November 22, 2014

Meet the K9 Journalist Team

 

Meet the K- 9 Reporters

 Gypsy, Sanka, Libby, and I are excited to be the K9 Journalist team for Iditarod!  We have each written something about ourselves to help you get to know us better.  We have lots of great plans and story ideas about things to write about over the next school year. We want to help you can about Iditarod and Alaska.  So give me a “H O W L” and get to know the K9 Journalist Team for Iditarod!

 

Gypsum (aka Gypsy)

I’m Gypsum, but everyone calls me Gypsy. I love to wander. My humans call me a master escape artist. I’m not sure what that means but I know I love to see what’s on the other side of my kennel, or the run, or the door … I just love to explore. I learn so much by exploring.

I live in New Hampshire and I’m 8 months old. My birthday is January 25th. I have 5 brothers and 2 sisters. My brother Slate and I still live at the same house we were born in with 7 other Siberians including my mom and grandma. We are going to be a part of a recreational sled dog team that may do a few mid distance races in the future. I can’t wait until I can join the team. You see, several of my relatives, including my daddy, Skor, have participated in and/or completed the Iditarod with Karen Ramstead’s team. I love hearing the stories of their adventures. Running out in the open, exploring new places, sure sounds like my kind of fun.

First I need to know what it takes to be a lead dog because that’s my goal. I want to lead my team. My humans tell me that I have to listen, and practice a lot. I have also decided to talk to as many other lead dogs as I can and find out what they do and what kind of training they have had. I also want to know what their humans need to know so I can teach mine things like when I should get a treat! Of course to talk to these lead dogs, I might just have to get on the other side of my kennel unless of course, I can talk my humans into more computer time. Stay tuned to see what adventures await me.

Here’s an article I wrote about myself a few years back.  I love to write, so get ready to read!

Hi everyone,

Zuma thought it would be a good idea for me to do an article about who I am. Last year I got lots of the same questions about me. So, I’m going to share more information here so you know me just like you know your best friend. 

My given name is Gypsum. I was nicknamed Gypsy because I love to wander. As a puppy, I was the first to roam away from my mom and brothers and sisters. My humans were always chasing me or catching me in midair as I would try to get out of the puppy pen. I always want to see what’s on the other side of the fence. I know there has to be great adventures waiting for me.

I am a Siberian Husky and my birthday is January 25th. I was born in New Hampshire on a very cold snowy day which seems right for a sled dog. I have 5 brothers named Slate, Granite, Coal, Obsidian (nickname Obi) and Mica. I also have 2 sisters, Opal and Agate (who is now called Aurora). When you read Zuma’s Who am I? post, see if you can find something similar in her brothers and sisters names and my brothers and sisters names. Slate and I still live in the same home that we were born in. We live with 7 other siberians including my grandma Lyra, my mom Paige and several aunts and cousins. My dad and several other relatives have participated in the Iditarod. They have told me wonderful stories about life on the trail. The team at my house is a recreational team. My human says we will not run the Iditarod but I will get to run on a team all fall and winter. We may even do a few small races. I really hope we do. My humans are also planning a few camping trips this fall for all of us. I’ve never been camping but my human says we’ll have lots of fun. If any of you have gone camping before, you can write me and let me know what it’s like.

I’m always asked about my favorite things. My favorite color is blue. My favorite food is my kibble with salmon soup that my human makes for us. My humans make sure we eat healthy although we occasionally get a special treat. Some of my favorite treats is doggie ice cream and lobster bisque dog biscuits. My favorite things to do is play with my kennel friends and go on runs. My hobbies are running, meeting new people, writing, and playing with my friends.

I started K9 journalism school last year where I met Zuma. I am in my 2nd year of school. We just started back last week and it’s much harder than it was last year. I have to spend more time studying and doing my homework. I am going to have to learn how to find time to do my school work and to train with my team. Both are very important to me and I want to do them both well.

