Spike: Dressing up for fun

Preparing for hydrotherapy

I like to run, to swim and to splash in water.  I like to have fun and just do stuff.
Sometimes the humans make me dress up before I have fun, but I don’t mind ‘cos it is fun to dress up.  All the other huskies get stroppy when they need to dress up and the humans bring out their harnesses.  I think it is because it means that they need to go to work.  I don’t work, I just have fun.

When I go running in the water on the waterproof treadmill I wear a special harness called a “Ruffwear”.  It is red and black and really cool and has a little handle on it so that the humans can grab it when I go too fast….

This one keeps my bottom up
Running in my x-back
When I go swimming I wear a big chunky one that keeps my bottom near the surface of the water.  When I don’t wear it my legs sink down and my front legs have to work harder so I don’t drop to the bottom of the swimming pool.  It is a Ruffwear too.

When I go running I have lots of different harnesses.  My favourite one is an x-back which is a proper Husky running harness.  I run really quickly when I wear that one as it is so comfortable and feels like I am wearing nothing at all.  I used to wear this one all the time when I ran, but I can no longer wear it as my legs hurt when the humans try to put it on me.  They need to bend my legs and it hurts my elbows.  The lady human has promised to get me a specially made one that will not hurt my legs when they dress me up, but until she does that I am trying some other ones.
Howling Dog harness

The Howling Dog one is really easy to put on and is fun to run in.  I don’t run very quickly when I wear it, but I do my easy running sessions with it on.  Lady Human attaches an extending lead to it and then lets me decide which way to run and I chose the speed we run at.
Shoulder harnesses
I borrow the other huskies “shoulder” harnesses for my really fast training runs.  They are really easy to put on as the strap just fits under my belly without having to fit my legs through the webbing.  They also have a nice padded bit on my chest.
I tried an H-back harness once, but it felt funny on me so I didn’t wear it for long.

My best friends in their x-backs
All the other Huskies prefer to run in x-backs and one day I will have my very own special x-back as well.   
If you would like a harness you should speak to Emily at K9Trailtime as she is really nice and will help you choose the best harness, whether you are a human or a dog. 

This one has pockets!!
P.S. If you want to know more about human harnesses I cannot help, but speak to the lady human that I run with ‘cos she has been wearing them for nearly forever….

(All photos thanks to Ian J Berry & the Lady Human)

Spike's Dreams: the brightest star of all

(c) Quirky Cow Shed - Melissa Simm
Sometimes I like to lie down and look up at the stars twinkling in the sky.   They flicker and sparkle and make me smile.  I like to just lie and watch them and wonder if one day I will be able to run to them…

One evening I was sitting staring at the brightest star in the sky and suddenly the brown boy husky appeared by my side.  I am no longer scared of him and I like it when he visits me.  He is lots of fun and tells me lots of exciting stuff.

He asked me why I like to stare so much at the sky.  I told him that once when I was a little baby my mum had said to me that if I ever felt sad and lonely I should look to the brightest star in the sky and think of her.  She told me that it was a very special star and it would help me not be sad. 

When my first humans left me alone in the cold and darkness I was so frightened and I curled up in a ball and waited for them to come back.  They never returned and I got colder and hungrier.  I was so sad and lonely and then I remembered what my mum told me.  I looked high up into the sky and found the star.  I looked to this star and thought of happy thoughts.  The star helped me feel better.  My second humans found where I was hiding in the railway station.  They cuddled me and gave me food for my tummy and a warm bed to sleep in.  I think my star told them where to find me.

I told him that every night I look at the star and dream that one day I will run to the star and find my mum there.  I think she might have gone to live there so that she could watch over me wherever I was.

The brown husky smiled at me and told me that the star has a name and a special story. 
“It is called Sirius and is also known as “the Dog Star” because it lives in a constellation called Canis Major, which is Latin for “the greater dog”.  It is the brightest star in the constellation.
In the mid-summer Sirius rises in conjunction with the sun and ancient human people believed that it was the combination of the sun during the day and the star at night that made the earth so hot during mid-summer.  They created the expression “dog days”, to refer to this period of time.
The ancient Egyptian people called it “Nile Star” because when it appeared in the eastern sky it announced the coming of flood waters from the River Nile that would help their dry lands grow food.”
He told me lots about the stars and the planets in the sky.  He told me that stars are giant balls of energy held together by their own gravity and that the planets, of which there are nine move across this fixed background of stars.  This confused me because I thought that the stars moved too.  He smiled and told me I would to wait until my next lesson to understand more about the universe and all its galaxies and how they interact…

He looked up to my star then smiled at me. 
“Spike, you are just like a little star – a furry ball of energy that shines brightly.  As your legs get bigger and stronger your pulling power will increase and extend beyond the confines of this house and garden.  There is a world out there waiting for you and you will grow and shine more and more as each day passes”.

