Breakfast was porridge, dried fruit and powdered milk with
sport supplement powder enriched vitamins covering the lot.
Huskies can hydrate themselves by metabolizing animal fat.
Sometimes I feed up to 40% of their diet as fat. They also
produce their own vitamin C. Humans can't. Without vitamin
C you'd end up with scurvy. This was the scourge of early
We began our day in brilliant sunshine. With
a stretch then a yawn everyone wanted to get going. My routine
is to travel for 55 minutes then allow for a 5-minute break.
Pingo, Piper, Timber and Hansel know the routine and value
it. The youngsters have this to learn.
There's an Inuit saying that goes:
No good dogs, long way
Good dogs, close to
The nearest vet to Inuvik is Dawson City in
the Yukon and their fly-in visits north are, occasional. Stool,
urine and blood samples can be flown out for a vet to analyse.
From this a vet can divulge a fund of information over the
phone about a dog's health, nutritional value of its diet,
possible infections, parasites or mineral balance. Here alone,
responsibility for the dogs' health is mine. I watch for many
things but a basic one is to prevent or stabilize any injury
by watching closely for subtle changes of any dog's running
gait and behaviour.
As usual I nibbled PowerBars
to maintain energy throughout the day.
I stopped the team just before 4pm to untangle young Kimik's
harness. Then it happened. A blood curdling distant howl to
the north of us. It was a wolf.
Amazingly an individual wolf's howl will indicate it's position
within the pack, physical condition its sex and intentions.
It seemed very early for this to be a courting wolf because
they look to mate in late March. So maybe it was a lost wolf
cub trying to get itself back to the pack, who knows. I know
night howling wolf packs help summon members to a nightly
hunt so I prepared myself thinking we might well be the centre