Last year I was a pup and didn’t run with the team much. When I did run, I loved it. My goal is to be a leader for the team. My human says it takes a lot of hard work and I have to listen and follow directions. I have been have trouble following directions lately but I’m going to work really hard at it. If I make the team, I have been promised a blue (remember my favorite color) harness. We should start training very soon. There has been a crispness in the air which signals that Fall is almost here.

I think that’s it. I hope that let’s you know more about me. If there is anything else you’d like to know, please write me.

Happy trails,

Gypsy

 

 

Sanka Wusha

My name is Sanka Wusha. The name,Sanka, comes from the character in “Cool Runnings,” the movie about the Jamaican Bobsled Team and Wusha is Ethiopian for dog. My birthday is in the middle of May so I’m about 5 months old right now. I was born at Rayme Redington’s kennel just a few miles away from Iditarod Headquarters. Anyone who hangs out at headquarters, knows Rayme; he’s the musher who brings his dogs to HQ everyday to give tourists cart rides. I came to headquarters many times when I was just a little puppy. Those tourists, young and old alike just love to hold and cuddle the puppies and it helps us get used to being around people. Zuma and I almost met at Iditarod Headquarters, but I was taking a puppy nap and missed the introductions.

The Redington name is pretty special in Iditarod history. Ramey’s Dad, Joe Redington, Sr. founded Iditarod along with Dorothy Page way back in 1973. Joe ran Iditarod many times – even when he was 80 years old. Ramey has run Iditarod many times and now his son; Ray Jr. continues to raise dogs and runs the last great race. Seems like raising sled dogs and racing is a way of life for the Redington family.

When I was just 8 weeks old, I moved from Knik, Alaska to Eau Claire, Wisconsin. That’s right, from Alaska to Wisconsin! My new family came to Ramey’s kennel looking for a good female Alaskan Husky to join their dog team. They picked me – I was so excited! It was a great adventure getting from Knik to Eau Claire. I flew to my new home with my new musher right IN the plane. Yup, they put me in this little soft-sided kennel and I fit right under the seat like carry on luggage. Before getting on the plane, I wondered how I was going to get through security. I saw everybody taking their shoes off and putting their belongings into bins and running them through the X-ray machine. Thankfully, my musher carried me so I didn’t have to go through that scary machine all by myself. It was a nice ride on the plane. I got to sit on lots of laps, everybody made a big fuss over little ole’ me and the flight attendants really loved me. I had plenty of food and water although I was a little too nervous to eat very much.

Zuma and I have something very special in common. Zuma was born in Wisconsin and moved to Alaska; I was born in Alaska and moved to Wisconsin. We sort of “traded” homes! When I grow up, I’d like to be as smart as Zuma. Not only do I hope to be a smart dog, I’d like to be a lead dog! I have so much to learn and experience. Let’s all be friends and trade stories.

Sanka W. Dog

 

Libby Littles

I know I’m not the youngest member of this K-9 reporting team, but I am the smallest. I am an Alaskan Klee Kai, which is a miniature sled dog. Some humans think that I look a lot like a Siberian. My breed began in Alaska and you can find lots of information about my breed by doing a search on the Internet.

I was born in Texas three years ago and now I live in South Dakota. I love to travel and learn about lots of different things. When I was young, I wanted to be a ‘show dog’. I tried hard to learn the skills, but after many months of practice, I decided that line of work wasn’t for me. I would much rather spin around in circles when I walk then walk a straight line. I do like everyone to look at me and admire me. I am very special and I like to dress up fancy sporting hats, coats, and sparkly jewelry.

I decided with my love of travel and my love of telling everyone about what I see and do, I should go to K-9 journalism school. I met the other team members on a video conference and had so much fun brainstorming about project ideas that I decided I wanted to be a member of this journalistic team. My dream of being a K-9 fashion model will have to wait until I see how this career works out.