I looked at my special star and remembered my dreams.  I know that one day my star will help me achieve the biggest dream of them all…..


Spike's Magical Gift

This is my "bored" face...
Today I made a promise to a stranger.  In return for a promise to be a good boy I have been bestowed a very special gift….

For those that don’t yet know me… my name is Spike and I am a 9 month old husky.  I am not very well just now and it is hard for me to run around and have fun like huskies are supposed to do.  I have to lie down a lot as my legs hurt.  The best place to lie down is on top of humans ‘cos they are soft and squidgy and cuddle me lots when I fall asleep on them.

Not being able to run around and play means I get bored.  The humans give me lots of toys and stuff to play with and sometimes they give me toys with food in them!  They are my most favourite toys but I eat the food too quickly and then I get bored.
The lady human goes running really early in the morning with my husky friends and leaves me behind.  This makes me really sad, but I don’t like being sad and so play with all my toys and then I feel happy again.  Sometimes I fall asleep before the other huskies come back from their run because they go running for a very long time!!
The special boy husky
Anyway, the other day I fell asleep while they were out and had a really funny dream…
I was sitting in my cage, but I wasn’t alone.  There was another boy husky beside me.  He was brown like Kez but his face was different and he was much smaller with big ears like mine. 

I got really scared and tried to shout upstairs to the man human to help me – I get scared when strange dogs come to close to me.  The brown dog made a soft “whoo, whoo” noise and told me not to be scared, he was here to help me.  He had a really nice voice and when I looked into his eyes I was not scared any more.

“What are you doing in my box” I asked him.  “And how can you help me?  Are you going to put more food in my toy?”

He “whoo, whoo’d” again and his eyes smiled at me.  He said he brought no food, but could offer something better than food.  Now he had my full attention as what can possibly be better than food?
He told me a very special story that made me very sad, but very happy too.  He told me all about his life.  People had been really bad to him when he was a baby, but he was rescued and came to live in a very special home and with a very special family.  They helped make him better and helped him learn to love life.  He learned how to run and how to play.  With this family he was truly happy, especially with the lady human as she made him feel very special.  In return he taught her a great many things that will remain with her forever…

His words were magical and intriguing.  I did not fully understand what he was telling me, but I knew to trust him.  He spoke of “trust” of “hope” and of “belief”, words I do not understand but I want to as they sounded like very special words.
She will help you, he said, just like she helped me, but it will take time.  You are young and have the rest of your life ahead of you.  Do as she asks and this life will be a happy one where you run and jump to your heart’s content.  You will join the other huskies on their daily runs.  Run for hours and hours as huskies are born to do.  You will feel pain no more, only happiness and fun.
You will need to be patient as this day will take a while to arrive.  Many suns will rise and fall, but the day will one day come.
Cuddling humans
His words confused me, but I nodded and asked him what I needed to do until this day arrived.
If you promise to be a good boy, I will give you a very special gift that will help the time pass quickly.  It will allow you to look deep into a humans mind and learn all that they know.  It will allow you to share these thoughts with others and it will allow you to help many, including yourself.

Without hesitation I made the promise to him.

I then got really excited and threw my head back to howl as huskies do…. And when I stopped howling I looked around and the boy husky was gone and in his place was the man human –well, he was not in the cage with me, but outside looking very concerned and asking if I was okay.  He opened the cage and I snuggled up to him.  Did I mention that I love cuddles…?

I felt sad that the boy husky left before he gave me my gift, but somehow I know that I will see him again….


Little Boy Blue: My 5 new bestest friends

This is me

My name is Little Boy Blue, but you can call me “Spike”.  My favourite film is Gremlins and sometimes I pretend I am the really cool Gremlin called “Spike”….

“Spike the Gremlin” is the coolest and I wanted to be just like him when I grew up… That was until I met this super cool husky.  His name is “Kroi”, but you need to say Kree else he ignores you!  He is a big grey husky and he is so much fun to play with and do stuff with.  He is so fast and strong, but really chilled.  He is a super dude.  Sometimes he even lets me sleep with him.

My hero!
Where I live there is also a big brown husky and he is really cool too.  He is always asking me if I am okay and fusses around me.  Sometimes he tells me off when I do fun stuff, he says I am being naughty, but I just think he is a goody two shoes.

Me shouting at Krofti
There is also another husky that lives here, another grey one called Krofti with blue eyes just like me.  He doesn’t always want to play with me and gets grumpy when I shout at him.  Kez says he doesn’t trust me and I need to earn his trust by being a really good boy.  

