Friday, February 10, 2017

Looking for a Running Buddy?

We came across a webpage the other day that reminded us of how we got into canicross and mushing. Nick was a competitive runner in both high school and college before dealing with a pretty serious injury. After recovering from the injury, Joy pushed Nick to get back into running, but running had lost its draw for Nick. Nick needed something to motive him to get up in the morning and lace up those running shoes. Nick found his motivation in the form of four legs, a wet nose, and a lot of fur, also known as Ruger. After seeing how much fun Nick and Ruger were having together, Joy wanted a dog to run with. The rest is history.

We came across this graph from Lovejoys Pet Food that puts a little science behind our journey into canicross. Are you looking for motivation to exercise? Maybe you will find that in a dog. Take a look at this, and see which breed might fit your exercise routine. Do not forget the tips at the bottom of the page!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

We're Still Here

Noticeably, it's been a while since we have posted. We have been busy! This summer flew by for us. We moved into a new home, and spent much of our summer unpacking boxes. In the meantime, we added K2 (formerly Shadow) to our family. He came to us from Heartland Husky Rescue and has been such a valuable addition to us. We are grateful to have him. We call Pruhoe and K2 "The Tweedles" after Tweedledee and Tweedledum. They do everything together. K2 is a very loving dog who enjoys all the snuggle time he can get.

The summer brought heat and humidity (like usual) which made training a little difficult. In the meantime, Joy suffered from an avulsion fracture in her foot, which meant much of the training was left up to Nick, who was also rehabbing an injury. Needless to say, the summer served as a time of learning and restructuring training schedules. During this time, we added an ATV to our training tools. Now that it is cooling down, we are really taking advantage of using this for strength training for the dogs.

Both Nick and Joy are healthy again, and the canicross and dryland training miles are going up. K2 is still learning his commands and learning to go "on-by" the neighbor cows, but he will get there.
Joy was able to take Denali for a run today - the first run the two have been on together since the fracture occurred. The injury has taken a long time to heal, and running with a pup adds additional stress, so Joy was waiting for the right to time to add Denali back into her training. Today was that day, and it went well! The bond formed between human and dog when working together is incredible.

Last weekend, Nick and Prudhoe took first place overall at the Jog with your Dog 5k in Mountain Home, Arkansas. This was a great chance for Prudhoe to get a canicross race in and work on being in the race environment. He was overjoyed with his bucket of treats he earned as his prize!

We have several canicross races coming up. Next weekend is the Fast and the Furriest 5k and we will be attending Jump River, Bristol, and Dirty Dog later this fall.

We will do a better job of keeping you up to date!

Happy Trails!

Joy and Denali this morning after their run together

Nick and Prudhoe before the Jog with your Dog 5k in Mountain Home, Arkansas

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Another dog? Yep! Welcome home, K2.

If you know us at all, it should come as no surprise to you that we recently welcomed a new team member and friend into our family. K2 (formerly, Shadow) comes to us from Heartland Husky Rescue. K2 (named after the mountain) is a about 2 and a half years old. He is a very loving boy who is eager to learn and please. We are working on his commands and manners, but he is progressing quickly.

K2 has been on 3 runs with us now. His longest run was 2.3 miles, and he did great. He is learning commands, and is watching the other dogs to see what to do. Prudhoe is really stepping up and being a great leader in harness for K2.

We are excited to see his progress both in harness and as a family member. He sat and stayed on his own for his food for the first time tonight! He is a smart boy and we are grateful to have him.
Oh - his favorite location is the bathtub. So, if you're looking for him you might check there.

What? You think this is weird?

Should we have named him Skunky? Perhaps Pepe le Pew?

Photo sent to us from Heartland Husky Rescue

After his first run (2 miles)

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

GSDC Dryland Race Recap and Sponsorship Update

It's been a few weeks since our last post. We have been busy training and enjoying time with the pups. 

On February 13, we participated in the Gateway Sled Dog Club Dryland race. This was a small club race, but it was a great event and a lot of fun.

Nick took Ruger, Denali, Calypso, and Prudhoe in the 3-4 dog, 3 mile race. The team ran very well and placed first.

