I PAW flying!June 04, Week 14
I love flying! My favorite is the take-off. Zuuuuuuuuuf!!! I am not all sure yet hen we are actually going flying but we just had a big howler: Mille told Disko today, we are not dogsledding out of Clyde River, we are flying!
I mean we are almost always flying when we leave a community, or at least the sled is behind us. I love that kind of flying too, really makes me woof. Sometimes when it is super fast the sled hits something and then it really does actually fly through the air. Baffin told me that. Baffin runs right in front of the sled a lot. He is a big guy—really nice and mellow. Luna is NOT mellow, she sure keeps me on my paws! She is all over it with the ravens. Mikkel has been emptying the sled, turning everything inside out upside down. Not all sure what that is all about, but I am thinking maybe if things are dry it does not weigh as much. Ok, I know that sounds silly but I was talking to Kodiak and he said that when he fell in the water that day we came into this community first he felt very light when he was in the water, but then once he got out he all of a sudden felt so heavy. Water does that to you – makes you feel heavy! So things look wet when Mikkel pulls its out and then it dries in the sun. There is so much sun now and it is so hot now. Actually makes me a little bit sleepy a lot. I figured out a whole system. I lay on one side and it stays really cool on the ice and the other side gets really hot and I turn over. If I do it just right then it is perfect. If it was just not for these ravens and Luna. When Mikkel empties the bags there are even more ravens. Then he leaves, the ravens stay and Luna just does not get that she is not going to get to the ravens, not for lack of trying though! I do like ravens a lot. They always seem to come out of nowhere no matter where we are. Airplanes are a little bit that way too. Just so much bigger. I wonder if it’s a little or a big plane we are going in. Nazca gives me that look when I say this; but I really do think it would be cool if they just once could get a big plane with a way to look out just like in the dog truck.
I guess we will soon be jumping back into the dog boxes on the dog truck to make our way back to the kennel at Expedition Basecamp! We will be back in the trees! It will be summer! I think it is always a bit sad when an expedition comes to an end. Lightning heard Mikkel tell Jake that once we are back home with Mille, he will be going back to this place that sounds like den-bark. A den where they bark a lot!? Jake is super nice. He smiles a lot and I can understand that cause he is with this whole group of really nice dogs that stays right next to us here on the ice. Mille and Mikkel are staying with Jake and very nice Shari who is with those dogs too. I think that is one of the biggest reasons I get a little sad when we have to leave from the expedition, we are leaving so many good things and new friends behind! That’s when Jupiter says that its exactly the same way it is in a classroom. He did spend many moons in a classroom when he was a youngster long time ago, so he would know. I have to ask him, I still wonder if you howl too in those classrooms... Lots of howls ‘till next time!
Polar Husky Inuit Dogs!?May 27, Week 13
Its been really hard to tell where we were all going cause its been so white. I can not tell you for how long cause the sun never sets now – or gets up really. That is one of my favorite things when the sun is just there all the time. It does make it get really hot in the day. Hershey says that is why we changed when we were getting up to run in the coolest part of the day which I guess is like when it is night except it is not dark it is still light like in the middle of the day, but it is really night. Yes, it does get a little confusing, but I love it. It makes it easy to just kind of open one eye to see what is going on all the times around our campsites.
But then when it is all white it is all different. And it was wet too! We even had rain! But mostly it is just almost like you can drink water from the air even though it is not even raining at all!? Sable explained to me that it is when there is a lot of moisture in the air. I guess that is also why it has been all white with fog! And for a while its because it was so windy that the snow was every where. Its hard to see then too. That was the first storm for all the puppies. Sisu did think it was pretty scary to begin with but then I think she learned not to be scared by looking at the rest of us. I told her to just curl up and go to sleep and enjoy the warm snow on top of her instead of trying to shake it off. Silly her.
