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Finding Fido

The biggest challenge we face with our sled dog adoptions is making sure that the lucky four-legger doesn’t escape within the first few weeks from his/her new home. While all dogs are certainly able to “runaway” sled dogs specifically pose an extremely high flight risk. If a sled dog manages to escape they can travel FAR quickly, potentially putting themselves in dangerous situations!

Despite our safety lectures, thorough briefings and sending all of our adoptees home with a “houndini-proof” harness (Ruffwear Webmaster Harness) nearly 90% of our adoptees manage to escape from their new two-legged family. Since we (and our adopters) prefer to spend our nights in with our dogs (vs. out looking for them) we decided to look into additional tools to offer our adoptive families.

That being said, we are pleased to announce that we have partnered with TAGG and are really excited about their Pet Tracker & Activity Monitor. Unlike a microchip (which we also send our newly adopted dogs home with) that requires the dog to be picked up and scanned, the TAGG Pet Tracker & Activity Monitor clips onto Fido’s collar and updates you in real time as to where your dog is via your smart phone or email. Do you repel technology? Not to worry, this device is super easy to use and maintain. It is lightweight and attaches to most collar sizes. It is also water resistant so it can be used on short swims and more importantly …. in the snow! It comes equipped with a Li-Ion battery that can last up to 30 days on one charge (this varies and should be monitored closely) so you don’t have to worry about charging it daily like a cell phone. Another neat feature is it allows you to monitor your dogs activity … kind of like a doggy pedometer and unlike previous GPS pet trackers this device won’t break the bank. This cool (and potentially life saving) gadget cost just under $100 and requires a $8.00 monthly service fee after the first three months.

Here Gus is modeling his Tagg Pet Tracker & Activity Monitor

Here Gus is modeling his Tagg Pet Tracker & Activity Monitor

Here Gus is with his adoptive family!

Here Gus is with his adoptive family!

We feel so strongly about this as a tool for maintaining dog safety that all of our adoptive families moving forward will be sent home with this device for the first three months of adoption free of charge! We recently sent our first dog home with a TAGG Pet Tracker & Activity Monitor and have not yet been able to test the system to it’s fullest extent because he hasn’t run away or become loose … I guess we will have to track our two-legged staff instead!

Open Season In NH

Nothing tops a walk in the woods during the late fall – the crisp autumn leaves crunching underfoot, little snow flakes falling from the sky, brisk air chilling your cheeks and nose and the sound of shooting guns … shooting guns ?!?!?

It’s that time again in the “Grand North” – Deer Season. From November 3rd to early December the backwoods of New Hampshire are open to deer hunting enthusiast. This doesn’t mean that dog lovers should hide inside; just that we should take safety precautions when enjoying outdoor activities in the woods this time of the year.

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Kirby & Tundra Waiting To Go For Their Afternoon Walk In The Woods

The New Hampshire Sled Dog Rescue, History and Education Center recommends dressing yourself and your four-legged friends in high visibility blaze orange products (as modeled by Kirby and Tundra). At the kennel we often dress our lead dogs in blaze orange and avoid training times early in the morning which is a precaution we recommend you take as well. Try and avoid being out at dawn and just before dusk (popular hunting times) and keep your four-legged friend on leash or within sight on main trails; don’t let fido take off into the woods! Two products we really like are Ruffwear’s high visibility track jacket  and The Beacon safety light.

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Kirby & Tundra Dressed For Their Walk In Blaze Orange Vests

For more information on Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel and our dog sledding adventures please feel free to contact us via email (info@dogslednh.com) phone: 603-545-4533 or visit: http://www.dogslednh.com.  For more information on Hunting in NH visit NH Fish and Game.

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Kirby & Tundra Napping After Their Safe Afternoon Walk

WHO Let The Dog Out?

Sweaty palms, racing heart, confusion, urgency and utter chaos – this is what it feels like when a sled dog gets “loose” – a wave of panic I had the pleasure of enjoying (I say sarcastically) for myself for the first time just recently. For those of you who are new readers let me digress just a bit.

