Spring means quite a few things for us here in the Pacific Northwest. The first thing that comes to mind for us is RAIN. Which is quickly followed by the thoughts of spring thaw, winter clean up, start of new projects, end of running dogs, and the start of the new show season.
With rain comes mud, and mud makes for some pretty happy amused diggers in the play yard! Mom is not as amused...I see bath time in the very near future for quite a few muddy puppies! Time for our next project!
First project of the season completed is our new bath station! Settled on the edge of our rose garden makes for a nice place to wash the dogs. Built out of a 150 gallon rubber trough on a raised pressure treated wooden platform. Retrofitted with a drain system to direct the runoff and eye bolts to connect leads to. We're looking forward to utilizing our new wash station through the coming season!
Our next project is mitigating some of the dirt in the high traffic area at the main gate of the kennel/play yard. Using the paver stones from our original kennel set up we created a large patio walk way at the main gate that will tie into the pea gravel walk that extends in front of the kennels themselves. The dogs seem to enjoy laying on the pad, and of course wanted to assist in the ground breaking at the start of the project!
Once the winds of March have passed the shade tarps go back up for the spring/summer, additional gravel added to the kennel runs, repairs from the winter, and the dog box comes off the truck...until next season!
We welcome the newest member of the family, Keegan. We look forward to starting Keegan's show career in the next couple of months and look forward to his future in harness with the team!
For now, we will continue to take advantage of the breaks in the rain and enjoy the warming weather and spending much needed quality time in the yard with the dogs. Something about springtime brings a smile to everyone's faces!
We won't take credit for the design, these dog houses we've been building are a modified version of what Karen Ramstead/North Wapiti Kennels builds for their sled dogs. We didn't feel we needed quite as heavy duty as they are building, and a slight change in material preference. Trust me, these houses are plenty heavy as they sit even with the redesign!
8' Pressure treated 4"x4" board
16' Pressure treated 2"x6" board
1- 3/4" 4'x8' sheet of plywood *we chose marine grade plywood* This sheet can build 1 house or become 4 roof sections
1- 4'x8' sheet of MDO board *fiberglass sealed board*
16' 1"x1" stick
1 box 1 3/4" self tapping deck screws
1 box 1 5/8" self tapping deck screws
2' 2"x4" pressure treated wood
Start with making the quick, easy cuts.
Take the 8' 4"x4" board and cut into 2 equal 4' sections. This will be the feet of the pallet we'll be building.
Next take the 16' of 2"x6" and cut into 2' sections. This will be the platform of the pallet.
Finally take the 16' of 1"x1" and cut into 24" sections (2 of these will need to be shortened to 21" sections). These will be what secures the walls together from the inside. Also shown here are the 2' sections of 2"x6" that will become the chin rest at the front of the house.
Continue making your cuts to construct the sides, roof, front, and rear sections.
The 2 sides will be 3' long with the front height of 24" and the rear height of 21". This will create a gradual slope to the roof.
The roof will be a 2'x4' piece of plywood. The front will be a square 24"x24" section. The rear will be a 24"x21" section.
To make the opening for the entry, we used the bottom of a "Home Depot" bucket to make the arch and drew straight lines down from that.
For best results you'll want to use a quality JIG saw. An extra set of hands is always welcome too!
If you choose to use the MDO board you will need to tape your cuts with simple painters tape to prevent the fiberglass from chipping as you cut. It is very simple material to work with other wise.
We chose the MDO board for weather resistance, longevity of the material, and most importantly chew resistance!
Build the pallet platform that the house will sit on. To do this take your two 4' sections of 4"x4" and place them 2' apart. Place the 2' sections of 2"x6" across the top making a deck. Secure using the long deck screws.
Next secure the 1"x1" sticks to the inside side walls (remember one wall will be opposite the other, a mirror image or they will both be built for the same side). You'll want to make sure they are flush to the outer edges of the wall. Use the shorter deck screws for this step to prevent pushing through the outside of the wall.
Secure the rear wall to the two sidewalls using the short deck screws. Do not secure to the deck yet!
Secure the front in the same manner that you secured the rear.
Line up the rear of the box to the rear of the deck and then secure, we recommend using long deck screws for this step.
Attach the chin rest using long deck screws. This will add stability to the front of the structure, helps keep straw in, and the dogs love having a place to rest their heads.
Place the roof, we prefer to leave about an inch overhang off the rear purely for somewhere to grab when moving the unit and a bit of a drip overhang. Secure with the shorter deck screws into the 1"x1" on the sides.
