I noticed there was coolness in the air. Clusters of yellow birch leaves tumbled by Brock's four black paws. I welcomed this cool breeze as I reached in the dog shed to pull out several harnesses. As soon as my hand touched the harnesses, Brock's four black paws exploded into the air with pure joy, sending the whole dog yard into a roar of excitement. This is how we officially kicked off Frozen Trident Kennel's first year of training!
With the first month of dog training quickly coming to an end, I'm learning that fall is one of the busiest times of year for a brand new mushing kennel. There is so much to do and so much to plan that it's difficult to know where to start. That leads us to the question: What is our goal this winter?
Frozen Trident Kennel's 2018/2019 Winter Goal is to qualify for the Iditarod!
In order to do this, The Frozen Trident Pack needs to finish two 300 mile races and one 200 mile race this winter.
For us to finish a 300 mile race, we need to train up our team of doggo athletes and our musher. Our Training started on Sept.1 and throughout the training season we will slowly increase the length and difficulty of each run. As the dogs continue to get in better shape, Jeri and myself will also be working out, constantly striving to get in better physical condition.
Races we have our eye on this season: Copper Basin 300, The Willow 300, and either the Two Rivers 200 or the Percy DeWolfe 210.
Running these races will depend firstly on the team. Going into a race you need happy, healthy and motivated dogs. If we have 12 happy, heathy athletes that are wanting to run- we will get them racing!
In order for us to train up a team of dogs in the winter months, we need to purchase quite a bit team gear.
What Team gear is needed to run the qualifying races?
The first piece of gear we need is race harnesses for our four legged buddies. The harnesses we found to be most comfortable for our dogs are the Howling Dog Alaska Distance Harnesses and cost $44.00 per harness at Alaska Feeds in Fairbanks.
Booties and lots of booties. Booties cost about $1.75 per bootie or $7.00 per dog. With 17 dogs that need bootied for every snowy run, that can add up through out the winter (Dogbooties.com).
When the extreme cold hits in Two Rivers, the dogs need protection during training. All those puppers will need Puff coats and wind jackets. The Non-stop Dogwear puff coat cost about $80 per coat and The Non-stop Dogwear Distance Jacket cost about $70 per jacket(Amazon Prices).
I am also going to need a sled. The sled that I am training with now will be able to get me through a 300 mile race but is not ideal. I am kicking around the idea of building my own sled but I know next to nothing on this topic (watching me attempt this could be entertaining though). Regardless, I will eventually need a reliable long distance sled for the Iditarod, like one from Dog Paddle Designs. I will need to have a sled that I trust not to fall apart while going through some of the harshest environments on Earth.
Lastly, we need a way to take the dogs from our kennel and get them to the races. My plans for this includes pulling the bed off of my truck, building my own flat bed, and then constructing a dog kennel box that can haul up to 16 dogs plus all of our gear, sled, food and other supplies needed for a 300 - 1000 mile Race.
These are just a few of the hurdles we have to overcome this winter in order to get these extraordinary athletes to the start line. We are humble enough to realize we can't do this alone. We need a the whole Frozen Trident Pack; Jeri, myself, the dogs, and all of you who support FTK.
Rudyard Kipling said it best, "For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack."
In order for us to accomplish our mission this winter, we need help from all member of our pack! Check out the Support Frozen Trident section of our website and consider buying a shirt or sponsoring a dog. Anything helps! All the contributions go directly towards helping our furry best friends do what they love!
Frozen Trident sets aggressive goals. Goals that are difficult, goals that have the possibility of failure. It is not the fear of failing that motivates us to reach our goals. It is the possibility of prevailing when the odds are stacked against us. Easy shit doesn't build character. Easy shit doesn't breed greatness. Step out of your comfort zone. Strive for greatness. Join the Frozen Trident Pack this season and help us reach our goals.