One of our best leaders and our oldest working dogs, Casper refuses to retire and is still one of our fastest hardest workers. He infects the whole team with his constant excitement and enthusiasm to run! Casper is a super dog and super leader with a very kind and gentle character. He’s never been involved in a fight or even a spat with another, he gets along with everyone. Casper’s father is Iditarod Champion Lindy bred by the world’s winningest musher Jeff King. His mother Kara is from Iditarod Champions Martin Buser and Doug Swingley parents, bred by the awesome Norwegian musher Ketil Reitan. Casper was tested in lead shortly after he arrived, but Mel found he caused the whole team to “go up 10 gears” both with speed and power and although he listened and responded to commands perfectly, he turned her calm 14 dog team into what a runaway freight train! So after a few white knuckle trips, the last one including adding 50km to the 70km trip to try to “calm them down” before coming down the steep hill to the dog yard, Casper and all his enthusiasm was put further back in the team. That was until Mel’s first big race Femund 400km. Toivo, Mel’s main leader was benched at the halfway point with a slightly sore wrist. Casper was up! Sovollen to Tynset is mostly downhill and sure enough it was another white knuckle trip. Casper never puts a step wrong with leading the team, he’s just one of those leaders that gets everyone’s best. Casper led Mel and the team across the finish line in Roros town centre, making Mel the first female Brit to ever finish the race. Holding the team after 5 minutes was not easy, despite having just run 400km, Casper and the others wanted to run some more! A month later Casper, along with recovered team mate Toivo, led the team to finish Finnmark 500. Casper retired from racing in 2016, but is still a strong leader, always happy, always barking to go faster, always infecting the whole team with the #needforspeed #melandrews #teamgb #superdogs #alaskanhuskies #dogsofinstagram #huskiesofinstagram #sleddogs #teamgb #❤️mydog #arcticlifestyle #femundløpet #finnmarksløpet #arcticexpedition #weratedogs #dogs
This is Summit and she loves kids both hers and anyone else’s, dog or human! One of the fun things we do for kids is a “celebrity most like” for each dog. Summit would be Angelina Jolie. Beautiful and curvy, loves exploring, total action girl, confident leading guys, surrounded by her kids and can pull anything. Summit is incredibly kind and gentle. She always put 110% into whatever she does and as a result is always happy in herself. Not the fastest of our dogs, but very powerful. Summit’s father Toivo and brother Tenzing are both excellent lead dogs and although Summit is a competent leader herself, she follows after her mother Myra and grandfather Belmore, preferring to work in middle of the team. Summit was our first home bred Alaskan Husky and even at birth was chunky and strong. They only thing Summit loves more than running in the team with her kids, is food. If there’s food around, no one else gets a look in! We love Summit and her big soft brown eyes! #melandrews #superdogs #alaskanhuskies #dogsofinstagram #huskiesofinstagram #sleddogs #teamgb #❤️mydog #arcticlifestyle #femundløpet #finnmarksløpet #arcticexpedition #weratedogs #dogs #huskies #visitlapland #ecolifestyle #greatoutdoors #lovenature #animalworld #bark
For some entertainment we are going to showcase our #superdogs, one per day over the next few weeks. Starting with A for Army! Army is an 8 year old Alaskan Husky. She is the friendliest dog you’ll ever meet and has finished every race she has ever run, including 2x Femund 600km races with an amputated rear toe! Army lost her toe when a loose dog attacked the team, fortunately that was the only damage done as all her big boy brothers in the team frightened the dog away pretty darn quick. After surgery, the vet said it would end her racing career, but she didn’t bank on the “indomitable spirit of the sleddog”! Army rested for several weeks, but it was hard to keep her still, as she loves to run. So when the wound was all healed and the vet gave her the all clear to run, she joined the team by running loose behind them. That didn’t really work as she jumped through the snow to get into the middle of the team, running as though she was wearing a harness, so with the vets “no reason why not”, Army rejoined her team mates pulling the sled. Two months later she finished a 200km race and later Femund 600km. It hasn’t affected her at all. The only adjustment has been that Army wears 1, sometimes 2 dogbooties (protective socks) at all times when running to project the skin that has less hair than her missing outer toe. Army is such a character, she always wants to say Hi to everyone and that means face to face, complimentary licks and kisses and her front paws wrapped around your waste for a full on #huskyhug Army is the mother to several of our awesome dogs. She is from bloodlines from #iditarodchampion #martinbuser and #dougswingley We love Army and her super cuddles! #melandrews #superdogs #alaskanhuskies #dogsofinstagram #huskiesofinstagram #sleddogs #teamgb #❤️mydog #arcticlifestyle #femundløpet #finnmarksløpet #arcticexpedition #weratedogs #dogs #huskies #visitlapland #ecolifestyle #greatoutdoors #lovenature #animalworld #bark
Happy Spring Equinox & Happy Mother’s Day!
