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Ben Swan's Blog – June 2008 Archive (9)

Off-leash blog: Running wild with horses

NORTH POLE, Alaska — I’ve missed seeing grizzlies by moments, dodged some moose and even spotted a “lion cut” on a chow at the Santa Claus House, but the beast that’s caught my attention in Alaska isn’t a wild one. Lately I’ve been smitten by horses.

Sure, there are plenty of dogs, cats and even domestic rabbits running loose to pull at my heartstrings in the Far North, but the horses have been beckoning.

And I hear their… Continue

Added by Ben Swan on June 29, 2008 at 12:00am — 5 Comments

Morgan's blog: Lessons of the lawn

Greetings, friends! I hope you all are finding ways to keep cool in this hot weather. I was sick last week; Alice feels really guilty about my discomfort. I am all-better now, and today was fun because rather than go to the dance studio to dog dance, we went to a park, with lots of other dogs around and get this—a grassy lawn!

Yeah, man, I thought grass just grew in Seattle, not Santa Fe!

I wanted to roll and sniff, and run in… Continue

Added by Ben Swan on June 24, 2008 at 12:31am — 1 Comment

Off-leash blog: Finding wild things beneath the surface

By Ben Swan

SOLDOTNA, Alaska — In Alaska, wildlife can't be ignored. It's a constant that can either make your day or ruin it.

Tourists constantly turn their eyes on forested areas to catch a glimpse of a wild animal while longtime residents ponder the best time of day to avoid an encounter with a moose or worse, a brown bear.

Driving from my old hometown Fairbanks to Anchorage, and then farther south to Soldotna, my… Continue

Added by Ben Swan on June 23, 2008 at 1:35pm — 1 Comment

Story: Clinic aims to help rider pack properly

Packing supplies on a horse and riding into the wilderness is a mighty lovely adventure.

But the right horse, the right pack, the right knots and good packing skills make all the difference in whether the adventure becomes a nightmare.

The Feed Bin, 1202 W. Alameda St., is offering a free one-day workshop this weekend with three experienced horse packers to help people learn the art of horse packing.

Martin Abeyta, Tap Tapley and Clifford Gibbard will provide… Continue

Added by Ben Swan on June 10, 2008 at 12:37pm — No Comments

Off-leash blog: Canine party favors often full of tricks

When my beloved black Labrador, Krista, turned 2, I knew it was time to celebrate. Puppyhood — along with gnawed-up running shoes, unraveled sweaters and an occasional dark stain on the carpet — was well behind us. I was looking forward to longer runs on the beach, camping trips and perfecting her Frisbee catch. That was her passion, and I thought she could be a champion.

My housemate at the time embraced the idea of a canine birthday celebration — anything for a party — and we came up… Continue

Added by Ben Swan on June 7, 2008 at 11:34pm — 1 Comment

A shelter's transformation

Volunteers at Española Valley Humane Society pitch in to make a difference

It wasn’t a pretty sight. Dog runs overgrown with weeds, abandoned chain-link fencing, junk and even a discarded motorcycle greeted visitors at the Española Valley Humane Society.

Until the May 31 spring cleanup.

That’s when 37 volunteers showed up to transform the shelter into a welcoming facility, with a new picnic area, trim and clean dog runs and… Continue

Added by Ben Swan on June 7, 2008 at 11:30pm — No Comments

Morgan's blog: Party time

Greetings, all you two-legged and four-legged critters! Happy hot weather, uh, NOT! Try wearing a fur coat in 90 degree weather.

Do you guys have suggestions for ways to cool down?

I used to live three blocks from the beach. Alice or Wayne would take me swimming every day with my good buddy (uhm, best girlfriend, Abbey, a yellow lab). I really like to visit Abbey. She is getting a little old and cranky (bad hips), but the humans of… Continue

Added by Ben Swan on June 2, 2008 at 9:30pm — 1 Comment

Off-leash blog: Snatching dogs from death row

Alix Novack is a woman who doesn’t give up.

The Santa Fe beauty adviser thought she was simply rescuing animals in need this spring — something that’s second nature for her. But when she met the two border collies — emaciated, flea bitten and covered with feces — she knew it couldn’t stop there.

Now her work and steady pressure promises to change how some shelters do business in the state.

“If you had seen those dogs, you would have wept,” Novack says. “You would have gotten on… Continue

Added by Ben Swan on June 1, 2008 at 12:13am — No Comments

Friends in need

Feline & Friends foster parents have fun while filling a vital role

Nancy Palmer loves kittens.

The Eldorado resident gets her kitten fix in an upstairs room of her house where, nestled among toys and exercise equipment, two large playpens temporarily house any number of kittens.

“I call this our kitten room,” Palmer says, gently coaxing six kittens out of their cages for fun and socialization. “These are my babies right… Continue

Added by Ben Swan on June 1, 2008 at 12:11am — No Comments

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