My job on this team will be to tell you about ‘little’ things that are interesting. That doesn’t mean everything I write about is little — like me! It could be that I write about a big thing, but it is a detail that you will find interesting. You can call me the little reporter who is in chare of big details!

I am glad you’ll be reading Zuma’s Paw Prints. I look forward to you writing letters and articles as I work with Zuma and the other team members. Be sure to tell Zuma how cute and smart I am! Oh, tell her my little details are great, too! You’ll be hearing from me soon. I’m going to take a couple days vacation now, maybe fly down and watch a sled dog team that is practicing on the beaches in Jamaica. I’ve got my beachwear and sunglasses all packed. Now where did I put my camera?

 Here is more about me…  I might be little, but I like to share details with others!

Libby here!

I am the smallest member of the Iditarod K-9 team of reporters. I weigh about 8 pounds. I am four years old so I am ‘all grown up’!

I am an Alaskan Klee Kai, which is a miniature sled dog. Some humans think that I look a lot like a Siberian. My breed began in Alaska and you can find lots of information about my breed by doing a search on the Internet.

I was born in Texas. I moved to South Dakota. I love to travel and learn about lots of different topics. When I was young, I wanted to be a ‘show dog’. I tried hard to learn the skills, but after many months of practice, I decided that line of work wasn’t for me. I loved the way everyone would look at me in the show ring. It made me so happy that I would start to spin when I walked instead of walking in a straight line when my human would say, ‘Heel”.

My full name is Dawn of Liberty.  I was born on the 4th of July!

I am very special and I like to dress up fancy sporting hats, coats, and sparkly jewelry. Show dogs don’t get to wear those special costumes, so being a reporter is probably a much better job for me. Humans and people should choose a job that they like. I have lots of ideas of what I can be someday. I’m exploring my options.  For now, I’m going to dress up and go on assignments to get some interviews. 

I decided with my love of travel and my love of telling everyone about what I see and do, I should go to K-9 journalism school. I met Zuma and the other team members at school and had so much fun brainstorming about project ideas that I decided I wanted to be a member of this team. My dream of being a K-9 fashion model will have to wait until I see how this career works out.

My job on this team will be to tell you about ‘little’ things that are interesting. That doesn’t mean everything I write about is little – like me! It could be that I write about a big thing, but it is a detail that you will find interesting. You can call me the little reporter who is in charge of big details!  AND as you might guess, it’s the little details that are important in the big world wide picture!

I hope you like my stories. Leave me comments at this blog. I can’t wait to hear from you!

Just spinning some D’tails’!

Libby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zuma

 

Hello Boys and Girls,

Well, I’m sure you know all about me, but let me take a few moments to share with you, just in case!

Every year, I get asked a lot of questions about me personally. I hope that this answers most of your questions. If you have other questions, you can always e-mail me  or the other members of the K9 Journalist team!

I was born in Wisconsin on August 29, a day when the sun was shining and it was nice and warm. I have four sisters, Crystal, Ruby, Topaz, and Opal, and 3 brothers, Nugget, Silver, and Nickel. In the world of dog language, we are what is called “litter mates.” My parents were called, mama and pop. Our humans called them, “Good Mama” or “Sweet Lady”, “Good O’l Boy” or “Champ”. Those are the names I know them by….

I am a female and have been told by humans that I am very attractive. I have been known to flirt with the guy dogs including having a short romance with Martin Buser’s famous lead dog, D-2. Alas, D-2 was fickle and the relationship soon faltered. We are still friends, just not the boyfriend/girlfriend kind of friends.

I have many friends, K-9 and human. I am 6 years old and shall always remain forever young.

I decided quite early in life to become a journalist.

One of the questions I am often asked is, “Why did you become a reporter?” My mother and siblings say it was a natural for me as I’ve always been curious about things. I loved chewing up things, chasing bugs into holes, watching the birds fly and then trying to jump up and see if I could do it, too. I was always the one asking questions and sticking my nose into trouble as a puppy, so I’ve always enjoyed finding out about new and interesting things. The more I discovered how much humans enjoyed my reports, the more serious became about continuing my education and becoming a reporter.