Joy took Ruger and Denali in the 2 dog, 1 mile race. On the last downhill, she hit a slick spot while on the breaks, skidded, and wrecked. She got back up only to not realize the alignment on the rig was off and proceeded to wreck a second time. But fall down twice, get up three times. Despite the mishaps, Joy, Ruger, & Denali still did well enough to place first.

The dogs ran incredibly well and we were very proud of them.

We are also excited to announce we are now a part of the Nooksack Racing Team. Nooksack Racing Supply is a great company that has been very encouraging to us in our growth in this sport. We highly recommend Nooksack for all your dog powered sport needs. For those of you who live close to us, if you want to try different sizes of harnesses on your dog to ensure a correct fit, please let us know. While we don't have every size or style, due to the various sizes of our dogs, we have many of the sizes Nooksack makes (thanks, Prudhoe for being so overweight when we got you and for going through 3 different harness sizes as you got in shape).

This weekend we are headed to Stockton State Park to camp and run with the dogs on the Lakeview Trail and the Frisco Highline Trail.

Thanks for keeping up with our adventures! Stay tuned for more. 

A huge thanks to Laura Stange for the photos below. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

The IronLine Recap

This weekend was phenomenal. We packed up and headed out on Thursday night for the Upper Peninsula (UP) - specifically Iron River, Michigan.

We arrived around 6:30am on Friday morning, and headed to our room to take a nap. We attended the mushers banquet where Ruger was the subject of much attention. Such a handsome dog warrants lots of photos!

We headed to the start line to watch Richie Camden of Breakaway Kennels head out for the 40 mile, 10 dog race. This event started in the dark, and was really exciting to watch.

Saturday morning was our turn. We left the chute at 9:40am. Our race was a 4 dog, 12 mile race (in the daylight).

We opted to race Ruger and Denali in lead, and Prudhoe in single wheel. A few weeks ago, Calypso quicked several nails, and has not been able to train. We didn't feel it was right to ask her to race. She was quite mad at us, and pouted in the corner of the dog box while the other dogs were being hooked up. However, she did enjoy playing in the snow and burying her face in it.

Ruger, Denali, and Prudhoe were ready to race. At the starting line, we overheard "That one leader is as big as two normal dogs put together" (referring to Alaskan Huskies of course).

The dogs ran well. Ruger was flawless, and Denali used her speed well. This was Prudhoe's first time on snow. He was unsure at first, but by the end of the race he was a pro.

Our official run time was 1:31:36, so about 7.9mph. We made a few quick stops along the trail, so our moving speed was just under 8.5mph! Our team placed 7th in the 4 dog race, and we were really pleased with this. It was the first time racing on snow for our team, and a great experience overall. We are looking forward to going back next year, and adding a few more races to our calendar.

Two little girls built a snow sculpture of Ruger

Headed out on the trail

Race start

This is pure happiness

Dog selfies are hard

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Ready to Race!

Today is the day! After work, we are headed to Iron County, Michigan to participate in The IronLine dogsled race. This will be our first chance to race on the snow, and we know the dogs will be pumped to run on something other than dirt.

Training has been going well. The team has done several 20 or 22 mile runs on the Frisco Highline Trail. We have been doing speed work with the dogs while running, and have been working hard on their commands while training. We are looking forward to seeing how this weekend goes, and are hoping for a great experience.

January 20 marked a fun day for us as well. The County Neighbor publication was released and featured a story on our team. Calypso even made the front page.

Last weekend we met up with a few other teams for training to work on passing and socialization. We had a chance to camp out and enjoy the beautiful winter weather.

So - our next post should have a recap of the race with lots of photos!

Photo Credit: Lori Tack (Ozark Greenways)

Photo Credit: Mary Morris (Cedar County Republican)

Calypso is on the front page!

Sunday, January 10, 2016


We have snow. Just not enough to sled on. But that's okay! We headed to the Frisco Trail (Walnut Grove) on Saturday morning for a long run. There was enough snow to make everything white and beautiful, and to make the dogs overly excited to run!

Nick took the dogs 18.25 miles on the dryland rig, while Joy logged some peaceful running miles in the snow. He switched the dogs out a few times to ensure Prudhoe had a chance to work in lead position for a bit. Overall, the dogs did very well and enjoyed the snow. Calypso did exceptionally well, and wanted to go even farther once the run was over!

Hopefully we'll have a chance to get the sled out later this winter.