Sunday, February 28, 2010

Kakslauttanen Husky Farm trip

Yesterday afternoon, we went on a drive further north - 125 snowy kilometres to the Kakslauttanen Husky farm in the Saariselkä region.

My younger son had to get some paperwork signed there, for a possible work experience contract. He speaks fluent Finnish and has the required addition of English, needed for tourists, so it's ideal for him.

If the local employment and economic development office employment and economic development accept the documents when he visits them later on this week, then he will be set to start working there for the next three months. His dream type of work too. He simply loves dogs. He helped his dad when he was younger (about 12 years old) when my husband was working at another husky farm. For both of them, there is nothing finer in life than being with a dog. They both speak dog fluently!

Anyway.. I thought that some photographs would be agreeable! :D

Joyously c-c-c-c-cold at around -15 to -20ish... with ice on the inside of the car window as usual! :D This is the sort of view on the road...

And this is the ICE! :D

To get to Kakslauttanen means crossing the border from Finnish Lapland to Saami Lapland.

This is just a little of the husky farm's surrounding...its really very big and is home to around 200 dogs including the puppies! Much larger than the one that my husband worked at before.

After signing the documents, we were shown around and I got to take some snapshots of the dogs! :D

Most of the dogs have their own little dog houses and are on long chains next to them.. but there are younger puppies that are kept under different conditions, in large, secure cages. They are the first dogs you see as you enter.

Lots of cute little faces, peering out at you!

This is Clyde - (partner of Bonnie of course) He is about two or three months old. Look at the size of those paws! I think he is going to be a BIG boy!

And here he is with Bonnie!

The cages also have an outer cage so that when the handler goes in to feed them, should one escape, they do not get very far. Simple, but very necessary!!

There is one very small and undersized puppy, which is black and white in these images. His white brother and sisters are much larger and he almost gets lost! For this reason, he is being fed separately, as you can see in the photo above - to give him the best chance possible. SO cute! He has his little head stuck firmly in the food bucket!! :D

The layout of the farm after that, is simplistically well organised and very clever. In the other farm that my husband was at, there was a lot of lugging of dog food, back and forth between kennels. Here, the dogs are all in rows, with avenues between them. The food is delivered by ski-doo (snowmobile) in winter and probably a mönkijä (ATV/Quad-bike) in summer, when the snow gives way to mud!

**One interesting and somewhat relevant side note is that the ski-doo was originally meant to be called the ski-dog designed to be a practical replacement for the dogsled. However, during an oversight the prototype painter misinterpreted the name and painted Doo, instead of Dog on the first one - and it stuck! Quite funny really!**

The avenues of dogs are home to groups of dogs. If they work together in a team, they live close to each other. When the doghandlers organise the teams for sled treks, the layouts are marked with names and in different colours. The colours denoting what colour/size harnesses they wear. Simple but ingenious and makes the dog handlers life much easier I would imagine!

Doesn't he look a handsome brute!

Having got a Husky myself, I can attest to the fact that they LOVE to be on top of things! Especially their dog kennel! I think this one must be female, she looks so elegant and refined! Like a Queen on her Kennel.

These are the type of sled (this one is empty of course!) that the huskies are hooked up to.

My son came away a happy lad and looking forward to getting stuck in. It will seem very strange to have one of 'my own puppies' living away from home...but he is growing up and I have to 'let go' a little, as his Mum. Kids grow up SO quickly!

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