The Last 30 Posts

Christmas Day Husky Mushing

Published on 25 December 2010 by in Training Huskies

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We haven’t been out training for at least week due to the snowy weather conditions closing our training grounds. Snow is great, but it closes roads and makes trees fall down over trails.

After a late start to the day, we took the dogs out for a training run on some very frozen trails.We split the team up and ran two teams of two; Mookie with Benny and Basil with Snowy. […]

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inov-8 Fell Running Trainers

Published on 18 December 2010 by in Husky Equipment

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inov-8 terroc fell running shoesI can’t remember when I bought my first pair of inov-8 running shoes, maybe 5 years ago. I’d read about them online, after wanting something that was more suited to running than my Hunter wellies. At the time, the only other alternative in the fell running category were the traditional Walsh shoe which seemed positively primitive when compared to the inov-8s. I was one of the first mushers to start using them for dryland husky racing – the combination of wet trails, mud and snow made them ideal. There’s now a huge range to choose from with even more amazing features.

The first time I used them with the dogs, it was like getting four drive for your feet. You can tell that some very clever people have sat down and just simply created a range of high tech functional running shoes with the purpose to perform incredibly well on the hill. I’m an engineer that loves technical stuff done well. My inov-8 shoes easily rank in my alltime top 10 most amazing bits of tech. […]

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Petzl Head Torches

Published on 18 December 2010 by in Husky Equipment

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Torches have improved hugely since we got our first huskies. They’re now alot brighter, lighter and the batteries last much much longer. We’ve tried many different brands of torch and now just stick with Petzl. I think Petzl call them ‘head lamps’, which must be a throw back to their origins when they invented the concept of putting a lamp battery case on a head strap. I’m pretty sure we could open a mini museum illustrating the evolution of the Petzl head torch over the last decade with all the versions we own. We use the torches for walking the dogs in winter evenings, sorting stuff out at races in the dark or just finding our way back from the pub.

Using a head torch means you have both hands free to get on with what you’re doing and also the light is always in the direction you are looking. The head straps are really comfy and the new LED versions weigh very little and fit in most pockets. […]

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Hunter Wellies

Published on 18 December 2010 by in Husky Equipment

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More often than not, we’re out with the huskies in the rain. It wasn’t until we bought our first husky that I owned my first pair of Hunter Wellies. Up until that point, I’d thought a welly was a welly. How wrong was I!

The basic hunter wellington boot is superb. Wears well and has a sculptured, snug fit that’s designed not to pull off in mud. I’m on my second pair, now in 13 years of ownership. My new pair have a vibram sole, giving me a little more grip and comfort. I used to almost exclusively race in my Hunters because it was either raining or we were racing on trails with the odd deep puddle or muddy sections. I could easily jog up hills with the hunters, as I used to prefer running with dry feet in ‘proper’ wellies over wet feet in trainers. There’s a huge difference between normal wellies and premium wellies. Things have changed since getting my superb inov8 fell running shoes, which I’ll rave about later. […]

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Sorel Caribou Cold Weather Boot

Published on 18 December 2010 by in Husky Equipment

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I think we’d really struggle to enjoy the snow and cold weather without our Sorels. When you spend a full day standing on a frozen trail or icy carpark, you need some serious footware if you want to keep warm. Originally introduced in 1959 by Ontario-based Kaufman Rubber Co. they became the world’s best-selling cold weather boot. Unfortunately in 2000, Kaufman Footwear went bankrupt, and the Sorel trademark was bought by Columbia Sportswear. Helen has an original pair of Canadian Sorel Caribou, and Guy has a pair of the new ‘designed in canada’ Sorel Caribou. The new boots are just as good as the old boots. […]

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Give Your Dog a Bone

Published on 18 December 2010 by in Husky Books

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barf

Dr. Billinghurst’s most important piece of writing is the book “Give Your Dog a Bone.” Because cats and dogs have different food requirements, (cats are obligate carnivores while dogs are omnivores with a carnivorous background), he decided they each needed their own book, and that he would write the dog book first. Thus was born “Give Your Dog a Bone.” This book was launched at a 3 day Bichon Frise conference in western Sydney on the 17th November 1993. The book was advertised in all the canine breeder magazines throughout Australia.

“Give Your Dog a Bone” proved an instant hit, with many breeders adopting its ideas. Since that time it has been making steady inroads into the minds of breeders and dog owners throughout the world. To date nearly fifty thousand copies of this book have been sold. […]

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The Complete Siberian Husky

Published on 18 December 2010 by in Husky Books

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complete-sibeThe Complete Siberian Husky

The Complete Siberian Husky by Chris & Caroline Kisko and Sheila & Simon Luxmoore is ideal for those thinking of getting a siberian husky, as well as those wanting to learn more about working, showing, breeding & health of Siberians.

