiatus Update!

An update on the other lives at Husky Homestead:

As the Alaskan sun streams in the windows (gotta clean those….), the blue sky brilliant above us and the thermometer reporting -26 degrees (-38 degrees at Carrie’s cabin this morning!), my heart is filled with the beauty and wonder of home. Our “empty nest” status provided the opportunity for me to hop in our Husky Homestead van (sans seats and outfitted with a bed, kennels for my four dogs and storage bins) and head down the Alcan Highway on October 5th for an adventure. I finally returned home to Alaska on January 27th with wonderful new memories of places, friends, time with family, new knowledge and even some competitive success. I spent the first month of the trip in the Seattle area competing in Agility on weekends with Peg and Q, and taking classes throughout the weeks in between with all four of my four-footed traveling companions. It was exciting to be learning something new and then having the opportunity to test my new knowledge right away. Also, being in the Seattle area gave me the opportunity to see and spend time with Cali and Matt regularly.

'Hoot' at 8 months.

‘Hoot’ at 8 months.

'Tack' at one year.

‘Tack’ at one year.

Donna with Peg - Yakima, WA.

Donna with Peg – Yakima, WA.

A new Agility move - don't try this one at home.... :)

A new Agility move – don’t try this one at home…. :)

On November 15th, my dogs and I headed south through Oregon and most of California, visiting friends along the way, with our destination of Idyllwild in mind. I dropped off Peg, Q, Tack and Hoot at Nancy Gyse (AKC Agility World Team Coach) and Jim Basic’s in San Jose for boarding for the next month while I galavanted with family. After watching Ellen’s Fall Dance Performance 5 times, off we went to the East Coast for a big family Thanksgiving. Then Jeff and I visited some wonderful new friends, Mike, Kim and Faith Gorton who run the Good News River Fishing Lodge (put that one on your Bucket List!), at their home on the Florida Keys. 10 days of fishing for all kinds of fish, from all kinds of boats, day and night… lobstering, crabbing, shrimping, eating…. It was awesome! Then back to California to enjoy Idyllwild and pick up Ellen, and then Tessa, for the road trip to Northern California for the Holidays and more family time. Jeff sailed home on the silver bird and I stayed another three weeks with the kids and to participate in more agility trials.

King Family Christmas!!

King Family Christmas!!

My agility team is slowly improving and we were able to reach some fulfilling competitive achievements during our last month of trials. Our last weekend was spent in Portland at the Rose City Expo Center at the 2nd largest AKC dog event in the Nation. Two, indoor, matted agility rings with mobs of spectators, Animal Planet filming and over 6,000 dogs competing in conformation, obedience and agility made the excitement palpable. The highlight of the 4-day event was the International Agility Course competition that attracts some of the strongest and most competitive teams in the sport. Q and I brought home a 3rd place ribbon from the first day, a Standard course, missing 2nd place by only .05 seconds! The second day on the Jumpers With Weaves course, we captured 4th place just over one second off the time of the first place team. Not bad for some country hicks from the frozen North! I was thrilled! Tessa was my good luck charm and “handler” throughout my January trials. What fun it is to share this part of my life with my family and friends…. now I know how Jeff has felt all of these years!

Check out this link for some up close Agility:
Q and I at the Rose City Cluster 2010

Now, we are tucked in at home. My dogs are quickly acclimating to the Alaskan snow and temperatures as the sport of dogmushing takes over the spotlight. Working dogs of all kinds are a thrill to behold and truly a gift to share our lives with. How lucky we are.

More news from HH soon…



  1. Dear Donna:

    Thanks for posting your adventures! I enjoyed the video from Rose City. Nice job! I have a girlfriend who took up showing her English Spaniel(s) with passion. Like you, she has done quite well. I think it is great to develop a passion and persue it. I am still looking for mine!!! I wish you continued good luck to you and “your” team!

    I look forward to following the Denali Doubles coming up!

  2. Sounds like a great time – congrats! And I must say that Hoot is an incredibly beautiful dog!

  3. I share your sentiments Donna about working dogs. There is nothing more wonderful than to see a dog doing what it was designed to do, be it sniffing, guarding or running. My work here in England as a dog behaviourist sees so many terrible problems with dogs who live lives which are not fulfilling their needs. It is just awesome to see the work-ethic of sled dogs. I wish my work colleagues were as enthusiastic!

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