During my summer on the Herbert Glacier I met two very special dogs. Perhaps it was my roommate (their musher) constantly talking them up that got me, but I could never take my eyes off of these boys. Pre and Swift came with the rest of the Cotter dogs. Cotter dogs are notorious on the glacier for their bad tempers and joy of fighting, but these two boys were different. Both Pre and Swift were gentle boys, sure they would stand up for themselves but rarely were they the instigators. Both had beautiful conformation, stunning eyes, smooth gates, and they were big. My pack had always been made up of smaller dogs, it had never really occurred to me that sled dogs could get so big, but it was the power that came with that size that truly stole my heart.
By the end of the summer I was certain, I wanted these boys, I wanted to have them as my foundation stock. Logistics were going to be an issue, there are a lot of miles between Juneau and Wisconsin... Fortunately I met an amazing musher while I was on the glacier, Josi. Josi agreed to transport the boys back to her kennel (Montana) and keep them there until I was able to make a trip out west and collect them.
The end of September I was finally able to make that trip, and was an adventure it was. Four full days of driving to look and three different job offers. I will save which job I chose for another post, for now I am just pleased to have Pre and Swift home. I've been spending so much time with youngsters recently I forgot what experienced sled dogs were like.
Our weather pattern has been a little odd these past few weeks. Most apparent, we have had an unusually warm and wet fall, but this past weekend mother nature made the snap decision that it was fall. In 48 hours the temperature dropped from the mid sixties to just above freezing, it even tried to snow. For me and my pack it means that we can finally get some actually runs in. I must say it feels good to be behind my own team again, even if they are a bunch of crazy yearlings.
In other news today was vet day. Because I have a wonderful vet he is willing to make house calls, which makes all of our lives easier. In under ten minutes we administered seven rabies vaccinations and preformed three physical examinations to clear the boys (Swift, Puck, and Yago) to be neutered.
Highs and lows are a part of life. Its a roller coaster, you need the lows to appreciate the highs. We've all heard these phrases before. Its so easy when you stand on the outside looking in to not be concerned, sooner or later life will work itself out. But when you are the one trapped in the middle of it, it feels like you are drowning. I could be inches from the shore and I wouldn't be able to see it. Panic clouds your vision until all you can see is death, destruction, failure. So what do you say to someone when they cannot see the bigger picture? I wish I knew.
It has been a rather rough few weeks for me, and as much as they tried, no one could find the right thing to say. Sometimes you just have to hold your breath and wait, let the storm blow through and pick yourself up from there. Even when you are not changing the world around you is, and sometimes its okay to wait until the world shifts enough to give you better footing.
For the fourth time in our history we are undergoing a name change, and this time I (Katherine) get to tell you about it.
KCM Kennels is not changing its name because of legal matters, because we are moving, or because the kennel is ending. We are changing the name because we changed, Carlleen, the dogs and I. We have grown and evolved so much over the past few years that KCM no longer contains what we are.
A name is how you identify something. When someone says your best friends name your mind instantly cues up their face, their laugh, all your memories with them. In an essence their name is the key to knowing them. That is why its time for our name to change.
The core values of KCM Kennels will continue, it will still be Carlleen and I running the place (even if we do living thousands of miles apart). But what we know, what we want to pursue, and how we operate is changing.
I came up with the new name while I was sitting in a dusty quarry waiting for the Allaway and LeFever dogs to get a ride out of Juneau. In between dropping those 41 dogs I sat in my lawn chair thinking about my own dogs. My pack wasn't all that different from these dogs in front of me, if anything they were "less". No recognizable blood lines, no impressive race history, backyard mutts, but it was never their blood that made them special, it is their hearts. Its the fact that they trust me enough that they do as I ask. Its not always an easy task, but they give it everything they have, for me.
Legends are not born, they are made through dedication, hard work, and practice. Its when you are at the edge of your strength that you get to see what you are really made of. We are the underdogs and that is going to make the story so much better when we do finally make it to the top, and believe me, we will get their. So remember our names, because some day you are going to hear amazing stories about us.
Let me be the first to welcome you to Legends Kennel.
