Thank you to all sponsors and fans for your support and encouragement. Without you, not only would Evening Star Kennel been absent from the 2010 Yukon Quest, but this incredible sport and these wonderful dogs would become a thing of distant memory. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and I hope that you have enjoyed following this amazing event.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Evening Star Kennel: Origins

I was in North Carolina last weekend in the area where I grew up for my brother Jamie's wedding. It was a nice wedding that completely represented Jamie and my new sister, Sarah Jane. I got to see lots of friends and family as well as several people from the distant past. As I was handing out Evening Star Kennel business cards, I got one question from almost everyone, "How did you come up with the name 'Evening Star'?" I guess it is time to tell the story.

My first sled dog job was as a tour guide in Jackson, WY. One of my main leaders was a little freight train of a dog named Venus. She always wanted to go and made it quite clear that she was not happy to be left behind. Once February and March roll around, most tour dogs know the routine and don't get excited about going until the harness are actually being worn. Venus, on the other hand, would bark incessantly as soon as the sled came out of the barn to get set up and ready for the day. In order to stop the noise, I often let her loose to hang out by the sleds where she immediately quieted down and found a good spot to take a snooze near her spot in lead. Needless to say, I got a little attached. At the end of the season party, I asked my boss, Frank, if I could have her. He said yes and the rest became history.

Venus went everywhere with me for 6 years. She was my constant companion. We made at least 3 road trips across the country. We hiked 500 miles on the Colorado Trail in 5 weeks one summer. She went to Alaska to do glacier tours. Venus saw more states than a lot of people. She was the only thing I didn't lose in my cabin fire the year I ran Iditarod. She wasn't just my dog but my best friend.

Venus lost her hearing as she got older and gave me a scare a few times when I would come home and see her stretched out in the sunshine but never moving until I slammed the car door. In March of 2008, I left Venus at a friend's house while we went out for dinner. While we were gone, the roommate came home and Venus bolted out the door. She just wanted to go do something fun. She wouldn't come to him and ended up taking off towards town. Despite postering the town, going door to door, and driving many hours looking for her, I never found her.

I still miss her everyday and wanted a way to keep her with me as I go down the trail. I was struggling with a name for the kennel when someone told me that Venus is the Evening Star. I knew instantly that it was perfect. So, the kennel is named for Venus, in her honor and in her memory.

1 comment:

  1. A beautiful kennel name in memory of a beautiful dog! Venus was one of the most sane huskies I have ever known...what a great girl!