Fresh from the Pasta Queen

This is another Sascha story, I promise.

Rich likes to watch Nadia G. on the other food channel.  I have a hard time watching all of that going on and listening to the accent.  Last week, Rich was watching Nadia and thought the recipe sounded good.  That’s besides getting his entertainment value from watching Nadia jingling around the kitchen.  I never wear that much jewelry in the kitchen.

On Sunday, Rich decided to try the recipe.  Now this is something I can’t pronounce, no matter how hard I try.  It was Fettuccine with Salsiccia and Brisket Sauce.  The sauce is very rustic with braiseed brisket chunks and Italian sausages.  The recipe calls for making your own fettuccine pasta.

The sauce wasn’t hard.  That looked easy.  Just browning things and then throw them together in the pan to bake in the oven for several hours.  Now the handmade pasta is another matter.  I don’t like making my own because I never do a good job.  Rich, on the other hand, does a great job with pasta.  We even own a Pasta Queen for cranking out your own. 

Sunday afternoon, Rich brought the Past Queen up from the basement and went about mixing up a batch of dough.  With the Queen anchored to the counter, he was ready to roll out the first sheet.  He quickly cranked out the first sheet to the right consistency.  On the way through the Queen, a small piece dropped to the floor. 

I convinced Sascha that she should be a good vaccuum and pick it up for me so I didn’t have to.  She looked at it, pushed it with her paw, and finally gathered it up to take to the living room to figure out what it was.  She continued to touch it, push it around, and lick it.  Finally, she got up enough courage to actually try a taste.  She must of liked it, because it was gone in no time.

Sascha then returned to the dining room to see if there was more of this wonderful stuff lying around on the floor.  Darn! No such luck.  But wait, there was some coming out of the machine on the edge of the counter.  Before Rich could stop her, Sascha reached up and took the entire sheet out of the Pasta Queen!  Hurrying off to the living room again, she gobbled up the pasta.

She didn’t see Rich take a swipe at her as she ran away with her golden goodness.  I heard some choices names being yelled in her direction, but Sascha was so happy as she bounded out of the dining room.  That was the last pasta she was going to get.  Rich was very protective of the rest of the pasta going through the Queen and lying on the table to dry. 

The result was worth it.  The dish was excellent.  It was great for dinner that night and for lunch the next day.  Can’t say I liked the brisket, but the sausage was good.  Just more brisket for Rich.  No brisket for Sascha though.  No more pasta either.

Shooting turkeys

This is not about what the title sounds like.  My friends, Kim and Diane, came up this morning for breakfast and then to bowl a couple of games.  See not Thanksgiving turkeys.

Diane has a new goal in her life.  She wants to beat Rich at bowling for at least one game.  Today, she was going to try to reach this goal.  Last Wednesday, Diane and Rich were bowling after the department bowling outing.  Diane wasn’t having such a good day.  She decided to challenge Rich to another game.  They agreed upon today for that rematch.

Since Diane was coming up this way, she invited our friend, Kim, to come with her. I haven’t seen Kim in a while, so it was a great chance to connect again.  Kim is my free spirited friend who loves to travel and do things.  I wish I had her energy for getting about.  I’ve know Kim for almost 12 years now.  It never amazes me how she can pick up at a moment’s notice to go and have fun.  She happened to be in town and not scheduled for anything.

Kim and Diane came by our house before 9:00 this morning.  This meant we could go by the Island diner and enjoy a leisurely breakfast.  Diane says the place has to be good because it has Island in the name.  Here, I thought it was because they knew how to do breakfast. 

Rick, Rich, and I got the usual.  Kim went for the simple bacon and eggs while Diane did the Island breakfast wrap with sausage.  It looked good and hit the spot before we headed off to Palace Bowl.  The parking lot had quite a few cars, but the Sunday morning league was playing down at one end of the lanes.  There was no one in for the open bowling.

We got situated on the lane and Rick put in the names.  Dick (Rich) would lead off followed by Di Di (Diane), then Rick and Kimmy P (Kim).  The game started slowly and it appeared that Diane and Rich were pretty evenly matched.  Rich won the first two games by a couple of pins.  There were running pretty much around 135-140.  Then the third game, Rich poured it on strong and finished with a 211, which was an all time high for him.