When Krofti gets cross with me Kez pushes me away and stands between Krofti and me.  Krofti then goes away and sleeps and when he wakes up his eyes don’t look all spaced out like.  

I am trying to be a really good boy and I think Krofti is starting to like me ‘cos he came and slept beside me last night.  He thought I didn’t notice, but I peeked out my eyes and lay really still and pretended I was sleeping.  When he started snoring I fell asleep too.
See, he sneaked in beside me...

There is a Lady Human and Man Human that live here too.  I like them lots and lots!  They give me lots of really nice food and I no longer have a hungry tummy all the time.  I used to not get much food and always went to bed really hungry and cold ‘cos I didn’t have fur and my skin was all pink and red..  I think I scratched off all my fur as I was itchy all the time.  My fur is growing everywhere now even my ears feel warm!

I really like cuddling the Lady and Man Humans.  I like it best when I can climb on them and fall asleep with them holding me.  That’s what I used to do when I lived with another person.  My old Human person helped keep me warm and cuddled me ‘til I fell asleep.  The new Human people wait ‘til I fall asleep and then they put me on the fluffy bed in the corner.

I met lots of new people this week, but some of them ignored me.  I put on my happy smiley face and tried to jump up to say hello, but some of them just walked past.  Kez and Kroi don’t seem bothered when people ignore them, but I felt really sad as I want to say hello to everyone I see.

Me sleeping with my 3 of my new friends...
I met a really big dog the other day and was really scared.  It was ignoring its Human and it wouldn’t leave me alone even when I shouted at it.  Lady Human told it to go away and then it did and I snuggled up to her and tried to sit on her lap.  She smiled but wouldn’t let me and gave me a big feather to play with instead.  It was so much fun and I forgot about the scary dog.

Gotta go now as the big boy huskies want to race me to the top garden, they say they are going to help me be a really fast runner.  One day I would like to run with them ‘cos they go running for hours and hours with the Lady Human and are so happy when they come back.

Little Boy Blue xx

Let sleeping dogs lie....

Sleeping together is great for team bonding....
Huskies, especially the Huskies Running team have a reputation for getting up really early and running for great distances, sometimes at mind blowing speeds.

In order to maintain physical and mental fitness, Huskies also need to eat well and rest well.

Today they would like to share their resting and sleeping tips with you....
In the absence of fancy compression gear, use your imagination.....
If racing on a Sunday, don't get up on Monday..

Feeling lonely in your bed? Then take your favourite toy..

Heat treatment, using the warmth of the sun....

If humans don't provide pillows, make your own....

First to sleep means first choice of bed..
Relax and dream as your body recovers from yet another ultra..

Sleeping can also be used to plead innocence...
Top bunk means you can peek out the curtain

Back rests are perfect aids for recovery..

Snuggle up close to furry bums...

Barefoot running = no blisters or lost toe nails...!

Look really cute, then no one wants to wake you..!

Sharing your bed with your best friend is good....

(Photos courtesy of Ian J Berry & Sandra Bowers)

Dear Humans that think they know better than us Huskies...

Inspiring a generation... forever...
Dear Humans that think they know better than us Huskies,

Apparently I have retired from the world of parkrun. 

There was this discussion by the Humans and they decided that they know best…. They decided that I no longer was able to run parkruns with a smile upon my husky face…. 

What do they know… I will retire when I am ready to retire, until then I will show you all that you can indeed teach an old dog new tricks…
I may well be approaching my 12th birthday, but what does age matter when you have the sense of humour and approach to life that I do…?

In my element... with children :-)
Leading the way....
I have seen a lot in my life, many huskies have come and gone and a pony called Friday and a beautiful Spanish horse called Brego have also come and gone.  I have loved and learned from them all.  I learned how to do a Spanish Walk with Brego, I was better than him, but he was only a baby when I knew him and has probably gone onto greater things….  With Kade and Kai we used to run with Friday and with Brego and the Lady Human.  Kai, Kade and Friday no longer live with us, they watch us from above.  

The day I met the lady human....
Brego had to go and live with someone else, I miss him, but know that it was for the best.  Lady Human is still here, don’t think she will ever leave me… I first met her the very day that I arrived in this world…
Running with the Man Human - leading the way as ever..;-)

My father was a very special dog, his father (my grandfather) was one of the most special ever dogs to grace this earth.  He taught so many what was right and wrong in this world.  He protected the Lady Human for his lifetime and he shared with her the world of huskies.  He helped her understand how we think and how we react.  What we need to keep us happy and how we fit into a human world….

