Thursday, November 10, 2011

Training is in full swing...

Well I think it's about time for yet another blog. I want to start off with how awesome the team is looking this year! They are rocking. They are taking everything we are throwing at them, and coming back wanting more! LOVE IT! I swear this team thinks they can take on the world! Which is what we all want!

We are now up to doing longer runs, which take a good part of the day, so on the off days or the evenings it is puppy time. Which means they either come in the house for an hour or so to just hang out, or we take them out in the big yard and let them free run for an hour or so! Well the other morning the impatient piebalds, earned their nickname well. This litter has been impatient sense the moment they came out of their mother, and I can easily blame that on their father Roland, who is one of the most impatient dogs I know! Anyhow the pies were busy while we were on our morning run, and dug out of their yard which resulted with them being loose in the male yard. Well most all of the males were with us on the team, they only got to bug the retirees, which don't pay much attention to the pups anyways. But weren't those four pups prouder than peacocks running around watching us come across the field and back in the yard. So that was the day we decided to introduce the pies to the big dogs, all went great and the pies love having more dogs to pick on and gang up on besides their siblings and mom all the I liked the ending result of them all being totally crashed afterwords!

Basically just catching everyone up to speed, all is well at Fort Illio. Dogs are doing awesome, and pups are growing up so nicely! Here are some photo's to enjoy, until next time! Happy Trails!

~Fort Illio~

The team

Pups crashed


Pups meeting big dogs

Pups running

Pups in the house, They all know where the treats live!

Dixie the clown!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Leaves are starting to change color....

Leaves are starting to change color, and yes that can only mean one thing...fall is here! The cooler weather during the days, the fall breeze and the crisp mornings, sure make some happy huskies in my neck of the woods! So yes consistent training has started for the huskies and they are very vocally happy about that! If you don't believe me just ask Rosa! Where in the early month of August we were getting up at 4:30 in the morning to get the team out while it was cool enough, it has become an ritual for the team to set their alarms off at 4:00 A.m, and 4:15, and 4:30, and and get the picture, they want to run! The team is doing really great this year and we even have a few up and coming leaders. More on that later.

And I am sure you are wondering about the puppies, they have grown so fast and are all so smart. Cree's babies are so obedient and big! As Kyat's babies are just starting to learn about all the adventures, and of course learning how to sit. Most all of them have it nailed by now, but I will tell you it's quite a chore teaching 8 puppies to sit at the same time, compared to only 3! I certainly had my hands full that's for sure! The big puppies play with the big dogs now, and everybody gets a long great. So again all are happy.

It has been a very good and busy summer here at Fort Illio, got a lot of projects done, finished a bunch of stuff...we have been busy with the pups of course! I can easily say I love having puppies around and watching them learn, and get brave! What a joy to watch for sure.

Well that's about all the news here, here are some photos to enjoy!

~Fort Illio~

Monday, July 25, 2011

Puppies, puppies and more puppies!

The Rock Band Litter is growing so fast, they are already 7 wks old, and are such a joy to teach things to. They new sit at 5 wks of age, and now they do it consistently! We have taken them on adventure walks, where they have to go over and under blown down trees, through water, and tall grass, nothing phases this litter one bit. Cree and Watt should be proud parents for sure. Here are some photos of them at 7 wks old!







We also have more exciting news, Kyat who we leased from our good friends Blake and Jennifer Freking from MN, was bred to Roland, and now we have 8 happy healthy puppies! They are all piebalds, and there was 5 females and 3 males. Kyat went into labor early Thursday morning, she would not let me leave her side. Around noon her water broke, and than we waited and waited for pups to start coming out. Finally about 5 hrs after her water broke it was time to start worrying...we went to the emergency clinic, and sure enough on the xrays show two pups stuck, one in front and the other was T Boning the stuck one. Not good! While looking at the xray I was counting heads, and was shocked to see 8 pups in there! WOW! The Vet strongly suggested a C section, which kind of bummed me out, but at that point what needed to be done had to be done! So that is what we did, and the best part was I got to watch all of this happen and learn, and help revive the pups! WAY COOL! I am pretty sure I am hooked and ready to be a Vet Tech for sure! All 8 pups survived and are growing like crazy, and momma is doing great as well! Here is a photo to enjoy!

That's about all the news for now!

~Fort Illio~

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A picture is worth a thousand words...

Johnny Jump Ups

Ryder & Tippin's Grave


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Coming and going....

About a month ago Blazer headed out to be with his buddy Storm. Blazer went to live with our new friends Mark and Katina, (the same people that have Storm) They loved Storm so much, they wanted his partner in crime (Blazer). Blazer hasn't been on the race team much the past two years, due to him having issues running anything over a 20 mile run. So we decided that Blazer would be best off in his new home, where he can set the pace of the team, and be spoiled, which we have no doubt that is what he is getting! Thank you again Mark and Katina for giving our loved boy a wonderful new home!

