Rob's Blog Archive

May 6, 2012











Meet Gaiya.  Or, if you’re reading Rick Outwin’s scribbling, Galya----her registered name.  Still, excepting official AKC records, it will be Gaiya.  She arrived on May Day. 

Starting with our first encounter at the airport and continuing until now, she’s been a very easy dog to handle.  Some of that is size.  She is the same size as Daisy, my smallest dog.  Mostly, however, it is personality.  Though a little nervous from a long trip as well as a new person reaching into her kennel, she had no issues with my tightening her collar.  I attached a leash and took her for a quick walk during which she helped hydrate some junipers.  After this, I put her in a dog box, slipped my face up to it, and got my first Gaiya kiss.

Wednesday night was the first time everybody ran free together.  With twenty-one curious dogs vying for a chance to sniff the newcomer’s rear, the genitals of both canine genders are optimally located for this, her opportunities to explore her new world came in broken intervals.  She coped with all of this very well, not being afraid to object when somebody lingered, nose toward her tush, too long.    

Though three, she has the goofy energy of an older pup.  The difference is she is self-confident.  Still, her tentative nickname is Perma-Pup.  

We’ve done a few sessions of yard time, but as of yet I have not harnessed her.  That will happen this week.  I expect that she and Daisy will make a particularly photogenic brace.  It’s not just her size that matches up with Daisy, her build and markings aren’t too far off as well.  They could definitely be littermates.  After some runs, three to six, I am hoping to try her with Daisy in lead.  Given the confidence with which she’s carried herself, I expect that she’ll be fine in front of a team, but we’ll see.  Everybody points to dogs they would have sworn were going to lead but never did.

With me, Gaiya’s a lot like a dog I had named Mink.  Minkie was a kiss ass goof-ball.  By the time I got Mink, I could only see bits of goof-ball, but I could extrapolate to what she had been like as a youngster.  And now I have Gaiya.   During yard time, it’s jump, staccato kisses, lean the head back and see if they’ve had the appropriate manipulative effect, and then back to the yard itself.  Minkie didn’t do staccato kisses so much, but being a kiss ass never left her---the kiss with a purpose was always there.  And when I ran 12 dog mid-distance, Mink was my primary leader. 

Beyond the ease with which Gaiya has so far fit into the pack, the other bit of good news is that she was last in heat the final week in March.  I have no intact females and expect to continue this with Gaiya.  I’ll be able to have her spayed sometime in July, the month I’m planning on taking off from running dogs. 

For my money, twenty to twenty-five dogs is perfect.   If the life expectancy of a Sibe is 13 years, 22 dogs means that an average of one to two dogs will pass away each year.  During the past 12 months, it was the Gonj.  Getting another G-dog, can’t replace him, but it shouldn’t.  My memories of his gyrations trying to get scratches or food from me will always be there.  So will Gaiya’s staccato kisses followed by intense observation.  The lesson is always to cherish the living. 

 Rob's Blog Archive Index
Rob's Blog | Writing | The Dogs | About Rob | Mushing Terms | Equipment | Sponsors | Instruction| Videos