The dog farm

puppy

So after my landing in Anchorage I met a lady holding a sign with my name on it. It was Linda. She was sent to pick me up by Vern and took me to a grocery store to fill up my fridge for at least a week. We bought like everything in that store and continued to the dog farm.

It was already quite late here and the ride took us about 1,5 hour. It was still pretty light outside when we arrived and so I have seen the farm for the first time. I went to bed almost immediately, woke up the next morning and went right outside to meet the dogs and Vern who was already feeding them. There were no tourist’s groups that day so I had some time to get to know the place.

Racing dogs

Family dogs
Family dogs

The dog farm where I currently live & work is located some 150km north of Anchorage, the biggest town in Alaska. Anchorage has population about 300k inhabitants. The whole population of Alaska is some 720 000. Just for illustration, Alaska is as big as a half of Europe … Other people who live next to me are Vern – the boss and Susan – Vern’s wife. Oh yeah and 40 dogs and six puppies. Four of those 40 are “family dogs”, they are more pets than racing dogs. They are either after bad injury, too old or not a husky at all. The last case is Mickey’s case, who is a border collie in fact. He is incredibly friendly, like all other dogs, but he is following me everywhere and keeps an eye on me, so I don’t go too far from a pack. He even sleeps outside my cabin when I am in.

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Mickey
Mickey

That leads me to my accommodation. I live in a small wooden cabin some 20m from the dogs and 5m from the puppies. There is no running water. When there is no running water a bathroom would be useless, so there is none. Without bathroom there is no place to put a toilet so that is also missing. After recognising that there is no toilet I wasn’t even thinking about possibility to have internet connection here, but hey miracles happen. When I open the window wide and point my laptop in direction towards Vern’s house I get one stick of signal. I would rather switch it for running water honestly. Even with summer temperatures it’s definitely not ideal to sit next to an open window for a longer period of time. During daytime there is around 15°C, during night it goes down to 10°C. The weather is so far nice. It rains for a while every day but there is also a sunshine everyday. So I can see the difference between Alaska and Finland already.

First mushing

The first visitors showed up on Tuesday morning. There were 12 people, all of them very excited about the dogs and everything around. First Vern told them something about breeding dogs, racing with them and this kind of stuff. After that we took them for a walk with puppies to the forest and at the end for a ride with adult dogs with four-wheeler. The track is about 30 minutes long and people really enjoy that part. This whole show takes about 4-5 hours.

It has still been less than two days since my arrival and my body is still not completely used to the time shift, so I usually fall asleep around 3pm for few hours, wake up at a dinner time and then go back to bed. On the other side, I wake up approximately at 4am last few days. This will probably take some more days to get back to normal.

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Next time I am about to tell what I actually do here, how is the Alaskan life and will talk more about the dogs, because they are the reason why I am here, so they deserve much more room. I will try to focus on some really strong personalities among them.

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