Now a turkey is 3 strikes in a row, for those who don’t know bowling.  Then Rich got stuffing, which is 4 strikes in a row.  He was hot.  No cranberries thought (5 in a row).  You know, there is a name for just about every combination of bowling strikes.  The list is long.

Rick was just trying to stretch and get back int he swing.  He hadn’t really bowled much over the last year.  He hit a 107, 126, and then was too tired to reach more than 100 on the third game.  Now Rick could be a great bowler, if he practiced more.  We want him to join the men’s league with his dad next year.  Not sure if that will happen or not.  He is expected to get a job when we get back from vacation this summer.  That might get in the way of bowling.

So Diane is on still working on her stretch goal to beat Rich in a game of bowling.  I guess we’ll probably be hitting a few more bowling alleys along the way as Diane tries to put a hurt on Rich’s game. 

Besides, Sascha loved the company.  She had a greeting for everyone.  After we got back, she demanded attention while Rich, Kim, Diane and I were talking in the basement.  Rich was showing off his improved bar.  Sascha was lying on the couch as Diane was getting her a rub down.  Once you start petting Sascha, she refuses to believe that you would ever want to stop. 

Thanks for coming out guys.  We had a great time.  Maybe after work one day, Diane, you and Rich can hold another challenge.

Snowflakes the size of cowpies!

I noticed on my phone this morning that I had a weather warning.  I opened it to check out what could be causing the red exclamation point.  Wow!  It was going to be a good one.  And we’ve had such a mild winter for Chicago.

The report said that from 6:00 pm to 9:00 am we were under a Winter Advisory.  Accumulations were expected to be 4 to 9 inches.  Some ice was also expected. 

I waited all day for snow.  My desk at home is right next to the window and I normally watch the weather, squirrels, birds, and other activity out there.  Right about 2:30, it started to rain, but it was light.  Then my son came home and said it had started to snow.  The next time I look out, there are large saucer-sized objects falling out of the sky!

I ran outside with my camera to try and capture this.  I’ve never snowflakes that large.  I’m not sure I’d call them saucer-sized (as in cup and saucer).  No, they were the size of a small cowpie!  You could almost hear a noise when they smacked down onto something.  They were huge!  They were ginormous! 

Rick came out onto the deck to get a closer looker.  I sent him to stand under one to capture it so I could get a good picture.  Darn, the only one he got was in his hair and it was hard to tell what it was.  It might have been bird poop from an albatross by the size of it. I took a picture anyway.

So we went back into the warmth of the house and stood at the front window watching these large, white, fluffy things coming down.  They quickly coated the grass.  After a bit, the size grew more in keeping with a snowflake that we all know and sometimes hate. 

Sascha enjoyed the snow for a bit.  I was surprised that she didn’t stay outside in the snow more.  Of course, she had Rich at home all day.  After attending a work event and staying a little later than intended, he decided to work from home today.  Sascha was so happy to have her daddy around.  She bothered him all day long.

Anyway, Sascha continue to enjoy her favorite activity, lapsitting.  Anytime someone sits down, she launches into their lap.  I’ve been trying to train her to ask and launch only by invitation.  So far, it’s not working.  She is very self-centered and thinks only of her own comfort.  She only gets down when you make her or she just gets too hot to take it anymore.

Pictures today are of Sascha and her favorite activity with her favorite people:

Sascha in Rick's lap
Sascha reading the paper with Rick
Then there is the awesome snowflakes that you probably can’t even see anyway.  But here are the photos to prove it.
Massive snowflakes coming down at the house
Captured one in Rick's hair
Cowpies for the sky
Happy snow day to me tomorrow.  Don’t worry, McHenry never gets out of school for snow.

Running Wild in the Woods

Today was a special treat for Sascha.  Rich decided to take her over to Moraine State Park, which is right next to the subdivision and let her pull the scooter.  The trails are pretty nice, but there are a lot of hills. 

Rick decided to ride his bike with them.  Following behind would keep him out of the way and still be able to enjoy the ride.  This meant taking two vehicles, but it turns out the scooter doesn’t fit in the Honda anyway.  Time to get that bike rack for the back of the car.