Now the more exciting news is we now have puppies!! Cree gave birth to three healthy puppies early Sunday morning. 2 males and 1 female. They are just the cutest little things, and are already keeping me on my toes. I have a feeling this litter is going to be a handful. :)The litter theme is names of Rock Bands. So introducing....

Fort Illio's Saving Able "Sable"

Fort Illio's Hinder

Fort Illio's Shinedown "Shiner"

Cree and her babies

Thats all the news for now!

~Fort Illio~

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wild Wild West...Yet Again!!! :)

You think I would just move out there already! LOL! But responsibilities always seem to get in the way of dreams...SIGH

So yes I yet again made another trip out to MN. This time Mom and I went along with Jaye and Shane, it was a great trip, just long! It's funny how I forget all the time how long of a drive it is out there and back.

So of course we had a great and too short of a visit with Blake, Jen and their beautiful daughter Ellie, and of course all the furry creatures they have! It was a great time, but as usual way too short. And as I am sure you are all wondering, where you know I don't go to MN and not bring anything back to Maine. So there are two females here, one of which is visiting and the other is staying permanently. More about them later.

That's about all the news here, just been catching up on summer projects, getting the puppy building ready, its all wired, now we just have to insulate and put the walls up, and than get the whelping area set up. It's going to be nice. Cree is pregnant so she will be the first to use it. She is due at the end of the month. We have been busy building dog houses as well, replacing some old ones, and just building some news ones, for the new babies being born! It's never ending...

Dogs have just been lounging and playing hard during play time. We have been still running them on ATV, and plan to until it's gets to warm. The dogs seem to love it! Below are some photo's of the dogs running, and playing. Enjoy!

Well that's all for now until puppy time!

~Fort Illio~

Marocca and Dixie playing

Early morning run

The new girls, Kyat and Rosa

Water break

Stormy moves on...

At the Greenville Race this year we met a really nice couple, that had Siberians, and they just fell right in love with Storm! I was thinking about placing Storm in a smaller kennel, where he would get more attention, and to help teach Mark and Katina's younger dogs what sledding is all about. Turns out it was a match made in heaven, and we couldn't be happier that Stormy is in a great home, and being spoiled like he deserves!! Thanks a lot Mark and Katina for sharing your life with Storm, and we hope he is what you wanted!

Storm with his new family (Mark & Katina)

Storm counter surfing

~Fort Illio~

Friday, March 18, 2011

Can Am 60

Team coming into the finish!

This is the race we just love to go to and anxiously wait for all season! This race is a bit of a drive for us but so worth it. We left Thursday morning earlier than we normally leave, but the joy of going to school, I had to stop at my college and take a test that "could not be made up!" Those professors they sure are tough! Of course my mind was not in "school mode" where I was way too excited for the weekend to come! But I did the tests, and was in and out of there fast. Turns out I did better than I thought on it.

Anyhow the drive up was uneventful, stopped on the way and took pictures of Mt. Katahdin, where you can see it next to the road, and it was a clear day, so it was really pretty! We arrived right on schedule and arrived at our place to stay. Got settled in for the night, fed the dogs and got them all tugged in. Next day was vet checks. Woke up to a wonderful breakfasts being made by George and Maggie who was racing the 30 miler that weekend!

Vet checks went great! All passed with flying colors! Only one split on Aryans pad was the only issue! NICE! I have to say to have only one split all season with the miles we put on, pretty remarkable, thanks to mom for her bootie expertise!

Saturday morning finally came and it was snowing...I was hoping to do the race in 7 to 7 1/2 hrs, but the snow obviously was going to set us back a bit. Before we knew it dogs were harnessed bootied, and sled was ready, we were headed for main street. We were number 6 out of the shoot. The team was Wat and Roland in lead (the jokers) followed by them was Kaleeta and Cree, than Wallace and Yoda, And Lumos and Aryan in wheel. We flew out of the shoot under the bridge back up and we are supposed to cross the road...right boys! Well the boys hence why they are call the jokers, decided it would be fun to head down the road, towards a black cadillac, after some situating we were back on trail with the road crew laughing! We were underway again, team was clipping right along and I was jamming to my Ipod and running up hills! Passed a few teams and came into the checkpoint...hmmm joker boys again! They obviously know what a checkpoint is so when we arrived they were ready to pick out their spot! And almost took out a couple of volunteers that were in "their" way! I signed in and out and we were back on trail again. I pulled over shortly after the checkpoint and gave them some salmon, let them roll in the snow for few seconds and we were on trail again. Ipod back on, me running up more hills and paddling, passed another team. Still snowing we finally hit the 10 mile marker. The last 10 miles were uneventful and finally came to the finish line, with the team loping in! I got a lot of comments on the team with how they didn't even look tired after 8 hrs and 17 minutes of running! I came in 15th place out of 23 teams, our best placement yet at this race, where it is a highly competitive race! And we also qualified for the 250!!!!!!! I was very happy with the teams performance and just couldn't stop smiling the whole way! At one point shortly after the checkpoint, a chickadee flew over my team very slowly, it was very neat to see. But I couldn't help but think it had something to do with my grandmother who helped raise me when I was younger, she LOVED chickadees, so seeing this really made me smile and be thankful for her! Back at the truck we gave the dogs their well deserved warm soup, checked them all out, and found only 2 sore wrists. Not bad! The trail was very punchy with how warm it was, so only two sore wrists wasn't that bad. It was Wallace and Kaleeta and I know when it happened it was within the last 3 miles coming in where this section of downhills are, the trail was pretty blown out and the dogs were just swimming down the hill.

