Dogs play an important role at ALO. Of course the office is located at Old Friendly Dog Farm, named after our first lead dog more than 30 years ago. During that time there have been a few office dogs that have greeted, or growled at, legal visitors. In July, ALO said goodbye to one of its best staff members ever when Freckles died. She was 15, and spent weekdays in the office since she was a puppy. Many customers never saw her because she preferred to sleep in a hidden spot, often behind Sue’s desk. Many times it would be late evening before someone would remember that Freck was still in the office. Freckles, a Corgi, was one of the funniest looking animals on the farm. In recent years, Freckles lost much of her sight and hearing, but was still able to jump on the couch to rest in her last week. Freckles was the second canine friend to die this year. Former Iditarod champion and Bethel “Best in Show” dog Angus died in January, also at 15. He ran with a puppy team a couple of weeks before he died, and is the father of many dogs now in the OFDF team. He led teams for Sarah and Andy when they each won Rookie of the Year honors in the Kuskokwim 300. He was old and slow by then, but always ready to go. Happy Trails to two old friends.
Much of July was spent preparing for three August trials, two of which were continued leaving one trial which is now the focus. That trial is the Denali Park moose case involving Jeff King. Myron flew his plane to the Park area in July to see the location where Jeff hunted last September. The location is quite some distance from the road, and involved some back country travel. It is always good practice to have a look at locations which figure into trials so there is less chance of getting confused by testimony which describes the scene. The plane ride to Denali was spectacular, skirting the back side of the Park past Kantishna, Wonder Lake and the big mountain. The trial promises to be a good one. Details next month.
The cabin project is once again underway. The two migrant workers in charge of the building project, Tomas and Csaba, are back in the mountains, and keeping them supplied is one of the daily tasks at ALO. Some folks have figured out there is a new place to stop in the wilderness. Bill Eggiman and Jane McClure stopped for a visit in July, and Sue Flensberg of Dillingham (formerly Sue Maddox of Aniak) also stopped by. The project is in the finishing stages, and now has a functional outhouse, a guest shelter, and deck furniture. If you’re in the area, stop by.
George spent most of July in Texas taking the bar exam, and Andy has been busy learning to fly. He did his first solo flight recently, and hopes to have a license by September. He will be leaving ALO at that time in pursuit of a master’s degree.