Puppy Paws Episode 2

Uploaded by DenaliNPS on 29.06.2012

There’s a lot more to a name than the short sweet syllables that these puppies will learn
to answer to for the rest of their lives. So how puppies are usually named really changes
from year to year. We do often offer the opportunity to park employees who are retiring because
it is a special way for them to continue to connect to the park.
Both of us are retiring at the end of December this year and Jen asked us if we would like
to take a parting effort at naming the new puppies.
(What? Go get her. Go chew on her for awhile.) My first summer here was 1967 and then came
back to stay here in 69 and I’ve been here mostly ever since with a few years doing things
in other places. I guess collectively we are going to have 75 years between the two of
us. It was quite fun to get together and start to think about puppies.
There are a few key things that we ask whoever names the puppies to keep in mind. We always
ask that the names are short usually no more than two syllabus, and really easy to say
because this is how we’re going to communicate with our dogs when they are working out on
the trail with us. If there name is Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious we’re never going to get it out in time
to tell them to turn left or turn right on the trail.
We always try to have the dogs themes and names tie back to either Denali or Alaska
in some way. People get really creative in coming up with things the first time visitor
might not be aware of. Clare came up with a mining claim idea and
we zeroed in on Quigley Ridge and some claims that had been filed there between 1910 and
1920. The Little Annie claim produced the largest volume of or that was shipped out
from the Kantishna area up until 1938. I was working the Savage Check Station as a GS-4.
And the miners would come through and every week one miner would come through and ask
if I would like to have a smoke. And I would say sure I would love a smoke. He would reach
into his pocket and bring out one of the hard pack Marlboro cases of cigarettes. He’d
pop the lid open and say okay hold out your hand. And he would dump his take for the week
in nuggets into my hand. I think with Little Annie she was so big we
just named her Little Annie. She was the biggest puppy. And he couldn’t be Polly or Annie
so he had to be Lucky. Fitting right in with the claim theme for
these puppies is the name of their father, which is Silver. Silver is a pretty special
Yukon Quest leader owned by Brent Sass. He’s from the Wild and Free Kennel. After the puppies
are given their names then kennels staff will take the time to carve their names into their
wooden name signs. And the dog’s names sign is on their house until the day that they
retire. Then when their adoptive family comes to pick them up, they will take the name sign
off of the dog’s and come on into the kennels building and hang the dog’s name sign up
here on our walls where they join a long history of many, many generations of dogs that have
gone before them. It’s a special way for us to recognize that these dogs are carrying
on a legacy of being working sled dogs here in Denali.
People feel the history of the park through the dogs. It’s the dogs that bring the history