Kennel Club
Kennel Club #BanShockCollars campaign set to be won in England
The Kennel Club is delighted that, following a meeting with Rt Hon Michael Gove and Ross Thomson MP just last week, it is understood that a ban on both the sale and use of shock collars is to be announced across the UK shortly, following a consultation period on the terms of such a ban, including a total import ban and a possible amnesty.
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Five Hero Dogs
Five Hero Dogs Named as Finalists in hero dog awards
Judges from the Kennel Club, the UK’s largest dog welfare organisation, have selected five inspiring finalists to go forward for the public vote, with the winner being announced in the Genting Arena at the Birmingham NEC on the final day of Crufts, the world’s greatest dog show, on Sunday 11th March. These five dog heroes are just some of the dogs celebrated at the show for the ways that they enrich our lives.
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New partner
The Kennel Club announce Purina PRO Plan as their new partner in pet nutrition
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “We are delighted to be working with Purina PRO Plan who share many of the same beliefs as the Kennel Club in terms of responsible dog breeding through the Kennel Club’s Assured Breeder Scheme and the important role that our canine companions play in our society.
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Foreign Secretary backs call to ban
Foreign Secretary backs call to ban shock collars
In a video posted on Ross Thomson MP’s twitter account, the Foreign Secretary states: “I am absolutely shocked to discover that electric collars are being used on dogs as utensils of discipline and education. There are far better ways of training your dog. Just as you don’t need to cane children anymore, we’ve moved on from that – let’s move on from electric shock dog collars.”
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Kennel Club welcomes consultation
Kennel Club welcomes consultation on third-party puppy sale ban
The Kennel Club, whose own regulations explicitly ban the sale of puppies to third parties, has long called for an end to the sale of puppies in pet shops and by other third party retailers, as puppy farmers often use such outlets to sell their pups to unsuspecting members of the public who never see the terrible conditions that the pups were raised in.
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Say bonjour
Say bonjour to the UK’s newest pedigree dog – the Barbet
Following the ‘entente chaleureuse’ established between Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron at last week’s summit in London, Anglo-French relations in the world of dogs also look set to become even more cordial after official recognition of an ancient French breed in the UK.
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  • Kennel Club
  • Five Hero Dogs
  • New partner
  • Foreign Secretary backs call to ban
  • Kennel Club welcomes consultation
  • Say bonjour

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Eagle and Salmon

Boating down the Yukon

Boating down the Yukon

Over the past few days, I took a mini-vacation to the town of Eagle.

More specifically Matt, Elke, and I drove six hours down the Alaska Highway, then three hours down a dirt road called the Taylor Highway, then boated 45 minutes down the Yukon River to a remote kennel (home of Wayne and Scarlett Hall). The Halls live six miles downstream from the already isolated town of Eagle. The colloquial phrase would be “they live in the bush” or cut off from the road system.


For those who avidly follow the Yukon Quest, Eagle probably rings a bell. It’s a checkpoint on the Quest between Dawson City and Circle City. The small community is located on the banks of the Yukon River and can be accessed by a 160-mile dirt road, known as the Taylor Highway. The Highway is unmaintained in the winter, cutting off the community of approximately 85 year-round residents (according to Google) for the winter months. The Yukon Quest trail runs along the Taylor Highway from the 40-Mile River Bridge up and over American Summit to the town of Eagle. Below is a video of the Ryno Team going over American Summit in the 2020 Yukon Quest.

For being such a small town, I have a...


Boating down the Yukon

Boating down the Yukon

Over the past few days, I took a mini-vacation to the town of Eagle.

More specifically Matt, Elke, and I drove six hours down the Alaska Highway, then three hours down a dirt road called the Taylor Highway, then boated 45 minutes down the Yukon River to a remote kennel (home of Wayne and Scarlett Hall). The Halls live six miles downstream from the already isolated town of Eagle. The colloquial phrase would be “they live in the bush” or cut off from the road system.


For those who avidly follow the Yukon Quest, Eagle probably rings a bell. It’s a checkpoint on the Quest between Dawson City and Circle City. The small community is located on the banks of the Yukon River and can be accessed by a 160-mile dirt road, known as the Taylor Highway. The Highway is unmaintained in the winter, cutting off the community of approximately 85 year-round residents (according to Google) for the winter months. The Yukon Quest trail runs along the Taylor Highway from the 40-Mile River Bridge up and over American Summit to the town of Eagle. Below is a video of the Ryno Team going over American Summit in the 2020 Yukon Quest.

