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  • Writer's pictureEmily Ford

The Dog Days of Summer

Many folks ask us what the race dogs do during the summer! The Shameless Husky crew heads down to Juneau on the glacier to run tour operations with AlaskaX! Don't worry, we send awesome handlers with our dogs to train, feed, and love on them. Sending dogs to run tours in the summer allows them to keep moving their bodies and stay fit, socialize with other people than just those of us who live at the kennel in the winter, and keep them out of the muddy, buggy swamp in Willow. They aren't long tours but enough for them to exercise and get lots of attention from tourists.

The yearlings in Juneau getting ready to head out on a tour

Our four house dogs come to Minnesota with Anna and live out their summer days lounging on the couch, sitting in the canoe, or bikejoring down the roads of Duluth.

Our maiden paddle this year landed us having our lunch under the canoe during a classic Boundary Waters spring storm.

As I wrote this, I received a call from Anna who took 3 of our 4 dogs on a walk around the neighborhood. She wasted no time and said, "Prepare a bath!" Turns out that Diggins killed a skunk and death shook it so that it sprayed the entire group of three dogs and one human. Thus the hour-long bath process began.

Diggins after the second round of baths

The secret to removing skunk spray from a dog's coat with a home remedy is as follows:

  1. wash your dog as soon as you can after they get sprayed. the longer the oils sit on the fur, the harder it is to get out.

  2. DO NOT RISE WITH WATER. it makes it so much worse and sends the stink further into their coat

  3. make a wet paste out of baking soda, blue dawn dish soap, and hydrogen peroxide in a bowl

  4. wipe your dog down with the paste. if caught early enough the skunk oils should be on just the top coat (unless they are DIggins and rolled in it)

  5. leave the paste on for a minimum of 10 minutes. let the baking soda and dawn do what they are good at: neutralizing and lifting oils

  6. thoroughly rinse with water starting at the head and moving down. watch their eyes and ears. if your dog is sprayed in the mouth, you have to wait for the oils to break down on their own

  7. wash with a dog shampoo if you have it

  8. air dry or towel dry. with 3-4 dogs, I toss them out in the backyard.

Solstice always riles up my anticipation for winter and initiates my grief cycle for losing summer so quickly. There are always adventures to look forward to! Life with dogs is messy, a bit chaotic, but generally heaps of fun!

Our next adventure for Iditarod prep happens on August 29th at The Park Point Beach House! You are invited to hear more of our dog and mushing stories. Come and go as you see fit! We are celebrating with food from Northern Waters Smokhaus and Love Creamery ice cream. If we will see you there, please register so we can get a head count (click the button below)!


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