I thought I’d pack up my stuff and read while everyone was on the trail.  That way someone could drive to the hospital, if needed.  I got my blanket, book, chair, and cup of coffee.

We drove over to Opossum Run at the end of the park.  There’s a nice loop around the end that’s about 2 1/2 miles around.  It goes through woods, prairie, and by Lake Defiance.  As I said, there are some hills to the trail. 

We parked and got the bike and scooter out.  Everyone suited up for the ride.  I walked Sascha around as they prepared.  She got very excited to be out in the woods.  I hooked her to the lead and away everyone went.  Turns out the trail was very sloppy and wet.  The downhills are paved to prevent erosion. 

The sloppy trail meant that the scooter got bogged down.  Rich had walk it through these stretches, but Sascha kept wanting to pull.  It’s hard to control her and the scooter at the same time.  But going downhill on the paved, you kind of fly.  On the first downhill, Sascha decided to dash in front of the scooter and might have gotten run over.  She appeared to be walking fine, but she definitely learned to stay out of the way after that.

At about halfway through the trail, the guys decided to stop for a break.  Rick had a water bottle on his bike and they were able to squeeze water into Sascha’s mouth.  She has done that before.  Probably how she learned to drink Mountain Dew from one of the volunteers are the rescue! 

After a rest, they continued on the trail.  Sascha kept stopping to greet all of the other hikers she meet on the trail.  That one is way too social for a good scooter ride.  I don’t why she thinks everyone in the world has to pet her. 

At the 2 mile mark, they stopped for another rest.  A nearby ditch had ice on it, but Sascha broke through it and stood with her feet in the freezing water.  This is how Husky normally cool off.  They stand in water.  We normally have a pool for her to stand in, but she prefers to do a full body roll in the water. 

At this point, Sascha was starting to be tired.  She managed to continue her run back to the car.  Rick rolled up first and announced that they were coming in.  I got ready to grab Sascha when she and Rich arrived in the parking lot.

They were all so dirty when they got back!  The back of Rich’s jeans were solid mud from the knees down.  Sascha’s entire underbelly was a thick layer of mud.  We loaded up bike, scooter, and muddy dog into the cars and headed home.

Once we got back, we hosed down everything, including the back of Rich.  Sascha wasn’t too happen being sprayed down, but it did remove a lot of loose dirt.  She would get a full bath later.  I dried her off some and put her in the house.  She ran around like a nut, or someone on caffeine.  She was ready to go again! 

It didn’t take long before she got tired and a nap soon overtook her.  She was stretched out in that ray of death on the living room sleeping away.

Picasa site for pictures:

 Video on YouTube:


Chiilin after the run

Flying like the wind

Over the last few days, my left hand has been feeling better and I felt like my grip was much stronger.  I also felt like I might be up to trying to take my dog out scootering myself.  So I worked up my courage and told Rich I was ready for this on Saturday.

But first, I wanted him to take Sascha out for a spin.  I was hoping that taking Rich around the block would take some of the engery out of her.  He got her harnessed up and ready to go.   Sascha was anxious for the garage door to go up and hit the pavement.  She barked and jumped around.  Finally, the door went up and Rich shouted, “Hike!”  Away they flew down the driveway and out into the neighborhood. 

On a cold, crisp day like today, you can hear Rich shouting commands to Sascha as they went around.  He took her to the end of the street by the lake and around the backside of the block.  They came by the end of Oak and Rich shouted, “On by,” which meant Sascha had to continue straight to Holiday.  They were coming around the front side of the block and around the front of the house. 

I went inside because I forgot to grab a water bowl for Sascha.  She is usually very thirsty when she makes a run.  I got back outside just as they were pulling around the corner.  Sascha came running into the garage and straight for the water.

I thought I’d give her a couple of minutes to cool down before I tried my turn.  I got my helmet and Rich attached the helmet cam to it.  I put on the wrist guards as a precaution in case I fell.  I certainly didn’t want to break my wrist all over again.  By this time, Sascha was more than ready to take off again.

I got on the scooter and tried to get acclimated to the feel.  It shifts rather easily from side to side.  I tried to get a feel for the back brakes.  I couldn’t feel them gripping the tires.  I messed around some more and finally decided it was time to take this puppy out for a run.  I shouted, “Hike” and Sascha got herself figured out enough to go down the driveway.