For being such a small town, I have a strangely large number of friends and connections who either live in Eagle or are originally from there. My good friend Amanda Gecas with Boundary Fur Sewing who made my beaver mitts and hat as well as allowed me to run some of her incredible dogs like Jana, Drummer, Charlie, and Pirate is from Eagle. Through the wildland firefighting world, we have met other Eagle friends as well. For this particular trip, I was tagging along with Matt and Elke as they went to visit Matt’s parents- Wayne and Scarlett. This is the second time that I have traveled to visit the Hall’s in autumn, and it has become a favorite trip of mine.

Two years ago, we traveled to visit the Halls and helped them store their fish wheel for the winter. Using the fish wheel, the Halls catch chum salmon to feed the dog teams as well as salmon for themselves. This year was different. There were very few fish. A sonar station is located across from the Halls, and biologists live there in the summer, counting the number of fish that pass the location to ensure that the fish population will stay healthy for the future. A quick biology reminder- chum salmon are born in the river, swim to the oceans, and at an average of four-years-old, they swim back up stream to spawn and die.

Moving the fish wheel in 2018

Moving the fish wheel in 2018

Salmon haul from several years ago. We actually got these chum from the Tanana river, but you get the idea.

Salmon haul from several years ago. We actually got these chum from the Tanana river, but you get the idea.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game do a great job of describing the sonar site across from the Halls:

“Of all the salmon that migrate past Alaska Department of Fish and Game sonar sites, salmon migrating past the Eagle Yukon River sonar site travel the furthest. Salmon that reach the Eagle sonar site have traveled 1,200 miles upstream. And as they migrate past the site and into Canada some travel more than 2,000 miles before they stop to spawn. Because they are shared between two countries, these salmon are managed according to precautionary, abundance-based, harvest - sharing principles outlined in the Yukon River Salmon Agreement the United States has signed with Canada. Eagle sonar project escapement estimates for king and fall chum salmon help ensure agreement obligations are being met and that Canadian-origin stocks are managed sustainably. ADF&G runs the sonar site in cooperation with Oceans and Fisheries Canada, which provides two of the site's technicians.”

Typically, biologists plan for an escapement of 200,000 fish, meaning at least 200,000 fish pass the sonar camp to ensure a healthy future population. This year is currently tracking as its lowest number on record. According to Alaska Fish and Game:

“Using genetic analysis on all chum salmon that have passed the mainstem sonar site operated near Pilot Station since July 19, it is estimated that 189,000 fall chum salmon have entered the Yukon River as of September 7. The projected abundance is below the level needed to meet the drainagewide escapement goal of 300,000-600,000 fall chum salmon, tributary escapement goals, and Canadian treaty objectives. Fall chum salmon are typically dominated by age-4 fish however, that age class produced by the 2016 parent year, has shown extremely poor survival in chum salmon runs throughout the state.

”Fall chum salmon typically take 39 days to migrate from the mouth of the Yukon River to the U.S./Canada border, with estimated travel rates of 35 miles per day, though travel times may be a bit slower with this year’s sustained high water. The last identified fall chum salmon group that entered the Yukon River on August 27 would be approaching the U.S./Canada border around October 5.”

So what does that mean for the Halls and other dog teams on the Yukon? No fishing. The Halls have trucked in tons and tons of dog food, but for many mushers on the Yukon who feed their teams primarily with salmon, this could be the beginning of the end. It’s not economically feasible to care for a dog team without salmon. And beyond mushing, the effects of no salmon on the entire Yukon ecosystem is a terrifying thought. Optimists are hoping that the fish due to arrive in the Yukon this fall decided to wait another year in the ocean before returning to spawn. Either way, 2020 is a very troubling time in the salmon world.

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Moving onto happier thoughts, we had a wonderful visit to Eagle. We climbed the bluffs outside of town, free ran the Hall’s dogs, and spent hours just relaxing and visiting. On our return trip to Two Rivers, we stopped in Delta to pick up straw for the dogs for this winter. Also included in this post is a link to a video called Black Bear Goes to Washington. Denise Lawson is a sled dog enthusiast who has been mushing with the Halls and volunteers for the Yukon Quest. She helps rehome retired sled dogs and wrote and illustrated a series of children’s books about Black Bear, her retired sled dog. Spit, Fly, Foxfire, and I made an appearance in the video. Hope you enjoy!

Evening bonfire on the banks of the Yukon.

Evening bonfire on the banks of the Yukon.

Views from the bluffs looking downstream.

Views from the bluffs looking downstream.

Views from the bluffs looking upstream. You can see Eagle on the left side.

Views from the bluffs looking upstream. You can see Eagle on the left side.

Here’s a fun video of free running the Hall’s dogs.


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