The NHSDRHEC is a rescue and educational nonprofit organization located in Jefferson, NH (aka “The Grand North”). Our mission (in addition to educating the public about northern breed dogs and the dog sledding history of NH) is to provide rescue and second chance sled dogs with a home and job either for life or until they find the perfect family. One of these dogs is Tundra. Tundra is one of our newest rescues having just arrived in July. She was one of 37 sled dogs that were seized from a very bad situation in Canada (think emaciated dogs with inadequate food, water and shelter). At the ripe old age of approximately two life as Tundra knew it consisted of fear, boredom, neglect and avoidance. Given Tundra’s painfully shy and fearful nature and small stature (35lbs) we knew that she would need extra care and time to adjust to a better quality of life … which is how she came to live with me her two-legged “foster-mom” and ultimately getting loose which brings us back to the main story …

Photo of Alaskan Husky Rescue Dog

This is Ms. Tundra, Alaskan Husky

So it was a Tuesday night as I was getting ready for bed that I received the frantic news, “she’s loose! Tundra’s loose! Hurry up” my boyfriend shouted. “How” I practically screamed back as I ran down the stairs in my PJs, slippers and face-wash. (This is when the sweaty palms, racing heart etc sat in). “The leash got stuck in the door and when I opened it to get it unstuck she snuck out” he exclaimed exasperated.

Anyone who has ever owned a northern breed dog knows that they are opportunist and will take full advantage of any opportunity to run and/or bolt. This a very bad situation even under the best of circumstances … let alone when the dog hardly knows you, is in a new environment and fears everything around her.

As I reached the bottom of the first outdoor step I began cooing “Tundra … come here girl … come on … time to go inside.” I don’t know if it was the despair in my voice or bond that we had established in our short three weeks together but Tundra come charging out of the darkness happy as a clam! She proceeded to happily leap and playful crouch within reaching distance. It was as if she was saying “look at me, I not on a leash wanna frolic in the wet evening grass” and with that I swiftly hitched her leash to her harness, petted her on the head and happily went inside where we both laid on the bed and went to sleep (may I note that she fell asleep much quicker – probably due to the fact that she wasn’t experiencing an panic induced adrenaline rush).

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Tundra and foster-mom Emma

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Tundra “leaping” with happiness … much like she did on the night she was “loose.”

Fortunately, for me and Tundra this story had a safe, happy and rather quick ending. The number one problem rescuing (and rehoming) dogs – especially sled dogs – is that if the new owner/family loses the pup the canine has no knowledge of their area or any reason to go back. This is why all of our rescue and timid sled dogs wear “Ruff Wear Webmaster” harnesses. These harnesses prevent them from backing out (i.e.: “slipping their collar”) just don’t get the leash stuck in the door! To try and prevent situations like mine we discuss this major concern and the proper safety measures to take with new adopter and foster homes.

Tundra, Rescue Alaskan Husky in her Harness

For more information on the NHSDRHEC or our adoptable dogs please feel free to visit: http://www.dogslednh.com, call: 603-545-4533 or email: info@dogslednh.com.

Dog Days of Summer

Roger Caras was on to something when he said “dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” This sentiment is one that is shared by not only the two-leggers but also the four-leggers that spent the summer at the NHSDRHEC.

At the start of the summer season the NHSDRHEC welcomed Thunder and Tundra. Thunder and Tundra came to the NHSDRHEC all the way from Canada. They were seized from a kennel that did not provide adequate shelter, food, water etc. Many of the dogs (37 in total) were tied to trees, emaciated and faced various health conditions. Thunder and Tundra wound up at a refuge, waiting for a family. After a year there we were contacted by a local volunteer to see if we could get them more exposure and into families through our work.

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Thunder (left) and Tundra (right) at the refuge before coming to the NHSDRHEC

Thunder came to us weighing 58 pounds (he needed to be approx. 35). His obesity (and pneumonia) was most likely the result of being kenneled for almost a year with improper nutrition (there is such a thing as killing with kindness …. overfeeding is the worst thing one can do to a pet; especially one that has been on the opposite end of the spectrum having experienced starvation) and care. Thunder’s obesity was so severe it effected his lungs and heart, our vet diagnosed him with a heart murmur, pneumonia, and overall poor health; but after just a short period of time (and being placed on a strict diet and exercise regime) his health began to recover while at the NHSDRHEC. Despite his health issues Thunder was always very personable and curious. We swear it was inquisitive nature that landed him a new home and loving parent. Thunder is still living in New England and rumor has it he is enjoying Fall foliage hikes!

