Feb 272015

This is it – the big weekend. We will be in the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds all day Saturday for WinterFest Smoky Style.

Winter Fest Logo

Deliveries started arriving at the Festival Grounds Thursday and much more will arrive on Friday (including our own S-RV for our maximum comfort).

Festival Grounds

Bleachers were being set up and the sled dog demonstration path being prepared.

The comfort of the most important guests is of prime concern.

Sled Dog straw

Special Sled Dog straw being stacked for the most important guests.

And we are really looking forward to seeing the truly big dogs, the competitors in the International Weight Pull Association Sanctioned Competition.


Weights being delivered.

We will be reporting from the Festival Grounds over the weekend so will have lots of great stories to tell. We hope everyone within driving distance comes on out to Maggie Valley, NC, for a terrific weekend. (P.S. – The weather forecast is for a sunny and pleasant Saturday).


Time to get everyone organized for the weekend.

Feb 262015

Oh, sure, Groundhog Day was a few weeks ago, but we were thinking more of the Bill Murray movie where the main character wakes up everyday to the same routine. But, to be clear, we are not complaining about this repeat.

What shall we do?

Oh, look, Frankie, snow. Whatever shall we do?

Mad chase time

Mad chase time, of course.

can't catch this

Typhoon has engaged full fledged psycho dog with his “can’t catch this” zigging and zagging.

Hover Dog

Qannik appears to have engaged “Hover Dog” with no paw prints in the snow.

How did he do that?

Wait a minute! I’m Royalty. How did he do that?

Feb 252015

When we went to bed Monday night, we were prepared for the 1-2″ dusting of overnight snow predicted. We woke up, though, to a surprise snow.

Chez Herd

Chez Herd shortly after sunrise Tuesday morning.

Of course, when you have a surprise snow, the only thing to do is have Siberian Games.

ready to rumble

What do you think, Cheesewhiz, are you ready to rumble?

doesn't see coming

Doesn’t look like Q-Tip sees this coming.

Run, Typhoon, Run.

Typhoon, as always, is relying on his speed to get out of trouble. Run, Typhoon, Run.

runs off

Kiska runs off after catching Qannik off-guard.

Hope your day was as much fun as ours. Nothing like fresh, powdery snow to bring out the Sibe in all of us.

Feb 242015

After a week of snowy weather, we have been in melt mode for the last couple of soggy days. And we get a few more days of snow this week, too, so it is just that time of year.

watching skiers

Frankie and Typhoon sitting under the Tree of Life watching the skiers next door.

With all of the melting snow, of course, is plenty of mud and water everywhere. While the youngsters might be fine sitting in slush, not everyone is happy with it.

staying above the water.

Kiska claimed the chaise lounge so she could stay above the water.

Yes, Kiska has claimed the chaise lounge, one of the few dry spots outside at the moment. We all also hung out in Hu-dad’s study much of the day helping him with his work. Believe it or not, he didn’t even say thank you.

playing outside

Funny, Hu-dad says I can be most helpful by playing outside.


Feb 232015

We had just completed our walk around Carrier Park in Asheville when Kiska became very enthralled with a creature flying through the air.

Look at that.

Whoa, look at that!

The creature kept circling, flying low, flying high, and as clearly focused on us as Kiska was on it.

unlike creature

That creature is unlike any bird I have ever seen.

It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s a . . .


It’s a drone.

Yes, a person in the park was flying a drone around taking some pictures and the drone did seem quite interested in us. So, if you see some aerial video of us, that would be the source.


Wonder what it tastes like?


Feb 222015

According to some historians, as dogs began to domesticate humans . . . Oh, sure, there are some historians who suggest that humans domesticated dogs, but we tend to reject those crackpot theories.

Where were we? Oh, yes, as dogs began to domesticate humans, dogs learned to train the humans to provide them food and comfort by developing facial expressions that were irresistible to humans. So let’s see exactly how evolved you are with a simple test. Can you resist this face?

What are you eating?

