13 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. The First Ever AARP Alaska Sled Dog Memorial Race will be tomorrow at the Mushers Hall in Fairbanks, Alaska. Here are the memorials for the six dogs I’ve lost this year:

    Ice is the finest sled dog Lynn Orbison has ever had the pleasure to drive. She was intuitive and competitive and cared WAY more about winning than Lynn ever did. She was given to Lynn at 9 weeks of age by Tom and Brenda Richard. She was beautiful and unique and loved beyond words. Ice trained competitive race dogs and teams that ran with her generally did well. But she also aged into the task of training shelter dogs and professionally won many red lanterns when Lynn no longer had the top flight dogs to keep up with her. She taught all of us that doing our best is its own reward. She was ready to be euthanized in December of 2010. Dr. Olson of Raven Veterinary came out to the house and sent her quickly and peacefully over the rainbow bridge. She is still VERY missed. She will be laid to rest at Daisy Acres in Two Rivers once the ground thaws. It will take much longer for my heart to heal.

    BobCat died at Daisy Acres while Lynn was transporting a rescue dog to Anchorage for medical evaluation. He was 13 years old and had been off his feed for a few days. Bloodwork the day before showed serious liver and kidney problems, but antibiotics were unable to fix it. He was owned by Kathy Frost and Lloyd Lowry and was known for being a power-steering leader. Lynn trained him as a pup, and she and others borrowed him from time to time for racing. He always improved the team. He is survived by his sisters Puma and Tiger. Puma is a year older and is retired at Daisy Acres. Tiger is racing in lead with Lynn today, and this is likely her last race ever. BobCat’s last race was the Limited North American two years ago when he ran lead with his sister Tiger and former kennel mates Pike and Trout…a commemorative run of the same dogs that ran as pups with Lynn in the LNAC back in 1998. (Pike has since passed, Trout is living large as a house fish at the Morningside Dog Asylum.)

    Ende, aka Endevor, was one of the first pups that Lynn Orbison trained and socialized for Kathy Frost and Lloyd Lowry. She was a very good eater! Lynn’s sing-song training chant was: “I’ll love you forever, Endevor”…and she did. Ende is the mother of Fine (deceased) and the grandmother of Truly (racing lead for Lynn today.) She was sold to Susan Butcher as an adult and whelped several litters for Trailbreaker Kennels over the years. She was loaned out to several other kennels, and was for sale for many years. Ende retired to Daisy Acres and was spayed. She lived and trained and raced here happily for many years but was sick in November of 2009. Bloodwork showed serious liver and kidney trouble and Ende went into hospice care. She made it through the winter in the house but was happiest outside in the dog yard amongst her friends and peers. She was euthanized in August of 2010 at the age of 16.

    Fame was a shelter dog that Lynn Orbison fostered on behalf of FNSB Animal Control. She is the only dog they’ve ever allowed her to foster, in spite of many offers. Fame’s web listing said she was five years old at the time, but her untrackable microchip was installed in 1998 so we figured she was probably closer to nine years old. She was pulled into Loving Companions Animal Rescue when her 30 day FNSB foster period was up. She was fostered at Raven Veterinary for a while, but she wasn’t happy there, so she came back to Daisy Acres. Fame killed Talent (another of the Raven Vet foster dogs.) She also survived breast cancer. She was a trained sled dog, and LOVED to participate. She would run lead, but you had to go very slow. Eventually, she would only run once or twice per season, and only go about a mile. But she was happy and willing her entire life. Fame was euthanized in 2010, we figured she was somewhere between 12 and 15 years old.

    Nelix was euthanized last fall due to complications from Cushings disease. He was 12 years old at the time. He was the pick of his litter and ran lead in the Open North American with Kathy Frost. He is the father of Lynn’s lead dogs Spruce and Truly, and the brother of Brad and Pitt, who are also racing today. He was sold to Rob Downey in Pennsylvania as an adult, but retired to Daisy Acres several years ago. He was neutered at the age of 10 when he developed serious prostate and reproductive troubles. After that, his medical issues never really ended. Nelix is also survived by another brother Dax who is retired and living happily in Anchorage.

    Taylor-Swift was a small blonde sled dog that Lynn Orbison adopted from Animal Control here in Fairbanks in November of 2008, she was listed as an adult dog. Her relinquishers said she came from Taylor Kennels, and that she trotted. She did trot (it is a natural gait for a canine.) But the Taylors said she wasn’t one of theirs. I renamed her Taylor-Swift and found myself singing “You should have said no!” as we toodled around on the trails together. Taylor-Swift raced in the LNAC and the Valley Funale with Lynn and was learning to be a lead dog. She was adopted in the summer of 2010. Her adopter had finished working up on the slope and was driving back to his home in Idaho and wanted a companion animal. She was hit by a train in Sand Point Idaho that fall. Railroad personnel called me because she was still wearing her Daisy Acres boomerang ID tag. They graciously mailed her collar back to me. I called the adopter to notify him of her death. He said he let her out to potty in the morning, but later found that the door to her pen was open.

    1. LynnO – I wish you all the luck in the Memorial Race…I can tell by your post that you truly loved every dog that was ever in your care – be it for a little while to train, or to live out the end of their life with you. The fact that you know so much about the dogs and their litter mates amzes me to this day. That shows true love and care for the dogs. Good luck and RIP dear doggies that have passed and made their way over the Rainbow Bridge, knowing they were loved, as ever dog should when they must face that time that they go.

      1. Thanks Erica, it was a glorious if somewhat bittersweet day. I actually won the race! There were 14 teams participating in four classes of racing. Everybody had a good time, and Sully was the oldest dog participating at 14 years of age. (His person drove in from Healy, more than 150 miles away) to join the fun. I’ve put the sleds away for the season, and the melting has begun in earnest…lakes more than puddles everywhere.

  2. Ways one can help the pets in need. Let me count the ways…

    1. Foster a pet, 2. Share about the no kill movement, and share listed shelter animals on twitter, Facebook, your blogs, email, etc… 3. Volunteer at your closest animal shelter. 4. Help with pet transports 5. Post a shelter pet ad on one of the free classified sites online; like craigslist or ebayclassifieds.com. 6. Love your pet(s) and do whatever it takes to keep them for their lifetime! 7. Donate/Sponsor a spay/neuter to help stop the unwanted litters of kittens and puppies that are being killed in our shelters daily. 8. Read the book Redemption by Nathan Winograd and then lend it out to others. 9. Learn what is really going on at your local animal shelter by visiting often with open eyes. 10. Be brave enough to take action and speak for the ones that can not. Thank you!

    1. Thank you Animal News & Info-well said! Be informed , speak out and spend time at the shelter /rescue!

    1. I did some checking and found something called Junior Posters that measure 6′ x 12′ that can be rented near the shelter….I have contacted Billboard Mart to inquire as to availablility, pricing, and minimum time of rental required. Once I hear back I’ll let you know what I have found out.

  3. Hi everyone: Remember the Morrow County OH animal shelter that had the flood? Well, we have the opportunity to help them, by taking a little one who nobody wanted (a JRT/Doxie mix) named Bodie. We need to raise $300 to get him to NY: About 150 for his vetting and neutering and the rest for transport from OH to NY. ALSO, if anyone knows a
    transporter(s)I would appreciate the help, because we have never worked with this part of the country. The dog has to get to Eastern NYS, near the MA border. THANKS AND PLEASE HELP!

  4. Doesn’t sound like Lynn screens her adopters very well, considering what happened to Taylor Swift. I was very upset by this story.

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