Summer in Lapland

Midsummer is almost here, so it’s time for an update… the traditional end-of-season post was cancelled this year for family reasons, but that doesn’t mean that we aren’t once again very grateful to our guests and partners, and above all to our wonderful dogs, for a great winter season.

And after that?

In May, Joël and I spent two weeks in Germany visiting family. It was the first time in over four years, and for Joël, the first time he had ever consciously been in Germany. He coped perfectly with the trip and the many people, but after a week at the latest, homesickness set in. For me, it got to the point where whenever I was in the house – especially in bed at night – and heard a dog barking, I jumped up and thought I had to go out and see what the dogs were doing, even if I could clearly hear that it couldn’t be one of our dogs barking 🤔🙈

As soon as we got home, things got fun again, because our girls (except for two) had waited until exactly that time to come into heat. But then one came every day or every other day, so we had to think of new kennel combinations every day. Well, now, apart from Blixten, who is in heat for the first time and is therefore a little unsure, all of them are through or at least past the peak, so everything is a little more relaxed again 😊

Rafiki is still the dog we fear most for. At first his knee had developed well after the TPLO (cruciate ligament surgery), but since the end of April you could clearly see and feel instability in the knee. When I first visited Töre about this, they put it down to the fact that the healing process was simply taking longer. At my further insistence and with the support of our local vets from Skogsveterinärerna Arvidsjaur, the knee was examined more closely during a further visit and a meniscus injury was considered. On the one hand, this is not what you want to hear, but on the other hand, it is more in line with our feelings and the results of all the tests at Skogsvet. Nevertheless, Töre wants to wait another two months before having a surgery, so until then we are trying to help him with physiotherapy and hope that a surgery will not be necessary. But realistically, he probably won’t be able to walk in front of the sled next winter either 😔 so if any of you are a dog physiotherapist and don’t have anything planned for the summer… come along. And if a vet is reading this, Skogsveterinärerna is looking for another vet for the team, please get in touch if you’re interested 😉

What else does summer have to offer? This year there was definitely an unusually high number of adders 🐍 – potentially fatal for dogs. Shortly after we returned from Germany, we had four of them right next to the dog kennels within a week. A small, very aggressive one was even sitting in Barolo and Tornado’s kennel. I was in the house when the dogs started barking “strangely”. Usually you can tell very well what barking means. In this case I couldn’t and ran out as quickly as possible. When I stood so that I could see all the dogs, I couldn’t tell at first. They were all calm (clear in retrospect, because I was there after they alerted me), no sign of a fight, moose or other wild animals around or anything like that. I was just about to go back to put on proper shoes when I noticed that Tornado was staring at something and Barolo had hidden himself in the hut. When I got closer to their kennel, I saw the snake sitting aggressively upright between the door and the food bowl. At first I wanted to let Barolo and Tornado out to get them to safety, but since the snake was sitting so close to the door and looked like it was about to attack, I didn’t want to take the risk of it attacking them as they pass by… or slithering into one of the neighbor kennels. On the other hand, it was impossible to go into the kennel alone to get the snake out without the dogs coming closer. So I quickly called Raffi, who was at the neighbor’s at the time, to help me. I then went to the back of the kennel to distract the dogs while Raffi was able to take care of the uninvited visitor at the front. Afterwards I spoke to Patrick from the reptile rescue center in Polch to see if there was anything that could keep the snakes away. But apart from a waist-high smooth wall with no corners, nothing is really safe. Nevertheless, we are currently trying a snake deterrent, a device that is stuck into the ground and vibrates and makes sounds. The sounds actually scared me off. Because when I was cleaning the dogs after Raffi had installed the part, I suddenly heard a “rattlesnake”. I was a bit confused until I realized that it was this thing, because there really shouldn’t be any rattlesnakes here 😂 Since then, we haven’t had a snake near the kennels, but that’s not very significant, because it was much colder and rainier afterwards. And today I almost tripped over one with Barolo and Joël, right on our training route. At the last second, I was able to pull Barolo and Joël in the other direction and the snake scurried away into the bushes. As far as I’m concerned, it can snow again, I’m sick of reptiles 😏

But summer isn’t all bad… apart from the fact that there will soon be delicious berries to pick again, it also offers the opportunity for shorter and longer husky trekking and photo tours, as well as training for the next season. So if you don’t have any plans yet or are in the area anyway, feel free to browse the homepage to see what suits you best.