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Thunder enjoying a walk while at the NHSDRHEC

Tundra (Thunder’s partner in crime) having been unsocialized for most her life (again poorly socialized and not exposed to normal life experiences) was intimidated by everything – people, crunchy leaves, even her own shadow! However after just 3 weeks of “home life” in a great foster home, she has mastered stairs, cats, chickens, riding in the car, house training and even how to lounge on the couch next to her “humans”! The next item on the to-do list … canicross hiking to build even more confidence and learn how to positively exert energy!

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Tundra at the office supervising (both the two-leggers and four-leggers) 

In addition to Thunder and Tundra several other adoptable sled dogs - Lawless, Harley, Gandolph, Harp, Padme’ and Pattie – found wonderful new homes. Thanks in part to the individuals and families that have welcomed sled dogs into their life the NHSDRHEC was able to accommodate new comers: Raven, Skylar and Arizona just recently. Raven, Skylar and Arizona came from a hoarding situation where there were emaciated (and lice infested) dogs that were so afraid of people they would lay on one another to attempt to get away from people. Thanks to a wonderful volunteer at a regional shelter we were able to take in Raven, Skylar and Arizona and provide them with a better living environment.

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Pattie walking with her new family (left) and new comers Raven, Skylar and Arizona at the shelter before arriving to the NHSDRHEC  (right)

This past week our experienced mushers introduced Raven, Skylar and Arizona to their new teammates for the first time. Their enthusiasm and performance was great! The two-legged staff truly believes that giving them a job and letting them feel success builds their confidence. Considering it is just the start of the Fall season we know their confidence will continue to grow as Winter approaches. For these three, it will be a long road to confidence and trust, but we’ll be taking it a day at a time.

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The “rookies” building their confidence with fellow rescue and second chance sled dogs

For more information on the NHSDRHEC and our adoptable dogs please feel free to contact us via email (info@dogslednh.com) or via phone (603-545-4533). Be sure to “Like Us” on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/DogsledNH) and visit our Petfinder page (http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/NH145.html) for the most up-to-date information on our four-leggers!

 

Special Passengers on Board for Dog sled Ascent of Mount Washington
Submitted by Lorna Colquhoun Contributing Writer

            JEFFERSON, NH – The granddaughter and great-granddaughter of the only woman to ascend Mount Washington by dog team will be a part of this week’s first-ever winter attempt to mush a team to the summit by the Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel.

            Maureen Clark and Bridie Grant were the high bidders on two seats available on two sleds that will go up to tree line later this week, weather permitting. They will allowing, follow in the steps of Florence Clark, who, with her husband, Edward, founded Ed Clark’s Eskimo Sled Dog Ranch in Lincoln, now known as Clark’s Trading Post.

            “I am so touched by the generosity and support of the Clark Family,” said Karen Tolin, who, with her partner, Neil Beaulieu, own Muddy Paw. “To have not one, but two women joining us – the great-granddaughter and granddaughter of Florence Clark – is beyond exciting and deepens the value of this undertaking both for us personally and as a historic endeavor.”

            The team’s ascent has been rescheduled for March 14, 2012, from the original dates of 3/8 or 3/9 due to weather concerns.     Florence Clark made history on April 5, 1932, when, on her third attempt, she was able to reach the 6,288-foot summit. She died February 22, 1950, at the age of 49, several years before her granddaughter, Maureen, was born. Bridie Grant, Maureen Clark’s niece, is a student at the University of Stirling in Scotland, studying aquaculture.

            “We are so happy to be a part of this,” Maureen Clark said. “What my grandmother accomplished has always been a matter of pride in our family and to be able to follow, at least partway, in her footsteps, brings us closer to her.”

            The availability of two seats on the sleds that will go to tree line produced some lively bidding on eBay and raised more than $900 for Muddy Paw’s philanthropic project – preserving the history and culture of dog sledding in New Hampshire and rescuing sled dogs.

            “The goal of this attempt is to draw attention to dogs that are available for adoption and to raise awareness and funds for the New Hampshire Sled Dog Rescue, History & Education Center,” Tolin said. “It is our honor to have Maureen and Bridie accompany us. We have a deep respect and awe for the bravery shown by Florence Clark in 1932, and to have them be part of our historic attempt makes it so much more meaningful.”