The athletic, powerful Siberian Husky has worked for man as a sled dog for more than 3,000 years. Today, the Husky is still employed in his original role by racing enthusiasts, but the breed’s versatility and stunning good looks have also enabled him to become a much-loved companion and show dog, popular with owners the world over. In this comprehensive book of the breed, the authors explore the history of the enigmatic Siberian Husky, and trace his development to the present day. […]

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Winterdance

Published on 18 December 2010 by in Husky Books

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The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod

by Gary Paulsen.

Gary Paulsen was in his forties, an internationally famous children’s writer. Then he was overtaken by his passion – a passion for Alaskan dog-racing and a passion for the wild, beautiful landscape of the Arctic. Winterdance is the story of this passion.

Award-winning author Gary Paulsen entered the Iditarod, a gruelling 1180-mile race across Alaska, in dangerous ignorance and with fierce determination. After a spectacularly inept period of training and an even more spectacularly inept start to the race, Paulsen and his team of 15 dogs ran for 17 days through the beautiful, treacherous arctic terrain. They crossed the barren moon-like landscape of the Alaskan interior and witnessed sunrises that cast a golden blaze over the vast waters of the Bering Sea. Enduring blinding wind, snowstorms, dogfights, frostbite, moose attacks, sleep deprivation and hallucinations, he pushed on. […]

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The Speed Mushing Manual

Published on 18 December 2010 by in Husky Books

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speed-mushing-manualHow to Train Racing Sled Dogs

The Speed Mushing Manual by Jim Welch is an invaluable reference guide for buying, breeding, feeding, conditioning, training, equipping and racing sled dogs.

A clear and concise book on training sled dogs to race. There are specific examples to clarify most techniques and ample support for the effectiveness of each method. […]

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Early start to a Sunday morning saw us traing at Crosscliff in Dalby Forest. I took Basil, Mookie, Benny and Snowy out for a 3 mile loop. Had a few issues getting snowy and mookie to go round and not under the first forest gate. Then Benny decided he would go the opposite side of a post to the others, which brought him to a halt fairly quickly. Just running one team meant we did the whole trip in 3 hours.

First night rally is looming, guess we should charge the batteries.

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Looks like Benny is going to be famous through his vinyl wall sticker. Originally intended as a one off commission by Wall Glamour, Rick has asked if they could sell it on their site.

So if you want a lovely husky puppy sticker for your wall – just go to Wall Glamour, choose your colour and buy this original design.

If you want one of your own dog, just contact them direct and Rick will quote.

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Over the last 6 months, I’ve been toying with the idea of resigning from the SHCGB committee to free more time to spend on my eye tracking business. I’ve served, without break, as a committee member for about 8 years. In that time seen the SHCGB evolve into the great club it is today. Last week, I emailed the club secretary with the news of my intention.

My decision to take a break from committee matters came down to the realisation that I was working quite a few 7 day weeks, leaving little time to spend with the dogs, let alone husky club matters. Attending four committee meetings and an AGM each year is quite a commitment, especially when you factor in preparation and the jobs you walk away with.

I plan to continue with my role as webmaster for the husky club and co-organiser of the famous Aviemore Sled Dog Rally. The web site will be ten years old this year and will hopefully get the long awaited redesign, now I’ve got a bit more time on my hands.

We (myself and Helen) have accomplished a lot for the club over the years. Things that immediately spring to mind are:

  • Publishing the magazine for quite a few editions
  • Running one of the oldest husky bulletin boards
  • Setting up the virtual switchboard for the club
  • Acquiring and running the amazing race countdown clock
  • Overhauling the rally brochure format and publishing it for a reasonable stint
  • Publishing the SHCGB 25th anniversary book

On top of this list of things I’ve remembered, there’s a huge amount of stuff that we’ve just done because I was a committee member or Helen was married to a committee member. We’ve put a lot into the club over the years and got a lot back in return.

If you have the time or can make the time, then please do consider putting yourself forward for committee. It is good fun, you get to meet a huge number of people and gain an amazing insight into everything that goes on.

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Updated Racehome Photos

Published on 18 October 2009 by in Race Home

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van-interior-2I took some more photos of the racehome today as I realised most of the photos on the site were from when it wasn’t complete. There’s still a few jobs outstanding – but it’s a project that will never be finished.

Photos are here.

I also shot a quick video using my upgrade iphone.

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Benny with the boys

Published on 16 October 2009 by in Siberian Huskies

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Benny was out with the older boys in the dog run, so I thought I’d take a video with the new phone.

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Husky Wall Sticker

Published on 28 September 2009 by in Siberian Huskies

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benny-wall-glamour1I got a surprise delivery today from my friend at Wall Glamour, the wall sticker people. Rick had taken one of my photos and turned it into a big wall sticker. I first wanted to put it above my desk at work, but then decided to take it home and place it in the kitchen.

