“you give a dog a bad name, and that dog is bad for life.”
― Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries

Which is why the naming of puppies always take us so long.  There are some logical rules to naming Dew Claw dogs, “2 syllables, can’t rhyme with NO”. But there is also the emotional side, how does the name ‘feel’? is it fun to yell? does it fit the dog? This often turns into a multi day discussion with Dan and I bouncing ideas off each other. And if we are talking inside, more often than not, the discussions evolve into us just playing with puppies, which has lead to a humongous drop in productivity around Dew Claw.

I know I have used this rational before, and it is no less true today, but really how am I supposed to sit there and responsibly blog when right next to the desk is total puppy adorableness!!! And not just the usual litter of adorable future race dogs. We have those thanks to our dear Sweet Pea giving birth to 3 lovely puppies on Mothers Day. This year we also have a new side-kick dog. A super cute blue healer puppy has joined us. She came to us very young, and with only two settings, crazy-happy-bitey-bouncy or asleep. Needless to say she demands lots of love and attention, and we really are having a wonderful time with her. She is so different in temperament then our sled dogs, and it has been a long time since we have raised a single pet puppy. I must admit, I had gotten spoiled raising litters with the help of a mama dog to entertain and keep them in line.  Smart breeds like healers tend to really look to their human for direction and entertainment. So we are focusing on training her fun tricks and making sure she has clear boundaries and understands the expectations of a dogs life at Dew Claw.

But I digress…

The important thing is after days of discussion and hours of puppy play time we have settled on names for our new team members that both Dan and I are really happy with. I am so very pleased to be introducing them to you today.

Opal ~ our little gem.

Opal in motion...

Opal in motion…



Ready for a nap

Ready for a nap

And then for the Sweet Pea litter we decided the theme was Birds. With Sweet Pea for a mom and our big boy Sue as a dad we have high hopes that the Birds will be flying with the race team in a  few years. (and yes I know that was a horrible play on words, really not the best mushing analogy, forgive me my bad puns)

These photos were taken at about 12 days, the Birds had just started crawling around with intent and their eyes had opened just days before.

Falcon – the big boy.  He is big, easy going, first to explore new areas, and up for anything. He was the first to figure out how to climb out of the puppy pen, but to his credit he also climbed back in.

dew claw


Emu – the big girl. By far the most reserved of the three, but once she learned she had vocal cords she has not been shy about using them. She makes the cutest little howls and puppy barks.

dew claw

dew claw

Robin – the little girl. She is a total love bug, and has already decided that she likes being cuddled and held. Not quite as rambunctious as her brother Falcon, but close.

dew claw

Dew Claw

Puppies, like human children go through periods of development as they grow. And being aware of this, Dan and I make sure we are providing appropriate stimulation, socialization, and training for our Dew Claw pups.  So really all that time I spend with them is not just me procrastinating on the blog, I am making sure our dogs are getting every advantage we can give them in their development. So you can not really be mad at me for not blogging, cause who wants me to NOT make sure our puppies are getting everything we can give them?  Here is a website with an overview of puppy development stages, so you can get an idea of what types of things we are addressing at different stages.

Now with the important job of naming our new puppies done, and the Iditarod sign-up picnic right around the corner, I guess the next discussion Dan and I will be having is, “who gets to run Iditarod  next year?”

About Jodi

Jodi Bailey and Dan Kaduce live a life with dogs. They own Dew Claw Kennel a competitive long distance kennel where dogs come first. Jodi and Dan have each finished both the Yukon Quest and Iditarod 1000 mile sled dog races, in addition to many other races in Alaska.
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