Oh my gosh! I felt like I was flying.  She can run so fast.  I stopped the scooter and the dog across the street.  I was not prepared to gain that much spend in so short a space of time.  I continued to shake some more, but decided I had to see this through.  So off we went again.

On level ground, it’s a little slower to gain speed, but Sascha is still incredibly fast.  I feathered the front break and constantly shouted, “Easy,” which means to go slow.  However, I don’t think Sascha has a slow speed in her.  She just wants to go flat out full speed all the time!

I made it down to the lake without much trouble, but continually reminding Sascha to slow down.  A lady was walking along the side and Sascha had to go by and say hello.  She is definitely one social dog.  We continued on for a few yard before Sascha decided to make a pit stop. 

I had thought to ask Rich about the times when Sascha decides to stop suddenly.  His advise was to follow her nose.  That’s what she does.  If she stops, she points her nose in the direction she is thinking about just before she does it.  I caught sight of her nose pointing to the side of the road and managed to slow down just before she ran to the grass.  That was one lesson down.

We got up to cruising speed very quickly once we hit the pavement again.  I saw a squirrel dart out onto the road way ahead of me.  I was pretty sure that Sascha wasn’t going to miss that squirrel either.  I was right.  She pulled harder and tried to speed up to catch him.  I pulled in on the brakes and slowed her down.  It worked.  She didn’t go off course to chase him. 

We made it to Oak and I shouted, “Haw,” which means left to her.  She turned onto the street and we bumped our way over the dried dirt in the road.  There’s always debris in the road here.  I bumped and shifted over it with some fear, but I managed to keep my feet on the scooter. 

This is one of those places where Sascha always looks for squirrels and I was so afraid she would dart off the road in search of one.  She can see this stretch of road from her end of the yard, but she can’t reach anything.  Luckily for me, no grey, furry things went scampering out into traffic.

We roared up to our driveway.  I shouted, “Gee” which means right to Sascha.  It was a little premature and she tried to run up the driveway on the wrong side of the car.  I managed to stop her and she went around the car to Rich and Rick.  We rolled right into the garage and Rich shut the door. 

Wow!  I didn’t know my dog could run so fast!  It was amazing and very scary.  But now I have a feel for it.  I just need to go out more often and take her around the block and expand out into the neighborhood.  Maybe I’ll get used to the speed and Sascha will get used to me holding her back.  But that’s enough excitement for one day.

Poor Sascha!

As I’ve mentioned, Sascha is a pretty smart dog.  I think it’s the border collie in her.  Rick says Siberian collie.  Anyway, she has figured out how her day is going based on subtle clues around her. 

In the morning, she takes note of how I dress to know how her day will go.  If I dress in comfy clothes and house slippers, she knows she will have free roam of the house.  She can go out at will, if I’m not on a phone call.  This means that she goes out in the morning, does her business, and come back in after I get the morning paper.

Now on the days that I dress to go to the office, she is an entirely different dog.  She goes out to attend to her business, but she refuses to come back in after I get the newspaper.  She goes out to the end of her lead and sits by the treat with her back to me.  This means that I have to go out through the yard to snag the lead and pull her into the garage. From there, she drags her feet to the back door.  Once the door opens, she runs into the bedroom and under the bed.

This morning, she forgot what I was wearing though.  She finished and came to the garage door to sit and wait for me.  I opened the door and her eyes got big.  She immediately ran to the end of her lead.  Silly dog, I can come and get you.  So I had to trek out through the mud to pull her back to the garage. 

As always, she got to the back door and zoomed in to the bedroom and the safety under the bed.  Poor Sascha.  It was going to be a day in her crate in the basement.  I messed around getting things together before I had to drag her out.  I had to almost crawl under the bed to get her and then drag her out.  We made it down the stairs without knocking anyone down.  She went into the crate without much trouble.

That was different.  Normally I feel like I’ve been through a cardio work out to get her downstairs and into the crate.  Sascha definitely lets me know that she is not happy about going into the crate.  I found that if I pick up one of her back legs, she can’t fight it as much. I just look like I’m pouring a teapot!