Only took 5 minutes to put it up, most of that was just deciding what angle to put him at.

benny-wall-glamour2Look really cool and Benny keeps looking at it as he trots past.

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Roof Vents on Race HomeA question was asked on the husky club bulletin board about fitting roof vents, so it prompted me to write the first page about how we converted our van into a high spec race home. The first page is about the glues we used and notes about caravan adhesive and caravan sealant. They are a blend of advice I got from professional builders, the self build motorhome website and stuff I learned.

read about the wonderful world of caravan adhesives and sealants here

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Website updated

Published on 20 September 2009 by in Guy

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old-siteStill a work in progress, but we’ve finally made the updated website live. The old site (shown in the image) was getting quite dated and the code was broken. We’ve moved over to a wordpress site using a modified Wootheme.

A new controllable webcam is under trial and we’ve finally gone ‘pro’ with the Flickr account.

We’re hoping to add more content to this site, covering the things we’ve been asked about over the years and stuff we just want to log as a journal.

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Seven days of puppy love

Published on 20 September 2009 by in Siberian Huskies

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benny-water-feederBenny has been with us now for just over seven days. He’s still an absolute joy to spend time with – whether that’s playing or cuddling. Making me late for work throughout the whole of last week.

He loves ripping up newspaper and pulling magazines out from the coffee table. Runs around the house like a crazy thing not really understanding that jumping over the bigger the dogs is not the correct thing to do. Leaps onto the sofa with ease and loves his toys.

He’s been very good at night, sleeping in his crate in our bedroom. Not causing any major grief, even if disturbed when I’ve been working late.

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Husky number six

Published on 13 September 2009 by in Siberian Huskies

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benny-to-yorkToday, we headed down south to collect our new puppy, Rigrunner Slider – or Benny as he will be known. He was very well behaved in the car, only howling for 5 minutes and then slept all of the way home.

Once home,introducing him to the older boys was not as simple as we’d hoped. All of the dogs are not interested in him and Mookie has decided that he really doesn’t need another pal at the moment.

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New Puppy

Published on 06 August 2009 by in Siberian Huskies

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very much looking forward to welcoming our new pup to chez redwood. he is nearly three weeks old and growing fast. here’s the latest pic of the handsome little chap taken earlier today.

benny-pup

more photos can be found on sarah and keith’s website.

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Goodbye Teba

Published on 26 July 2009 by in Rainbow Bridge, Siberian Huskies

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teba_barrelit’s not been the best 12 months for us with the dogs. on the afternoon of Monday, 6 July 2009, we said goodbye to our first husky, Teba. he lost his battle with a health issue that meant he struggled to keep his food down. he left us with just under 12 years of memories to look back on. he gave us the biggest cuddles in return for leaving the least amount of room on the sofa. with only three huskies left in the house, it’s starting to feel a little empty.

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elvis15 September 2008 will be remembered as one of the saddest days of our lives. elvis, our superstar, was taken too early from us, at the age of 8. an ordinary day started with 5 happy huskies leaving the bedroom and ended with us finding one sunbathing in the dog run with no pulse. a tumour in his heart had brought on a sudden fatal heart attack without any warning. he leaves us with 8 years of amazing memories. we’ve had many emails and messages from far and wide about elvis. he touched so many people with his kind ways and tom-foolery.

Simon Luxmoore wrote in Dogworld:

Recently the saddest news was that Guy and Helen Redwood have lost Elvis. This really pulls at the heart strings since he was so young. He had been trying for so long, finally succeeding, to win his title. That made him a familiar figure at shows yet he was not over shown. His final tally was five CCs and eight RCCs – he really did himself proud. It was very much a case of when he crossed the line he became very much recognised as a nice example of the breed.

It is pointless trying to understand the loss that is felt on an occasion like this but, as I have mentioned to Guy and Helen, they must cherish all those happy memories. We send them our sympathy.

Dogworld – 03 October 2008

The reality of his departure is still dawning on us. Helen has lost her champion show dog and I’ve lost half of my 2 dog race team. the arkward reality of husky ownership has meant our grief has eased and almost swept away by the four bundles of joy we have around the house. all I can do is celebrate my elvis with a smile from a memory and cuddle from his mates Teba, Baloo, Basil and his special soulmate Mookie.

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well, it’s been over a year since we last wrote anything on here. we’ve both been way too busy with work, the dogs etc.

i decided to take a break from showing this year and spend more time at home in the garden and, with the way fuel prices are going, save some money. we will be doing a few shows, but more as a holiday than anything else so guy can go fishing. we had a nice weekend away in the Borders a few weeks ago, staying at a great B&B near Melrose (recently voted the best in scotland) for a few days before Border Union and then over to Carlisle for the club show. i’d missed the entry for Border Union so just entered Elvis in Veteran Dog at the club show under Yricka Gardner, which he came first in. the last show we did was darlington i think, so Elvis was full of himself and my handling skills were a bit rusty.

