Sunday, November 9, 2014

God Speed Katsuk

I am so sad to announce that Katsuk ( GRCH Hurricane Katsuk Rainsong CGC TT TDI) has crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  She fought very hard to stay and she was not wanting to go but her body just could not fight anymore.  She was finally recovering from surgery after having several cancerous breasts removed when she developed pneumonia and that proved too much for her to overcome.  Katsuk was not only a gorgeous, sweet, powerful dog who was loved by many but she was also the foundation bitch of Moonsong Chinooks.  She started me on my way as a breeder of Chinooks and her pups and grandpups have gone on to produce litters for several other kennels, both established and new.   She was exactly what I was looking for in a female Chinook.  She was large and powerful but still athletic.  She had quite a journey before ending up as a permanent member of my pack and touched a lot of people on that journey.  She was truly one of a kind.
Katsuk could do it all!  She was a wonderful wheel dog on my sled team.  She had great power and could really pull but she could also last all day.  Her pups and grandpups have also proven themselves in harness.
Katsuk was a very successful show dog and with limited showing was in Top Ten for her breed and produced Top Ten pups.  She easily finished her Championship and Grand Championship.  She did not really like to show but did it with a tolerant attitude because I wanted to show her off.  She had an amazing chest and bone which is commonly lacking in this breed.  She really was quite a figure.
 Katsuk produced some wonderful litters for me.  In her first litter she produced one of my favorite of her pups, Marshall ( CH Moonsong Onondaga Lawman - the middle pup shown above)  She also produced Jiggles (GRCH Moonsong Mukilteo Bluejay- to the right of Marshall) who I kept and became quite special to me.  One of her female pups from this litter went on to produce litters for Frontier Chinooks and the other pups went on to become very cherished members of families all over the country. 
 Katsuk's Jungle book litter was a nice rainbow of pups that turned into service dogs, sled dogs, weight pull dogs, rally dogs and, of course loving pets.
Katsuk produced a singleton pup named Watson that grew into quite the stunning boy who now watches over his human "sister" in Oregon
Katsuk's final litter produced two pups- Wink, who is with the Moonsong pack and will hopefully carry on her dam's legacy and Nod who is well loved by his family in Oregon. 
 I first met Katsuk when she was an 8 week old pup.  I hitched a ride with her breeder Joyce when I came from Florida to Washington for a new job.  Joyce on her way to Washington for a dog show so we drove together.  I was offered one of the pups from the litter, as Joyce owed me a pup but I declined as I already had a new pup, Hyak, joining my pack and with a new job and only a temporary place to live, I was not in a position to take  a pup.  The pups were evaluated at the show and it was determined the only red tawny pup was last pick because of her very bulky, awkward appearance.  The other pups were quite well built and moved well- miss tawny could barely walk without falling over and while she was quite large, she looked like spare parts.  Ginger Corley, of Rain Mountain Chinooks, had taken two other pups as her picks but wanted to give miss tawny a chance to mature before removing her from the gene pool as a pet so she found a foster home for her in California until Joyce could figure out what to do with her permanently. At 6 months old, she came back to Washington and when Ginger and I saw her, our jaws dropped.  She had come together and turned into one of the most gorgeous Chinook girls we had ever seen.  She was already the size of most adult females with a large chest and larger bone.  She looked like she could pull the heaviest sled through the largest drifts but she was active and tireless and moved beautifully.  I wanted her but I was still not in a position to keep another dog so I found a home that was willing to keep her intact.  She lived with Anne for a couple years and Anne put a Therapy Dog International title on her and took her to schools and nursing homes where she could share her loving temperament with everyone.  Anne also brought her out to shows where she quickly finished her Grand.  Family issues forced Anne to give her back to me but I had recently been contacted by a woman looking for a service dog and thought Katsuk would be a perfect fit.  She became a mobility assist dog for Marie and would also let her know when her blood sugar became high/low.  She pulled a cart for her and carried groceries and braced Marie to help her stand up/walk.  When it came time for her to retire from these duties, Katsuk came back to me and one of her grandpups took over as a service dog for Marie.  Finally Katsuk came to Moonsong Chinooks permanently to retire and live out her life. 
 At 8 years old, a retired Katsuk still looked quite fit and ready to help train some Moonsong youngsters to harness
 A  yearling Katsuk looksing a lot like her dad, Thunder- she inherited his large head.
 Katsuk was a great companion and even though she loved to work, she was quite willing to enjoy a sunset with me.
 She loved to swim and when a lake or river was not available, a kiddie pool would do.  She loved to submerge herself under the water until only her nose stuck out.  She looked like a hairy Hippo
 Katsuk had a wonderful face and expression. 
 Katsuk was a great retriever and loved to play fetch.  She passed this on to many of her pups and grandpups.
 Of course she loved football!
 Katsuk showing off her lean, muscular form.  She was quite a mover for a dog so large.
 Cooling off 
Katsuk and her pup Jiggles after a day of sledding.  I love this photo
 Katsuk going for a swim a couple months before she died.  She loved to swim and would just swim around and around, up and down the river.   if I threw something, she would retrieve it but even without something to chase she would swim for the love of it.
 Katsuk leading Faethe and Wink across the river to play on the opposite shore
 Kattsuk looked great for an 11 1/2 year old girl
Katsuk, in the middle, with her river playdate group
Just a few short weeks before Katsuk died, we went to visit with Frontier Chinooks who had a litter of pups that were great grandpups of Katsuk.  While there we took a 4 generation photo of Katsuk, her pup Lilah, lilah's pup Kasute, and Kasute's pup Miss Pink.  4 generations of beautiful girls!
One of Katsuk's first shows as a pup with her brother Malibu (middle) and sister Cheyenne (left).  I knew then how special she was then but I did not know how important she would be to my life in Chinooks or how many other people she would influence.  Godspeed Katsuk- I know Jiggles is happy to see you at the Rainbow Bridge as is UConn and Pharaoh and the other Chinooks that have gone before.  You will be greatly missed by those you have left behind.

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