A picture is worth a thousand words. I apologize in advance. I didn’t take pictures very regularly and often times started a project and forgot to show a finishing picture. Whoops! The things you learn…Anyways, without further delay…
In the morning when Travis is gone, I wake to Max. He never goes on the bed with me while I am awake but always climbs on after I’m asleep. Strangely, he never wakes me although our bed sits maybe 3.5 feet high.
I also wake to this handsome fellow. Although he does not like having his picture taken. Usually he is either cuddled in my arms like some weird alive teddy bear or he is cuddled up with Max. Midnight is a strange cat and so is his girlfriend Noon. Don’t worry Cat Tales: Stories Of Cats in Dog Land is going to be a series of blog posts when I can get around to writing it. You won’t believe half the stuff I tell you though. Fact really is stranger than fiction. In the morning when I wake up it’s sunny so I go outside. We have four puppies: Bruce, Marlow, Flo, and Aldawin who I need to tie up. Bruce is very, very unhappy with this decision. Growing up sucks Bruce, believe me, I know! At least you have someone who brings you dinner and cleans up after you. The pained look on his face is nowhere near as bad as the pained look on my face…this dog sounds like nails on a chalk board. If he tried out for American Idol they would show his video because it’s hard to imagine a sound like that actually existing. Yes, it’s that bad…he is very cute though! After I tie them up, I let my younger puppies loose to play. The little puppies come over to say hi to Bruce. Bruce got to run loose shortly after this and play too. I had all the dogs loose. It was great! Bruce is pretty popular. Marlow! He’s so happy. That’s Posey (TBD) playing with him. Max is always a crowd favorite. Travis calls at this point and tells me that their are fish. Great. I end up putting the puppies away (they protest) and heading out. We’ve been getting fish recently from the Bear Creek Fish Weir and the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association. They routinely help us fill our freezers and our dogs bellies with salmon. In return, we do our best to help them. Here are some pictures of us at work, gathering and freezing fish from the weir. We would like to thank both Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association and Resurrection Bay Seafoods for their help. We rely on these fish to help lower our food costs and as valuable food for the dogs throughout training and racing. Many of these fish will be cut up and sent out in our Iditarod drop bags as they are one of the dogs most favorite snacks. The salmon start off in this holding pen and are then taken out and are used for SCIENCE. When we get the fish, they are fresh out of the water. Sometimes they’ve been cut open. They are slimy. They are stinky. And you have to throw them. The tote below holds 197 fish. I know because we have to count them. The Weir writes us a ticket for the fish in case we get pulled over by Fish and Game. Also big thank you to Adventure 60 North and Rick Brown for letting me use their truck while ours is up in Willow! It was fun driving an old ford stick shift. You can see the fish below have been cut open. They were used to make baby salmon. They take the males and females, fertilize the eggs and then bring them to different hatcheries. They also have to check their kidneys to make sure they don’t carry a genetic disease that can be lethal to the young fry (what baby salmon are called). You can see that I have an empty tote in my truck. Unfortunately, the only way to move the fish is by hand. So I put on fish gloves and start huckin. It’s not long before I am knee deep in fish slime. The worse part is the closer you get to finishing the slimier you get because you have to reach in over the sides of the tote. It is pretty gross. It is daunting work. I come home to find the dogs relaxing in the sun, a tote of smelly fish in the back of the truck. They are not able to freeze them right away at RBS. The puppies are happy to see me, though I wake them from a very cute nap. And no, not all these puppies are from the same mom. They were born within 3 days of each other however and I like my dogs well socialized. Eep more fish! I had to go to RBS to drop them off for freezing…and you know what that means? Slime Fest 2.0! We have to take the fish and put them on trays to freeze. We freeze each fish individually. Pretty nice. It makes chopping them into snacks for the dogs a breeze! Then we have to take some of our already froze fish home…to do that we need a big box! We take all the frozen fish and put them in the box we made: That’s Kris, Travis’ brother-in-law. Without him it would be really hard to do this! His cousin Andrew is also a huge help. It really helps lower our dog food costs! Then we take the big box home: And then we get home and Sarah realizes there is no room. Anywhere…and I spend the whole day cutting fish up so I can fit it all in the freezer. Cut up fish takes up way less space then whole fish. A big thank you to Ian Beals, Travis’ younger brother, for coming over and helping me. Together, we probably cut up some 700 or 800 pounds worth of fish. Intense! What’s crazy is if I were to take a picture of my day tomorrow it would look NOTHING like today. I wasn’t very good at taking pictures at regular intervals. Maybe Next time I’ll do that…but I’m more of a writer anyways.