I attended the K-9 University of Alaska in Anchorage (K9UAA) and received my degree in K9 Journalism. I was hired right out of school by the Iditarod Trail Committee to write a column for their website. I named my column Zuma’s Paw Prints. The column has become popular among mushing fans world wide and I receive a lot of e-mail from all over the world. I am able to type on a specially built larger key board using my nose and my paws.

Going to school wasn’t easy, but I now have my own column, Zuma’s Paw Prints, on the Iditarod website. I am able to type, by the way, by using an extra large keyboard that was special designed for me. I use both my nose and paws to type.

Even though I am quite famous now, I have not forgotten my friends both K-9 and human. Friends and family are more important than being rich or famous.

My favorite food used to be pizza. But since being back at K-9 University working on my advanced degree in journalism, I am learning all about healthy living choices. Boys and girls, it is important for all of us to learn about what we can do to stay healthy and live a long life. SO, I am working hard at eating exactly what a young K9 journalist my age should be eating— more canine meals and less, less, less human food. I’m thinking about nutrition, getting proper exercise, and getting enough rest. I want to live a long, long, long, and very happy life. So far, this renewed diet is working, too! As far as exercise goes, I’m trying for 10,000 steps a day! I’m getting plenty of sleep! I love my ‘dog’ naps. The right food choices and the right exercise makes a big difference! I feel GREAT!I also like to travel and fly around the state in small aircraft. I often go out in the bush with the humans to fish. I have to teach them the best methods for landing a fish and then they do just fine.

I love children and puppies. One summer, my best K-9 friend, Lakota, had five puppies and named me as their God-Dog. I would spoil them rotten if Lakota didn’t stop me. My friend Joanne, has Boston Terrier named Holly who has come to the office most days since she was a little puppy. She is cute, but I don’t think she would be of much use as a sled dog. Her legs are only about 8 inches long!

I love to travel. When I am not in school or reporting along the trail in Alaska, you’ll find me traveling any chance I can to any place I can. Although ‘Alaska’ is my official home, my home is where I am at the moment. Taking the advice from Martin Buser, my favorite place is where I am at the moment.

I like meeting new people and learning new things even more. I meet new people every year because of the Iditarod. I am very fond of children. I enjoy talking to them, getting special hugs and pets, and asking them questions about the things human children like to do. Often children bring me snacks.

Try to remember, I don’t run the Iditarod or any other race, but sometimes I do go out with some of my friends on training runs, so I get to meet new K-9 friends, too. In fact, I wish I could spend more time with them.

I also like playing in new snow and being the first one to put footprints in it. I make snow dogs on the front lawn too. Winter is my favorite time of year but I enjoy all the seasons!

My favorite color — I guess I’d have to say I love the rainbow and all the colors in between! Why smear the colors all together and— they become the northern lights. Let me change my answer, my favorite colors are those found in the rainbow —  and in the northern lights.

My favorite season is IDITAROD season! I also love all the seasons in between!

I have many hobbies: reading, writing, traveling, meeting people, and going on long hikes are just a few of my favorites.

I also love to just enjoy the summer days…   To sit, to dream, to enjoy nature, and to take a snooze…  I believe it’s important to take time to sniff the flowers….  or when at the stream, the fish that are swimming by me.

Truth be told, just down the street from my human’s house there is a favorite drive up restaurant.  Some mornings I take a hike and find myself at the drive up window….   Yum, yum, yum…   HOWL!   This will always be a favorite memory, my hikes to that favorite snacking spot!

My human works for Iditarod, so I am very lucky to get to spend as much time as I can around HQ.

Well, Boys and Girls, enough about me!

Lots of Tail Wags,

Zuma