With the ‘New Dawn’ of the first day of Spring and Mother’s Day celebrations, it seemed a perfect time to start my new Blog: “Mother Adventure.” I will be posting regularly about my Arctic and Wilderness Adventures and Expeditions as a Mother with young children, a team of Huskies and sometimes Solo. From Survival tips (that may come in useful for you at this time of self-isolation) to Stunning photo and video Scenery, to details about our Arctic Lifestyle and all our efforts towards Eco-Living and Eco-Tourism, steps we have taken towards a Healthy Natural Lifestyle and a ‘behind the scenes’ look at how we operate a Green, Ethical, Sustainable, Competitive and Fun-loving Kennel of Happy and Healthy Sleddogs.
The Spring Equinox, is the day that everywhere on Earth is equal! As a Woman and a Mother in Sport and Adventure, equality (and lack of) plays a significant role in my life. The equinox has 12 hours when the sun is above the horizon and 12 hours when it is set below the horizon, at every corner of our beautiful planet!
In the Northern Hemisphere, the equinox marks the last day of Winter and the first day of Spring. It also coincides with the Sleddog world’s racing season coming to a close and wow between blizzards and viruses, what a season it has been! For many of us the end also means a new beginning, looking forwards, planning and dreaming about the next season. The equinox is a ‘New Dawn’ both for the planet and for us.
Each day will now start gaining more minutes of daylight until the Summer Solstice arrives. On the Arctic Circle at 66oNorth, the Midnight Sun and celebrations on 21-24th June when the sun does not set below the horizon. However because dawn and dusk creates extended daylight, the Arctic Circle does not actually get dark; at all, from May until August. The Spring Equinox therefore marks rapid change, as the Arctic Circle’s Spring ”breakup” approaches, Eco-systems come to life, along with the endless day and the Midnight Sun!
Happy Mother’s Day to all those celebrating today!
For the last few months, I have been enjoying the “fourth Trimester” with our amazing new born baby; Charlie. I love this term, because it highlights that the arrival of a new baby and the end of pregnancy, doesn’t mean life and your body instantly return to normal. Many Doctors and Midwives are now actively encouraging this important bonding time. Despite an incredibly easy labour with Charlie’s rapid (2.5 hours) entrance into the World, I am still recovering from loosing 4.5L of blood immediately after giving birth (yes 4.5L!). Naturally I have had very low Iron and Oxygenated blood levels; which frustratingly, takes an age to replenish! Even with 2 blood transfusions. But I am just happy to be alive and I owe that to the incredible health staff that did everything to deliver Charlie in the health centre and then to blue-light me to hospital.
This hasn’t stopped me though, we took Charlie to Finland before he was 2 weeks old, where he slept on the Ski slopes with me, while I skied the gently slopes and William; at 2y 4m improved on his skiing from last year with lessons from Daddy. Then just before he was 1 month old Charlie went on his first (of many) Dogsled rides, what a great day with all the family in one sled! The dogs were so excited and wanted cuddles from the kids afterwards. This was a dream come true for both of us as mushers and parents.
So to all mothers new and old, that are wondering how adventurous you can be with Children, this blog “Mother Adventure”, is named for you. Mother Nature has given us women everything we need. My Mantra during races was to always listen to my body and listen to the dogs. That is now also my philosophy with Adventure as a Mother; to listen always to my body and to my babies. Charlie has been breastfed since birth and I fully advocate 100% breastfeeding, like with William this has made it easier to go away and on adventures, so if you are lucky enough to be able to breastfeed, cherish that and just do it! Charlie has been fed on several plane flights, in restaurants and even on the Ski slope (although the cold is an issue, more of that later). So on this (British) Mother’s Day, I am so thankful to have my own beautiful, kind and loving mother, who is therefore me, to share the good times and whenever I ‘need my mum’, and now to also be a mother myself of 2 beautiful, healthy boys; Charlie and William, that fill my days with smiles and laughter, love and cuddles., along with my wonderful, supportive and loving husband and an incredible team of Huskies that we are privileged to be taken into their world with. Until next time...