This weekend, we’ll make it up to her.  I’m going to try dog scootering for the first time since my accident in October.  I’ll have Rich take her around the block first to wear her out and then I’ll try.  Maybe she won’t go so fast.

Video and helmet cam to come.

Happy Valentine’s Day

My sister-in-law, Rose, in San Antonio was complaining about being charged extra postage to send small cards in the mail.  I wondered at the time why they were so small and who would she be sending them to.  Now I know.

Yesterday, we received this very small card from San Antonio, TX.  I liked the sticker on the back: We hang out at  (There’s another plug for you, Rose, but I only have 5 readers.)

Today, Sarah S. posted a picture of hers on her Facebook page.  For those who don’t know Sarah, she is an adopted sister.  I think Vanessa found her and brought her home one day.  I thought Sarah’s picture was cute and decided to post our.  I like Sarah’s with the coffee cup so I needed to find a companion piece to show off my valentine.  Well, it did say:  This isn’t just PUPPY LOVE, Valentine!  Be Mine.

Perfect, I took a picture of Rich holding up the valentine next to Sascha’s face.  Too bad Sascha had that dazed and confused look on her face.  I think it was the camera and not the valentine held up next to her though.  It turned out cute and I posted it to my Facebook page.

Maybe this is a trend and all the Zureks need to post their valentines from Rose, JP, and Lily to their Facebook pages.  What do you think?

The valentine reminded me of the ones from when I was in grade school and we spent the night before filling them out for all 26 kids in the class, plus one for the teacher.  Not saying I’m old or anything here, but this valentine had a little bit of browning to the edges also.  Still cute though.

Valentine’s Day is a Hallmark holiday.  Rich and I decided a long time ago not to do cards or gifts or anything like that.  Valentine’s Day should be every day and you should find something small to share with your honey. Maybe I don’t do that often enough. 

I woke up to Fanny May Meltaways and cards from my guys.  I felt bad; I didn’t do anything for them.  I didn’t feel that bad though because I’ve been snacking on chocolate all day!  Thanks, guys.

Last night, Rich came in and try to sit in his office chair.  Immediately, he had a dog in his lap.  I’m not sure why Sascha feels the need to be in a lap, but she is most insistent when she does.  I had to take a picture of the over-sized lap dog.  It is funny and just too cute.

Well, Happy Valentine’s Day to all. Many happy chocolate moments.

Sascha is one oversized lap dog.











My Valentines


One of my favorite parts of vacation: Planning!

So maybe I am enjoying sharing my little world through words.  I thought of something else to say.

Our family vacation this year is to California.  This is Rick’s pick of vacations, in honor of his high school graduation.  Maybe this is his last family vacation.  If he goes after this, he’ll need to chip in.  Anyway, he decided that he wanted to see California.  I asked what part of California did he want to see?  He didn’t know, but it was one state he hadn’t been to. 

He’s right there.  After California (and driving through Nevada), he will have 11 states to go.  Dare I say, we tend to travel a lot.  That’s my fault since I’m the one with the travel bug.  My favorite vacations are driving ones that take me across different places where I can do different things. 

Here’s how my planning works:

I spent the last couple of weeks reading some tour books and studying some maps.  I’ve contacted people about the areas where I want to stay and things I might want to see.  From there, I’ve come up with a list of things to do. 

I opened my computer and Google maps.  Starting from home, I mapped out a course that would take in the general direction of all the places I want to see.  I selected places to stop for the night based on how many miles or hours I plan to drive.  I figured out the timing and places, and saved my map for reference in the rest of my planning.

I came up with a start date and figured out how many days I have.  This vacation calls for 5 days to drive there and 5 days to drive back.  Then I figured out how many days I want to spend in each place.  My concentration was on Yosemite National Park and Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park.  The other locations get at least a couple of days.

This weekend, I concentrated on making reservations at the national parks, hotels on the way out and back, and then concentrated on the other places.  I still have a couple of places to figure out, but it’s coming together.

My plan is drive into Northern California first.  We have to stop by and visit Rich’s Aunt Fran.  From there, we head to San Francisco.  A couple of days to wonder the streets should be good.  We have to walk out on the Golden Gate Bridge though.  I’ll try to relive the one day I spent in San Fran wondering myself.

