February 19, 2012

2012 Expedition Rookies: The Fab 5

This year, Joe has five rookies on the expedition. That’s the most he’s ever had at once. Normally he likes to start the season off with the rookies in harness tethered to the side of the sled rather than in the team, that way they can get into the groove of expedition life without the pressures of being in the team with a bunch of veterans breathing down their necks! Eventually they are integrated into the team, usually starting in wheel position and, depending on their individual talents and skills, moving forward to team or swing positions. But with the current thigh-deep, punchy snow conditions, it’s just not sensible to put the newbies on the sides of the sled because they’d essentially have to break their own trail. So, directly into the team they go!

1. Charlie has spent the past six years as a house dog and has sired a few litters in our kennel. He’s got a big personality and he’s smart as a whip. He likes to sleep on the cool tile floor downstairs, but every morning when he hears the alarm go off, he hustles up the stairs and jumps on the bed for his morning belly rub. I’d imagine this expedition is taking some getting used to, but I know he’s having a lot of fun out there. What malamute in his right mind wouldn’t? Besides, in no time he’ll probably be running in lead. Joe always says the dogs that make the best leaders are the ones that spend the most time in the house.

Charlie as a puppy.Charlie 021

2. Rowdy is Charlie’s son and he has a pretty interesting story. When he was about 6 weeks old, an elderly widow bought him from us because she wanted a big dog and knew that malamutes are good company. When she came to pick him up she sat with us and told us lovely stories about how she and her husband used to have malamutes and they’d hunted and trapped with them many years ago. She was really looking forward to taking the little white butterball home with her. She named him Rowdy and off they went to start their friendship.

A year later, I saw a flier on the message board at the store. Someone was looking for a forever home for a white male malamute named Rowdy. We dialed the number and lo and behold, he was living with a young family not too far from our house. The widow had passed away and the family was fostering Rowdy.

We were happy to reconnect with him and now here he is on his very first Arctic expedition. And yes, Rowdy is in fact, rowdy.

Rowdy boy.rowdy

3. Grace is also new on the expedition scene this season. She’s Rowdy’s littermate. Gracie is such a sweet girl and a heck of a puller, too. Joe says she’s pulling in the team like she’s been doing it all her life. He couldn’t be more thrilled with her performance. Her enthusiasm is out of this world.

Pretty girl, Grace.image

4. Champ. Sweet, precious little Champ. This guy is an angel…an absolute doll. He is so fun-loving and I can just tell he’ll always be a kid at heart. He does have an adventurous side and I’m sure he’ll be a powerhouse on the expedition team even though he’s kind of a little squirt given that he’s a husky/malamute mix. Joe’s going to try him up in lead very soon!

Baby Champ.IMG_9069

5. Junior is one of the best dogs we’ve ever had besides his daddy, Farmer. Joe’s reporting that Junior is a really strong puller and he is super smart.  Who knows, maybe he’ll end up running in lead next to his dad.  He has an excellent metabolism, which is very important, especially on an expedition. Plus, he’s a good lookin’ fella! 

Junior on the run.IMG_9080

And there you have it…the Fab 5 Rookiesof the 2012 Arctic Expedition!


  • http://prairieisledogtrekking.com Helen Corlew

    I have been reading your book and love it. Excited to hear how the Fab 5 do for you. All look great

  • http://piappies.blogspot.com/ Piappies World

    We are happy to see familiar pup faces join this year’s expedition! Go Rookies! Yay!