That's the Can Am recap. Now we are just trying to have a few more fun runs before the snow is gone and its a mud pit, and doing some spring projects. We need to finish the dog/puppy building. Need to wire it, insulate it, and put the walls up, and than organize it! Always busy doing something! Happy Spring!

~Fort Illio~

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Sandwich 45 Miler

Feb 19th we went to NH and competed in the Sandwich Sled dog race, doing a hard fast 45 mile run. The team was Kaleeta, Cree, Watt, Roland, Wallace, Bones, Rimbey and Lumos. I was amazed at how technical this trail was, everyone warned me that it was a technical trail, but I didn't think it was going to be a trail where you were kept on your toes 24/7. It was a fast hard trail, and I can honestly say I did more sled driving in that 45 miles than I did all season! We came in 8th place out of 14th place with a time of 4 hours and 26 minutes. I was holding the team back a lot where I didn't want any injuries, and save the team for the Can Am race!

Stay tuned for the Can Am race update!

~Fort Illio~

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


We did it!!! We finished our first 100 mile race, and I can easily say we are hooked and there WILL be plenty more to come! What a blasts it was! We did however came in last place, but we learned a lot on this race, and know it will benefit us in the years to come.

We left the starting shoot at 9:02 A.M. with bib number 2. The team was Kaleeta and Watt in lead, with Cree and Roland in swing, Wallace, Yoda, Aryan, Marocca Bones, and Rimbey and Lumos. The team flew across the 4 miles of lake, and crossed the two roads, and we were under way. We didn't get passed until we were about 8 miles out when Adam Cummings and a few other Alaskans teams, breezed by us. It was a little warmer than I would of liked but that is one thing we can't control for sure. About 20 miles out, I had to bag my 65 lb dog (Aryan) he rode in the sled for about 5 miles, and he certainly picked the toughest miles to ride in the sled for, where it seemed like it was all up hill, he seemed sore on his front... After the 5 miles he was screaming his head off, and wanted back on the team, back on the team he went. He settled right in to a nice pace and away we went. It was really getting warm at this point, and we were trudging along. A little after 3 P.M. we pulled into the checkpoint, and I can easily say the dogs looked a lot better than me, I was hot and tired and thirsty! First thing first take care of the dogs and get them bedded down for some rests. I hooked down the front of the team, removed booties, undid tuglines, fed everyone, checked dogs over well, and treated two slight sore shoulders, everyone was in great spirits and bedded down within 40 minutes of pulling into the checkpoint! Not bad for a rookie! Once the team was secure and calm, I felt safe enough to go to the bathroom get some chilly and two bottles of water and some energy boost...CHOCOLATE!!! Back out to check on the team, and they were sitting up at this point watching all the teams pulling out. I talked to mom and Jaye and Jayes handler for awhile, and than it was about time for Jaye to pull out. I was scheduled to leave about 45 mins after her. The 45 minutes went by fasts, as I was getting the team rebooted and gearing them up to go. I put on their red collars and we set out across the lake. At first I was wondering if the team was even going to go, but heading out of the checkpoint they surprised me and kicked it over drive and we literally tore out of there!!! I put on the Ipod and away we rolled. The first 20 miles went by so fasts as we were averaging 14 mph. I caught the team that left about a half hour ahead of me and passed her, which later on we played leap frog throughout the last part of the race. The snowstorm hit us about 24 miles from the finish line and it was coming down so fasts, that visibility was null all the time! I could only see the two dogs in front of the sled. I was soaked, and hot, and was just running up hill after hill after hill. Finally we crossed the finish line around midnight. I dropped Wallace at the checkpoint due to a sore hind end, but the other 10 dogs all finished the race, and finished happy and strong! I can easily say what a great experience! And thanks to everyone who helped us get to this goal!!! And especially thanks to my mom and step dad Mike! :)

Enjoy the photos below!

~Fort Illio~