Hi, Hu-dad. What are you eating there?

So how many of you humans just tried to provide food through the screen of your computer? See, we canines have you well trained. For you remedial humans, let’s try it again.

tastiest food

That looks like the tastiest piece of food I have seen in ages.

The vast majority of humans have now totally caved and are searching for extra food to send to us. But for those very few humans who have not yielded, we go for the advanced mode.

can't remember my last meal

I can barely remember my last meal since it was at least 20 to 30 minutes ago.

Hu-dad will see the rest of the humans at the grocery store to restock supplies.

Feb 212015

Frankie is the most angelic of dogs and quite unlike a Siberian Husky in so many ways. For example, he comes when called. Well, almost always. He behaves in the house. He rarely causes trouble. He is just a good dog.

The brothers

The brothers – thick as thieves.

And Typhoon is, well, . . . not. He is always the instigator. He is constantly into mischief. He has a nose for trouble.

always together

So opposite . . . and yet always together.

Yes, we have Will Halloway and Jim Nightshade (a little reference to Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury – One of the Hu-dad’s favorite books and an absolute must-read novel) in The Herd – the good and the bad.

look alike

They look so alike from many angles.

And, as so often happens, these opposite personalities mesh together so well and they are the best of friends, always together.


Me and my shadow. Of course, anything that goes wrong gets blamed on him, too, so there are advantages.

Feb 202015

We have been celebrating an actual winter all week long (with apologies to our Northeastern US friends who have apparently stolen every bit of our winter). Our low yesterday was -7ºF (-22ºC) and our high was 9ºF (-13ºC) and our wind chill was -24ºF (-31ºC), we had several inches of fresh snow on the ground and it was just glorious.

Ok, just ignore the grumbling of our Hu-dad in the background – we thought it was glorious. So we thought we would share some snowy scenes from around Chez Herd.

beautiful morning

Yesterday morning was absolutely beautiful, if a little chilly.

Hu-dad said he let us in and out about eleventy-seven bazillion times yesterday, though that was primarily because he wouldn’t just come out and bask in the perfect weather. He kept muttering that he had work to do, but he really needs to get his priorities straight.

come outside

Come on outside, Hu-dad, the snow on my face says how perfect today is.

frozen snow

The top of the snow is frozen so solid that Typhoon can walk on top of several inches of snow without breaking through.

savor the snow

But then you find that perfect spot, break through, and just savor the snow.

Of course, those members of The Herd who have seen several winters of real snow, week after week, are not as easily impressed.


We’ve seen it, Hu-dad. Ready to come back inside.

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****

We continue to get ready for WinterFest Smoky Style to be held in Maggie Valley, NC, February 27 through March 1. This week, we gave an interview to the Smoky Mountain News and this article was the result. Hope we get to meet many of you at the event!

Feb 192015

As we have mentioned, our winter has been very strange with very little snow since Thanksgiving – just the occasional dusting of a couple of inches at a time. This week has finally been a little more normal with a couple of inches every day or so and some snow building on the ground. Everyone is happy about it (ok, except for the Hu-dad who keeps removing snow from the driveway and front walk), but no one is happier than Miss Natasha. Nothing is better than seeing the Queen and Snow.

Glorious Snow

Snow. Glorious snow.

snow on your paws

Perimeter patrol is certainly more fun with snow on your paws.

Queen and her snow

The Queen and her snow

Feb 182015

While our Valentine’s Hearts for the Herd Contest might be over, we continue to receive Valentine’s cards. Your contributions to Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation now stands at $1705!

We also wanted to share our favorite Valentine’s Cards. One of our readers is a teacher who shares our page with her Special Education class. The class prepared some Valentine’s for us and we are so appreciative. For example, here is one for Queen Natasha:


In a similar theme, Qannik also received a heart shaped Valentine’s card:


We treasure these cards, but Typhoon is really, really proud of his card because it captures so much of who he is:


Scan26 copy

Thank you, students, you totally made our day!