SP Kennel is a premier sled dog racing kennel in Two Rivers, Alaska, dedicated to the individual dog through excellent health, nutrition, training and specialized care.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Dog Sponsor Packets are on the way!

Office work is H-A-R-D. We are done for the day!

All the goodies have arrived, been sorted, sized and repacked. The packets and boxes brought to Trailside Mail this past Monday.

Hopefully we got them out before the Holiday rush is on.

If you have 'Joined the Team' then your packet has been compiled and mailed as well.

Thank good ness for 40 BELOW days or the crew at SP K would never get our indoor chores completed!

The helpful packing crew waits indoors for their next assignment. If you have any dog hair in your envelopes... well... lucky YOU!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Sled Run Photos

Chris and Aliy left the yard with 8 dogs per team. They went on a long afternoon/ evening training run. The teams ran out of the yard 30 minutes before the sun set at 2:49PM.) Needless to say, it was a gorgeous run.

Aliy Heads out of the Yard with Chena, Scooby, Nomex, Spark, Five, Rodney, Sandy and Ernie.

Chris' Team (Woody, Chemo, Driver, Ginger, Driver, Outlaw, Hotshot, Cayenne and Wedgy) cross the SP Driveway.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Yukon Quest Documentary

As the season starts to gather speed our thoughts start to look forward to upcoming races. Of course, one of the big ones on SP Kennel's calendar is the Yukon Quest.

Canadian Broadcasting & Media Production Company Red Letter Films made a documentary series "Mushers: Conquering the Yukon Quest" during the 2015 race. If you haven't seen it already, or you would like to see it again, you can watch it 'on demand' on Vimeo (click the red link to take you to the page). Red Letter Films say about the series: "It depicts the awesome and true relationship between the mushers and their pups" so check it out!

Watch the interview the team did with Allen before the 2015 race and see some fantastic action shots of the team training on the Two Rivers trails.

"...people say "Why do these dogs do this, and why do they do it for 1000 miles? The best analogy I can give is why does a black Lab go after a tennis ball? If you throw it all day long, it will go after the tennis ball. Why? Because it is bred into them. It is bred into that retriever to retrieve, it's bred into these dogs to run, and they're not happy unless they're running."

Visit Red Letter Films' YouTube channel for more exclusive interviews and let them know how much you enjoyed the series.

If you ever have any questions about our dogs or kennel you can find lots of information right here on the DogLog (check the "About Us" and "Dog Mushing Basics" buttons or the search function down the left hand side) or email us directly on Email: SPKDogLog@gmail.com and just ask!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Chipper Wins Dog Fan Club Draw

Congratulations to Mary Duffy who has won today's Dog Fan Club draw. Mary is a fan of CHIPPER.

As you saw earlier... IT'S SNOWING!!! And, it's been pretty chilly in Two River this week also! So, in celebration of that, Mary will receive an SP Kennel beanie to keep her ears warm plus some other kennel goodies.

For such a wee little dog, Chipper is a handful! If we can keep her from losing her 'beans' and focusing when she needs to… she will again be the Rock Star that we know she can be.

Our next draw will be December 16th and everyone who hasn't already won and joined by then will be in to win!

Click the button below for more information about how to join:

Click this button to take you directly to the Dog Fan Page.

It's Snowing!

We have 2 inches of fresh powder snow on the ground and more is coming down.

This is ~ by far ~ the biggest snow storm that we have had this season. It's not falling at a 'blizzard rate' but if this keeps up, Alaska might look like Alaska by Christmas!

We are headed out on sleds today.

Needless to say... everyone is a little bit excited!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Training in the Cold

It has still been "chilly" in Two Rivers the last few days. Often times in the thick of winter, there is an inversion layer where warmer air rises in the hills -- so we go train the teams where it's warmer. We tried that a day ago only to find that it wasn't any toastier up high.

Many of the dogs have protective jackets and all of them have booties on their feet. You'll notice they are nibbling on frozen salmon -- YUMMY. Several dogs have on neck lines. That is because we must cross a highway and travel several miles down a logging road. The dogs wearing necklines tend to have extra energy when we 'stand still' waiting for traffic. So this additional leash adds security that these guys won't go play in that traffic.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Alaska's Youth

I love this video. I posted it several years ago and I have thought about it often over the last week. This video was put together by the kids from the village of Shaktoolik. I spent very little time in Shak this year on Iditarod 2016 - but there's always next year.

The Iditarod, the Yukon Quest and many of our shorter races travel through many villages like Shaktoolik. We cross the state (and the Yukon Territory) traveling from one village to the next. These small communities that dot our great state are tremendously supportive of our sport and understand our lifestyle. When I tell to a youth in Ruby that I was standing under the Northern Lights in the middle of the frozen river when I heard a snowmachine behind me... that kid knows what I'm talking about!

