By now it’s no secret, but we recently built a new 10-dog indoor box (picture 10 cubby holes big enough for dogs) so that our dogs could come inside on less-than-favorable days. While I can’t say I am an exceptionally good wood worker, I will say I have certainly enjoyed the process.
What started off as a way to distract myself from Travis’ absence grew into a fun project that now has me, I will admit, somewhat obsessed with building things whenever I can seem to find the time. (which is never)
The process itself was somewhat bizarre. Two years ago we had started a 15-hole dog box for a small one-axle trailer that Travis had spent the summer living in. Although no gem, we were excited to have a way to transport our dogs. Well, long story short, although we built the box it was actually too heavy for our small trailer and we never finished it. There was no top piece and none of the “boxes” actually had sides.
So, for the last two years it has sat in our garage collecting dust, power tools, and any other object that needed a temporary (or even less-than-temporary) home. Well, all that, changed. With the help of a friend, I cut the top row off using a sawzall and now had the parts to what would be a new 10-hole dog box, to go in our basement, as well as a 5 hole dog box, also to go in the basement.
I know what you are thinking: But you have SLED DOGS…why do they need to come inside?
Believe it or not, there are several reasons mushers bring dogs inside during the winter. One of the biggest reasons is to work on the dogs — maybe we have a dog with a foot problem and we need to keep applying ointment or maybe one of our dogs has an ongoing sore muscle — regardless of what the problem is, being able to bring them into a warm environment is very beneficial for the healing process. Another reason is if dogs get sick — we recently had several sick dogs in the kennel which really rushed me to finish the box. Perhaps the least “practical” reason but perhaps the most important, was the simple fact that we like bringing our dogs inside to hang out — not just with us but also with each other. We believe it’s important for a team to have good camaraderie both on and off the trail. Plus, the whole reason we have dogs is because we love dogs…the more time we get to spend with them, in our eyes, the better!
So after cutting the the top part off, I moved the 10 whole piece inside. I then had to cut side pieces, a top, and make clips to ensure that the dogs stayed in their cubby hole…we need to maintain some sense of order after all 🙂
Here is a picture of it being put to use:
It’s been especially having fun all the puppies inside…the one thing I forgot about however was there need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night so usually when they come in I have to get up every four hours because they have tiny bladders. Well worth the extra effort in my opinion 🙂
This picture was taken after many of the dogs had been inside for awhile (at like 3am) and were tuckered out from playing. Faraday, the big grey and white siberian husky in the middle of the picture was not feeling 100% because she got into an open bag of kibble, gorged herself and had a rather full stomach. On the top from left to right we have Kip, Odin, Meena, & Faraday (sorry I can’t remember who the last dog in the right hand most hole is and I can’t tell from just the leg!). On the bottom we have Gracie, Coda, & Chesney.
Some of you may be thinking…”Wait…none of your puppy names go together?”
Yeah…so what! While I am not completely opposed to “themes” I would rather find a name that fits the dog even if it means waiting a little longer. We have had themes in the past but only if the theme really and I mean really fits the dogs.
Ok well hope you enjoyed the update!
P.S. As you can see, our dogs enjoy their blankets. If you have old fleece blankets, sheets or towels and live in the Seward area our dogs would certainly appreciate the donation. I like to change out the bedding and end up doing a LOT of laundry…someday we will have a washer and dryer just for dog blankets, harnesses, and booties. I just wish that day would get here sooner!