The dogs around here tell us there is a lot of wind like that here. There are lots of sled dogs here! Rubi told me they are like us but they are not called Polar Huskies; they are called Inuit Dogs. I can’t tell any difference but I wonder if they too speak Inuktitut!? Lots of kids come to visit us and they speak Inuktitut to each other. Kind of like Mille and Mikkel do not always speak English to each other—sometimes they speak the language they speak where Aksel is from. Yep, he was born in Denmark just like Mille. Anyway, as I said, when we are all howling here I can’t tell any difference at all between any of our howls. But then Xena told me that our great-grandfather was from a community here in Nunavut so I guess I am Inuit dog too now! He was from Igloolik. Where we are now is called Clyde River!
For Real!May 21, Week 12
We almost got a seal! For real! For one split second though Disko was going swimming again. It actually looked like he was going to jump right into its hole in the ice to go chasing the seal underwater too, but then Mille got up there and told him no. He did get to roll in the smell where the seal had been laying on the ice though. Lucky lucky him. I couldn't believe Nazca did not do it too. She was right there next to him. I asked her and she just looked at me like I am crazy? I mean if Disko had jumped into the ocean again that would have been crazy. Mille does not like that we do that. Kodiak was right behind Disko the last time. He said they were just running along up front, Mille was telling Disko "cha chaaa," - that means go left - and next Kodiak knew, Disko was not there. He disappeared under the snow. Kind of like a seal! But then I guess Kodiak and Nazca could hear the water and Disko splashing even though they still could not see him. I guess Mille came up front to make them go left and she was upset they were not moving when she realized that Disko was in the water and he could not get out. She got really upset then! They said she came running yelling and throwing her skies and then they thought she was jumping in the water too!!! But she got on her knees and then her stomach and crawled between them. Kodiak thought that was pretty funny. He said Nazca gave him the 'you are crazy look too.' Before they knew it, alley-oop there was Disko, shaking and smelling different from the water. I love water. When I was little I lived with this really nice couple for a while and they took me kayaking! So I learned a lot about water. I think that is why Mikkel makes me a lead dog every time we have to walk between the ice and the water. Otherwise Lightning has been in lead, but she does not like the water at all what-so-ever, so she gets a little scared. When she gets scared Trigger behind her gets scared too. At least that is what he says. I am not so sure that is how it works, but anyway. I get to go up front and jump over it first!!! Its great!!! We have not had any of them for the last couple of days though. We have been running into the sky on land. For real! Today we were up above the clouds - really - I could look right down on them. They look so soft and fluffy like you just want to roll in them. I like to roll in the snow most though.
Smelly...Me!May 14, Week 11
Seal are sure hard to even catch a close glimpse of. I mean caribou can run really fast, but we can at least get close to them. Not the seals! And I was even running all the way up front this week!!! Yes, I am a lead dog now. Well, ok, maybe not really. I mean, I know a lot of years go into that. I think maybe I just heard Nazca snarl at me. But I am still pretty psyched. Mikkel put me up there with Lightning. She is so smart and very very nice too. I was busy though – its so cool up there – totally different view!
But still, even with no one in front of me, I really had to squint to see the seals, and I have to admit I can’t always tell if it’s a seal or a rock or something else... but since we left that last community they are everywhere! Icebergs too! Huge ones... We were coming up to an iceberg and I kept thinking how many of us it would take for us to stand around it. Thing is, it was actually even much bigger than I thought. It turned out we were really far away from it and it took us a much longer time to run to it than I thought it would. Funny how that works. Sable was saying something about perspective and distance, but I am not all sure how that fits in. I just know it was big far away and even enormous when we got up-close to it. I don’t even think all of us standing head-to-tail and hands-to-paws could make it half-way around it. Not even if we put the sleds in there too.
Can you imagine the splush when that drops in the water? I heard Mille talk about how the icebergs can come off glaciers—That’s like those big pieces of ice we saw on top of the mountains last week, but then I guess some of these glaciers go into the ocean too and drop off these icebergs that then floats around when the ice is not all here. It’s all a little hard for me to grasp, but they sure show up in funky places. Far out, as far as I can see over the ice, and then all of a sudden right next to the mountain sides we are running by. Like kibble in a pan with water. Sometimes they pool up in a pile and sometimes they are floating all over the place. I like sleeping next to the kibble on the sled. It smells good and I know it is right there then. We have not had to sleep next to one of these icebergs yet and I am thinking that’s a good thing as far as I am concerned.