The youth in rural Alaska are like the youth in the rest of the world, they have their own 'growing up' issues, as well as family, peer and community problems. Every kid across the planet has had them and every one will. But, the youth in rural Alaska don't always have the educational network and extended social programs that kids in more populated centers can find. I have seen this first hand in the 25 years that I have lived in small Alaskan communities and traveled through villages.

But, how does a dog musher try to help?

I certainly don't have the education, skills or knowledge to help youth deal with their issues. I can't bring any helpful tools or educational curriculum with me as I travel down the race trail. I don't have hours during a race to truly listen to anyone and I wouldn't assume that I could help when I struggle at times to help my self. So, the answer remained a mystery to me for many years.

Matson is a primary sponsor of SP Kennel and our dog mushing races. They support the Iditarod as well and even sponsor the 'Most Improved Musher' Award given at the banquet in Nome. Matson has also demonstrated its commitment to supporting organizations that seek to improve the quality of life in communities in which their employees live and work. Therefore when the Alaska arm of Matson decided to invest in Alaska's youth by supporting The Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (ANDVSA) I wanted to become involved.

I met with the fantastic ANDVSA staff in August for the first time. They had an idea. Why not connect me with the Lead On conference? Lead On is a yearly youth leadership conference focused on violence prevention. It has three main goals:
1) to increase youth leadership skills
2) increase healthy relationships
3) to promote social change through community youth led projects

This year's conference was held November 18-20 in Anchorage. I went to the conference simply to see if it was all the it seemed to be. It was! A total of 93 youth and 38 adult community partners from all across the state came together. I listened and learned. I talked to youth and to chaperones. And I thought "Wouldn't it be neat if I could help recruit more youth from even more remote parts of Alaska?"

I had a small part in a workshop titled “Knowing Who you Are”. Myself, along with a Lead On youth alumni, Jennesy, spoke briefly about issues that we have faced and how we dealt with them. The workshop focused on the power of the self. The large group of youth listened intently to our stories and then explored their own personality traits, identities and strengths.

So, basically this is what I told my audience:
I fit no conventional mold. I never have. This doesn't bother me now. I tried to fit a normal mold when I was a teen, at least for a year or two. But I pretty much failed to pull that off.
People might tell you how you should feel or act, as they did me. Some people will be helpful and some will be way off base. It's okay to listen. You will mess up here and there and then you will find your path. Remember, it's your path... so ultimately it's up to you to find it. You can start by following the herd, there is no shame in that, or you can set out alone and try different routes, or you might just sit and watch for a while, then make a choice. Most of all, I believe, that you will be happy if you are true to your self. Find who you are... take your time because it's important... and then do your best to live the life that you deserve with your friends, your family or your loved ones.

I can say for certain that: I know who I am. Of course, there have been 'bumps in the road' (for all of us) while we find the path that best suits our self. For some of us, the teenage years were challenging and for others we jumped hurdles in our 20's, 30's or even 40's. Some of you might be reading this now in your 50's, 60's and 70's and wondering Who am I? But, I am fortunate. At this point in my life. I Know. It begins with 'dog' and ends with 'musher'. There is probably a bit more to it than that but I need to keep a few secrets.

I hope to have a future working with ANDVSA. I envision that Matson and I will work together to promote Lead On - to support the concept, to recruit sponsors, to increase participation, to advertise successes. This could be part of my game plan during and after the 2017 Iditarod.

Thanks, Alaska's Youth, for supporting me and SP during my racing career. Your successes are the successes of all that live in this great state of Alaska that I call home.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Bonus Thanksgiving Dog Fan Club Draw

We do have a lot to be thankful for! We are thankful for all our supporters, fans and sponsors, our friends and family and, of course, all our amazing canine family.

Today we celebrate our Dog Fan Club members by holding a bonus Dog Fan Club draw.

Congratulations to the students of the Northern Lights Academy right here in Fairbanks who are fans of BEAN.

Bean has finally calmed down a little, at least enough to wrangle her into a harness. That pup is certainly meant to pull and we are so excited to have her part of the team. She has been partnered with her sister Creamer for many of the training runs and they work very nicely together. The two blue eyed beauties replicate their Mamma Olivia.

The students' winning packet includes some fun and interesting stuff for the classroom plus a photo print portrait of Bean. We hope you enjoy your packet!

Our next regular draw will be December 2nd and everyone who hasn't already won and joined by then will be in to win!

Click the button below for more information about how to join:

Click this button to take you directly to the Dog Fan Page.

Thursday, November 24, 2016