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Third set of hens

Published on 23 June 2007 by in hens

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new-henswe’re on our third set of hens, courtesy of mr fox. re-starting with 2 hybrid free range type breeds that are based on classics. they originally were a bit too flighty and insisted on wandering around the garden to finally perch on the bench less than a metre from the huskies. which obviously wound the poor boys up. we cured the wandering hens by keeping them in the ark for a week and now they are more than happy with their huge chicken run , laying over 10 eggs a week between themselves.

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2 days until Aviemore

Published on 13 January 2007 by in Racing Huskies

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only a few days left until we’re packing that van with 2 monkey rigs, 1 danler sled, 1 diggler scooter, 1 santa cruz heckler, 1 dyson vacuum cleaner and my fly fishing tackle. not forgeting the 5 boys and Helen, of course. today I slipped out to buy a fast sinking line from the tackle shop – ready to fish the trout ponds in Aviemore. it was at that point, clutching my bag of goodies, i realised the annual holiday is just around the corner. my business, SimpleUsability is moving to Leeds whilst away on holiday. i return from holiday to spend a weekend fitting out an office, ready to receive some very special clients. whilst the leasing aggreement states no dogs, I’m tempted to reinact our own iditarod with some of these orange dogs from Alessi.

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the trip up to Scotland on Sunday was certainly worth it with Elvis gaining his 4th CC and winning BIS at the first SSHC Championship Show. his sister Pearl, CH Huskidoo String of Pearls, was RBIS. it was great to end our show season on such a high note. guy spent the day at home kitting out the van which is coming along now, so hopefully it won’t be long before the cages are finished.

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Elvis was awarded his third CC at Southern Counties Championship Show last weekend. the judge was Lisa Tebay who gave him a RCC back in 2002. we were over the moon to make him up to champion.

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our Danler Hornet racing sled arrived today from Austria. just need some more snow to give it a whirl. and for those who’ve ever wondered, you can fit a racing sled in the smart car.

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2 Weeks until Aviemore Rally 2006

Published on 04 January 2006 by in Racing Huskies

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only 2 weeks until we’re off to Aviemore for that world famous race and we’ve already been out on the sled twice this season. Christmas 2005 was fabulous. fab turkey from the farmers cart, fab company from down south, but unfortunately Santa forgot to leave the psp under the tree so Fairy Dixons may have one saved for me next time we’re passing through duty free on a Swiss mission. many new things happening at Aviemore this year, new venues and activities to build on the vintage that was last year. i must remember to pack the new rod and flies for a spot of trout fishing on the Rothiemurchus Estate. after all the money we’ve raised for the race, will be nice to spend some time pulling trout of an edible kind.

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training is finally well under way at the York HQ. new lights have been bought to cope with the extra visibility needed with my increased team and the weather is finally starting to head into reasonable temperatures for running. the lights are a heath robinson system made from maplin parts – plastic case, 7.2 amp hour battery, xlr connectors, fuse holder, power switch, battery conditioner and a 55w drivers lamp from halfords. think it cost around 80 quid and built in a few hours. the main feature of the system is using xlr plugs/sockets so that the battery terminals are protected and the charger just plugs straight in.

the move from a 2 dog to a 3 dog team is impressive. far less scooting and the ability to promote and demote team members from lead to wheel is useful. it’s early days yet and the dogs need many more miles. first rally is in a few weeks and we’re not expecting much, unless everybody else is as unfit as us.

Helen’s been taking Baloo and Mookie swimming at a local dog swimming pool, Merrylegs – or Canine Hydrotherapy Centre – if you want the posh name from a swimming pool with dog hair. we’re swimming Baloo to help keep him mobile with his arthritis and Mookie because he’s a pup that needs some muscles for his first rally season. It’s an amazing facility and well worth the money. the staff work hard with the dogs and the two boys seem to have benefitted loads. infact, Baloo is possibly the happiest dog in York and wants everybody to know, at the most incovenient times of the day. super fit, super happy and in fine voice when ever the urge for a howl comes around. our aim is keep Baloo running for as long as he wants to. he’s had one pre-season cartrophen injection and a daily Synoquin capsule. we’re aiming to stay ahead of the arthritis this year – not wanting any stiffness brought about by over training or arthitic flair ups.

this season may see us trading in the caravan for a van. something big like a lwb sprinter or an iveco daily. the reasoning behind it is that we’ve got two boys not far off their bus passes. we want to give the old boys plenty of room at rallies cos we all know how unreasonable and grumpy the old folk get.

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