On Teaching Dogs to Sit

It turns out that this isn’t about sitting at all– But about shaking. The first dog I ever taught a trick to was our golden retriever Dan. I was in third grade. No one had shown me how to train … Read More

Water Water Everywhere!

Don’t drink water from the ocean. I know you already knew this but I’m advising you in case you forgot. This past weekend, I went to the Kachemak Bay Writer’s Conference in Homer, AK. I got to hear Anthony Doerr, … Read More


Bonalon and Hooch are enjoying the couch life. They both told me, in no uncertain terms, that they are ready to be officially RETIRED. They will get out for fun runs when they want to, but for now they are … Read More

About Pride and Health

This November was tough on my mental health, and it’s also forced me to look at myself and my kennel setup in a whole new light. I have given lip service to the truth that if I don’t take care … Read More

At Last… My Arm is Complete Again!

It’s hard to believe… But the team at ATAO Kennel is complete! (For this winter at least.) We are so excited to announce the final additions to the kennel for our founding year. Before I do, I want to explain … Read More

Winter is Coming!

I don’t yet have a four wheeler (though I will soon, fingers crossed), but I do have some doggos who need to run– So the current solution is to use myself as the anchor / slowdown-mechanism (which is really all … Read More

4 Reasons for Puppy Walks

Why do we do puppy walks? Aside from the fact that it’s fun (obviously) there are some huge benefits to letting our little nuggets run around untethered in all their crazy glory. I first learned about free play when I … Read More


Today is Ophelia’s birthday. ATAO has made it home, to Alaska. The land that calls and calls me, and won’t let me go. It’s been a very long and winding year for me. Probably for Ophelia too, and Hooch as … Read More

Manifesto: or, What I Learned This Year

Every year I mush, I learn something. I learn a lot of things. I have mushed for fifteen years, and this year is no different. I have learned things about dogs, techniques about mushing, about feeding, about pacing. I have … Read More

Back to Reality

Monday was my first day back to “reality.” I’m not sure “reality” is a great term for the non-dog world. One of the best parts about the dog world is how present and gritty it is. However, let’s just call … Read More

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