Buddies, Puppies, and People! Oh My!

The end of April marks the official “end of the season.” On May 1st, we’ll be driving 9 of the ATAO teammates, 2 Dream Catcher Sled Dogs (Sarah’s friends!), and 19 dogs from two other cool kennels down to Skagway, Alaska. (If you couldn’t keep up on those numbers, that’s 30 dogs!) We’ll drive Todd the Truck + a trailer to transport everyone. On May 2nd, the dogs will board a special dog-situated helicopter and be flown up to their summer home on the glacier.

The ATAO / Dream Catcher dogs heading “up to the ice” as we say (it’s really very snow covered) will be:


  • Rebel
  • Rey
  • Rogue
  • Furiosa
  • Sundance
  • Cassidy
  • Nala
  • Aurora
  • Belle

Dream Catcher Sled Dogs:

  • Max
  • Misty

You may see some names missing from the list! Here’s why!

R2 chews on the lines too much. This is workable and manageable in training but can be really tough for tours, and can result in either him becoming even worse with chewing OR being sidelined unfairly. Since R2 is now part of Goggin’s Doggins anyway, he’ll stay home, practice being an inside dog, and get to play a lot of fetch. Well, “fetch,” as he doesn’t quite have the retrieving thing down yet…

Annie never came into heat this spring, and so most likely she will not have puppies this year. DARN!!! Maybe next year, depending. But, I’m still planning to keep her at home just cuz I like to be around her… Plus she’s really shy. No need for her to pretend to be extroverted all summer. She can hang out here!

Know who else is not extroverted? Egret. Egret and Annie, BFF’s forever– They are just gonna chill here with the rest of the introverts. Egret especially loooooooves the couch (if she can wrestle it away from Ophelia). Hopefully she can teach Annie that the couch is a fun place!

Ophelia, meanwhile, will soon be popping out a bunch o puppies!!! WHAT. YES. EEEEEEEE. Fingers crossed that she will put aside her reservations about dogs in general and tend to her pups properly. If not, grandma Hooch is ready to step in…! And regardless, Ophelia will get lots of pampering this summer, as she surely believes she deserves.

And of course, Oliver, Jesse, Hooch, and Bonnie will be tending the beds and couches and sun-spots. And tables, for some.

As it is the end of the season, it is also the end of our flat-rate Buddy system! Thank you to EVERYONE who signed up as a flat-rate Buddy. The flat-rate Buddies will be included in our season-finale drawing on May 1. Keep a look out to see if you win!!!

Those who pledge on Patreon remain Buddies for as long as they pledge! Currently, this is the way to Become a Buddy if you so desire!

Since we have some new ATAO athletes here now (Aurora and Belle) and more expected on the way (puppies!!!), we’ll be doing a Buddy re-pick this September. Everyone who is already a Buddy, and those who want to become one, will get to pick anew from all of the athletes (and couch potatoes!) at ATAO.

And coming up soon, all Buddies from this season will receive Spring Swag!! We need to complete the Get The Dogs to Skagway Project, and then we’ll be packaging and mailing out your stuff!!! Keep an eye out for that. And, keep your eye out for address requests– we have most of the Buddies’ addresses, but are missing a couple. For our Solstice Surprise, for those who Buddied up before the winter cutoff date, we did have a couple Buddies whose addresses we couldn’t get! If you picked your Buddy before Thanksgiving and you never got your Solstice Surprise, touch base with us! We may have your Surprise sitting in our “lonely surprises” box!

And what about people? The ATAO people are busy busy busy. Summer is not a rest time, it’s a GET ALL THE PROJECTS DONE time! Shawn has been hard at work doing job training which requires a lot of travel. Will has been traveling too, for work! And we’re all trying to get our ducks in a row to upgrade some of the kennel features, starting with a back yard for the house dogs and a big puppy pen for our oncoming friends!

So that’s the update from the homefront! We’ll keep you posted here as we head to Skagway and start getting things built! There’s always more to do.


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