When you have a kennel it is a full time job, holiday or not. I had my wonderful family helping me this weekend as we worked together to cut a trail through the overgrown pasture. My hope is to extend the trail around our entire property so that I can do the majority of fall training on it. Wish us luck.
Carlleen and I have been aware of the continual decline in the relevance of this website. Up dates have been slow to say the least seeing as how our last post was over two years ago. In short this site is essentially dead, but our dreams are not. So we have decided its time for a revamp. Hold on tight everyone there are a lot of changes coming your way.
First off a brief recap of the last two years
I did end up running the Jr. Iditarod in 2017 allowing me to check off one of my oldest goals and to make things even better Carlleen was there with me.
In preparation for college and my life beyond that I placed most of my team, it broke my heart to say good bye bit it was best for my pack.
I was Reedsville High Schools Valedictorian 2018
Carlleen Graduated College (spring 2018) and then decided to pursue a second degree
I attended TRS fulfilling my educational requirement to become a dog trainer (winter 2019). Upon completion of my course work I returned home
I accepted a job with the Alaska Icefield Expedition as a musher on the Herbert Glacier in Juneau Alaska. I spent the summer giving sled dog tours, upon the completion I returned home again.
I purchased a cargo trailer to convert into a mobile home-base for my dogs and I (August 2019)
And now you are all caught up!
Good morning everyone this is Katie speaking. I arrived safe and sound in Alaska and have now had a day to start settling in. The time change is what's getting to me the most, there is the three hour difference.
Anyway, I am getting to meet my team for the first time today and I cannot tell you how excited I am. This will be my first time on the runners in about a month and I have missed it greatly. There is SNOW here, it is actually snowing as I write this. For those of you who didn't know WI is pretty much snowless right now, at least where I live.
I already miss my dogs, but at least there are other dogs here to keep me company. Until I have a chance to post again,
Gosh, I can't believe it is February already, where has the time gone? Last time we posted was back in September and now 5 months have flown by. What's there to blog about? Well, Katie came to visit me (Carlleen) here in Idaho to do a training run. More posting about that later. For right now here is the biggest news of all. Katie is entered in the Junior Iditarod and leaves today to train for 2 weeks with a team she is using for it. Here is a short news clip about her leaving. We hope to keep you updated as she continues training for the Junior Iditarod that happens in about 2 weeks!
Hey KCM fans! As you all know, Katie entered in the Sled dog central September photo contest and while her photo didn't win, she did get an honorable mention and a chance to be a winner of the people's choice award voted by you! Carlleen also had 2 of her photos get selected, so head on over to Sled dog Central and check it out. Oh yeah... and in order to vote you have to create an account with Sled dog central and you get 3 votes! So, help KCM kennel's get a chance at winning some awesome prizes! Make sure you share this with your family and friends and vote for us please!
P.S.The pictures you see are the pictures that have a chance of Winning People's choice award! When you vote... look for the names Carlleen Brehmer and Katherine Winrich! Thanks for your help! Links are posted to help guide you to the voting areas.
Sorry this post is super late... blame Carlleen for that. She's gotten a bit on her plate lately and is now catching up with everything.
Summer is over, or at least the vacation part of it. That means one thing, school is back in session. With each year I am always amazed that, over the summer, I somehow forget how much of my time school takes. As a result when school starts I am always shocked. Now the other thing about summer ending is that is it now dog running season, or at least it will be as soon as it is cool enough. As always I am very impatient at the beginning of the season to get out there and start running, but best safe than sorry. It is always best to wait until after the risk of over heating to start running the dogs, so for now we have logged no miles.
Fall is also the time when the musher must check over their equipment. I guess we did a lot of beating on the ganglines last year because I no longer have enough to run a ten-dog team, only a six. The good news is that, thanks to my state fair check, I will be able to purchase new lines. Until then the dogs will simple have to be run in two smaller teams, which is what I would normally do at the beginning of the season anyways.
Finally, Sled dog central has sponsored a photo contest for the month of September. I've entered 3 photos in different categories. Those categories are young photographer, mobile, and the sled dog. I've attached the photos so you can see what I've entered.
I guess that about sum up what is going on here right now, I will have another update shortly once we start running. To all the mushers who are having luck with the weather, happy trails.
Two young adults attempt to navigate the world. They are guided by each other and their passion for dogs.