From there, we head to  Yosemite.  This is a large part of our days.  We plan to hike a lot and enjoy nature.  No one is planning to climb El Capitan or Half Dome.  I hope the weather is good to get some good sunrise and sunset pictures.  I found some nice cabins just outside the park where we can enjoy our evenings, even though TV and Internet will be limited.

Sequoia Kings Canyon is the next stop for a few days.  I’ve been here before.  I drove up while working in LA for a long weekend.  The places was crawling with black bears.  The hiking was great and I want to show my guys those sights.  Of course, you can’t miss the giant redwoods all over the park.  There is a beautiful waterfall in Kings Canyon that I didnt’ really hike and now will be my chance.

From here, we head into LA. The guys have no interest in the big city.  Other than Venice Beach, Santa Monica pier, and the LeBrea Tar Pits, they don’t care what else they see.  We definitely have to catch up with Rich’s cousin while we are here.  I’m thinking about driving out one day to catch up with another cousin just north of LA. 

Then, it is the desert.  I love the deserts out in California.  Not sure why.  I worked outside of Palm Springs for a couple of months when I first started with Motorola.  I thought it was the coolest place.  So I’m taking Rick out to see it.  We are going to hike in Joshua Tree National Forest and probably ride up to Big Bear.  A lot of those roads you see in commericals or movies are shot on the road going to Big Bear.  I’ll have to remember to warn Rick about the scorpions.

After that, we say good-bye to California and head to Las Vegas.  This is just an overnight stay, but we definitely plan to check out the Hoover Dam.  Red Rocks Canyon would be nice to see, if we have time. I checked with my experts on Vegas and found a cool place on the strip.  It’ll be like doing it old style.

All things must end and we will be headed home after this.  Part of the trip will be over the roads we already traveled.  Rich has plans to stock up on pickles from a place in Des Moines.

I love to plan out a vacation.  I pick my stops and know where I sleep.  I also look for places to eat along the way.  I like pub food. So looking for microbrews lets us enjoy the food and Rich can try the beers.  These days, I check out Foodnetwork, too.  The traveling shows pick up some good places to try.  I prefer hole-in-wall places.  They are way more interesting and have some of the best food. 

I like a good plan, but we don’t have to stick to a schedule.  I figure out what to do each day, but that could change based on how we feel and how much we can cram into a day.  I just like to have a plan.  It’s vacation, so there’s no sitting around here. Got places to be and things to see.

I guess this is just a prelude for things to come when we go on vacation in May.  I’ve been told by a couple of my readers that I have to blog while I’m gone.  I’ll try to do that where I have connection.  Where I don’t, I’ll have to catch up after the fact. 

I guess I underestimated my number of readers.  I might actually have 5.  Pretty soon, I’ll be rivaling Rose and her numerous followers.  Now I have a goal!

Bad Hair Day at the Office

Now as I get older, my hair texture keeps changing.  My hair was somewhat wavy when I was younger, but it got really straight as a teenager.  Now that I’m getting past “that age,” my hair is getting wavy again.  On humid days, it’s downright curly. 

It has gotten to the point where I let it dry naturally and it waves all over the place.  I like this.  No more messing with trying to blow dry it right, curl it in the right direction, or put stuff on it to help out. I just let it go. 

This has been alright to do until the last few weeks.  When I’m at home, it does just fine and looks fairly decent. But when I go into the office, it looks horrible by lunchtime.  What the heck is going on with this?!? It seems to go flat and want to cling to my neck.  Sometime one side is fluffy and the other side is flat. 

On Friday, I was brushing out my hair right before I left my desk to have lunch with Rich.  I realized that my hair was full of static electricity!  Now it made sense.  Why hadn’t I noticed this before?  The office is so dry that it was affecting my hair!

In the car, I told Rich about my non-scientific findings.  His recommendation was to attaching a grounding wire to myself when I was in the office to dissipate the electricity.  I thought about it, but then figured I didn’t want to try to explain that one to anyone I worked with.  I think they wonder about me now.

So I need to find all the ways to handle static electricity so I can keep my hair from doing all of the strange things that it tries to do in the office.  I know that hair spray helps with this.  It might also help to lock in the waves.  I’ve heard that Bounce dry sheets work also.  Just not sure I want to smell like a load of laundry. 