            Clark and Grant will pay homage to Florence Clark in several ways – Grant plans to wear a sash her great-grandmother wore in sled dog races and Maureen Clark will wear the number her grandmother wore in one of her last races. The women also plan to bring Florence Clark’s dog sled. “I cannot think of two other people that we would more like to have with us on this day,” Tolin said. ‘How incredible is it to have history repeating itself through the generations?”

  For more information on the trip, the kennels and the New Hampshire Sled Dog Rescue, History & Education Center, visit www.DogSledNH.com or the nonprofit website & event blog at www.nhdogsledding.com

            For information on the Clark family, visit http://www.ClarksTradingPost.com.

Sled Dog Rescue LogoWith winds of up to 130mph predicted for this past Thursday, March 8th and Friday, March 9th Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel was forced to reschedule their Mount Washington summit attempt via the Auto Road being held to support & bring awareness to the new non-profit New Hampshire Sled Dog Rescue, History and Education Center for Wednesday, March 14th.  “With the added responsibility of sled dogs summitting along with the mushers, we have to be even more aware of keeping our ascent as safe as possible. While there is an inherent risk in dogsledding and in being on Mount Washington at all times, we need to choose a date to attempt the summit that is as safe as possible, these dogs are like family to us” stated Karen Tolin, partner in Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel.
 
Hopes are high for this event as it is not every day the rescue and second chance canine athletes and mushers are given the opportunity to become the first to summit Mount Washington by dog sled in the winter. What makes it even more exciting is that accompanying two of the mushers to tree line are granddaughter and great granddaughter of Florence Clark – the first woman to summit Mount Washington via dog sled in 1932. Travelling with musher Chase Tingle and summit dog team, is the Auto Road’s very own Steven Caming who holds the unofficial record for going up the Auto Road in the most unique ways. “This is will be last possible date the sled dog teams will attempt to summit Mount Washington this winter, thus fingers and paws are crossed for safe weather conditions for dogs & guests.” Karen Tolin shared. “We hope that those out there following our updates, training and goal of summitting understand the importance of choosing a safe date and that many of them will be there for the take off at 9AM Wednesday morning to cheer on the dogs! These dogs thrive when surrounded by friendly, excited participants.”
 
For more information surrounding this event or the New Hampshire Sled Dog Rescue, History and Education Center please feel free to reach out to Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel via email: info@dogslednh.com or via phone at 1-603-545-4533.  Last minute event updates and weather conditions will also be available via www.dogslednh.com or the nonprofit website www.nhdogsledding.com

Due to the dangerous weather predicted on 3/8 and 3/9 we have officially cancelled our summit attempt for this week and rescheduled for 3/14. The weather is as follows (forecast taken from the higher summits forecast on www.mwobs.org)

“Wednesday, March 7, 2012

5:23 AM

High pressure will continue to slide offshore today as an area of low pressure moves through to our north. A warm front from the passing low will briefly stall to our north this morning before exiting to the northeast as the day wears on. But this brief proximity will allow some clouds to spill in during the morning hours before things generally clear for the afternoon. Heading into the overnight hours, clouds from the west will once again thicken and lower before resettling as summit fog during the day Thursday. The approaching cold front responsible for the clouds will also bring about a chance of morning rain showers, before a line of precipitation rolls through towards Thursday afternoon with a mix of rain and snow. New snow will be a trace to an inch. A warm westerly flow will continue to boost temperatures today and into Thursday before the cold frontal passage. There is a chance for a new daily record to be met or made in the coming days with todays current record at 37F and Thursdays at 41F. But cloud cover and winds will be a limiting factor in those records being met. Winds will be on the increase over the forecast period as a strong pressure gradient sets up between the departing high and passing low. Gusts reaching 100 mph or more will be possible throughout the entire forecast period. And expect plenty of blowing snow as drifts that settled yesterday are once again kicking up this morning and are expected to continue, especially as things loosen up with the warming temperatures. And remember, that these chunks and bits of snow and ice are flying at hurricane force, so the small stuff may sting the skin but the larger chunks can do damage.

Ryan Knapp
Staff Meteorologist”
 
As disappointed as we were, it was not worth risking lives to head up tomorrow. We hope you understand and we’ll keep you updated! Our first priority has to be dog safety and musher & guest safety.