Us older dogs get special privileges... :-)
I try to follow my grandfather’s path, but sometimes I wander a little from it.  That matters not as I know that as he watches from above, he is proud of what I do, what Lady Human does and what his bloodline will continue to do…   Kroi is his great, great, great grandson and in a few short months he will continue this very special bloodline.   A prospect that that I longingly look forward to and yet fear with huge in trepidation… have you ever tried to teach a husky puppy manners?  I have, on five separate occasions…

So anyway, back to my supposed “retirement”…. Apparently this was decided because I no longer looked happy running with my human companions, based upon the fact that one cannot always smile when a camera is thrown in one’s face….
I have run with many, children and adults alike – although truth be known I prefer to run with little people as they are so much fun and like to cuddle me.  Cuddling is the best thing ever!!

Anyway…. humans out there here is a reality check for you….  I am a husky and I take my job and my life seriously.  If you want me to work for you, then ask and I will run in front of you forever.  Stop asking and I will run by your side.  Be grumpy or frustrated and I will run behind you, but I will never stop running as long as I can run….

I out ran the Lady Human only this week, she is capable of running far faster than she will admit, and for a short time I reminded her of that fact.  I was not helping, pulling or towing her during a very fast run together - the only motivation to her was to keep up with me, and that she did.  I wish she believed more than she does, that was all that my grandfather wanted her to do and sometimes she forgets that.  When she remembers, we as a pack are invincible.  Huskies Running with Lady Human and Man Human achieve all that we aspire to be….. Runners with a purpose and with a smile etched upon our faces….

I helped the Lady Human carry a very precious cargo during the Olympic Flame relay.  We helped carry a flame to inspire a generation.  I want to continue that aspiration as does the human that I have shared a lifetime with.  Sometimes it is hard, but never forget, this motto is ingrained forever in our hearts.  For as long as we walk upon this earth we will endeavour to aspire to it…..

That is I guess, until I “retire” again…. ;-)

Krofti xx

When Simba came to stay.....

Aren't I cute...
Wow, such a cool weekend.

I met three big boy huskies and we played lots.  

The grey one with blue eyes sleeps a lot and gets grumpy if I bite him or jump on him.  He tells me not to do it, but I ignore him and that is when he gets grumpy. 

The big brown one fusses around me asking if I am okay every few minutes.  He even let me eat his biscuit when he dropped it on the floor. 

My big brown furry protector....
My favourite one is the grey one with brown eyes.  He is just so cool and I follow him everywhere.  I think he sometimes doesn’t like it and tries to run away from me.  I tried to cuddle him when I got sleepy, but I don’t think he liked that.

My hero!
The grey one is really good fun to pay with.  His name is Kroi but you need to say Kree otherwise he ignores you.  We ran round and round the garden together and played rough and tumble.
There is a Man Human and Lady Human that live here too.  The Man Human was snipping trees and putting lots of bits of twig and stuff in a green bucket.  I took it out the bucket and ran around the garden with it.  Then Kroi copied me.  They were my twigs in the Man’s bucket so Lady Human told Kroi not to steal them, but then Man Human hid them from me, so unfair….

What ya doin'?
There were so many toys to play with too, not as cool as my toys but it was fun taking them out the box they were hiding in.  I found a really cool pheasant toy, but Kroi shouted at me and took it away from me.  The he went up the stairs with it.  When he came back he didn’t have the toy no more.  Think he lost it.

We all had dinner in the room where there are so many exciting smells.  I went exploring and found a potato and a bottle top under the cupboard.  I also found lots of fluff that stuck to my nose and was all tickly.

Me is the fastest ever husky...
I didn’t want my dinner as the big boy huskies’ dinner smelled much nicer.  So Lady Human let me have a little piece of theirs and it was really nice.  I was still hungry so I then ate all my dinner as well.

After dinner I played some more in the house.  I found lots of really cool stuff, but Lady Human kept on chasing me and took the stuff off me.  I went upstairs to find pheasant, but found some human stuff instead.  Stuff they put on their paws ‘cos they don’t have fur to keep their skinny paws warm.  Lady Human wasn’t happy when I tried to eat it.  I found some of the stuff they put on their back paws too…
Watch out, here I come, ready or not!!

Then I went all sleepy so I curled up and fell asleep on my blanket.  When I woke it wasn’t dark any more and we all went to play in the garden.  I told Kroi that I could run faster than him and raced him up the top garden.  He knew I was faster than him so he tripped me up….

Then Kroi and Kez went out with the Lady Human for ages and I stayed and played with the Man Human.  I brought all my toys into the room where he was and chewed them.  Then I had some breakfast and felt all sleepy again…..

Simba xx

(Photos courtesy of Ian J Berry)