Jason Pedersen

Geoffrey and Anakin retiring this season

The Barton’s Family Christmas celebration will be the last chance to have photographs taken with Ruth Kellogg’s purebred Alaskan Malamutes.

The Barton’s Family Christmas celebration on  Friday, Dec. 9 will be the last chance to have unique Christmas photographs taken with Ruth Kellogg’s purebred Alaskan Malamutes Geoffrey and Anakin.

Kellogg says Geoffrey, who is now 13-and-a-half, and Anakin who is now eight-and-a-half, will be retiring after the Barton’s Family Christmas celebration.

Geoffrey has been a working lead sled dog since 1999.

“He even worked last year co-leading the team of four with his kennel-mate for 29 runs,” Kellogg says. “In 2009, Geoffrey co-led the team for a record (for me) of 60 runs which averaged about five miles each, in all kinds of weather including blizzards!

“He is still very active and alert at 13-and-a-half years of age.”

Anakin has worked in harness since the winter of 2004-5.

Every Christmas season for the past six years Geoffrey and Anakin, with their sled have had their pictures taken with families in exchange for donations to the Salvation Army’s food bank.

At the recent winter light-up event in Spirit Square, Nov. 18, Kellogg says pictures with Geoffrey and Anakin raised just about $420 in two-and-a-half hours for the food bank.

The volunteer team includes Kellogg from Inharmony, assisted by Christiane Klein, who handle the dogs and prepare people for the pictures, Craig Smith of About Face Photography who takes the photographs, and Randy Kadonaga who mans the Salvation Army donation kettle. The unique photographs are taken in exchange for a minimum $2 donation to the Salvation Army food bank.

The team will be back in Spirit Square for the Barton’s Family Christmas celebration on Friday, Dec. 9 from 6 to 8 p.m. This is their second year at this event. In exchange for donations families will have an opportunity to take their own pictures with the dogs, so bring along a camera.

“The Salvation Army kettle will be available again for donations of a minimum of $2 for the opportunity for families to take their own unique photographs with these working sled dogs and if we’re not too busy, to meet them in person,” Kellogg says.

She says her dogs and the volunteer team enjoy giving their time and talents for this very worthwhile cause and thank the public for their support of the Salvation Army’s food bank.

Next year, Kellogg says she will have a new team ready for Christmas photographs.

“I am readying another team for next year,” Kellogg says. “My plan is to have my champion show dog, Justin, and one of his daughters be the next team to give back to the community.”

Kellogg says Justin made an appearance in the Tribune last summer when he joined her and fellow Cariboo Kennel Club members in teaching at the Boitanio Park Day Camp.

In addition, she says Justin and five of his offspring helped with the District 4-H judging as judging subjects for the dog group.

This winter Kellogg says she is starting a new sled team of four with Justin, his mate Pema and their daughters Molly and Kanden.

For more information on Kellogg and her Alaskan malamutes visit her website at www.inharmonymalamutes.com

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