They are sure are pretty though. Do you know they are not all white? The other night we waiting for Mikkel to give us some food, I was sitting next to Qannik and Sunrise and we were looking at the icebergs trying to figure out if they were close-by or far away... Then they were sort of a green blue but then they all became pink and yellow and purple and they were sparkly too! I like purple a lot. Kinu’s favorite color is blue! Her favorite smell is tundra – we ran across some of it the other day coming down from land onto the ice. My favorite smell, well I like to change favorites a lot, but for sure right now it is seal!
At least we can still smell the seal when we come by where it has been laying on top of the ice even though it’s a long time after it went into the ice. I mean, I know that’s just how they look and they really go into the water under the ice. Their smell reminds me of the tasty seal blubber! I bet that is why polar bears like seal too. We have seen a lot of polar bear tracks. They a smeeeelly I tell you. Big too. They are so big both Chitwa and I can get our paws in there – all of them, probably even Goodies too if he would stand next to us and try it out!
Down Down DownMay 07, Week 10
I think we have just been on top of the world almost! I am not sure how far it is to the top of the world – but first of all there were mountain tops all over and around us and we ran down down down for three sunrises. The sled can get to go really fast, sometimes it even passes us! It is not always easy to see when it is going to go down and how fast. When Nazca is up front it is no help to look at her. She is so good at running downhill that she is no help cause she just seems to run faster and faster when Mille’s voice is whistling through the air telling us to go fly. So is Tucker! Its not always about size either I figured out, cause Baffin is really big, and he sure knows how to go down a mountain side too.
One way to know how its going to be running down is whether or not the guys throw these chains on the sleds. I mean the chains are there all along, but they take them from the handlebar on the back of the sled and swing them over the front of the sled instead. Khan runs right in front of to the sled a lot for really many winters. I have never run there a lot, and never downhill, so I asked him how it works. He said that the sled does fly up in the air and he can feel like a whooooosh behind him, but then as soon as it hits the ground its like a break hitting the front end of the sled when all the weight of the sled comes down on the chain on top of the ground. Sometimes it works so well we can not even pull the sled all of us together, even though its downhill!!!
Most of the down this time was actually super duper easy, like you could barely notice it was just going on and on. But one time I knew it was going to be a bit crazy. I knew the second we stopped and Mille let Sable off to run free. Sometimes they let a whole lot of us go, but this time at first it was just Sable, then several of us were let off our tug line so we were just attached to the neck line! That’s actually kind of fun. You can really almost get up to whoever is in front of you and stand next to them. Domino doesn’t think that is fun at all I guess. He was kind of cranky on me. But then, he had Qannik next to him and she sure is a sweet girl. Aaron and Mikkel and Chris were all working on putting the chains on while Mille was going through the teams. Then she let me off too!
There was a really nice guy there, Jimmy, who we had just met on his snow mobile. Usually if she is in the front team, the first one to spot them is Rubi.. and then Mille goes ..”iiit’s aaaa snoooooooooooooooooooooow moooooobiiiiiIIIIIIIIIIIIIIle” and we all run really fast. Not like we are going to catch it or anything. I am pretty sure Mille knows that too, but its fun anyway. This time we did use the snowmobile though! The guys stopped what they were doing when Jimmy said something to them, and next they pulled out ropes and started attaching the snow mobile to the back of the sled!?!? Really!
I heard Hershey talk to Jupiter about whether it was all broke and we had to pull it – but no. It was brilliant. As soon as the sled started gliding down the hill Jimmy would gas on the snow mobile and the sled would slow down, so the sled almost just crawled down the mountain side. The team even had to pull at times. Not me, cause I was free right.
Sable and I found some really cool rocks.
Snow Blocks!April 30, Week 9
You know how when you roll around in mud and then it dries and you get it in your mouth, you can taste it? That’s how it taste to have sand in your mouth! I know cause we slept on a sand beach just a few sunrises ago. That is the first time I have ever tried that! Sisu and I were thinking maybe that is why we were training in so much mud this year. That would be just like Mille thinking that we better learn that for this year.
