So much to be thankful for, where to begin….
Hmmm how about where we left off last time? yeah that might work. When I last blogged we had the shell of a windowless house in progress…
“Be grateful for the home you have, knowing that at this moment, all you have is all you need.”
-Sarah Ban Breathnach
First the “Cliff Notes” version of the house.
Yes we have windows, and insulation, and the building now holds heat. Which was a major milestone on our way to getting the plumbing done. Now don’t get me wrong, I have lived without running water for years, and am a pro at washing dishes by hand in water heated on a woodstove. The sauna provides a pleasant way to get reasonably clean. And I can haul water jugs with the best of them. But all that aside, it was a great day at Dew Claw when Dan finished hooking the plumbing back up in the new house, showers and laundry for all!!!
Although work continues with steady progress an executive decision has been made… we will not be moving into the new house till after Iditarod. First we want to get the inside finished the way we want it, no stop gap, just get in there finish work. Second, right now my priority is the dogs. Really it is quite comfortable in the garage, if we push to move in early things will either not get done to Dan’s high standards or *worse yet* not at all, and the move can wait till I have time to deal with it, which will be April.
And with house news out of the way, on to the important stuff.
It is impossible to feel grateful and depressed in the same moment.
– Naomi Williams
OK as if the new snow on the ground and the current *Winter Storm Warning* issued by the national weather service were not enough to have me dancing with joy, we have some new and returning sponsors at Dew Claw that I want y’all to join me in thanking!!! Sponsors support enables our journey to Nome and gives us the ability to provide our dogs with the best care possible, Honestly I can not thank them enough!
Once again this year ManMat Mushing gear is outfitting our team. We know they make the best mushing gear, but I also think our team looks pretty sharp in the ManMat distance harness. Apparently I am not the only one, as Jeff Schultz and Exxon Mobil chose the Dew Claw dogs for the 2017 Iditarod Poster!
And speaking of looking good, I want to thank Dr. Carson’s All Natural Pet Products for once again sponsoring Dew Claw. We love the vitality Dr. Carson’s All Natural Supplements bring to our team, and the dogs coats and feet have never been healthier. It is a key element to the feeding program at Dew Claw, and we can not thank them enough for their continued support.
And rounding out the top needs of our dogs, along with top nutrition, and quality harnesses are booties. Once again Connie Lynkins has volunteered to make a significant amount of the booties the Dew Claw dogs will be wearing on the Iditarod trail, her efforts and kindness mean a lot. And when I am out there booting dogs it actually cheers me up knowing someone cared enough about me and the dogs to make hundreds of booties by hand, thank you Connie.
Now so far we have been focused on the dogs needs, as it should be. But this year we are excited to be working with a new sponsor who is going to help make sure I make it to the starting line in good shape. Super excited to be working with Nathalie Croteau, PT and Select Physical Therapy 3455 Rewak Dr of Fairbanks, Alaska. I had seen her about an injury from last year, and really appreciated her ability to work with me and my individual needs. So I am totally looking forward to working with her this season to get stronger and stay healthier.
Another big ticket item has been donated to the kennel this year, literally. Want to thank Diane Hirshberg for helping us with the flight to/from Nome for myself and our awesome handler Victoria. Having a handler in Nome to help me ensure the dogs get the first class care they earned makes a world of difference. Thank you Diane for making all this possible.
And lastly but never leastly I am happy to be welcoming back some of my absolute favorite Checkpoint Sponsors. Pendra King, Walt & Janet Tremer, Carol & Don Hand, and Albert Marquez of Planet Earth Adventures and Usibelli Coal Mine, Inc. I am honored to call them sponsors, but even more so – lucky to call them friends.
With so much to be thankful for, and fresh snow on the ground, you can feel the sense of joy and optimism at Dew Claw. And that is what I wish for all my friends as we set off into the New Year!!!