Teaching Steve to “Mush”

Steve Caming on a Tag Sled

A special part of our upcoming summit (Want to go along? Check out Auction #1 & Auction # 2) is the presence of Steven Caming in Chase’s dogsled. Steve works in marketing for the Mount Washington Auto Road. It seems like only yesterday (though it was many months ago now) Muddy Paw staff was sitting around a table proposing our ascent to Steve and Howie Wemyss the General Manager. Steve has been up the Auto Road in every way imaginable, in a horse drawn carriage, driving a car backwards, etc. so it only made sense to have him along in the dogsled that would attempt to summit. The next problem was how…

So many options: In the sled, driving a tag sled, or utilizing a double-driver. A couple evenings ago, Chase Tingle and Steve got together to practice on some challenging trails with a tag sled. A tag sled is when you attach a “chase” sled via ropes to the lead sled. There are no dogs between the main sled and the tag sled. The guest driver of a tag sled has to mimic the motions of the lead musher and learn how to steer/brake in varied terrain & elevation! Check out this gallery of the photos below that resulted from their practice run! As Steve put it after the 20 mile escapade, it’s a “Steep Learning Curve… literally” :)

The jury is still deliberating on the final choice of dogsled set up for the big day. Check back for more pre-summit training updates.

Our treeline dogsledding auctions have 24 hours left:
Auction #1                 Auction #2

Thinking of doing some dogsledding, but not quite ready to take a ride up the Auto Road? Join us at Muddy Paw for dogsledding any day of the week!

Dogsledding the Auto Road
Training Run #2 with Theresa, the NH State Parks Intern

Chase the adrenaline junkie that will be seeking the peak next Thursday 3/8 at 9AM met Theresa, and intern with NH State Parks Intern Theresa. As we got out of the vehicles, the wind hit us and the snow was blowing to the point that my camera couldn’t focus at some points due to all the flakes swirling around us. Enjoy the photo journey with us!

The two Malmute Siberian Mix Brothers ...

Guiness & Eragon ready for dogsledding up Mount Washington!

Theresa and Chase took off in a flash of sprinting paws and swirling snow. Theresa was grinning ear to ear and Chase looked as excited as she did. I wondered as they disappeared from view, what weather they’d encounter as they climbed the Auto road. Check out the hourly history from  the National Weather Service. Keep in mind, Chase and Theresa took off at 6:45 and reached the treeline turn around point at approx. 7:50AM…. 83 MPH with gusts of 89 MPH, WHOA!

D
a
t
e
Time
(est)
Wind
(mph)
Vis.
(mi.)
Weather Sky Cond. Temperature (ºF) Pressure Precipitation (in.)
Air Dwpt 6 hour altimeter
(in.)
sea level
(mb)
1 hr 3 hr 6 hr
Max. Min.
28 08:54 NW 62 0.00 Light Showers Snow Blowing Snow Freezing Fog and Windy VV000 1 1 NA NA
28 07:52 NW 83 G 89 0.00 Blowing Snow Freezing Fog and Windy VV000 3 3 NA NA
28 06:50 NW 92 G 102 0.00 Blowing Snow Freezing Fog and Windy VV000 5 5 12 5 NA NA
28 05:50 NW 85 G 92 0.00 Blowing Snow Freezing Fog and Windy VV000 10 10 NA NA

Meet the team and check out the shots of take-off:

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Check out this post-run interview with Theresa:

Want to go along yourself? Join in on the ebay auction to win a seat to take a run just like Theresa! Links below:

Auction #1

Auction #2

Adoptable Sled Dogs at NH Sled Dog Rescue, History and Education Center

Dogsledding Buddies Spike & Terrick for adoption.

Spike & Terrick, Siberian brothers that were owner surrenders. They are looking for a cat free home together or seperately.

Every single dog that comes to the NH Sled Dog Rescue, History & Education Center has a home and a job for life. There is no rush to find them a home… when the perfect one comes up, we know it! Check out the powerpoint slideshow below of some of our adoptable four leggers. Give us a call at 603-545-4533 if you see any that might be a potential new family member for you. Even if you don’t see one, but are looking for the perfect new furry friend, shoot us a line at info@dogslednh.com with more info and we’ll see if there is a dog that we think would be a great fit for you!
Some of our important documents are listed below as well.

NHSDRHEC’s Adoptable Dogs

Adoption Application

NHSDRHEC DOG ADOPTION AGREEMENT

Adoptable Sled Dog Gallery:

 

 

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