I have to say we did not do enough rocks in training. Its been more bigger rocks than I have ever seen us pull over before. Like whole places of nothing but rocks even up above us. Its funny the guys all whisper then. Tucker even got in a bit of trouble. He likes to be really loud a lot but then some rocks came down and we had to hurry up and go I guess.
Its hard though at times a lot cause its that ice you can look through and see the rocks below. Sunrise even tried to tell me she saw a fish in one spot there--but I don’t know about that one. I tried to explain to her that there are plants in the ice too, but her and Pingo were not listening to me at all. They will learn!
All those youngster sure learned what the rest of us were barking about when the guys had pulled up in a big van and started pulling out bag after bag after bag. They were all there and giving hugs and the nice woman who drove us down to our spot on the river in Pang from the airport was there too. Mille climbed on her snow mobile and they took off.
Disko said they went looking for a way to go. I thought that sounded strange since Disko always knows which way to go! I was right behind Nazca when our sled took off following the sled Disko lead out. She is fast. I am pretty fast too if I do say so myself and I think we made the sled run almost as fast as the dog truck.
There were rocks and ice and the ice got bigger and yes, then there was more than a few snow blocks on the way! And not little ones! Huge. I mean maybe if Goodie, Jupiter, Baffin and Kodiak all stood on top of each other I don’t even think they would be at tall.
And there was water too. Mille was jumping straight up in the air and making big splashes and Aaron was swinging the ax and Chris and Mikkel were helping us pull and it was just so great to be pulling so hard again. Sure have been doing that a lot the last few days!!!
Yummy SealApril 23, Week 8
Kodiak has this way he lays on his back with his legs kinda of up in the air. I was trying it this week. Makes me almost dizzy but it is good for looking up in the sky! And I have been looking every plane thinking maybe that would be the one Aaron and Chris was on. If I roll over on any side I see mountains. They are huge. Really pretty too. Qannik keeps saying it’s the prettiest she has ever seen, but then its her first time up here too so she has never seen how pretty it is around here before! I almost thought Nazca was going to try to run up one of the mountains the other day. She gets to run free all the time. Khan is next to me. He is a good guy, but all week he kept making comments about Nazca. I told him just to chill out (no pun intended) because Nazca should be able to run around as she is the mother of many of us here (not me though!).
Have you ever had seal meat? We had seal this week! I still smell like it! Mille and Mikkel showed up just the other day with some seal meat. I heard Mille talking that they received it from a local here in Pang. How nice is that? I had never had it before but its awesome! In fact, although I do like Khan, I had to growl at him a few times – I was afraid he was going to steal my portion. It tasted sooooo good. I don’t really know what to compare it to, but its much better than chicken! I wish there was lots of seals back in the dogyard so we could have it a lot. I think maybe then I would be able to eat more of it too... It was rumbling and grumbling in my stomach lots after eating it, but I just couldn’t help eating so much and Mikkel just kept giving me more! What a great guy!
I actually had to lay down for a long while after all of that. Its warm out now in the sun so I was sort of sleeping, and trying to keep one eye open, but I must have blinked cause then Goodie started barking. Aaron was there! First time I saw Aaron I had just figured out how to get out of my dog house and bark outside. I don’t think I was much bigger than my own head is now! Back then he gave me a ride in his car. I don’t know if he remembers but he took me to these really really nice ladies who took care of me while my Mom Freja was out on an expedition. I learned all sorts of stuff… Like how to fetch, and dig up plants to make their garden really cool.. and how to kayak! I like Aaron a lot, I had to bark a little when I saw him and I was trying to look for Chris too. Thought for a minute maybe he forgot him somewhere but no, I heard Mikkel say “Hi Chris.” He was just smiling so much I could barely tell it was him! He has very nice teeth. I think he likes me too. I swear he is giving me bigger pieces of seals than any of the others. And I heard him say he likes to smell like seal too!!