Isis is one of Kara and Grover's superhero kids.
In the spring of 2006 I sold Isis, along with Dare
(Smiley x Oreo) to a nice woman in Yellowknife, who
came to me with some very good references.
Icey was still young and hadn't been harness broke,
but given her pedigree, I had nothing but confidence
that she would be a good addition to Jo's team down
Imagine my surprise when many months later Jo
contacted me and said they were having problems
harness breaking her. The problem had begun when
running down some pavement that Jo had to travel on
to get to their training area and then got magnified
from there. I offered some suggestions and told her
to keep in touch with me.
After a number of months and trying everything they
could think of, Jo, very sadly, contacted me wishing
to return Ice. As I always do, I refunded back Jo's
purchase price in full and Jo shipped her back down
Ice settled back into our kennel routine quite
easily and we began a calculated long-term approach
to re-schooling her attitudes about running in
harness. I knew that we realistically only had one
shot to change her mind about being a sled dog. My
goal was to make her reliable enough that I could
find her a home on a recreational team. Despite
being a Grover/Kara kid, I was convinced she just
wasn't a 'special' dog.
So, over the course of last fall, Ice got accustom
to being on a leash, a drop chain and eventually
living on a stake out chain. This spring I finally
felt the time was right and hooked her up with a
carefully selected team. She balked a bit, but never
really showed any indication that she was going to
through a 'feet in the air' temper tantrum like she
did in Yellowknife.
I ran her a few times with good results before
giving her a few months off. Through out the summer
Mark and I both started to become rather enchanted
with this little piebald gal. Jo had always
maintained that she was an absolute sweetheart in
their kennel and we were really seeing that here,
but I did begin to look for a new home for her.
I offered her to a few folks, but no one was really
taken with her, despite her great pedigree and the
fact that I was now insisting that was 'something'
When we started running again in July, Ice was right
in there with the rest of the crew. She still balked
a bit when we crossed or traveled down our gravel
road, but otherwise was doing just great on our
Then in the last few weeks she really began to 'find
her feet'. Last week she was roaring down the trail,
out performing even her star brother, Wolvie. I
decided it was time to up the pressure on her and 4
days ago took her on a run up our driveway, which is
all gravel. She didn't miss a beat.
This morning I decided to listen to my gut and put
the young lady in lead. She was a STAR.
When we hit the driveway I was curious to see what
she would do when she had no other dogs pulling her
forward. She balked for a second then looked for
ways to run off the gravel on the side of the road,
but Dasher was blocking that option for her on the
right. She tried to swing to the left but because
the rest of the team was on the right side of the
road, couldn't reach the side of the road. She
hesitated for a half second and then hit her harness
hard and got back to work.
Watching her traveling hard and fast down the road,
driving solidly into her harness was wonderful. I
was so proud of her.
She lead a big, fast 14-dog team for over 5 miles
before I hit some trail that was above her leader
skills and swapped her out for Tess.
Just in case anyone was wondering - she is no longer