The Last Frontier

Sunday, May 22, 2011

New Puppy Needs a Name

The boys and I are SO EXCITED ! ! ! As soon as Chuck returns, we will have an adorable new puppy. She is half Karelian Bear Dog, and half Siberian Husky. She looks mostly like the full Karelian, from the description I have of her, except that she has blue eyes that are so common with Huskies. We need a name for her, and I'd like your help in either deciding between the two names we've come up with, or with a new suggestion.

Siberian Husky Puppy
(I found the picture of this adorable Siberian Husky puppy here)

Right now, our friends are keeping her until Chuck finishes guiding and can bring her home. I wish I had a picture of her to share. Until then, our friends would like to know what to call her. First I'll tell you the names we've come up with, and why we like them, and then tell you a little more about the breeds. We wanted a puppy to grow up with our boys, be a loyal companion to them, warn us about danger, such as bears, and protect our boys from bears. We also wanted a dog that can be trained to pull a sled to help us haul water and firewood. The mix of Karelian and Husky is perfect for us! I won't go into the details, but the way we ended up with her is an amazing story. We are thankful beyond words. OK, on with the names:

"Tala" or "Tally" after the Talachulitna River, which is a beautiful river here in Alaska. We love going fishing there.

"Nugget" - (as in Gold Nugget). Huskies were used during the Klondike Gold Rush in Alaska and Canada. Karelian Bear Dogs and Siberian Huskies are wonderful, and extremely useful dogs. I'm sure this puppy will become a very valuable and much-loved member of our family. 

So, please leave a comment and let me know what you think. Feel free to suggest something else. Here's some info from this site that I found about the Karelian Bear Dogs. There's lots more info out there, but this one sums it up somewhat briefly.
The Karelian Bear Dog has a good sense of humor. It is sensitive, independent, intelligent, skillful, tough on itself, and energetic. A robust, persistent, and powerful dog, it is willing to take on virtually any game animal. This dog is very loyal to its owner's family and makes a good household companion when it has owners who know how to display leadership and the dog is extensively trained. This is not a breed for the casual pet owner, the Karelian Bear Dog is a hunter of unyielding bravery and determination. It will put a bear to flight or attack it with great pugnacity. The true outdoors enthusiast and dedicated hunter can look to this hard-working breed with delight and utter satisfaction. The training should be very consistent with both a firm hand and affection. This is not a breed for inexperienced dog owners. They are affectionate towards people and will announce both welcome and unwelcome visitors. Visitors the dogs knows well will get an enthusiastic welcome while strangers may be treated coldly. This breed is very protective. They will protect you with their life. The Karelian Bear Dog can live with other household animals if they know where their place is in their pack (blow all others) and if the training and socialization is properly handled. This breed has a small appetite for its size.
The area once known as Karelia in northern Europe has always been populated by tough, big-game hunting canines. For a long time, similar dogs had been bred in Karelia for hunting large game. These dogs were known to have followed the first settlers to Finland thousand of years ago. These early tribes of people survived on what they could hunt, which is why dogs that were hardy, brave and tough enough to tackle bear, wolf and lynx were so important. The Karelian Bear Dog closely resembles the Russo-European Laika. It evolved in the part of Finland claimed by the Soviet Union earlier this century. The Karelian Bear Dog, which is more numerous outside its own country than any of the Russian Laikas, is used by elk hunters throughout Finland, Sweden, and Norway. It was first exhibited at a dog show in Helsinki in 1936, but after World War II the breed almost became extinct. All modern Karelians are traced back to forty dogs found and saved after the war. The Karelian Bear Dog was very popular towards the turn of the century when it could be found in vast numbers. Its numbers declined in the 1960's, but its popularity has been on the rise and it is now being breed in North America and many European countries. Among this avid hunter's game are the buck, wild boar, hare, and moose. He is also fearless enough to fight the wolf and bear and therefore functioned as a protector by hunting these large wild animals. In his homeland of Finland, the dog is used mostly on elk and is the favored dog of native big-game hunters.
Here's some info from the same site that I found about Siberian Huskies. Again, there's plenty more info out there, but this site just sums it up nicely.
Siberian Huskies are loving, gentle, playful, happy-go-lucky dogs who are fond of their families. Keen, docile, social, relaxed and rather casual. This is a high energy dog, especially when young. Good with children and friendly with strangers, they are not watchdogs, for they bark little and love everyone.  Huskies are very intelligent and trainable, but they will only obey a command if they see the human is stronger minded than themselves. If the handler does not display leadership, they will not see the point in obeying. Training takes patience, consistency and an understanding of the Arctic dog character. If you are not this dogs 100% firm, confident, consistent pack leader, he will take advantage, becoming willful and mischievous. Huskies make an excellent jogging companion, as long as it is not too hot. Huskies may be difficult to housebreak. This breed likes to howl and gets bored easily. Does not do well if left alone for a long period of time without a great deal of exercise before hand. A lonely Husky, or a Husky who does not get enough mental and physical exercise can be very destructive. Remember that the Husky is a  sled dog in heart and soul. They are good with other pets if they are raised with them from puppyhood. Huskies are thrifty eaters and need less food than you might expect. This breed likes to roam. Siberian Huskies can make wonderful companions for people who are aware of what to expect from these beautiful and intelligent animals and are willing to put the time and energy into them.
Siberian Huskies were used for centuries by the Chukchi Tribe, off the eastern Siberian peninsula to pull sleds, herd reindeer and as a watch dog. They were perfect working dogs for the harsh Siberian conditions: hardy, able to integrate into small packs, and quite happy to work for hours on end. The dogs have great stamina and are light weight. Native to Siberia, the Husky was brought to Alaska by fur traders in Malamute for arctic races because of their great speed. In 1908 Siberian Huskies were used for the first All-Alaskan Sweepstakes, an event where mushers take their dogs on a 408 mile long dogsled race. The dogs gained popularity in 1925 when there was a diphtheria epidemic in Nome, Alaska. Siberian Huskies were used to bring in the much needed medicine to the people. In the late early to mid 1900s Admiral Byrd used the dogs in his Antarctic Expeditions. During World War II the dogs served on the Army’s Arctic Search and Rescue Unit. The Siberian Huskies talents are sledding, carting and racing. The Siberian Husky was recognized by the AKC in 1930.


This spring has kept my family busier than usual, which is why I haven't posted much lately. My husband is a big game hunting guide, and is away for nearly two months guiding black bear hunts. That has left me with all of the chores he usually takes care of, like splitting wood, hauling water, tilling the garden (with a shovel), and all the other "little" things he does all day, in addition to my usual things. Our boys have been a great help, but we'll all be glad when he returns.

The hunter is on the right; Chuck is holding the paw on the left.

Chuck writes a blog for an outdoor network, and has just posted an article, along with some great pictures, about their Icy Bay hunts. Some of these bears are HUGE! Take a look. This one makes the one I shot last year look like a cub.

Oh, and you might notice something familiar about his blog ---- the name. I was setting up my blog about the same time he began writing for the Outdoor Blog Network, and neither of us communicated with each other on the name. So, take a look at the other Last Frontier.

Here are a couple more pictures from his articles.

This one really shows what a bear can do.

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