At this stage we like to take some outdoor spray paint and seal the exposed edges of the walls, just to prevent weather damage.
Repeat as needed! Congratulations you have a completed dog house that your sled dogs will LOVE and that will LAST!
If you have any questions about the construction of these houses, please feel free to contact us! We'd be happy to help!
Winter weather in the Inland Northwest has been a bit more than lacking this year. Having had enough of having to drive more than an hour to find adequate trails to train on, a group of local mushers decided to take a mushing vacation. Pooling together, we rented a townhouse and gathered for a week of immaculate trails and fun training!
Our first day in West Yellowstone was all about getting the dogs out and stretched from the long travel. From the kennel to Bozeman, where we stayed our first night on the road, was around 7.5 hours and another 2.5 hours to West the next day. They were so thrilled to play in the snow, to which there was no shortage for them to tumble around in! It snowed hard the first night in, though the whole group didn't make it we still had a wonderful, restful evening!
The first day on the trails was absolute perfection. The fresh snow kept the trails a little slower, which was fine for an acclimating team. West Yellowstone sits around 6,000ft, in comparison to our normal 2,200ft made for quite an adjustment for them as well as myself! It was the most perfect, 'bluebird' sky day we could have ever asked for! This day alone made the trip well worth it! Rogue also got to run for the first time with the team this trip, she loved it and I think she has great potential in harness.
Day 2 on the trails was a bit colder and windy. It was still a great day on the trails! It was snowing lightly when we started out and turned into a straight out blizzard. Zero visibility and winds threatening to blow us off the trail. Weaver and Mason never faltered though, kept us true to course, and got us safely back to the truck. I have to say I was very happy with my lead dogs!
Day 3 we had the team scheduled for a rest and recovery day. So we humans decided to get out on the trail systems and find out why West Yellowstone is the Snowmobile Capital Of The World. We road the famous Two Top trail, which with winds and snow almost turned disastrous. But we can look back and say what an adventure! Next time we hope to be able to see more than just white!
Day 4 was our last day on the trails...but a wonderful day once more! The sun was spectacular and we tried out a different trail system for a change of scenery. I have to say it was worth it. We switched some dogs around on the team to get a different view for some of the dogs as well, and it worked beautifully! Rogue ran in wheel with Denali and learned more about being a sled dog :)
2013 was quite a year for us here at Keahi Siberians! We've had celebratory moments, moments of loss, and lots of change. Join us as we reflect upon an amazing year-
Team Keahi kicked off 2013 with the Priest Lake Sled Dog Race with a 4th place finish in the purebred 4-dog class. Not at all bad for our first running season! Our Team consisted of Mason and Denali in lead and Juneau and Dakota in wheel.
Denali and Dakota tried their paws at weight pulling this year. Though Denali was a bit slower to start, Dakota found he was a natural at it! Dakota ended the season placing in Silver for his class in the region! Very proud of our 'old' guy!
Weaver joined us from Tumnatki Siberians to expand our team and add depth to our training. We are so thrilled to add him to the team and to the family!
We said our goodbyes to a dear friend. We lost our Rockie boy to a surprise diagnosis of Cancer. He came into our lives as a rescue and enriched our lives to the end of his days.
Our first show dog, Denali, finished his AKC Championship. Handled by Soni Jager to his great success, we couldn't be more proud and more grateful to Soni for all her efforts bringing out the best in our boy.
We traveled to Michigan for the SHCA National Specialty where we met up with new and old friends. Diamond strutted her stuff in the Rescue Parade, Kenna, Enya, and Denali all hit the show ring, and Team Keahi hit the trails. A great week was had by all!
We returned home from Nationals and welcomed a new member to the family, Rogue. She will start her show and running career in 2014!
Team Keahi grew in numbers adding both Kenna and Enya to the team. Running our first 6 dog sprint and snagging a second place finish! Dakota earned his retirement after this race.
And then there were three...Tumnatki's Harvest Moon joined the family as we near the end of the year.
Team Keahi traveled to West Yellowstone to run the 4-dog class and participate in the Parade of Lights. A great way to end the year!
We end the year on a positive note with great dogs, great friends, and smiles on our faces for 2014. Thank you for joining us on our little journey, we look forward to sharing the next year with you!
Growing up in Montana my love of the Siberian Husky started at a young age. It has been quite a journey so far. There has been much to learn and still a lot more yet to learn! I truly believe that we are never too old, too experienced, or too full of ourselves to learn something new. I also believe that knowledge is useless unless we are willing to share it with others.