Anyway, I’m on the search for ways to combat the dry hair syndrome in the office.  I might just put up a cage around my desk to deflect the electricity.  Then more than just my hair will be helped.  I might stop shocking myself whenever I touch metal!

Running with the big dogs

Back on Feb 4, we went to the Chili Lunch and Sled Demo fundraiser for the Free Spirit Husky Rescue.  This is the group where we found Sascha.  She was Holly back then.  I like to support them when I can and it gives us a chance to let Sascha see her old friends.  I was hoping they would let her pull one of the sleds also.  We were in luck.

Sascha loves to ride in the car.  Whenever she has the chance, she barks and paws for you to open the door.  I came prepared this time with a seat cover for any muddy dog that happen to get in. Sascha rides looking out the back window.  She seems to prefer the view of where she has been rather than where she is going.  I think she might get a little car sick looking at the scenery going by so fast. For whatever reason, she sits up with her head resting on the back of the seat watching everything going by.

We arrived about an hour after the event started.  Sleds were set up in the grassy lot behind the Moose Lodge, where the food was being served.  Sascha got all excited to see the dogs and sleds.  We located Bob, who was the driver of her team back in the day.  He was very glad to see her and asked if she wanted to pull the sled.  He said his current dog just wasn’t handling the lead dog responsibilities and he was glad to see someone who could. 

Apparently, Sascha is considered by those who know to be a phenomenal sled dog.  She was lead dog for a year, which meant living out in the kennel to get conditioned.  I think she definitely prefers the indoors now.  Even the Gary, who is the urban musher I took lessons from, remarked that she was incredible.  That’s why we mush now.

We had been having a problem keeping booties on Sascha while running.  I got a chance to ask Bob about this.  You really need to protect the dog’s feet from gravel and other things that could cause cuts or irritation.  Problem is: Nothing we tried would even stay on for more than a minute when you run with her.  Bob says this is normal.  He told me that in the Iditarod race, teams have a thousand booties for the entire team and they usually go through them by the end of the race.  So I’m not the only one having a problem with keeping them on.

 I took Sascha off to the side to wait her turn to pull the sled.  We met a lady and her husky, Mia.  We talked about the dogs and somehow got onto our perfect place to live.  Hers would be Montana with about 6 huskies and her own sled.  She skis and plans to have Mia skijoring next year.  Skijoing is where you use a dog to pull you on skis.  It uses the same lead and harness set up for dog scootering.   As we talked, I watched Mia demolish a 4-inch round tree branch.  Glad my Sascha isn’t destructive like that. 

Time came to harness up.  Sascha was so excited, she couldn’t stand still.  We finally got the harness on her and moved over to hook up to the lead.  There is also a neck lead between the two dogs to keep them somewhat together.  You don’t want them splitting off into two different directions.

Bob finally hooked up the last dog and mounted the sled to begin the trek.  He yelled, “Hike,” and Sascha took off.  Unfortunately, the other lead dog was a little slower to response.  Someone walked out to start them running.  They did a pretty good job, but the other lead dog was having some trouble with direction.  Bob would yell, “Gee (that’s right)” and Sascha would attempt to go, but the other dog would push back.  A little frustrating for Sascha. 

They finally made it around the field and came back.  Sascha looked exhausted and drank a ton of water afterwards.  She definitely enjoyed the run though and I think she even wanted to go again.

One of the volunteers, Lance, came by to say hello to her.  She seemed to remember him.  She wanted to play and he messed with her for a little bit.  I think he was the main caretaker for her kennel.  Lance was the person we talked to on the day we saw her at the rescue.  He really worked hard to sell us on her.  I should have told him he didn’t have to.  We loved her from the pictures on the rescue site!

Anyway, Sascha had a great day.  She got to pull a sled again and meet up with some old friends.  The rescue recently posted pictures from that day and I pulled them down and created an album on my Picasa site.  Thought maybe I should tell me a little bit about what went on.

Now it’s back to urban mushing for Sascha.

Sascha catching up with Bob at the Sled Demo












Sascha pulling lead for Bob on a dog team at the Sled Demo